The Daniels came through for Union on Friday in Game 1 of its ECAC Hockey tournament quarterfinal series against Dartmouth.
And now, the defending ECACH tournament-champion Dutchmen are a game away from making a second straight trip to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Junior left winger Daniel Carr scored twice, and sophomore left winger Daniel Ciampini netted the game-winner late in the second period to propel the fourth-seeded Dutchmen to a 4-1 win over Dartmouth at Messa Rink.
The 19th-ranked Dutchmen (18-12-5) lead the best-of-three series, 1-0. A win in Game 2 tonight at 7 clinches the series for the Dutchmen. A victory by Dartmouth (15-13-5) would mean a Game 3 on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Carr, who has had back-to-back 20-goal seasons, got the Dutchmen’s first and third goals. He tipped in a Sebastien Gingras shot that rolled up and over goalie Charles Grant’s back midway through the first period, giving the Dutchmen a 1-0 lead.
But it was his second goal that was a thing of beauty. Carr got the puck down behind the goal line to the right of the net. He skated out and into the right-wing circle, and then made a right turn toward the high slot. Carr picked the top right-hand corner, beating Grant with a wrist shot over the glove at 9:14 of the third period to make it 3-1.
“I just rolled around,” said Carr, who has 14 goals this season. “Mat Bodie drove through and took everyone [with him]. It was a good play by him, and a good play by Josh Jooris and [Matt] Wilkins to get to the net. I just threw it at the net, and it went in.”
Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet was livid, claiming Wilkins was in the crease. A video review confirmed that Wilkins was out of the crease before the puck went in the net.
“It’s clear. It’s evident,” Gaudet said. “It’s a call I like to have reviewed. I had to call timeout to have it reviewed. [Wilkins] was in the blue paint.”
Later in the third, Carr was drilled in the head by Dartmouth center Tyler Sikura along the Dartmouth right-wing boards. Carr was down on the ice for a few seconds, with one of the Dartmouth players mockingly tapping his stick at him.
Sikura was given a five-minute major for contact to the head and a game misconduct.
“I feel fine,” Carr said. “Hockey’s a fast-pace game. Stuff like that happens. I don’t think it was anything personal. It’s part of the game.”
To Union coach Rick Bennett, it was just another example of how tough a player Carr is.
“He battled through injuries his freshman year,” Bennett said. “He played with a broken bone in his wrist. That is one tough guy. It’s amazing how you get rewarded like that by playing through your injury.”
Shortly after Dartmouth tied it when Sikura pushed a puck over the goal line with 4:48 left in the second, Ciampini regained the lead for Union. He was alone at the net when he took a Wayne Simpson pass and fired it past Grant with 2:01 left in the second.
It ended a seven-game goal-scoring drought for Ciampini, who has nine on the season. But the goal wasn’t one of redemption for Ciampini. In the last meeting with Dartmouth Feb. 1 at Messa, Ciampini took a tripping penalty late in the third period. Rick Pinkston scored the power-play goal that tied it, 2-2, and that was how the game ended.
“I think I shook that one off a long time ago,” Ciampini said. “But it does feel good. I didn’t think about that coming into this game. I thought about going out and playing as hard as I could.”
Dutchmen goalie Troy Grosenick, who missed the team’s regular-season finale against Clarkson on March 2 because of a lower-body injury, looked sharp. He made 30 saves, including two on breakaways.
Shortly after Carr’s first goal, Grosenick stopped Connor Dempsey.
“It was kind of a weird, bouncing puck that got through,” Grosenick said. “Breakaways are a one-on-one battle. You’ve got to have pride in that.”
In the third period, Tim O’Brien intercepted a Gingras pass and broke in alone. He fired a shot from about 10 feet out, and Grosenick kicked it aside.
“He tried to beat me quick five-hole,” Grosenick said. “That’s a pretty smart play, actually. You watch NHL breakaways, guys take quick shots. You try to get it above the stick, but below the pad, and try to beat the goalie down. It’s another one-on-one battle. As a goalie, you’ve just got to be ready for anything.”
Bodie scored an empty-net goal, firing a shot from Union’s right circle about 180 feet away, with 1:31 left in the game. . . .
Grant had 37 saves.
Dartmouth 0 1 0 — 1
Union 1 1 2 — 4
First Period — 1, Union, Carr 13 (Gingras, Wilkins), 9:46. Penalties — Jooris, Uni (cross-checking), 14:56; Lindblad, Dart (boarding), 19:17.
Second Period — 2, Dartmouth, Sikura 12 (Walsh, Lindblad), 15:12. 3, Union, Ciampini 9 (Simpson), 17:59. Penalties — K. Bodie, Uni (cross-checking), 5:57; Robinson, Dart (interference), 7:36.
Third Period — 4, Union, Carr 14 (M. Bodie, Jooris), 9:14. 5, Union, M. Bodie 6, 18:29 (en). Penalties — Coatta, Uni (hooking), 10:28; Sikura, Dart, major-game misconduct (contact to head), 11:24; Keenan, Dart double minor (slashing, roughing), 18:48; Coatta, Uni (roughing), 18:48; Boldt, Dart (boarding), 19:02.
Shots on Goal — Dartmouth 7-15-10 — 32. Union 15-10-16 — 41.
Power-play opportunities — Dartmouth 0 of 3; Union 0 of 4.
Goalies — Dartmouth, Grant 7-6-2 (40 shots-37 saves). Union, Grosenick 13-9-5 (32-31).
A — 1,641. T — 2:15.
Referees — Scott Whittemore, Bob Ritchie. Linesmen — Joe Testa, Ryan Knapp.