Union-Clarkson pregame report
Good evening from Messa Rink, where it’s Senior Night, and we know it won’t be the last home game for Union this season. The Dutchmen host Clarkson in the ECAC Hockey regular-season finale.
The Dutchmen (9-8-4 ECAC, 16-12-5 overall) clinched home ice for at least the first round of the ECACH tournament with their dominating 5-1 win over St. Lawrence on Friday. Earlier today, I posted various scenarios of how the Dutchmen can still clinch a first-round bye. They are in a three-way tie with Dartmouth and St. Lawrence for fourth place, which is the final bye slot, and all three teams are a point behind third-place Yale. Dartmouth will host ECACH regular season-champion Quinnipiac, which should be in a foul mood after being upset by last-place Harvard, 2-1, in overtime last night. St. Lawrence is at RPI, while Yale hosts a red-hot Cornell team that is 4-0-1 in its last five,
However, none of the scenarios for Union earning a bye will matter if the Dutchmen don’t beat or tie Clarkson. Naturally, the Dutchmen want to win this game more than tie it.
The last time these two teams met, Union struggled to get much going and dropped a 2-1 decision to the Golden Knights at Cheel Arena on Feb. 8. That ended the Dutchmen’s nine-game winning streak against the Knights.
Union will put another streak against Clarkson on the line. The Dutchmen are 8-0-1 in their last nine games against the Knights at Messa.
As far as the Dutchmen’s lineup is concerned, junior goalie Troy Grosenick will start, and senior defenseman Shawn Stuart returns.
Grosenick left last night’s game after giving up Chris Martin’s goal at 9:10 of the third period. Trainer Cheryl Rockwood was back on the bench shortly after Grosenick went into the locker room, so whatever was ailing Grosenick must not have been too serious and the team wanted to play it safe and let Colin Stevens finish the game in goal.
Stuart has missed the last six games with an ankle injury suffered at Clarkson. It was the second major injury that has kept Stuart out of the lineup. A shoulder injury against Quinnipiac Jan. 12 kept Stuart out of four games.
Stuart will replace Charlie Vasaturo, who was injured in the first period last night. I hope to have an update on Vasaturo’s status later.
Here is the Union lineup, starting with the forwards (LW-C-RW):
Daniel Ciampini/Kyle Bodie/Wayne Simpson
Daniel Carr/Josh Jooris/Matt Wilkins
Matt Hatch/Max Novak/Kevin Sullivan
Cole Ikkala/David Roy/Sam Coatta
The defensive pairings are:
Mat Bodie/Sebastien Gingras
Greg Coburn/Shayne Gostisbehere
Ryan Forgaard/Shawn Stuart
The Knights (8-10-3, 9-17-7) are coming off a 5-0 loss to RPI in a game where they managed just 15 shots on goal. They only had eight after two periods.
Clarkson has been an inconsistent team this season. The Knights have had some impressive wins. They have beaten Cornell and Dartmouth. But they have had some confounding losses, like a 6-2 loss to Harvard at Cheel last Saturday.
Sophomore Joe Zarbo is Clarkson’s top goal scorer with 12 goals. Junior Allan McPherson leads the team in scoring with 25 points on nine goals and 16 assists.
Here is the Clarkson lineup, starting with the forwards:
Todd Christian/Allan McPherson/Ben Sexton
Pat Megannety/Jarrett Burton/T.J. Moor
Joe Zarbo/Adam Pawlick/Will Frederick
Simon Bessette/Christian Powers/Mike Garlasco
The defensive pairings are:
Sam Labrecque/Alex Boak
James Howden/Paul Geiger
Nik Pokulok/Andrew Himelson
Greg Lewis starts in goal.
Peter Feola and Tim Kotyra are the referees. The linesmen are Justin Prusak and David Brown.
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, #ClarksonHockey 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!