Union missed out on going to last year’s ECAC Hockey tournament semifinals in Atlantic City, N.J., when, as the top seed, it lost to 12th-seeded Colgate in the best-of-three quarterfinals.
The top-seeded Dutchmen will get another opportunity to try and beat the Raiders, this time down at the New Jersey shore.
Union (22-7-7) will take on fourth-seeded Colgate (19-15-3) at 4:30 p.m. in a semifinal matchup Friday at Boardwalk Hall. The Raiders booked their second straight trip to Atlantic City on Sunday with a 4-0 win over fifth-seeded Quinnipiac in Game 3 of their quarterfinal series at Starr Rink in Hamilton. Colgate won the series, 2-1.
The other semifinal matchup pits No. 2 Cornell against No. 3 Harvard. Cornell completed a two-game sweep of ninth-seeded Dartmouth Saturday. Harvard split the first two games of its series with No. 6 Yale before routing the defending ECACH tournament-champion Bulldogs, 8-2, Sunday.
On Saturday, the third-place game is 4:30 p.m., and the championship contest is 7 p.m.
In last year’s quarterfinal, Union won Game 1, 4-1, and had a 2-0 lead in Game 2 going into the third period. Colgate rallied to win, 4-2. Union had a 3-2 lead in Game 3, but a late third-period goal by Francois Brisebois tied the score and sent the game into overtime. Colgate won it, 4-3, on Wade Poplawski’s goal with 7:08 left in overtime.
“It’s only fitting, again, that we have to face someone from the past,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “Again, I don’t think we need any extra motivation. We all know [about] last year’s stuff, and all the questions that will be surrounded by that.”
Union won the season series this year, taking a 3-1 victory at Messa Rink Feb. 3, and a 5-3 triumph Feb. 25 at Starr Rink to clinch its second straight Cleary Cup title.