Union-Bowling Green postgame report (Saturday edition, with 2 videos)
A look back at 16th-ranked Union’s 5-2 non-conference hockey win over Bowling Green.
’Ghost’ riders on the ice
Union junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is just on a different level right now.
The 2012 Philadelphia Flyers third-round draft pick dazzled with his performances in the two games against Bowling Green. He has been a magician with the puck. He made the Falcons looked for their equipment with the moves he made.
On Friday, he almost had a couple of goals, but his shots hit the post. On Saturday, he had three assists.
His first one came 1:24 into the game, Gostisbehere skated down the right wing and sent the puck to the net. Daniel Ciampini, camped out in the low slot, tipped it past goalie Tomas Sholl. The pass was low and perfect to be deflected.
After getting an assist on Daniel Carr’s tiebreaking power-play goal 6:50 into the second period, Gostisbehere impressed again in the first minute of the third period. Skating down the left wing, he centered the puck between the skates of a Bowling Green defenseman and over to freshman right winger Micahel Pontarelli on the right side. Pontarelli fired it past Sholl 51 seconds into the third for Union’s third power-play goal of the game.
“Typical ‘Ghost,’” Pontarelli said. “He’s unbelievable. He makes something happen out of nothing. That goal was because of him. The goalie was sliding across. I had an empty net, pretty much. That was all Shayne.”
That had to impress Flyers assistant general manager Ron Hextall and Kjell Samuelsson, a member of the team’s player development. They were seen speaking with Gostisbehere after the game.
Gostisbehere down played his accomplishments.
“It was definitely a team effort [by] all the boys,” Gostisbehere said. “It was good that we were ready to go from the get-go. It was good to see all the boys going tonight.”
Strong second period
In Friday’s game, Union had a bad second period, twice giving up the lead.
With the score 1-1 heading into Saturday’s second period, Union took control of the game. Carr and Nick Cruice scored power-play goals to give the Dutchmen a 3-1 lead.
“There was a little talk between periods and stuff we had to correct,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “I thought they adjusted really well tonight. You always know when a team is pretty plugged is how they adjust to what you are saying in the locker room. It wasn’t just myself. [Assistant coaches] Joe Dumais and Jason Tapp did an excellent job between period of getting the guys focused.”
“We wanted to keep pushing,” Ciampini said. “We didn’t want to sit back like we did [Friday] a little bit. I felt in [Friday’s] second period, we rested on our laurels a little bit. [Saturday], we pushed back and kept going. Relentless is the word for tonight.”
Dutchmen forward Daniel Ciampini had a great set up on Cruice’s goal.
Ciampini threw a behind-the-back pass from the right of the net to Nick Cruice on the left side. Cruice fired it past a helpless Sholl.
Freshman defenseman and Clifton Park native Jeff Taylor sent the puck to Ciampini after keeping it in at the left point. It was Taylor’s first collegiate point.
“It actually came so slow from [Taylor] that I had time to look up and see where Cruice was coming from,” Ciampini said. “I knew he was supposed to drive the net there, so I was hoping he was going to be where I put it. I think I found a little spot between the guy’s shin pad, and fed it through him.”
Bennett said goalie and Niskayuna native Colin Stevens remains day-to-day with the upper-body injury he suffered in Friday’s game when he was barreled into by the Falcons’ Bryce Williamson 6:21 into the game.
Before the puck dropped Saturday, Cole Ikkala got into Williamson’s face. The players had to be separated.
When asked about if Union was trying to send a message that it wasn’t happy with Williamson, Bennett said, “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. It’s funny how the game of hockey can work itself out.”
Also, 6-foot-6 freshman center Eli Lichtenwald missed the game with an apparent lower-body injury.
I have two postgame videos.
To see Bennett’s press conference, click here.
To see the press conference with Pontarelli, Gostisbehere and Ciampini, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Shayne Gostisbehere, Union defenseman — Had three assists in the game, and he is making the opposition look silly.
2) Michael Pontarelli, Union right winger — Scored his first two collegiate goals.
3) Daniel Ciampini, Union left winger — Had a goal and an assist.
That is all from Messa Rink. I’ll be back with you some time Monday with my College Hockey Slap Schotts blog.
Good Night! Good Hockey!