On a night when Union found out it would be without its captain and top defenseman for a while, three stitches on the nose of Dutchmen defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere’s felt like a mere scratch, and well worth it.
Shortly after Gostisbehere was cut when he was hit in the back of the head by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute defenseman Luke Curadi midway through the second period, the Dutchmen scored three times on the ensuing major power play.
Those three goals were part of a six-goal second that sparked the 10th-ranked Dutchmen to a 7-3 ECAC Hockey win over their Capital Region rivals before a standing-room-only crowd of 2,321 at Messa Rink on Saturday night.
The win gave Union (2-0 ECACH, 5-1-1 overall) a sweep of the weekend series. The Dutchmen won, 4-2, Friday, at Houston Field House in a game that saw Union defenseman Mat Bodie suffer a
broken wrist in the opening minute of the contest. Bodie will be out six to eight weeks.
Certainly, Union didn’t need another defenseman to get hurt in the rematch.
With Union clinging to a one-goal lead, thanks to Greg Coburn’s tiebreaking goal at 4:22 of the second, Gostisbehere had taken a shot from the slot that hit the post. The 6-foot-5,
250-pound Curadi came in with speed and hammered the 5-11,
170-pound Gostisbehere from behind. Kyle Bodie came to the
defense of his fallen teammate.
Both coaches believed the hit wasn’t dirty.
“That guy is 6-5 and 250, and Shayne’s 5-11,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “He had his head down coming through. I don’t think it looked as bad as it appeared at live speed.”
Said RPI coach Seth Appert: “We saw it on video, and you have to be aware of when your opponent is vulnerable. It was not an intentional, dirty hit. In watching the video, Luke’s arms were flat down in front of him, so there is no extension, no elbow, or anything like that.”
When the dust settled, Bodie got a two-minute roughing penalty, and Curadi received a five-minute
major for contact to the head and a game disqualification. That means he will be suspended for RPI’s game Friday at Dartmouth.
After Bodie’s penalty expired, Gostisbehere came back out and the Dutchmen went to work. First, Max Novak beat Merriam from the left circle at 10:25. Less than a minute later, Daniel Ciampini tipped a home a Gostisbehere shot to make it 4-1. Greg Coburn made it 5-1, and Gostisbehere got an assist on that.
“It was definitely worth it,” Gostisbehere said. “I hit the post, but it doesn’t matter. We came back, and [getting cut] fired up the boys. They rallied around me and put some pucks in the net. That’s all that mattered.”
The Dutchmen did give up a short-handed goal to Bo Dolan with four seconds left on the penalty. But a short-handed goal by Wayne Simpson and an even-strength tally by Josh Jooris made it 7-2.
RPI 1 1 1 — 3
Union 1 6 0 — 7
First Period — 1, Union, Carr 2 (Jooris, Novak), 1:59 (pp). 2, RPI, Haggerty 3 (Laliberte), 12:50. Penalties — Dolan, RPI, interference), 1:33; Sullivan, Uni (roughing), 3:53; Bradley, RPI (interference), 15:45.
Second Period — 3, Union, Ciampini 2 (Coburn, Gostisbehere), 4:22. 4, Union, Novak 2 (Stuart), 10:25 (pp). 5, Union, Ciampini 3 (Gostisbehere, Coburn), 11:22 (pp). 6, Union, Coburn 2 (Ciampini, Gostisbehere), 12:29 (pp). 7, RPI, Dolan 1 (Miller, Higgs), 13:19 (sh). 8, Union, Simpson 5 (K. Bodie), 13:19. 9, Union, Jooris 3 (Cruice, Carr), 17:57. Penalties — .
Third Period — 10, RPI, Bubela 1 (McGowan), 7:34. Penalties — Gingras, Uni (holding), 7:34; Lee, RPI, major-game misconduct (checking from behind), 10:07; Tinordi, RPI, misconduct, 10:07; Cruice, Uni, misconduct, 10:07; Jooris, Uni, misconduct, 10:07; Novak, Uni (hooking), 18:13.
Missed penalty shot — Union, Cruice, 16:08 second.
Shots on Goal — RPI 9-9-7 — 25. Union 11-17-8 — 36.
Power-play opportunities — RPI 0 of 4; Union 4 of 8.
Goalies — RPI, Merriam 0-2-1 (28 shots-21 saves), Kasdorf (0:00 third, 8-8). Union, Grosenick 4-1-1 (24-21), Stevens (10:07 third, 0-0), Pieri (16:08 third, 1-1).
A — 2,313. T — 2:26.
Referees — Scott Whittemore, Harry Dumas. Linesmen — Leo Boylan, David Brown.