After a two-week break, it took a period before the Union Dutchmen found its scoring touch.
The 18th-ranked Dutchmen reeled off five second-period goals to erase a 2-1 first-period deficit and cruise to a 7-3 ECAC Hockey victory over Princeton on Friday at Hobey Baker Rink.
That continued Union’s dominance over Princeton. The Dutchmen are 12-0-3 in their last 15 games against the Tigers.
The Dutchmen (5-1-1 ECACH, 9-3-2 overall) were playing their first game since a 3-1 loss to Clarkson on Nov. 12. Union took an early 1-0 lead on a Sebastian Vidmar goal, but tallies by Max Veronneau and Ryan Kuffner gave Princeton (0-6-1, 2-7-1) a one-goal advantage.
Mike Vecchione ignited the Dutchmen’s outburst with his 15th goal of the season at 4:34. Nick DeSimone gave Union a 3-2 lead 47 seconds later.
The Dutchmen then chased Tigers goalie Colton Phinney from the game by scoring three times in a 4:31 span late in the second. Spencer Foo got it started with 5:54 left. Brendan Taylor followed with his first goal of the season with 2:58 left. Brett Supinski completed it with a goal 1:35 later.
“I thought we played pretty well in the first, but we had a lot of chances that weren’t going in,” said Foo, who extended his point-scoring streak 12 games. “When the second rolled around, we were able to start burying those chances that we were getting. After the first, we talked about bearing down in our d-zone a little bit more and out of that we knew offense would come. I thought we were better in our d-zone and pucks started going in for us.”
The five-goal second was the most goals Union has scored in a period since getting six against RPI in the third period of its 8-3 Mayor’s Cup win Jan. 24, 2015.
Veronneau scored his second goal of the game 7:24 into the third. Union defenseman Vas Kolias scored his first college goal with a second remaining.
“I thought the effort was good tonight,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “There was a lot of energy. Obviously, we needed to knock some rust off at times, but we settled down and I thought the second period was crucial for us tonight. I thought we buckled down defensively, and I think that led to scoring chances. It allowed us to play downhill in the third.”
Union 1 5 1 — 7
Princeton 2 0 1 — 3
First Period — 1, Union, Vidmar 8 (Foo, Vecchione), 4:21. 2, Princeton, Véronneau 1 (Hallisey, Teves), 8:30 (pp). 3, Princeton, Kuffner 4 (Riche, Véronneau), 16:33. Penalties — Becker, Pri (boarding), 5:15; Brassard, Uni (tripping), 8:18; Grande, Pri (boarding), 19:34.
Second Period — 4, Union, Vecchione 15 (Foo, Vidmar), 4:34. 5, Union, DeSimone 3 (Walker), 5:21. 6, Union, Foo 7 (Vecchione), 14:06. 7, Union, B. Taylor 1 (DeSimone, Brown), 17:02. 8, Union, Supinksi 2 (Maier, Vidmar), 18:37. Penalties — Brassard, Uni (hooking), 8:59; Véronneau, Pri (interference), 13:13; Vidmar, Uni (tripping), 13:36; Becker, Pri (elbowing), 19:24.
Third Period — 9, Princeton, Véronneau 2 (Cressey, Teves), 7:24 (pp). 10, Union, Kolias 1 (Supinksi, Burton), 19:59. Penalties — Brassard, Uni (tripping), 6:56; B. Taylor, Uni (tripping), 12:08; Pontarelli, Uni (hooking), 15:12; B. Taylor, Uni (delay of game), 16:30; Davis, Pri, minor-misconduct (holding), 17:11.
Shots on Goal — Union 12-13-13 — 38. Princeton 11-6-12 — 29.
Power-play opportunities — Union 0 of 5; Princeton 2 of 7.
Goalies — Union, Sakellaropoulos 8-1-1 (29 shots-26 saves). Princeton, Phinney 1-7-1 (25-19), Halford (18:37 second, 13-12).
A — 1,587. T — 2:12.
Referees — Cameron Lynch, Bryan Hicks. Linesmen — Stephen Drain, Dan Taggart.