It’s looking more and more like Union will be without two key players for its two-game non-conference hockey series at New Hampshire this weekend.
Junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and freshman center Mike Vecchione are highly unlikely to play for the sixth-ranked Dutchmen when they face the No. 17 Wildcats in Durham, N.H. Friday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday’s contest is at 7 p.m.
Gostisbehere was injured in the first period of last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Princeton when he was checked into the boards by Tigers right winger Ryan Siiro. He tried to skate the next shift, but couldn’t make it. He missed the final two periods.
Gostisbehere, the Philadelphia Flyers’ third-round selection in the 2012 NHL draft, has six goals and 10 assists in 20 games this season. In 97 career games, he has 19 goals and 45 assists.
He practiced for the first time Wednesday.
“There is no update whatsoever in the fact that he is, again, day-to-day. He’s probably on the highly unlikely list,” Union coach Rick Bennett said Wednesday during the Mayor’s Cup media day at the Times Union Center. The Dutchmen will face Capital Region-rival Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the second annual non-conference matchup at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at the TU Center.
If Gostisbehere sits out this weekend, it would be the first time in his Union career that he missed games because of injury. He missed four games last season because he was helping Team USA win the World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal.
Vecchione, who has five goals and eight assists in 18 games, missed the Princeton game, as well as last Friday’s 2-1 loss at Quinnipiac, with what Bennett described as a “full-body injury.”
“He’s highly unlikely [to play],” Bennett said
Vecchione originally committed to UNH before changing his mind.
Even though they won’t play until next Saturday, both the Dutchmen and Engineers are excited to renew their rivalry.
Union won last year’s inaugural game, 3-2, on a Matt Wilkins power-play goal with 37 seconds left in the third period.
“The way we lost and that little bit on the power play is frustrating and leaves a bitter taste any time you lose to your rival in that fashion,” RPI captain Matt Tinordi said. “It’s just a little bit extra motivation for us this year’s game.
The Dutchmen didn’t play one of their better games. They were outshot, 38-20. The play of goalie Troy Grosenick kept the Dutchmen in it.
“We got outplayed for large portions of that game,” Union captain Mat Bodie said. “Troy was phenomenal. Winning in the last minute was certainly exciting. When you look back at it in a few years and you’re out of school, you can say you won the first Mayor’s Cup.”