Union-Harvard Frozen Fenway postgame report (with videos)
Union came to Fenway Park and took care of business against Harvard.
It was an impressive effort for the Dutchmen. Both teams had to deal with the cold and wind (and it was kind of cool to see the snow from the ice surface swirling above the ice), but the Dutchmen seemed to handle it better, and came away with a 2-0 ECAC Hockey victory Friday night.
There are so many memories the players will have. For me, I will have plenty of memories, too. I think this was more exciting to cover than Union's first trip to the NCAA tournament as a Division I program last March. Union will have opportunities to play in the NCAAs. The Dutchmen may not get another chance to play in an outdoor game. And who knows when I'll get to cover and outdoor game again?
As I sit here in the press box and look out look at the glass on the boards blowing in the wind, I will cherish these other memories.
— To be able to cover an event at Fenway Park will be with me forever. I'll never get to cover a Red Sox game, so this is the pinnacle for me.
— The Union crowd was amazing. There had to be at least 4,000-5,000 of them at Fenway. They certainly made a lot more noise than the Harvard contingent.
— The sight of Union defenseman Mat Bodie being tackled by happy teammate Shayne Gostisbehere after Bodie scored the game's first goal with 3.6 seconds left in the second period to give the Dutchmen the lead.
— The Citgo sign behind the Green Monster still looks great at night.
— The wind that was whipping around the ballpark as Daily Gazette colleague Mike MacAdam and I walked around in the afternoon.
It was just a wonderful experience. I was glad to be able to cover it for you.
Next up, RPI
The Dutchmen will have little time to celebrate the win at Fenway. They return home to Messa Rink on Saturday and face Capital Region-rival RPI at 7 p.m.
Union coach Rick Bennett isn't worried about a letdown against RPI after the emotional win at Fenway.
"This first half of the season, and even in part of the second half, these guys are battle tested," Bennett said. "They're used to this, and they're ready to go.
"You know what? We're going to enjoy this for the trip back. But once we hit that parking lot and put our equipment up, it's going to be about RPI."
Union alumni game
The Union hockey alumni played Friday at Fenway. Will Winship, a 1992 graduate, scored the game's first goal.
The Black team beat the White squad, 6-2.
I have four postgame videos.
To see the Union press conference, click here.
To see the Harvard press conference, click here.
To see an interview with Union right wing Wayne Simpson, click here.
To see an interview with Union goalie Troy Grosenick, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Kelly Zajac, Union center — Had a goal and an assist. His assist was the 75th of Zajac's career, moving him past Joel Beal (2001-05) and into sole possession of second place on the Union Division I career assists list. Next up is Adam Presizniuk who had 83 from 2007-11.
2) Wayne Simpson, Union right wing — Had an assist, but he seemed like a player possessed. Maybe playing close to home (he's from Boxborough, Mass) inspired him.
3) Troy Grosenick, Union goalie — Made 18 saves.
That's all from Fenway Park. I'll be back with you Saturday night from Messa for the showdown with RPI. But first, I'm off to Pittsfield, Mass., to watch my son Steven and the Schenectady Chargers Pee Wee B team play the Berkshire Bruins in the Kittredge Tournament. It's an 8 a.m. game, so not much sleep coming my way.
Good Night! Good Hockey!