Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nov. 3rd, 2012: Union 7, RPI 3

After a 6 Goal Second Period, Union Defeats RPI 7-3 at Home

This game was by far the most intense, exhilarating, over the top hockey games I've ever been to.  The rivalry is well and alive and after this game, I expect things to get more wild in future match-ups.  Bottom line, the Dutchmen stuck to their game and to quote RPI's head coach Seth Appert after Friday's loss, the Engineers played with a complete lack of maturity.

1st Period
The game's pace to begin the first period was fast and mean.  RPI defensemen Dolan was called for interference about a minute and a half into the game and before two minutes in the period had passed, Carr put one in past RPI goalie Bryce Merriam.  1-0 Union.  The speed of the period continued after the goal--this was extremely evident when (Cole) Ikkala/Roy/Sullivan line was out.  Cole-train is a force to be reckon with.  The intensity got the better of Sullivan and he was called with roughing, however, nothing came of this PP for RPI.  Troy Grosenick made several key saves during this PP to keep RPI scoreless.  The Dutchmen and the Engineers traded sustained pressure for the bulk of the middle of the period.  At 12:50, an offensive zone faceoff win for RPI resulted in Jacob Laliberte feeding Ryan Haggerty, who made no mistakes about putting the puck top shelf on a one-timer.  1-1 Tie.  The rest of the period consisted of a pitiful Union PP and an overall drop in the speed of the game.

(The) 2nd Period
Not to give anything away, but this is 20 minutes of hockey I plan to tell my kids about. 
More after the jump:

The first bit of noteworthy information came when Gros made a tremendous glove save (one of his many on the night) on a skipping puck through traffic.  I don't imagine you will see that save on a highlight reel, but to see it in person and to see the ease in which he made the save was really impressive.  Here begins the déjà vu...  On a shot from Coburn, Daniel Ciampini deflected the puck past the RPI goaltender, exactly like the night before.  More 
later... 2-1 Union.  

Shortly after a PP expired for Union, Shayne Gostisbehere took the puck from the point, dangled through traffic, and about 5 feet from the center of the crease, rang the post.  The next sound was that of Luke Curadi's (6'5, 250 lb) forearms colliding with Shayne Gostisbehere's (5'11, 160 lb) head.  The goliath was promptly taken to the ground by Kyle Bodie and once they were separated, it was escorted off the ice with a smug look on its face.  Gostisbehere rolled over after the hit to reveal a pool of blood beneath his face and quickly skated off the ice to get repairs.  I do not expect that Curadi will play in RPI's next game, however, Ghost did not miss a shift.  On the ensuing 5 minute major for contact to the head, three goals would be scored, two of which Gostisbehere would have assists on, stitches in his head and all.  Could that display of perseverance and skill be part of why Gostisbehere is drafted and Luke Curadi spent last night after the game retweeting angry twitter comments?  Priorities, I guess.  Enough rage, back to analysis.  

The first goal on the major penalty was courtesy of Max Novak, who thread the needle between the post and a RPI goaltender who was not hugging said post.  3-1 Union.  On Ghost's first shift back out, he set up ANOTHER deflection goal by Daniel Ciampini.  4-1 Union.  Just about two minutes past the first goal of the major, Coburn put in a rebound Ciampini shot towards the net from Ghost.  5-1 Union.  However, in the dwindling seconds of the major penalty, RPI was able to sneak one past Grosenick, who by his body language believed to have had it.  5-2 Union.  Not to be outdone, and to extend the theme of déjà vu, after a weak call on Cruise, RPI was put on the PP.  Who else other than Wayne Simpson would carry a puck 1-0 into the neutral zone and put one past the RPI goaltender?  While it was not as silky smooth as the night before, (Wayno scored after Merriam made the initial save) it was a shorthander, so that's bonus point anyway.  6-2 Union.  Sixteen minutes in and Union's Cruice got taken down on a break away, which resulted in a penalty shot.  Cruice made a good move and beat the goaltender but did not beat the post.  Not to fear, two minutes later Josh Jooris scored on a screened Merriam, the last goal he would let in of the game, as he was not in net during the third period.  It probably had something to do with Section Q's suggestions via chants.  Good work, coach.  7-2 Union, tying a school record for 6 goals in a period set over 20 years ago in Union's first D-1 game.

3rd Period
With a second period that felt like the length of a game, the third period flew by.  With expectations of the second period to repeat, nothing seemed to be of interest until about seven minutes in when RPI's Bubela pulled some really nice moves and scored RPI's third goal of the night.  7-3 Union.  After the goal was scored, Gingras was called for holding, which carried over after the goal.  Ten minutes into the third, a scrum broke out, which resulted in some spears to seemed to hit Grosenick's midsection.  While the trainer came out, Grosenick stayed in for the time being.  About ten seconds later, RPI's captain CJ Lee, who received a misconduct in the previous game, racked up another after he checked Vasaturo.  Vasaturo was in the middle of a change when CJ Lee checked him from behind.  Jooris and Cruice quickly jumped in and went to defend Vasaturo, who was injured on the hit.  Jooris ripped Lee's helmet off and began wailing on him, stopping only after he was ripped away by the ref.  The Dutchmen's coaching staff was not taking any chances with a reckless RPI team and decided to take out Grosenick, who was already the end of some non-hockey plays.  Both back-up goalies, Colin Stevens and Dillon Pieri, were brought in to finish the job.  Pieri made his first collegiate save and looked really sound.  With the final buzzer came one of the loudest cheers I've ever heard from the more than at capacity Messa Rink.  Final score: 7-3 Union

Observations and Experiences
  • Through this victory, The Dutchmen secured their ninth straight Capital Skates Trophy.
  • Attendance at Messa Rink was 2,313 (sellout). Capacity at Messa Rink 2,054.
  • Ken Schott mentioned in his postgame... "When you are as big as Curadi, some hits are going to look worse than they really are."  As I haven't seen the video, from seeing it in live speed it looked very dirty, but both coaches seem to say it was not.  Regardless, Curadi will not be playing on Friday vs. Dartmouth.  I do not see Lee playing on Friday either.
  • If you were following the game on twitter, you could have been following an RPI blog or a Union blog.  On this blog, you will not see replies to comments or chirps about the opposing team's intelligence.  You won't see chirps about where the school we are playing is from.  You won't see comments about guy to girl ratios at each school.  I run a hockey blog here and what matters is the final score and how hard our boys play.  Go to if you're interested in the rankings and/or gender ratio.  Go to if you're interested in a travel website.  Follow the Union Hockey Blog if you're interested in a hockey team that plays hard and wins games.

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