Union-Colgate pregame report
Good evening from Messa Rink, where Union seeks to continue its good start in ECAC Hockey play as it opens the home conference part of its schedule against Colgate.
Here is the scouting report on both teams.
The Dutchmen (2-0 ECACH, 3-2-2 overall) impressively opened conference play last weekend. They trounced Dartmouth, 7-2, as Sam Coatta scored twice. Union followed that up with a 4-2 win over Harvard in a game it trailed, 2-0, after the first period. Daniel Ciampini scored twice.
The Dutchmen got two players back last weekend. Goalie Colin Stevens, the Niskayuna native who was knocked out of the Oct. 11 season opener against Bowling Green 6:21 into the game, made 15 saves against Dartmouth and stopped 20 Harvard shots.
Center Max Novak, who missed the five October games while recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, scored against the Big Green and three assists against the Crimson. Novak’s return gives the Dutchmen depth at center.
The only thing that went wrong last weekend for the Dutchmen was their inability to score a power-play goal. They went 0-for-10, very unusual for a team that has been near the top of the national rankings in power-play efficiency the last few years. Union has failed to score a power-play goal in its last 12 chances, which encompasses the last three games. The Dutchmen’s last power-play goal was scored by Michael Pontarelli in the Laker Superior State game Oct. 19.
The Raiders (1-1, 3-5-1) have been lackluster so far this season. I thought that with the offensive talent coming back, they would be a darkhorse to finish in the top four. It’s early yet, so things can improve.
Colgate opened ECACH play last weekend with a split. On Friday, the Raiders gave up five third-period goals to Quinnipiac that broke open a 2-1 game and gave the Bobcats a 7-2 win. The Raiders bounced back Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Princeton. The game was scoreless through two periods before goals 43 seconds apart by Darcy Murphy and Spiro Goulakos gave Colgate a 2-0 lead.
Forward Mike Borkowski leads the Raiders in scoring with two goals and seven assists. Forward Kyle Baun is the top goal scorer with four. Goalie Eric Mihalik has a 2-2-1 record with a 2.04 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and one shutout.
Union has won the last six regular-season meetings against Colgate at Messa. The Raiders’ last regular-season victory at Messa was a 3-1 triumph on Feb. 10, 2007.
Of course, Colgate won two games in the 2011 ECACH tournament quarterfinal series at Messa. The Raiders, the 12th seed that season, took the final two games against the top-seeded Dutchmen in the best-of-three series by scores of 4-2 and 4-3 in overtime.
The teams split last season’s season series. Goals by Wayne Simpson and Nick Cruice gave the Dutchmen a 2-1 win Jan. 19 at Messa. At Starr Rink on Feb. 22, defenseman Spiro Goulakos, playing in his first home game since undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, scored the game-winning goal early in the second period to help the Raiders to a 4-1 victory.
Dutchmen defenseman Mat Bodie has a six-game point-scoring streak. Bodie needs one assist to tie Joel Beal for third place on the Dutchmen’s Division I career assists list. Beal had 74 assists from 2001-05.
Union forward Michael Pontarelli and Colgate defenseman Anthony Sanniti were teammates last season for the Cornwall Colts of the Central Canada Hockey League. Sanniti isn’t in the Colgate lineup.
Colgate coach Don Vaughan needs one league win to have 200 for his career. Vaughan is 199-193-50 in ECACH play.
David Roy will make his season debut. He will center a line with Daniel Carr on the left wing and Matt Wilkins on the right side. Roy had been out with a lower-body injury. Roy replaces Kevin Sullivan, who was hurt in the Harvard game.
Defenseman and Clifton Park native Jeff Taylor returns to the lineup after missing the Harvard game with an upper-body injury.
Daniel Carr/David Roy/Matt Wilkins
Matt Hatch/Mike Vecchione/Nick Cruice
Cole Ikkala/Mark Bennett/Sam Coatta
Daniel Ciampini/Max Movak/Michael Pontarelli
Mat Bodie/Charlie Vasaturo
Shayne Gostisbehere/Jeff Taylor
Matt Krug/Sebastien Gingras
Stevens starts in goal
Tyson Spink/Tylor Spink/Kyke Baun
Joe Wilson/Mike Borkowski/Darcy Murphy
John Lidgett/Andrew Black/Mike McCann
Derek Freeman/Daniel Gentzler/Brooks Herrington
Jake Kulevich/Spiro Goulakos
Brett Corkey/Kevin Lough
Brendan Corcoran/Ryan Johnston
Scott Whittemore and Kevin Curtis are the referees. David Brown and Bill Bredin are the linesmen.
Twitter and hashtags
Follow me on Twitter @slapschotts. The hashtags for the game are #UnionHockey, #GateHockey and #ECACHockey. If you have questions before, during and after the game, please ask. I will try to reply as quickly as possible.
Enjoy the game!