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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

A Daily Gazette sports blog
Ken Schott blogs about college hockey & more

Union-Harvard pregame report

Good evening from Messa Rink for this rare Tuesday night ECAC Hockey game as 19th-ranked Union faces Harvard.

It will be the third game in five days for the Dutchmen (5-4-3 ECACH, 11-8-4 overall). They split the first two games, losing to Cornell, 3-2, Friday, and edging Colgate, 2-1, Saturday.

This game is being played tonight because of Harvard’s annual participation in the Beanpot tournament. This contest would have been played Feb. 2, but the Beanpot semifinals are Feb. 4, and the Crimson don’t like to play three games in four days.

It’s a different kind of preparation for the Dutchmen. Union coach Rick Bennett knows his team will be ready.

“The biggest thing is to make sure our guys are rested, and just preparing and getting their mindset that they’re ready to face three opponents in such a short span,” Bennett said at Monday’s practice. “You’re trying to focus on different scouting reports and their type of style. If we worry about our own game, the other teams will have to worry about your style.”

Much has been made of Union’s problems with holding leads in the third period. The Dutchmen put an end to those questions, at least temporarily, with their victory over Colgate.

There is one lineup change. Center Josh Jooris is out. He suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Colgate. He was hit in the facemask in the Colgate left circle early in the third period, and was stunned by it. He missed a couple of shifts, but returned later.

Jooris has six goals and nine assists in 23 games. Mark Bennett replaces Jooris.

Here is the Union lineup, starting with the forwards (LW-C-RW):
Daniel Carr/Kyle Bodie/Wayne Simpson
Matt Hatch/Mark Bennett/Kevin Sullivan
Matt Wilkins/Max Novak/Daniel Ciampini
Cole Ikkala/David Roy/Nick Cruice

The defensive pairings are:
Greg Coburn/Shayne Gostisbehere
Mat Bodie/Sebastien Gingras
Ryan Forgaard/Tim Boyle

Troy Grosenick starts in goal.

This is the second meeting between the Dutchmen and Crimson (3-8, 5-10-1). Union dominated Harvard at Bright Hockey Center and cruised to a 6-2 win Nov. 9.

It has been a rough year for the Crimson, who lost to Union in last year’s ECACH tournament championship game, off and on the ice.

Off the ice, they lost four players — goalie Steve Michalek and defensemen Max Everson, Patrick McNally and Mark Luzar — because of their possible involvement in the academic scandal that gripped Harvard last summer. The players were never accused, but their removal from the roster may tell a different story.

One the ice, the Crimson are in a major slump. After going 4-2 in their first six games, the Crimson are 1-8-1 in their last 10. Harvard’s only win in that span was a 6-5 overtime victory over Boston University Jan. 9, a game in which it rallied from a 5-2 third-period deficit. The Crimson have lost three in a row since.

Harvard features freshman forward Jimmy Vesey, who was a teammate of Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on the World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal-winning Team USA.

Here is the Harvard lineup, starting with the forwards:
Jimmy Vesey/Colin Blackwell/Brian Hart
Marshall Everson/Luke Greiner/Alex Fallstrom
Tommy O’Regan/Ryan McGregor/Conor Morrison
Greg Gozzo/Mike Seward/Peter Placek

The defensive pairings are:
Dan Ford/Danny Biega
John Caldwell/Brendan Rempel
J.P. Gillmeister/Danny Fick

Raphael Girard starts in goal.

Mike Baker and Peter Feola are the referees. The linesmen are Mike Emanatian and Glen Cooke.

I’ll have updates on the on Twitter. If you’re not following me, my Twitter handle is @slapschotts. The hashtags I will use for this game are #UnionHockey, #HarvardHockey and #ECACHockey. If you have any questions during the game, feel free to ask.

I’ll update my Parting Schotts blog after each period, and have more description of the game.

If you haven’t done so, please like two Facebook pages — The Daily Gazette on Ice and the Slap Schotts College Hockey Segment. Of course, you can also friend me on Facebook.

Enjoy the game!

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