Union sophomore defenseman Charlie Vasaturo is hoping that his game last Friday against St. Lawrence wasn’t his final one of the season.
But it’s not looking good.
Vasaturo suffered a knee injury early in the first period of the Dutchmen’s 5-1 victory over the Saints. Union coach Rick Bennett said that Vasaturo is “day-to-day until September.” That would mean he is done for this season.
Vasaturo isn’t ready to call it a season just yet.
“We’re not quite sure,” Vasaturo said. “We’re still figuring it out. We’re staying optimistic. Nothing is ruled out yet. I want get back as soon as possible.”
Vasaturo was hurt on a seemingly innocent play on a dump-in.
“I got hit, and it must have been awkward,” Vasaturo said. “It twisted up my leg there. I went back to the bench and shook it off.”
Vasaturo came back out to help kill off Kyle Bodie’s hooking penalty at 5:54 of the first. But it was a very short shift for Vasaturo.
“I just wasn’t feeling right,” Vasaturo said. “That ended up being the end of it for that game.”
The game started off great for Vasaturo. He scored the game’s first goal 45 seconds in when his left-point shot eluded Saints goalie Matt Weninger.
Vasaturo had a rough start to his college career. He missed some time early last season because of a sports hernia. He played in 12 games, and struggled.
“It was tough coming in with the injury I had,” said Vasaturo, who played his junior hockey with the British Columbia Hockey League’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. “By the time I got into game shape, then I had to deal with the adjustments. It was good to come in this year. After a full offseason working out, I felt great coming in.”
Vasaturo’s play has improved over the last few weeks. He seems more comfortable and confident.
“I’m just playing simply,” Vasaturo said. “We have some guys have some guys who can play offense and be flashy, so I leave that to them. With the forwards, the quicker I get them the puck, the simpler I keep it and the better I do out there.”
“He’s been playing his best hockey since he’s been here at Union,” Bennett said. “I attribute that to his work ethic and [assistant coach] Jason Tapp. Jason and him have a bond together that’s great to see.”
Lost in the shuffle of Union clinching a first-round bye and Senior Night Saturday against Clarkson, Dutchmen junior left winger Daniel Carr became the 10th Dutchmen Division I player to record 100 career points. The milestone came on an assist on Kevin Sullivan’s second goal of the game at 6:24 in the third period of the Dutchmen’s 4-0 win.
Carr became just the second player to get 100 career points during his junior season. Center Jeremy Welsh did it last year.
Carr is the second Union player to reach 100 career points this season. Senior right winger Wayne Simpson got it Jan. 12 at Quinnipiac.
“It’s a real honor,” said Carr, who has 52 goals and 48 assists in 115 career games. “A lot of great players have come through this program.”
MARGIN OF VICTORY
Quinnipiac became the first team since ECAC Hockey became a
12-team league in 1984-85 to win the regular-season title by double digit points. The Bobcats were 10 points better than second-place Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The previous record was nine points, which had been accomplished four times (RPI in 1984-85, Harvard in 1986-87, Colgate in 1989-90 and Cornell in 2001-02).
MEN’S TOURNEY BEGINS
The men’s portion of the ECAC Hockey tournament gets under way tonight with four best-of-three first-round series.
In a battle of travel partners, No. 5
Dartmouth (13-11-5) hosts Harvard (9-17-3). It’s the first time the Crimson, who were in last year’s title game, enter the tournament as the No. 12 seeds.
Dartmouth won the season series, 1-0-1. The Big Green took a 3-2 win Jan. 12, and the teams skated to a 1-1 tie Feb. 10.
No. 11 Colgate (14-16-4) travels to sixth-seeded St. Lawrence (16-14-4).
The Saints will get a big lift with the return of captain Kyle Flanagan. He missed last weekend’s games against Union and RPI
after having his appendix removed last Tuesday. The Raiders enter the postseason 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. St. Lawrence won the season series, 1-0-1.
The Saints won, 4-2, Nov. 30, and the teams tied, 3-3, Feb. 2.
No. 7 Brown (11-12-6) entertains No. 10 Clarkson (9-18-7).
For the first time since 2005, Brown will host a playoff series. Meanwhile, Clarkson was shut out by RPI and Union last weekend. The Golden Knights enter the tournament having not scored a goal in their last 141 minutes, 29 seconds.
The Bears captured the season series, 1-0-1. They tied, 3-3, Nov. 9, and won, 3-2, Jan. 11.
Eighth-seeded Princeton (10-14-5) will host No. 9 Cornell (12-14-3). The Tigers earned the final home-ice spot in dramatic fashion last Saturday. Tied in overtime, the Tigers pulled Mike Condon for an extra attacker because they needed a win for home ice. Andrew Calof scored with 37 seconds left to give the Tigers a 2-1 win and the final home ice spot in the first round.
Meanwhile, Cornell won’t play a playoff series at home for the first time since 1999. Ironically, that 1999 first-round series was against Princeton. The Tigers won that series.
Princeton swept the season series, winning, 5-3, Nov. 9, and 1-0 Feb. 9.
There was plenty of excitement in the ECACH women’s tournament quarterfinals last weekend. Four games went to overtime, including three last Friday and going triple OT Saturday, while another contest was decided in the final minute.
Two of the games in the St. Lawrence-Quinnipiac series went OT. The fifth-seeded Saints won Game 1, 1-0, on Kayla Raniwsky’s goal midway through OT. In Game 2, the fourth-seeded Bobcats had a 2-0 lead late before Rylee Smith scored twice 31 seconds apart, with the last goal coming with one second left, to tie the game, 2-2. Quinnipiac won, 3-2, when Amanda Colin scored at 8:55 of the third OT. The Saints won Game 3, 2-0.
In the other OT games, No. 2 Clarkson beat No. 7 RPI, 3-2, on Carly Mercer’s goal at 8:51, and No. 1 Cornell downed No. 8 Colgate,
5-4, when Brianne Jenner scored her third goal of the game 31 seconds into the extra period. Cornell sent the game into OT when Monika Leck scored with 47 seconds left in regulation.
Colgate had Cornell in trouble in Game 2. The Raiders had a 2-0 lead after the first period, and took that advantage into the third. Taylor Woods got Cornell on the board 52 seconds into the third. With goalie Lauren Slebodnick pulled for an extra attacker, Lauriane Rougeau scored with 53 seconds left to tie it. The game appeared head to overtime.
But Jenner scored with one second left to give Cornell a thrilling 3-2 win to advance to the semifinals. The Big Red will host the semifinal round Saturday at Lynah Rink. They will play St. Lawrence, while Harvard faces Clarkson. The championship game is Sunday.
All of the games will be available on ESPN3.com. RPI assistant sports information director Perry Laskaris will call the games. Former Brown coach Digit Murphy is the analyst.