Saturday, March 17, 2012

Union 6-Colgate 2: Bring on the Crimson!

Last night, both Union an Colgate played to their strengths: Union took advantage of power plays and generally played shut down defense. It was what Coach Bennett might have called quintessential Union Hockey. Daniel Carr opened the scoring only 1:35 into the frame. Josh Jooris, who would later add the back breaking third goal, fed Carr. While Union appeared over anxious within the first few minutes (not unlike the first game of the ECAC Quarterfinals agains RPI), they settled in fast. Aided by a quick lead, Union was able to gain their composure. Lost in Union's offensive explosion was their defensive poise. The defensive corps shut down Colgate's two most potent weapons--Chris Wagner and Hobey Baker contender Austin Smith. Although the two picked up assists on Joe Wilson's goal early in the second that brought Colgate within one, that would be it. Wagner, section Q's archenemy, was stymied by a stellar Troy Grosenick. Union's first Hobey Baker finalist added another notch in his belt with a brilliant breakaway stop on top of a level-headed, composed performance. Grosenick, perhaps more than any Union goalie in recent memory, is poised beyond his years. While Keith Kinkaid's outstanding 2010-2012 campaign secured him a pro contract with the New Jersey Devils, even he didn't provide the same level of confidence day in and day out that Grosenick has.

Max Novak, who has showed he has a future as a sniper ahead of him, continued his well rounded freshman campaign with a beautiful goal that sizzled over Mihalik's left shoulder to make it 2-0. After Jooris' power play tally pushed Union ahead 3-1 in the second, they never looked back.

Daniel Carr sounded the death knell for Colgate with a short handed goal, Union's fourth and his second. Jeremy Welsh added the fifth goal, passing Mario Valery-Trabucco as the single season scoring leader in the Division I era.

Colgate answered as Matt Firman deked his way past Grosenick on a breakaway to push the Raiders within three. But Defenseman Shawn Stuart scored on a slap shot from the high slot to ice the game, beating Colgate's backup Alex Evin, who had replaced Mihalik. Jooris picked up an assist for his third point of the night.

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