Many of Gill Egan’s friends tried their best to tell him not to go to Union College when he was being recruited by coach Charlie Morrison in 1981.
Egan didn’t listen, though, and the Dutchmen were thankful.
On Saturday, Egan will become the third Dutchman hockey player to be inducted into the Union athletics hall of fame. He joins goalies Steve Baker and former teammate Wayne McDougall.
Union hockey fans will get a chance to salute Egan during the first intermission of that night’s game against Harvard.
“For me, it just says that I played on some really good hockey teams with some really good players, and I’m receiving something just on the backs of their labor and efforts,” said Egan, 46, who resides in northern Virginia where he is a general contractor. “I was just one cog in the wheel.”
Egan was more than that. He remains the school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 83, 23 years after he graduated. He is third all-time in scoring with 147 points. Egan helped the Dutchmen make consecutive NCAA Division III Frozen Four appearances in 1984 and 1985.
All of that probably wouldn’t have happened if he had listened to the advice he was getting from his friends, who tried to persuade him to look at schools other than Union. Back then, the program was slowly emerging from the Ned Harkness resignation and defection of its players three years earlier. The team’s record the season before Egan arrived was 6-21-1.
“Union wasn’t a good place to go to, I can tell you that much,” Egan said. “When I was leaving my hometown in Ottawa, there were several people saying, ‘They’re not hockey friendly. I don’t know why you’re going there. You might want to rethink it.’ ”
Egan didn’t, thanks to Morrison.
“Charlie was a really good
recruiter,” Egan said. “He wanted to build the program, he sold the program and he sold me on the school. He was the big influence to me coming to Union. I didn’t even realize anything happened with the Ned thing when I got there. It was not talked about. We went about our business, tried to win hockey games and be the best students we could be.”
During Egan’s career, the Dutchmen averaged 15 wins a season. He scored the biggest goal in program history in the 1984 NCAA tournament semifinal against Rochester Institute of Technology. It came in the fourth overtime in a game that was played at RIT, and sent the Dutchmen into the final, where they lost to Babson.
And he did it while playing with the flu.
“It was a great accomplishment for the team,” Egan said. “We just missed the playoffs my first two years. The first year we went to the NCAAs, making the playoffs was really a big accomplishment for us.
“That was a big turning point for the program.”
Matt Cook did something rare in last Friday’s game against Connecticut — he got called for a penalty.
Cook’s minor for hitting from behind at 9:45 of the second period was just the third penalty he has taken in his last 42 games.
Cook has been a gentlemanly player for most of his Union career. The only time he reached double digits in penalty minutes was 2006-07, when he 29 minutes. He had 15 minutes (a five-minute major for hitting from behind and game misconduct) against Brown on Feb. 24, 2007. That is the only time Cook has ever received more than one penalty in a game.
U-18 TEAM WINS AGAIN
The U.S. National Under-18 team completed a successful tour of ECAC Hockey teams last Saturday with a 4-0 win over Harvard.
The Under-18 team went 3-0-1 against the ECACH. Its two other wins came against RPI and Union, and the tie was against Cornell.
Against Division I teams so far this season, the Under-18 team is 4-4-1.
Harvard wasn’t the only team to lose an exhibition game last Saturday.
Former Clarkson interim head coach Fred Parker made a triumphant return to Cheel Arena when he guided Carleton (Ontario) University to a 5-3 victory over the Golden Knights.
Parker became Clarkson’s coach three games into the 2002-03 season after Mark Morris was fired after an incident with Knights player Zach Schwan. Parker was in his first year as an assistant coach with Clarkson.
On his first visit to Cheel since the end of that season, Parker told the Watertown Daily Times, “It’s fantastic. Unfortunately, that year was a hodge-podge of everything going on. You didn’t get a chance to enjoy it.”
It was Clarkson’s first loss ever to a Canadian school at Cheel, which opened in 1991.
DUTCHMEN LOSE RECRUIT
Taft School forward Robbie Bourdon made a verbal commitment this week to Colgate for next season. According to U.S. Hockey Report, Union was Bourdon’s other choice.
The 5-foot-9, 162-pound Bourdon, who is 18 years old, was Taft’s leading scorer last season with 16 goals and 17 assists in 23 games.
Here’s a look at how college hockey players from the Capital Region did over the past week.
u Boston College sophomore defenseman Nick Petrecki (Clifton Park) collected two assists last Thursday in the Eagles’ 4-1 triumph over Merrimack.
u Quinnipiac junior forward Mike Atkinson (Kinderhook) had an assist in the Bobcats’ 4-1 win over Connecticut last Saturday.
u RPI junior defenseman Laura Gersten (Queensbury) picked up an assist in the Engineers’ 2-1 victory over Yale last Saturday.
There will be plenty of college hockey games on TV this weekend.
Four games will be on TV today. ESPNU will have the ECACH clash between Cornell and Princeton at 4 p.m. from Hobey Baker Rink. At 7 p.m., ESPN Classic televises Notre Dame at Boston College, the first meeting between the two teams since BC beat the Fighting Irish in last April’s NCAA tournament final. The NHL Network has a CCHA game between Ferris State and Miami (Ohio) at 7:30 p.m. Then at 8 p.m., Fox College Sports Central has New Hampshire at Minnesota.
There is one game on the TV schedule Saturday. The Harvard-Union game from Messa Rink is on Time Warner Cable channel 3 at 7:30 p.m.
At 4 p.m. Sunday, ESPNU has Boston College at Maine.
TW-3 will have the Cornell-Colgate game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday from Starr Rink.