Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bennett, Appert appear at Dunkin Donuts

by Ryan Fay

Visitors to the Dunkin Donuts shop at 1003 Route 7 in Latham were in for a surprise on Wednesday morning.

Union head coach Rick Bennett and RPI head coach Seth Appert spent an hour at the location filling orders and handing out giveways at the register and via the drive-thru window.

The appearance promoted this weekend's home-and-home series between the two teams and the recent launch of the company’s new Dark Roast coffee.

No. 2/3 Union travels to RPI on Friday before hosting the Engineers on Saturday. A limited number of tickets are left for Saturday's game.

Bennett (left) and Appert (right) man the drive-thru window
Photo credit: Union College Sports Information

Appert (left) and Bennett (right) were all smiles Wednesday.
Photo credit: Dunkin Donuts

Coffee break: Bennett (right) pours a cup for Appert (left)
Photo credit: Union College Sports Information

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dutchmen ranked No. 2/3 in polls

by Ryan Fay

For the third consecutive week, Union was ranked second in the top 20 poll.

The Dutchmen, who split a weekend series with St. Cloud State, received 901 points in the poll, just one more than third-ranked North Dakota. The Dutchmen didn't get any first-place votes after collecting 11 in last week's poll.

Union and North Dakota traded places in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top 15 poll. Union dropped from second to third, while North Dakota rose from third to second. Union received one first-place vote, nine fewer than last week.

Union resumes play this weekend with a home-and-home series with area rival RPI. poll
Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll

1 Minnesota (50) 4- 0-0 1000 1
2 Union 5- 1-0 901 2
3 North Dakota 4- 1-1 900 3
4 Colgate 5- 1-0 870 4
5 Boston College 3- 1-0 788 6
6 Boston University 3- 0-0 637 12
7 St. Cloud State 2- 2-0 628 9
8 Massachusetts-Lowell 3- 1-1 601 7
9 Providence 1- 2-1 587 5
10 Miami 4- 2-0 503 10
11 Denver 3- 1-0 422 11
12 Minnesota State 4- 2-0 404 13
13 Vermont 4- 0-0 352 17
14 Ferris State 2- 3-0 338 8
15 Michigan 2- 3-0 285 14
16 Alaska 5- 1-0 254 16
17 Michigan Tech 4- 0-0 218 NR
18 Cornell 0- 0-0 137 18
19 Minnesota-Duluth 3- 3-0 128 19
20 Notre Dame 4- 2-0 80 NR
Others receiving votes: Robert Morris 79, Nebraska-Omaha 76, Bowling Green 65, Quinnipiac 59, Northern Michigan 56, Alaska-Anchorage 34, Merrimack 33, New Hampshire 20, Ohio State 15, St. Lawrence 9, Dartmouth 8, Harvard 6, Yale 3, Mercyhurst 2, Bentley 1, Penn State 1.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
Rank School Last Week’s Ranking

1. University of Minnesota, 509 (33) 1
2. University of North Dakota, 446 3
3. Union College, 429 (1) 2
4. Colgate University, 421 4
5. Boston College, 374 6
6. Boston University, 295 11
7. St. Cloud State University, 294 7
8. UMass Lowell, 263 5
9. UMass Lowell, 218 8
10. Miami University, 187 10
11. University of Denver, 142 13
12. Minnesota State University, 134 12
13. University of Michigan, 89 14
14. University of Vermont, 86 n/a
15. Ferris State University, 60 7
Others receiving votes: Michigan Tech University, 29; University of Alaska, 23; University of Notre Dame, 23; Cornell University, 22; Robert Morris University, 13; University of New Hampshire, 7; Quinnipiac University, 7; Ohio State University, 6; University of Nebraska Omaha, 6; University of Minnesota Duluth, 5; Bowling Green State University, 2; Northern Michigan University, 2; St. Lawrence University, 1.

Video: Union's goals vs St. Cloud State

by Ryan Fay

Check out Union's goals from this past weekend's series against St. Cloud State.

The Dutchmen won, 5-1, on Friday and lost, 3-2, on Saturday.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Union falls to St. Cloud State, 3-2

Box Score

by Ryan Fay

For the second consecutive night, ninth-ranked St. Cloud State outplayed second-ranked Union.

On Friday, the Dutchmen came away with a 5-1 win despite being out-skated most of the night.

They didn't overcome another off night on Saturday.

Brooks Bertsch snapped a 2-2 tie at 8:18 of the third period to lift St. Cloud State to a 3-2 non-conference win at Messa Rink over a sluggish Dutchmen team that never seemed to find its groove.

In the process, Union (5-1) saw its unbeaten streak end at 22 games, its home winning streak end at 15 games, and its winning streak against ranked teams end at nine games.

Union's Tyler Hynes (23) gets tied up with a St.
Cloud State player during Saturday's 3-2 loss
at Messa Rink
photo: St. Cloud State
“[St. Cloud State ] really wanted it tonight," said Union head coach Rick Bennett. "They were faster. They won the one-on-one battles. I give them all the credit in the world. They were firing on all cylinders, and we didn’t match that.”

After JC Brassard gave the puck away behind the Union net, Judd Peterson passed it in front to an open Bertsch, who unleashed the decisive shot that beat Alex Sakellaropoulos.

Even though Brassard turned the puck over, Bennett placed more blame on Brassard's defensive partner, Sebastien Gingras, for leaving Bertsch uncovered.

“It’s easy to blame JC Brassard for that,” Bennett said. “It was our other defenseman [Gingras] snoring, not plugged in and losing his man at the net front. That’s where we were tonight, just not plugged in.”

The goal spoiled an otherwise strong showing for Sakellaropoulos, who registered a career-high 36 saves in place of Niskayuna native Colin Stevens.

"I thought Alex was exceptional tonight," Bennett said. "He kept us in the game. It would have been a heck of a lot worse. He was the star of the show for us tonight." 

With Sakellaropoulos sharp, Union remained in the game despite getting outshot 32-13 through two periods. Mike Vecchione converted a penalty shot and tied the game 2-2 at 19:46 of the second.

The Dutchmen were given a golden chance to go ahead when St. Cloud State gave them a power-play at 1:22 of the third. But Union didn't muster a single shot on goal during the ensuing two minutes.

Union didn't register a shot on goal until just under 13 minutes into the opening period and ended up getting outshot 39-24.

“Getting outshot is never a good thing,” said Sakellaropoulos. "We looked a little sloppy out there. We came hard too late, and that kind of hurt us a bit. I guess we learned that we have to go a full 60 minutes here to win.”

Vasaturo agreed that it wasn't Union's best effort and added it's nothing new.

“It wasn’t good,” Vasaturo said of the effort. “I don’t think it’s been just tonight. It was yesterday, and up in Maine [last weekend], as well. It seems like it’s a theme going for us, and we’ve got to figure it out.”

There's no better time to figure it out than now. Union opens ECAC Hockey play next weekend with a home-and-home series with Route 7 rival RPI. Union travels to RPI on Friday before hosting the Engineers on Saturday.

“We have to start fresh Monday because we’ve been walking on a fine line for the past few games,” Vasaturo said. “We fell off tonight.”


Union head coach Rick Bennett

Union goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos

Union defenseman Charlie Vasaturo

St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dutchmen lines vs St. Cloud - 10/25/14

by Ryan Fay

Line charts have been released for tonight's game between second-ranked Union (5-0) and ninth-ranked St. Cloud (1-2) at Messa Rink.

Union will be going for the weekend sweep, having won 5-1 last night.

The puck drops at 7.


St. Cloud

Fast start carries Dutchmen to 5-1 win

Box Score

by Ryan Fay

Second-ranked Union scored three early goals and went on to defeat ninth-ranked St. Cloud, 5-1, in front of a standing-room only crowd of 2,294 Friday at Messa Rink.

With the win, the Dutchmen (5-0) extended their school-record winning streak to 17 games, and their home winning streak to 15 games. Both streaks date back to last season.

The Dutchmen wasted little time going in front of the Huskies. Michael Pontrarelli knocked in a loose rebound on the power-play at 1:51 of the first period to give the Dutchmen a 1-0 lead. 

Just over two minutes later, Sebastien Gingras pushed the lead 2-0. Huskies goalie Charlie Lindgren stopped Max Novak's shot, but Gingras came flying in unseen from the right point and sent the puck into the back of the net.

“When I saw ‘Novs’ come out of the net, I just figured that a rebound could come out in the slot,” Gingras said. “The guy that was covering me wasn’t looking behind his shoulder, so that allowed me to sneak behind him. I just got lucky. The bounce was perfect, and I was able to bury that one.”

The Dutchmen chased Lindgren from the game at 8:57 after Mark Bennett gave Union a 3-0 lead. Bennett was behind the goal line when he put the puck on net. It bounced off Lindgren's pad and in, prompting Huskies head coach Bob Motzko to bring in Rasmus Reijola.

“Some guys might find it hard to believe, but I’ve actually done it before,” Bennett said. “Just taking it wide, and the goalie’s expecting me to throw it back to the guy driving the far post and trying to put it on net and hope for, worst-case scenario, a rebound. I guess he was cheating off his post a little bit and he got caught in between. I was just happy to see it go in.”

Sam Coatta lengthened Union's lead to 4-0 at 6:53 of the third after burying a rebound following a wraparound try by Bennett. Novak, playing in his first game following a five-game suspension for violating team rules, scored a power-play goal at 16:55 that extended Union's cushion to 5-0. 

Ben Storm spoiled Colin Stevens' shutout bid with 4.5 seconds left in the game with a slapshot from the point. Stevens finished with 35 saves, including three on breakaways.

He was more focused on getting the win than losing the shutout, which would have been his second of the season. He blanked Maine, 3-0, last Friday.

“I’m not going to say it’s not frustrating. It’s a little frustrating,” said Stevens. “But at the end of the day, all that matters is we got the win. It would be pretty selfish of me to be sitting here complaining that I didn’t get the shutout. I’ll take the win.”

Union head coach Rick Bennett didn't shake off the goal as easily.

"Did we think of our goalie there on the last shift?" Bennett asked. "Our goaltender has a chance to do something special, but we weren't bearing down in the areas that we need to bare down in."

Bennett, who will have a video session with the team this morning, was particularly displeased with the Dutchmen's neutral-zone play.

"We’ve got to shore up a lot neutral-zone turnovers," he said. "We’re just handing them transitional opportunities, and those turnovers are making our net."

When Union faces off with St. Cloud (1-1) again tonight at 7, Bennett said the Dutchmen need to come with a better effort.

"If we play that way [tonight], that team is going to hammer us, plain and simple."

End notes... Mike Vecchione kept his point streak alive with an assist on Coatta's goal; he now has at least a point in all five games this season... Jeff Taylor and Roman Ammirato each had two assists... after Lindgren was yanked for allowing three goals on nine shots, Reijola came in and stopped 16-of-18 the rest of the way.


Union head coach Rick Bennett 

Union's Colin Stevens, Sebastien Gingras and Mark Bennett 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Gostisbehere recalled by Flyers

by Ryan Fay

The Philadelphia Flyers recalled former Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from the American Hockey League's Lehigh Valley Phantoms, it was announced Friday.

The move came after the Flyers lost defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald for four weeks due to lower-body injuries.

Gostisbehere is expected to make his NHL debut on Saturday when the Flyers host Detroit at the Wells Fargo Center. He would be the seventh former Union player to appear in an NHL game.

The 21-year-old had two assists in three games with the Phantoms.

Gostisbehere appeared in three preseason games for the Flyers, registering two goals and an assist.

A third-round pick of the Flyers in the 2012 NHL draft, Gostisbehere signed with the team days after leading the Dutchmen to the NCAA championship in April.

Line charts vs St. Cloud - 10/24/14

by Ryan Fay

Line charts have been released for tonight's game between second-ranked Union (4-0) and ninth-ranked St. Cloud (1-1) at Messa Rink.

The puck drops at 7.


St. Cloud State