Union right winger Daniel Ciampini thought he made a bad pass to Daniel Carr on the back end of their give-and-go as Carr was going to the Yale net.
But when you have a talented offensive player like Carr, he can turn a potential bad pass into a positive play.
Carr was able to corral Ciampini’s pass at the left of the net and ram it past Yale goalie Alex Lyon at 8:29 of the third period, snapping a 2-2 tie and sending the ECAC Hockey-leading and fourth-ranked Union to a 5-3 victory over 13th-ranked and defending NCAA champion Yale before standing-room only crowd of 2,205 at Messa Rink.
The win, coupled with second-place Quinnipiac’s 3-2 loss to St. Lawrence, gives the Dutchmen (13-3 ECACH, 19-6-3 overall) a three-point lead over the Bobcats.
Center Mike Vecchione got the puck and gave a pass to Carr, who got it to Ciampini on the left wing. As Carr broke to the net, Ciampini sent the puck back to Carr.
“I tried to give it right back to Carr,” Ciampini said. “He made a great play. I think I made a bad pass. I think it caught him in his foot a bit. But he’s a good enough player. I trust him enough to take it and put it in the hole.”
The Vecchione-Carr-Ciampini line was buzzing all night. Ciampini scored the game’s first goal 1:23 into the first period. After Lyon stopped a Carr tip of a Charlie Vasaturo right-point shot, Ciampini fired home the rebound.
“For me, playing with Carr and Vecchione is contagious,” said Ciampini, who has a career-high 11 goals on the season. “Their work ethic is bar none. It makes it very easy to feed off them, work with them. Me and Carr said it before the game, we see flashes of Wayne Simpson in Vecchione. I played with [Simpson] all year last year, so [Vecchione] has a similar style.”
“The nice thing about those guys is they’re all very good down low, and they all have good feet,” said Union acting head coach Joe Dumais, who went 3-1 during head coach Rick Bennett’s four-game suspension. “They seem to work teams down low in that O-zone play, and they generated a lot tonight.”
Dutchmen defenseman Sebastien Gingras had a career-best three-assist game, with two of them coming on the Dutchmen’s final two goals.
Gingras made a nice move to get past a Yale defender in the left circle. He skated to the net, and shanked a shot from the slot. But the puck had enough momentum to reach Matt Hatch camped out at the right of Lyon. Hatch slammed it home at 8:29 to make it 4-2.
“Our forwards, in the third, did a tremendous job working those Ds [defensemen],” Gingras said. “They looked really tired in the third. I just came down the wing, and I was going to dump it originally, but I saw that they overcommitted a little bit and I just reacted. It turned out to look pretty good.
“I cut, and I was trying to shoot. I hit [Hatch] backdoor. It was a big goal for us.”
Yale 1 1 1 — 3
Union 1 1 3 — 5
First Period — 1, Union, Ciampini 12 (Carr, Vasaturo), 1:23. 2, Yale, Doherty 6 (DiChiara, S. Wilson), 6:19. Penalties — Root, Yale (tripping), 17:27; Bodie, Uni (tripping), 19:41.
Second Period — 3, Yale, Agostino 11 (Root, Obuchowski), 2:15. 4, Union, DiPauli 1 (Gingras, Roy), 4:00. Penalty — Root, Yale (goaltender interference), 14:14.
Third Period — 5, Union, Carr 13 (Ciampini, Vecchione), 6:25. 6, Union, Hatch 9 (Gingras, Henry), 8:29. 7, Union, Wilkins 5 (Gingras, Coatta), 16:48. 8, Yale, Beattie 3 (Izmirlian, Witek), 19:47. Penalties — None.
Shots on Goal — Yale 7-9-11 — 27. Union 14-10-13 — 37.
Power-play opportunities — Yale 0 of 1; Union 0 of 2.
Goalies — Yale, Lyon 9-7-4 (37 shots-32 saves). Union, Stevens 16-4-1 (27-2).
A — 2,205. T — 2:12.
Referees — Andy O’Brien, Mike Baker. Linesmen — Jason Shattie, Glen Cooke.