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What you need to know for 08/20/2017

Amazing season for Union

Union Hockey

Amazing season for Union

Wait. Really? REALLY? You hunt and peck for the keys, and "Union College" and "national champions" s


Really? REALLY?

You hunt and peck for the keys, and "Union College" and "national champions" should not, by any semblance of logic, under any definition of the natural order of things, tumble together in that sequence.

But there it is.

The Union College Dutchmen are the national champions of Division I college hockey.

They beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 7-4, at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.

Noun, verb, direct object, score, venue, day.

It boggles the mind that the 2,200-enrollment liberal arts school from Schenectady, New York, that doesn't offer athletic scholarships could be the national champions by beating a hockey juggernaut bristling with NHL prospects, but that's exactly what the Dutchmen have done.

Any hockey game will have its moments of chaos and its moments of perfect order, and both can be thrilling to behold.

Saturday's game exploded with such moments.

As they did against another hockey powerhouse, Boston Colllege, on Thursday, the Dutchmen fell behind Minnesota right off the rip, giving up a rebound goal when the game was less than three minutes young.

Union's defense was discombobulated in the crease, and the Gophers capitalized.

From chaos, order.

"It was a snapshot from the Boston College game," Union head coach Rick Bennett said. "If anything, it settled us down."

Not many years ago, the Dutchmen wouldn't have had a ghost of a chance against a team like this, but they had much better than that on Saturday, a Ghost of a chance.

Junior defenseman Shayne "Ghost" Gostisbehere, who produced a spectacular display of hypnotic hesitation moves, stick skill, speed and spin moves, scored a ridiculous goal to tie it, maneuvering through three defensemen and beating Adam Wilcox with a laser wrist shot to tie it.

Then things got really nuts. It was 4-2 after the first, 5-4 late in the third, and Union's knack for seamlessly bringing order from chaos put the Gophers away.

Mat Bodie whiffed on a check, Gostisbehere sprawled to the ice and swept his stick to knock the puck to a safe spot, and Bodie was right there to chip it ahead to Kevin Sullivan for a rush and a goal and the game.

Not long after, Union was skating helter-skelter in unbridled jubilation, Minnesota kneeled like statues with heads bowed, and for a moment, the blizzard of white confetti made the Gophers fade from view.

It really happened.

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