Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Game Time: Union at RPI

All three Union Hockey Bloggers are going to the game tonight in Troy with a loyal contingent of fans from the student section.

Below are tonight's lines (courtesy of The Official Blog of Union Hockey).

Be sure to follow along on twitter for updates.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tonight's Lines


Daniel Carr-Kelly Zajac-Wayne Simpson
Kevin Sullivan-Josh Jooris-Matt Hatch
Brian Yanovitch-Kyle Bodie-Trevor Mingoia
Cole Ikkala-Max Novak-Sam Coatta

Shawn Stuart-Mat Bodie
Nolan Julseth-White-Ryan Forgaard
Shayne Gostisbehere-Greg Coburn

Troy Grosenick
Colin Stevens
Dillon Pieri


Kenny Agostino-Kevin Limbert-Charles Brockett
Chad Ziegler-Andrew Miller-Brian O'Neill
Nicholas Weberg-Jesse Root-Dan Otto
Josh Balch-Clinton Bourbonais

Gus Young-Nick Jaskowiak
Kevin Peel-Matt Killian
Colin dueck-Tommy Fallen

Jeff Malcolm
Nick Maricic

-Yale scored two goals against RPI last night, which means they have scored a total of two goals in each of the five games this season.
-Last night's loss to Brown was Union's first ECAC loss of the season. They are now in a 9-way tie for first in the ECAC (out of 12), though two of the teams they are tied with--Quinnipiac and Princeton--have played more total games this season (QU has played one more and Princeton has played two). The other seven teams have an identical 2-1-0 record.
-Union will be wearing their popular black jerseys tonight.
-Lastly, we will be blogging live updates once again.

Let's Go U!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Game Time: Brown vs. Union

Tonight's Lines:

#9 Daniel Carr-#19 Kelly Zajac (A)-#21 Wayne Simpson
#16 Kevin Sullivan-#27 Jeremy Welsh (A)-#15 Matt Hatch
#26 Brian Yanovitch-#12 Kyle Bodie-#7 Josh Jooris
#23 Cole Ikkala-#18 Max Novak-#11 Sam Coatta

#22 Mat Bodie-#28 Shawn Stuart
#2 Nolan Julseth-White (C)-#3 Ryan Forgaard
#20 Greg Coburn-#14 Shayne Gostisbehere

#30 Colin Stevens
#1 Troy Grosenick
#31 Dillon Pieri

  • The official Union Tumblr has game notes for tonight and links from around the web.
  • The Niskayuna native Colin Stevens gets a start in front of the home crowd tonight (and presumably, in front of some family and friends).
Due to a non-hockey concussion (weird, right?) we can't live-tweet the game tonight. But be sure to check out your regular tweeters: Ken Schott and Union Athletics.


Scouting the Opposition (11/11-12)

The Dutchmen return home to play their second weekend of ECAC games. Their opponents are Brown and Yale.

Brown has been one of the weaker teams in the ECAC in recent history during the regular season. This does not mean they will be an easy opponent. They have always given Union a tough time, and this year should be no different.

In four ECAC games so far, they are even at 2-2. Their two wins have come against Princeton and Cornell. Cornell beat Yale 6-2 last week.

They are not known as a great offensive team, but put up five goals last Saturday to beat Cornell. Offensively they are led by Massimo Lamacchia, a freshman, who is off to a great start. He has 4 pts in 4 games (3g 1a).

Other notable offensive players are Jack Maclellan who was tied for first on team with 31 points last season, Chris Zaires who was third with 21, and Dennis Robertson who had 17 as freshman last season.

In goal for the Bears is Mike Clemente who has started all four games. He is not off to a great start this season, posting a 3.03 gaa and .885 save pct.

For special teams, the Bears have been lackluster on the power play, but have only allowed two power play goals this season (2-21) in four games, not allowing more than one power play goal in a single game.

Moving on, Yale will be the focus this week. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports. Yale was considered the front runners for the Cleary Cup this season, as they were chosen to finish first in both the preseason polls. Currently they are ranked 13th in the nation (Union is ranked 9th)

Yale lost a good group of players like Union, but still returns a potent offense and solid goaltending.

Like Brown they have only played four games (all ECAC). They currently have a 2-1-1 record, with their one loss against Cornell, which was a 6-2 beatdown.

In goal for the Bulldogs is junior Jeff Malcolm who has started every game. He has posted an impressive 1.98 gaa and a .938 save pct.

On offense the Bulldogs return top scorers Brian O'Niell (46 points) and Andrew Miller (45 points).

The offense hasn't been that great yet, only scoring two goals in every game so far.

For special teams the power play hasn't been spectacular, but they have scored a power play goal in every game. For the kill, they have only allowed one power play goal all season, and have only taken 14 penalties all season.

Both of these games should be tough for Union, but they have a chance to walk away with four more points. Both teams are beatable, with Yale looking a little worse than they were last season.

Lets Go Union!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This Past Weekend (11/4-5)

Over the weekend the Dutchmen faced St. Lawrence and Clarkson for their first two ECAC matches of the season. For the first weekend this season, Union won both its games and collected 4 points in ECAC play. The only other team in the ECAC to win both its matches was Dartmouth.

On the first night, Union faced off against St. Lawrence and beat them 2-0. Troy Grosenick had a great game for the Dutchmen posting a shutout, his second of the season. Perhaps what is most impressive about the shutout is the fact that St. Lawrence had 8 power play opportunities.

The two goals were scored by Wayne Simpson and Jeremy Welsh. The two of them lead the team with 6 goals each for the season. Also, both were on power plays, with Welsh's coming on a 5-on-3. Overall the Dutchmen were 2-7 on the power play.

The next night the Dutchmen played Clarkson. Union absolutely dominated this game. They tallied three goals before Clarkson could get on the board, and held them to 9 shots in the first two periods.

Kyle Bodie, Brian Yanovitch, and Greg Coburn scored for the Dutchmen. Yanovitch also assisted on Bodie's goal to get his first two points of the season.

Clarkson was able to score a goal with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game to end Grosenick's bid for a second straight shutout. Grosenick won the ECAC goaltender of the week for his efforts.

For full recaps check these out:
Union Athletics - Union at St. Lawrence
Union Athletics - Union at Clarkson

That was a great way to start league play. St. Lawrence and Clarkson are probably two of the weaker teams in the ECAC, but 4 points is 4 points. It's not like either team is a complete pushover either. Just ask RPI, they lost to both of them this weekend. In fact, they were the only team that didn't pick up a league win the ECAC.

Grosenick looked great this weekend. It took over five periods for him to give up a single goal. He really has been great for the Dutchmen so far. Fair or not, most of the offseason attention was on Union's goaltending. So far that hasn't been an issue.

Perhaps a big part of that has been the stellar play of the defense. Over the weekend the Dutchmen killed all ten penalties they had, and limited both teams to single digit shots in each of the first two periods. The only troubling note was that they were outshot in both third periods.

Offensively the Dutchmen could've done more, but that is just being picky. Wayne and Welsh picked up a goal each and Zajac added three points to reach the 100 point mark, but the games were closer than they needed to be, especially with 13 power play opportunities over the weekend.

Overall, though, it was a very good weekend for the Dutchmen, who are now ranked # 9 in the nation in both the USCHO and USA Today polls. Next weekend they return home to play Brown and #13 Yale. We will have a preview for those games later in the week.

The "U Crew:" the Student Section Has a Name

After the results of a campus-wide poll were returned, Section Q at Messa Rink will be officially dubbed "The U Crew" this weekend. The five options were, in no particular order:

-The U Crew
-Section Q Crew
-The Student UNION
-Messa Maniacs
-Q Crazies.

There was also an option for a write-in candidate.
A fun game: try and spot someone you know in the crowd.

Although "U Crew" rhymes, it seems to lack the punch of something a tad more creative, or at least, distinguishing. My vote, if not for "Zolot Zealots," would have gone to "Messa Maniacs." But nonetheless, this is a good thing for the fan dynamic at games. With the student section as popular as ever during games, naming it anything (and branding corresponding merchandise--t-shirts will be on sale this weekend at the rink) is a step in the right direction. With Union currently sitting at #9 in the national polls, having a named student section is an important brick to set in the wall of a nationally renowned program. The initiative has previously taken strides with the introduction of a pep band, "The Nott Noisemakers."

Should Union's ultimate goal be to have something like the video below? Or something like Michigan's Student Section? Or something unique? Leave your thoughts below in the comments section.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dutchmen Details: Everybody's Winning For The Weekend

  • The Dutchmen capped off a stellar weekend in the North Country with a 3-1 win against a surprisingly good Clarkson team. Kyle Bodie scored his second of theseason, Brian Yanovitch had a goal and an assist, while defenseman Greg Coburn fired a power play goal past Paul Karpowich. Troy Grosenick, whose mask beat Karpowich's in College Hockey Inc.'s mask competition, had his shutout streak stopped at an impressive 119:18
  • Unfortunately, Grosenick's mask was defeated by RIT's Josh Watson, who now goes to the quarterfinals. Go to their Facebook page to vote on the four finalists
  • The official ECAC website has a game recap here; the box score is here.
  • Congratulations are in order for assistant captain Kelly Zajac, who notched his 100th career point via assist on Greg Coburn's 3rd goal of the season. Last year's points leader (42) joins the Union College Century Club. Zajac trails former teammate and all-time leading scorer in the Division 1 era, Adam Presizniuk, by 31 points.
  • Terry Campbell, who played from 1987-1991, topsUnion's record book with 170 career points. (51 goals, 119 assists).
  • Union's Century Club:

--Joel Beal (101)

--Terry Campbell (170)

--Joe Caruso (121)

--Kip Churchill (132)

--Curt Cole (119)

--Gill Egan (147)*

--Craig Ferrero (139)*

--Tod Fobare (167)*

--Chris Ford (104)

--Tom Hodgins (114)

--Grant Judd (111)

--Don Marshall (105)

--Adam Presizniuk (131)

--Bill Railton (100)

--Nelson Said (102)

--Gary Temush (107)

--Mario Valery-Trabucco (114)

--Jason Walters (115)

--Jordan Webb (114)

--Kelly Zajac (100)

*Members of the Union Athletics Hall of Fame

  • Jason Klump reflects on the first month of ECAC hockey, while singing Quinnipiac's praises.
  • By all accounts, Union's two wins this weekend against ECAC opponents should improve their 11/13 rankings in the national polls.
  • Finally, Mark Bennett earns today's coveted ToTD award:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Scouting The Opposition (11/4-5)

This week the Dutchmen open up league play on the road against St Lawrence and Clarkson.

This is when things get interesting. For anyone who doesn't know, the point system in college hockey is only based on conference opponents. Basically, right now, the Dutchmen are 3-1-3 with 0 points. Points can only be won in conference play because they only determine seeding within your own conference's playoff. A win is 2 points, a tie is 1, and a loss gets you nothing.

In the past two seasons the Dutchmen have swept both teams in the season series, and they even beat St. Lawrence a third time two years ago in the ECAC semifinals.

This season St. Lawrence has started 0-4-0 in the absence of head coach Joe Marsh who has been on medical leave. Marsh is really one of the best coaches in the ECAC and one of my personal favorites. It is a shame he hasn't been able to be on the Saints bench this year. Here is wishing Joe the best.

As for the guys who are playing, there is not a lot to get excited about. They are 0-4-0, and outside of an overtime game against RIT, haven't even been close to a W.

Their goaltenders have looked dreadful. Three goalies have spent time in net for the Saints. The best numbers of the three belong to senior Robby Ross with a .837 save pct and a 5.73 gaa. He has played in less than 4 periods this season. Matt Weninger, a sophomore, has started the most games for the Saints and started their most recent game, which was against RIT. He gave up six goals in that game. His overall numbers for the season are a .788 save pct and a 5.77 gaa.

Overall, they give up 6.25 goals a game, and their penalty kill has given up a goal 1/3 of the time. Making matters worse, they average over six penalties a game.

There has been a bright spot for St Lawrence offensively. His name is Kyle Flanagan. Flanagan, a junior, has 8 points in 4 games, collecting a multi-point effort in three of the four games. Patrick Doherty is another guy to keep your eyes on. The freshman scored two goals in the Saints most recent game.

Outside of Kyle Flanagan, nothing about the Saints looks that impressive. Still, UNH didn't look too good on paper either, and they beat us last weekend. Also look at who St. Lawrence has played: Ferris State (10th in the nation), Michigan (3rd) and RIT. The loss to RIT came in overtime, after a last second goal by the Tigers tied the game.

The Saints have always play the Dutchmen tough. No reason to look past this game.

One last note: the Saints haven't played a game since Oct. 15th.

Clarkson is the really intriguing game. They are kind of the opposite of St Lawrence.

So far this season they are 5-1-2. Paul Karpowich, their goaltender, was the ECAC goaltender of the month with a .940 save pct and a 1.84 gaa. Their power play is tied for 4th in the nation and their penalty kill is 8th (41-46).

Freshman Sam Lebrecque leads the team with five power play points, which is extremely impressive for a freshmen defenseman.

Their wins have come against AIC, Sacred Heart, and Bentley though. Basically, it is too early in the season to say one team is good and the other is bad. The way things look I would say Clarkson should be pretty good, but not a top four team. As for St. Lawrence, I don't think they are as bad as they have been, but I definitely seem them near the bottom of the league.

Saying all of that, I do expect the Dutchmen to pull out two wins this weekend. Here's hoping for four points!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Past Weekend (10/28-29)

This weekend the Dutchmen traveled to face the University of New Hampshire (UNH) before returning home to square off against American International (AIC).

Against UNH Union could only tally one goal. The scorer was Mat Bodie, whose unassisted goal tied the game for Union in the third period.

Unfortunately, Union lost the game in overtime. Less than a minute into the extra frame, the Wildcats formed a rush off a Dutchmen rebound and rocketed one past Troy Grosenick. It was Union's first loss of the season, and UNH's first win.

The next night Grosenick got the start again, but had to leave early in the first as he wasn't feeling well. Freshman Colin Stevens went in his stead, and, after a shaky start, had a pretty solid performance as the Dutchmen went on to win 5-2.

Kelly Zajac had a big game in this one, posting three assists, to bring him within three of 100 career points.

Kyle Bodie, Wayne Simpson, Daniel Carr, Daniel Ciampini, and Max Novak scored the goals for Union.

Bodie, Ciampini, and Carr's goals were their first of the season. In fact, it was Ciampini's first career goal with the Dutchmen, and came at a crucial point, as AIC had made the score a close 3-2.

For full recaps of the games check out these links:

Union Athletics Union at UNH
USCHO AIC at Union
Union Athletics AIC at Union

The game against UNH was a bit disappointing. While Union has had a great stretch these past two seasons, they haven't had a ton of games against some of the power house conferences. It would have been nice to get a win against a Hockey East team, especially since they have been struggling.

To be fair, one of the big reasons for UNH's surprisingly poor play, has been the less-than-stellar performance by their senior goalie, Matt Di Girolamo. Last season he was an All-Star finalist in the Hockey East, and this season he came into the game giving up 5.2 goals on average with a .825 save pct.

It was unrealistic to believe he would play that poorly all season, and he just stood on his head against Union. The Dutchmen did their job by peppering him with 38 shots, but he just had too good of a game.

On the flip side, they kept a struggling offense down, only giving up one goal during regulation on 22 shots, and killed all five power play opportunities for the Wildcats.

The banner ceremony the next night was great. It is very nice seeing a few garnet and white banners in the rink celebrating the Clearly Cup and the NCAA tournament berth. Loved looking at them throughout the game. We will try to get a few photos up, but for now Union Athletics has a nice shot in their recap of the game.

As for the game, it was nice getting to see Stevens play in person. For the most part he looked pretty solid. He let up a goal early, but it was on a power play he faced shortly after coming into the game. The second goal he gave up was during a third period that AIC out shot Union 17-13.

Offensively it was nice to see the power play convert on its first three opportunities, and for Carr to get his first goal of the season. He led the team with 20 goals last season, and maybe that goal is the start of a big stretch for the sophomore.

Ciampini's goal was also great. First, it is always nice to see the freshmen get involved. Second, it was a nice play. The Yellow Jackets turned the puck over in their own zone and Ciampini flew in and brought the puck in front of the net before firing the shot in.

Finally, while it wasn't the game winner, it secured the win for the Dutchmen. For most of the game, the outcome was never really in question, as The Dutchmen outshot AIC 45-11 through the first two periods (58-28 for the game). The only time there was any panic, was in the third when AIC cut the lead to one, and seemed to grab the momentum from Union. Ciampini's goal put an end to that.

This quote from coach Bennett says it best: “That was a monumental goal for us; that was a veteran goal, right there.”

Union has dropped from 11th to 13th in the USCHO poll, from 5th to 7th in Inside College Hockey's (INCH) power ranking, and have stayed at 11th in the USA Today poll.

Next week they will start league play traveling to face Clarkson and St. Lawrence. We will preview those games later this week.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Photo Gallery: Union at UNH - 10/28/11

Friend of the blog Lindsey Zolot sends along these pictures taken on 10/28/11 during Union's 2-1 overtime loss to UNH. Lest we forget how sharp Union's garnet "aways" look.

Many thanks to Lindsey, and a reminder that if you have any pictures you would like to see on the blog, you can send them along! Check out the "About Us/Contact" page for more information.