Union-Dartmouth ECAC Hockey quarterfinals Game 1 postgame report (with 3 videos)
Union looked like a team on a mission Friday night.
After sitting around last week, thanks the ECAC Hockey tournament first-round bye they earned, the Dutchmen came out and, for some stretches of the second period, controlled the play against Dartmouth in Game 1 of the quarterfinals.
The result was a 4-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead.
“You just never know after a bye,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “Those guys really came out with a sense of urgency tonight. It looked like a team that had a bye and was dying to play some hockey. They were sick of practicing against each other.”
The Dutchmen, for the most part, were tenacious. They ended up with 41 shots on goal, the fifth straight home game they have had over 40 shots.
“The media tries to make a big deal out of it,” Union goalie Troy Grosenick said. “‘Are they going to have the jump?’ Every guy in there is a competitor. We’re hungry, and we wanted to play. There was definitely a lot of energy in the locker room before the game. You could feel it. It showed in the first period. We just tried to carry that momentum throughout the game.”
And they did, except for a stretch in the second period where it appeared Union got a bit too cute with the puck, electing to make an extra pass instead of taking the shot. An example was when Daniel Carr decided to drop the puck back to Sam Coatta in the Dartmouth right circle instead of taking the shot. Coatta wasn’t as close as Carr thought.
It probably took Tyler Sikura’s game-tying goal at 15:12 of the second period to wake the Dutchmen up.
“We just got away from out game plan a little bit,” Carr said. “We had a few good shifts on the cycle.”
And then Daniel Ciampini broke the tie with 2:01 left. He was alone in front of the net when a Wayne Simpson pass made its way there. Ciampini fired it past Grant, and Union restored order.
Carr, who scored in the first period, made it 3-1 with a great individual effort.
He got the puck down behind the goal line to the right of the net. He skated out and into the right-wing circle, and then made a right turn toward the high slot. Carr picked the top right-hand corner, beating Grant with wrist shot over the glove at 9:14 of the third period to make it 3-1.
“I just rolled around,” said Carr, who has 14 goals this season. “Mat Bodie drove through and took everyone at the net. It was a good play by him, and a good play by Josh Jooris and [Matt] Wilkins to get to the net. I just threw it at the net, and it went in.”
If the Dutchmen play like that again in Game 2 Saturday, then they can make plans for another trip to Atlantic City, N.J., so that they can defend their ECACH tournament title.
Carr was drilled in the head by Sikura along the Dartmouth right-wing boards. Carr was down on the ice for a few seconds, with one of the Dartmouth players mockingly tapping his stick at him.
Sikura was given a five-minute major for contact to the head and a game misconduct.
“I feel fine,” Carr said. “Hockey’s a fast-pace game. Stuff like that happens. I don’t think it was anything personal. It’s part of the game.”
To Union coach Rick Bennett, it was just another example of how tough a player Carr is.
“He battled through injuries his freshman year,” Bennett said. “He played with a broken bone in his wrist. That is one tough guy. It’s amazing how you get rewarded like that by playing through your injury.”
Union goalie Troy Grosenick didn’t show any effects of the lower-body injury he suffered against St. Lawrence on March 1. He stopped 31 shots, including two breakaways.
“You talk about times of adversity, and Troy came up big with two breakaway saves,” Bennett said. “You’re going to need that from your goaltender in the playoffs.”
As of 11:30 p.m., the Dutchmen are tied for 14th with Notre Dame in the PairWise Rankings. RPI’s 3-1 loss to Brown dropped the Engineers from 13th to 16th
I have three postgame videos.
To see Bennett’s press conference, click here.
To see the press conference with Carr, Ciampini and Troy Grosenick, click here.
To see Dartmouth’s postgame press conference, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Daniel Carr, Union left winger — Scored twice, and was very dominate.
2) Troy Grosenick, Union goalie — Made 31 saves and showed no ill effects of the lower-body injury he suffered March 1.
3) Daniel Ciampini, Union left winger — Scored game-winning goal.
That’s all from Messa Rink. I’ll be back with you Saturday night for Game 2 of the series.
Good Night! Good Hockey!