Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Union recruit Supinski tearing up the BCHL

by Ryan Fay

Making the jump from prep school hockey to junior hockey can be a challenging step in a player’s career. Junior hockey players can be older, bigger, stronger and faster than prep school talents.

But Union recruit Brett Supinski has handled that leap just fine. After a stellar prep career with the Millbrook School, Supinski made the jump to juniors when he joined the British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express last offseason.

Supinski after recording a hat trick last Friday against the
Vernon Vipers.
photo credit: Damon James
The 19-year-old forward has been a nightmare for BCHL goaltenders ever since. He’s played in 47 games this season and ranks second in the league in goals with 39 and second in points with 75. He has 11 more goals and 23 more points than any other rookie in the circuit.

"He's one of those guys that doesn't look like an overall strong threat," Express head coach Barry Wolff said of the 6-foot, 165-pounder. "But then it finds his stick and he finds the back of the net. Some guys just have that knack and he definitely has it."

Supinski, who will join Union next season, credits linemates like Brendan Lamont and Ferris State recruit Corey Mackin for his success this season.

"I've had good linemates all year and we just clicked from the start," he said.

Supinski, a native of Collegeville, Pa., isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as the season progresses. He’s riding an eight-game goal scoring streak, and he’s piled up 13 goals and eight assists during that span. His latest tear also includes his second and third hat tricks of the season, one of which was a four-goal effort.

"He's finding the holes and his linemates are finding him," said Wolff. "He's looking to shoot more than he's looking to pass whereas earlier he was looking to pass a little more. He's realizing 'Hey, if I do shoot, I can score.' They're just going in for him."

Despite gaudy numbers that might suggest Supinski is simply too good for the BCHL, he said it was never on the table to join Union right out of Millbrook. He needed the year of junior hockey and added the experience has been beneficial.

"It's definitely made me a better player," said Supinski, who was also recruited by a couple other ECAC Hockey and Hockey East programs. "We're playing hockey everyday and just getting better on the ice. Skill-wise and hockey-wise, it's given me a higher hockey IQ. It's a tougher level of hockey and it's going to make the jump to college that much easier."

The year with the Express has also given him time to hone the defensive side of the game.

"He's worked hard at becoming a more defensive player and knowing he has to play both ends of the rink," Wolff said. "With 28 players on the roster [in college], you have to do both ends. It's something we've tried to get after him on, and he's really improved in that regard. He's been a great two-way player for us."

Wolff said it was evident early on this season that Supinski might be a special talent. His first goal came just under seven minutes into the team's first regular season game. His first hat trick occurred in the team's seventh game and he scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the final minutes of the third period that day.

"Some of those prep school kids can't handle [the BCHL]," Wolff said. "It's a daily thing. We play a lot more games. There's travel and it's a tougher schedule. But he rose to the challenge and has never looked back."

RPI's Wood suspended two games

by Ryan Fay

RPI forward Jake Wood was suspended for two games by ECAC Hockey on Tuesday for his hit late in Saturday's 8-3 setback to Union in the Mayor's Cup game.

At the 19:13 mark of the third period, Wood checked Union defenseman Charlie Vasaturo from behind and into the crossbar of Union's net. The hit left Vasaturo bloodied, and Wood was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Wood will miss RPI's next two games – Jan. 30 at Dartmouth and Feb. 6 at St. Lawrence.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Video: Mayor's Cup highlights

by Ryan Fay

Check out highlights of Union's 8-3 win over RPI in Saturday's third annual Mayor's Cup game.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Union runs away from RPI, 8-3

Box Score

by Ryan Fay

Notes from Union's 8-3 win over RPI in the third annual non-conference Mayor's Cup game at the Times Union Center in Albany....

** Union trailed, 3-2, after two periods. But the Dutchmen ran away from the Engineers with six goals in the third. Ryan Scarfo, Daniel Ciampini, Mike Vecchione and Eli Lichtenwald all scored in the third for Union, with Ciampini and Vecchione both scoring twice in the frame.

The six-goal outburst marked the most goals Union ever scored in the third period of a game during the program's Division I era. It tied the team record for the most goals in any single period.
Union celebrates with the Mayor's Cup after beating RPI, 8-3,
on Saturday at the Times Union Center in Albany
photo credit: Union College Sports Information

** Colin Stevens won his 47th career game, setting a Division I era program record for most goaltender wins. The Niskayuna native moved past Kris Mayotte, who won 46 from 2002-2006. Stevens wasn't tested much in his record-setting effort, as Union held RPI to just 13 shots on goal.

** Ciampini recorded his second hat trick of the season (the other was 11/15 vs Princeton). The Hobey Baker candidate also added three assists, giving him a six-point night. That matched the team's Division I era record for the most points in a single game (Jason Ralph, 11/5/99 vs Colgate). 

Ciampini's first goal on Saturday was also his 100th career point, making him just the 12th player to reach that milestone in the program's Division I era. By the time night was over, Ciampini was up to ninth place on the program's career points list with 105.

** Matt Wilkins came into the night with three assists on the season, but he blew that total away with a career-high four helpers.

** Vecchione, who is also a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award, set a career-high in points with five. He scored twice and added three assists.

** The top line of Ciampini, Vecchione and Wilkins combined for five goals and 10 assists.

** Union dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 48 of 68 draws. Vecchione was a major reason why, as he won 21 of his 25 draws.

** Scarfo continues his emergence. The freshman scored his eighth goal of the season when he began Union's third period outburst just 17 seconds into the frame. Six of his eight goals have come in his last seven contests.

** Union's eight goal night was the team's highest single-game goal output since an 8-0 win over American International on Oct. 26, 2012.

** The last time RPI gave up eight or more goals in a game was an 8-3 loss to Colgate on Feb. 4, 2012.

** Freshman Nick Desimone notched his first collegiate goal when he cut RPI's lead to 3-2 with a power-play tally at 17:14 of the second.

** The win snapped Union's three-game losing streak against RPI, as well as Union's three-game losing streak overall.

** Union moved to 12-10-2 on the season. RPI dropped to 9-17-1.

** Union has won two of the three Mayor's Cup games, beating RPI, 3-2, in 2013 and 8-3 this year. RPI won, 2-1, last year.

** Saturday's attendance was 8,714, the most for any of the three Mayor's Cup games. Last year's game was attended by 7,100 people, and the inaugural game drew 5,959.

Union vs RPI line charts (Mayor's Cup)

by Ryan Fay

Union will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak to RPI tonight when the two teams meet in the third annual non-conference Mayor's Cup at the Times Union Center in Albany.

Union's drought against RPI began with a 2-1 loss in last year's Mayor's Cup game. The skid continued earlier this season as the Engineers won both conference games against Union. The Engineers blasted the Dutchmen, 6-1, on Oct. 31 at the Houston Field House. The next night, RPI rallied late for a 2-1 win at Messa Rink.

Tonight's puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Broadcast info:
Radio: 106.1 FM, 1160 AM (not on 1240 AM tonight)
Live audio stream: http://t.co/gah9lE4r7e

Union at RPI live stream (women's)

by Ryan Fay

Watch the Union women's hockey team take on RPI at 4 p.m. today from the Houston Field House in Troy.

The two teams skated to a 2-2 tie at Messa Rink last night.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ellis commits to Union for 2016-17

by Ryan Fay

Tabor Academy defenseman Abby Ellis committed to the Union women's hockey team for the 2016-17 season earlier this week.

The Dutchwomen beat out the likes of Brown, Northeastern and Division III Middlebury for the future services of the 1997-born blueliner.

"I chose Union because the moment I stepped on campus I felt at home," said Ellis. "The coaches, players, and faculty are all so welcoming and inviting. Academically, I am most excited about the opportunities that Union will give me in regards to a career, and the amount that the school will prepare me for the real world. The level of play on the ice is a perfect fit for me as well. I know that I will thrive at Union."

Ellis, a native of Warwick, Rhode Island, has three goals and five assists in 13 games with Tabor this season. She spent last season with the Warwick Co-Op team and helped the squad become the first public school girls hockey team to win the Division I state title in Rhode Island history.

Ellis was Warwick's third-leading scorer with nine goals and 16 assists in 16 games. She scored the game-winner in the decisive game of the best-of-three state championship series against La Salle, and later earned first-team All-State honors.

"Abby is a strong skater who makes great decisions with and without the puck," said Tabor head coach Eric Long. "She is sound in the defensive zone, breaks the puck out well, and does a nice job on the power play. I think she is a player who can come in and contribute immediately."

Though Ellis is still over a season away from joining Union, Long says her arrival will be worth the wait.

"Based on my experience placing players at the Division I level, I would project Abby to be a top four defenseman with the potential to be a top pairing defenseman in her junior and senior seasons," Long said. "As her game continues to develop, she has the potential to play in all situations at that level because of her skating and decision making."

Ellis had been in contact with the Dutchwomen since last summer.

"Union has been interested in me for about six months now," Ellis said. "They contacted me after National Camp in Minnesota [last] summer. I took a tour in September and met with the coaches. In early January, I did an overnight and stayed with a couple of the girls. I stayed and watched two games as well. As I left campus after the overnight, I knew Union was the perfect fit for me."