Union-Yale postgame report (with 3 videos)
A recap of Union’s 5-3 win over Yale on Saturday at Messa Rink.
Yale had no answer for the Dutchmen line of center Mike Vecchione, left winger Daniel Carr and right winger Daniel Ciampini.
The line was buzzing all over the ice. Ciampini scored the game’s first goal when he put home the rebound of a right-point shot by Charlie Vasaturo that Carr tipped. Yale goalie Alex Lyon made the initial save, but he had no chance on the rebound.
But it was the goal by Carr that ignited a three-goal third period for the Dutchmen that sent them on their way to a win over the defending NCAA champions.
With help from Vecchione, Carr and Ciampini worked a perfect give-and-go.
Center Mike Vecchione got the puck and gave a pass to Carr, who it to Ciampini on the left wing. As Carr broke to the net, Ciampini sent the puck back to Carr.
“I tried to give it right back to Carr,” Ciampini said. “He made a great play. I think I made a bad pass. I think it caught him in his foot a bit. But he’s a good enough player. I trust him enough to take it and put it in the hole.”
Carr was able to corral Ciampini’s pass at the left of the net and ram it past goalie Alex Lyon at 8:29 of the third to snap a 2-2 tie.
Carr credited Vecchione with setting the entire play up.
“He won a big battle along the boards,” said Carr, who has a team-leading 13 goals in the season. “He made that two-on-one possible. And then, obviously, ‘Champer’ made a great pass back to me there. Those were the two important factors there. I was just lucky to be there.”
Union got some help from St. Lawrence to extend its lead over second-place Quinnipiac.
Brian Ward and Justin Baker scored goals 1:12 apart late in the third period to rally the Saints past the Bobcats, 3-2, in Hamden, Conn.
The Dutchmen now have a three-point lead over the Bobcats. There are six games left in the regular season.
“Any separation is huge,” Union acting head coach Joe Dumais said. “Every game is huge. I think it’s going to come down to the last game of the season. We know that going into it.”
Back to Bennett
Dumais guided the Dutchmen to a 3-1 record while head coach Rick Bennett served his four-game suspension from the Mayor’s Cup fracas.
“It was a great experience,” Dumais said. “I’ve told you before, the team runs itself. Rick has done a great job of establishing this program, and I just kind of filled in and called lines. It’s more the guys rewarded me and rewarded Rick for this.”
Asked if he was sorry it was over, Dumais said no.
“I’m going to be very happy to get back to being the assistant coach and Rick running the games.”
DiPauli breaks through
Sophomore forward Theo DiPauli played in just his fifth game of the season, and 13th of his career, on Saturday. It was his third straight game.
It may be tough keeping him out of the lineup.
DiPauli scored his first career goal, and it was an important one. It tied the score, 2-2, four minutes into the second period.
He was in front of the net when he deposited the rebound of a Sebastien Gingras shot past Lyon.
“Coach sent our line out to get in, bang some bodies and get in front of the net and tip pucks,” said DiPauli, who played with center David Roy and right winger Sam Coatta. “Me, Coatta and Roy were going tonight, so it was easy to feed off of them and to bang it in.”
“He’s one of the hardest workers we have,” Dumas said. “He’s a 4.0 student. He just does everything that is asked of him. He’s waited for his opportunity, and he got it. He’s running with it right now.”
Great game for Gingras
Gingras, the Dutchmen sophomore defenseman, had the best game of his college career with three timely assists.
In addition to his helper on DiPauli’s goal, Gingras assisted on Union’s final two goals in the third.
Gingras made a nice move to get past a Yale defender in the left circle. He skated to the net, and shanked a shot from the slot. But the puck had enough momentum to reach Matt Hatch camped out at the right of Lyon. Hatch slammed it home at 8:29 to make it 4-2.
“Our forwards, in the third, did a tremendous job working those Ds [defensemen],” Gingras said. “They looked really tired in the third. I just came down the wing, and I was going to dump it originally, but I saw that they overcommitted a little bit and I just reacted. It turned out to look pretty good.
“I cut, and I was trying to shoot. I hit [Hatch] backdoor. It was a big goal for us.”
Late in the third, Gingras got a breakaway. His shot was stopped, but Matt Wilkins was there to put the rebound home.
I have three postgame videos.
To see Dumais’ press conference, click here.
To see the press conference with Carr, Ciampini, DiPauli and Gingras, click here.
To see the Yale coach Keith Allain’s press conference, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Daniel Carr, Union left winger — Scored tiebreaking goal in third, and had an assist.
2) Sebastien Gingras — Had three assists.
3) Daniel Ciampini, Union right winger — One goal, one assist.
That is all from Messa Rink. I’ll be back with you Monday with my College Hockey Slap Schotts blog.
Good Night! Good Hockey!