Monday, April 21, 2014

Dutchwomen add Sullivan for 2015-2016

by Ryan Fay

Sloan Sullivan, a defenseman for Minnesota-based Shattuck-St. Mary's, has committed to the Union women's hockey team for the 2015-2016 season.

Sullivan, who turns 17 on April 28, had four goals and seven assists in 44 games with the girls prep team this season. She recorded 14 goals and six assists in 61 games with the 16U team last season.

"She is a stay at home defenseman, but she has a good shot from the point on offense as well," said Shattuck-St. Mary's girls prep head coach Gordon Stafford.

Stafford would like to see the Grafton, Wisconsin native improve her agility, puck handling and decision making, but thinks she can develop into a "solid, defensive cornerstone" type player at the Division I level.

Sullivan is the fourth known recruit committed to the Dutchwomen for 2015-2016. The other three are forwards Jacyn Reeves (Onalaska Hilltoppers), Jackie Mota (Chicago Young Americans 16U) and Jordan Stewart (Chicago Young Americans 19U).

Dutchmen pick up USCHO.com honors

by Ryan Fay

The accolades keep coming for NCAA Hockey champion Union.

Union head coach Rick Bennett was named USCHO.com Coach of the Year. It's Bennett's third Coach of the Year honor this season. He was also selected as the AHCA Spencer Penrose Award winner as national Coach Of The Year and College Hockey News Coach of the Year.

Four Dutchmen cracked the All-USCHO.com teams. Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere made the first-team, while defenseman Mat Bodie and forward Daniel Carr were on the second-team. Goaltender and Niskayuna native Colin Stevens was on the third-team.

First-team
Connor Hellebuyck, sophomore goaltender, Massachusetts-Lowell
Shayne Gostisbehere, junior defenseman, Union
Mike Reilly, sophomore defenseman, Minnesota
Johnny Gaudreau, junior forward, Boston College
Kevin Hayes, senior forward, Boston College
Greg Carey, senior forward, St. Lawrence

Second-team
Adam Wilcox, sophomore goaltender, Minnesota
Ben Hutton, sophomore defenseman, Maine
Mat Bodie, senior defenseman, Union
Cody Wydo, junior forward, Robert Morris
Nic Dowd, senior forward, St. Cloud State
Daniel Carr, senior forward, Union

Third-team
Colin Stevens, junior goaltender, Union
Jake McCabe, junior defenseman, Wisconsin
Steve Weinstein, junior defenseman, Bentley
Kyle Rau, junior forward, Minnesota
Devin Shore, sophomore forward, Maine
Josh Archibald, junior forward, Nebraska-Omaha

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Shier named MVP of OJHL playoffs

by Ryan Fay

Incoming men's hockey forward Kevin Shier was named the Most Valuable Player of the Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs after leading the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots to the franchise's first OJHL championship.

Shier with the MVP trophy
(credit: Tim Bates/OJHL Images)
Toronto Lakeshore captured the title with a 3-1 victory over the Aurora Tigers on Sunday. The Patriots won the best-of-seven series, 4-2.

Shier was the top scorer during the OJHL playoffs with eight goals and 24 assists in 19 games, including an assist on Sunday. He registered four three-point games and one five-point game during the championship run.

Toronto Lakeshore advances to the Dudley Hewitt Cup, which determines the champion of Central Canada Junior "A" hockey. The Patriots open the tournament at 2:30 p.m. on April 29 against the champion from the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

The round robin tournament also features the champion of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and the OJHL's Wellington Dukes, who host the tournament.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dutchmen sweep final monthly awards

by Ryan Fay

ECAC Hockey released its final monthly awards of the season on Friday and it was a clean sweep for NCAA Hockey champion Union.

Novak, Vecchione, Stevens
Junior forward Max Novak was named Player of the Month, freshman forward Mike Vecchione was honored as Rookie of the Month and junior goaltender Colin Stevens was selected Goaltender of the Month.

Novak scored five game-winning goals in eight games during the March/April span. He recorded the game-winner in the NCAA Championship game against Minnesota and received No. 1 Play of the Day honors on ESPN's SportsCenter on two occasions. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA East Regional.

Vecchione led all rookies in scoring (5-6--11) and plus/minus (plus-13) during March/April. He was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Tournament Team after the Dutchmen won their third straight Whitelaw Cup. He went on to pot goals in both games at the Frozen Four.

Stevens went 8-0-0 in March/April, including a 6-0-0 mark against nationally ranked competition. During that stretch, he had a 2.13 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. The Niskayuna native was named to three all-tournament teams (NCAA Frozen Four, NCAA East Regional and ECAC Hockey Championship).

Gostisbehere makes pro debut (with videos)

by Ryan Fay

Shayne Gostisbehere's career as a professional hockey player got off to an inauspicious start.

His last name was misspelled on the name plate above his locker stall in the Adirondack Phantoms locker room.

Gostisbehere
But once his professional debut against Bridgeport got underway Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center, it became clear that his presence in the professional hockey ranks was no mistake.

While the defenseman was held without a point, he took three shots and had an even rating. More importantly, the player affectionately known as "Ghost" proved he belonged.

"The Ghost shows a lot of high-end skill," said Adirondack Phantoms head coach Terry Murray. "Great ability, mobility, vision on the ice. He's a triple-option playmaker and it's pretty special when you have that kind of player. I think he had a great first night out.

“The jump is big to the pro level. The American [Hockey] League is a good league. You’ve got men out there. Physically, he looks very comfortable matching up one-on-one. He’s got such quickness with his hands and his stick that he’s able to recover a lot of pucks under pressure.”

Murray, who has 499 wins as a head coach at the NHL level, gave Gostisbehere plenty of playing time. He wasn't afraid to use the first-timer in sudden-death overtime.

"When you're getting into overtime and that four-on-four hockey, lots of open ice, there's a great opportunity for him to do the things that he does well with the puck," Murray said. "That's make plays and be creative and I have a lot of confidence in what he can do. I love that kind of player."

Bridgeport picked up the win, 3-2, on a goal from Johan Sundstrom at 3:23 of overtime. The Sound Tigers were down 2-0 in the third period before starting their rally with Scooter Vaughan's shorthanded tally at 7:23 of the third.

Gostisbehere, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round two years ago, blamed himself for the rally-starting goal.

"That was definitely my fault," he said. "I lost my guy initially ... and definitely that one was on me."

It didn't take away from what was otherwise a night to remember. The Glens Falls Civic Center felt more like Messa Rink when a throng of Union fans shouted “U! over the word “you” in the national anthem. Many of Gostisbehere's Union teammates were on hand, and they received one of the loudest cheers of the night for winning the program's first national title last Saturday against Minnesota.

"It was a pretty awesome national anthem," Gostisbehere said. "They said 'U.' It was pretty special to share that experience with my teammates."

Gostisbehere, who turns 21 on Sunday, noticed professional hockey was different than college hockey.

“Definitely faster than college and stronger, but it’s a fun game out there, and I learned from it,” he said. “Some things I would do in college wouldn’t necessarily work. I adjusted a little bit and played my game.”

Gostisbehere will play his second professional game tonight when the Phantoms close out their final season in Glens Falls with a road game at Hershey. The Flyers' top minor league affiliate is moving to Allentown, Pa., next season.

Even though it's only two games, Murray said it's an invaluable stretch for Gostisbehere.

"Getting the experience is going to be tremendous for him and his career," Murray said. "This is a great opportunity to take it through the summertime, reflect on it, and get himself ready for the training camp."

Shayne Gostisbehere postgame



Adirondack head coach Terry Murray postgame


Friday, April 18, 2014

Dutchmen to host St. Cloud

by Ryan Fay

St. Cloud State will pay Union a visit next season.

The NCAA champion Dutchmen will host the Huskies on Oct. 24-25. The two-game set will mark St. Cloud State's first ever visit to Messa Rink.

Union traveled to St. Cloud State for two games in December. The Dutchmen beat the Huskies, then the top-ranked team in the country, 4-1 on Dec. 13 before skating to a 3-3 tie the next night.

St. Cloud State, which won the inaugural NCHC regular season title this season, leads the all-time series 2-1-2.

Gostisbehere named team MVP

by Ryan Fay

Junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was named Most Valuable Player of the Union men’s hockey team at the program's annual year-end banquet Thursday at The Edison Club.

Gostisbehere, who will make his pro debut tonight with the Adirondack Phantoms, topped the NCAA champion Dutchmen in plus/minus rating (+33) while ranking third in blocked shots (52), fourth in assists (25) and fifth in scoring (34 points).

Gostisbehere, a third round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL draft, was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award and earned All-America honors for the second time in his career. He was the co-winner of ECAC Hockey's Player of the Year and Best Defensive Defenseman awards.

Other award winners

Senior defenseman Mat Bodie, a two-time team captain, received the Coaches Award for the second consecutive season. Bodie, who also earned All-America honors for the second time in his career, was the top scoring defenseman in the country this season with 39 points (eight goals, 31 assists).

Senior forward Kevin Sullivan earned Most Improved Player honors after setting career highs in goals (nine), assists (29) and points (38).

Freshman forward Mike Vecchione was honored as Rookie of the Year. His 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) led Union's freshman class and ranked ninth nationally among freshmen.

Junior defenseman Charlie Vasaturo received the Scott Richardson Unsung Hero Award. Vasaturo was one of three players to appear in all 42 games and paced the team in blocked shots with 62.

Senior forward Cole Ikkala picked up the Charles N. Morrison Scholarship Awartd for the second straight season. The honor is given annually to a student who participates in extracurricular activities while demonstrating academic interest and achievement.

Ikkala posted a perfect 4.00 GPA during the winter semester and owns a cumulative 3.82 GPA as a Managerial Economics major. He was named a Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-American and was chosen as one of 18 candidates for the Hockey Humanitarian Award.

Sophomore forward Theo DiPauli and sophomore defenseman Sebastien Gingras were chosen as recipients of the Thomas VanArden Dukehart Award, given annually to the student-athlete(s) with the highest GPAs on the team.

DiPauli, who also earned the award last season, owns a 3.93 GPA in Bioengineering. Gingras has a 3.85 GPA while majoring in Neuroscience. Both players posted 4.00 GPAs during the winter semester.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Union men's hockey parade set

by Ryan Fay

The parade honoring the Union men's hockey team is set for Thursday from 4-6 p.m.

The parade is celebrating Union's 7-4 win over Minnesota in the national championship game last Saturday in Philadelphia. The victory gave the Dutchmen their first national title.

The parade will get underway in front of Alumni Gym on Alexander Lane and end at Schenectady City Hall, where Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, Union College President Stephen C. Ainlay and other dignitaries will make brief remarks.

To see the exact parade route, click here.

The forecast is calling for a sunny day with temperatures in the mid 50's.

If you can't attend the parade, you can listen at teamline.cc. Matt DuBrey and Brian Unger will have interviews with players, coaches and dignitaries.

Time Warner Cable News will televise the parade live and have a live stream at http://albany.twcnews.com.