Union-Clarkson postgame report (with 2 videos)
A recap of Union’s 5-0 win over Clarkson on Friday at Messa Rink.
Cup clinched, not top seed
Everyone thought that Union had clinched the top seed when it was learned that Cornell beat second-place Quinnipiac, 2-1. That gave the Dutchmen a six-point lead over the Bobcats with three games left. Since the teams split the season series, the first tiebreaker, Union eliminated Quinnipiac from contention for the top seed in the ECAC Hockey tournament because it owns the second tiebreaker, most league wins. Union has 15 to Quinnipiac’s 11. The Bobcats can’t make that up.
However, everyone in the press box forgot about Colgate. The Raiders moved into a tie for second place with Quinnipiac after their 6-1 win over Princeton. Colgate is six points back with three games to go. More importantly, the Raiders own the season series tiebreaker, 1-0-1.
The good news for the Dutchmen is they need just one point to clinch the top seed. They host St. Lawrence on Saturday at 7 p.m., while Colgate goes to Quinnipiac.
Union left winger Daniel Ciampini came into the postgame press conference wearing something that looked like it belonged in the Disco Era of the late 1970s.
Ciampini had a green fedora on top of his head for being named the player of the game by his teammates. It’s a new tradition started by assistant coach Jason Tapp. Maybe a feather in it would have helped it look stylish.
Ciampini certainly earned the fedora by collecting two goals and one assist. He scored a short-handed goal in the first period, and an even-strength tally in the second. Ciampini assisted on Shayne Gostisbehere’s power-play goal which capped a three-goal second that gave the Dutchmen a 4-0 lead.
“It started a couple of weeks ago,” Ciampini said. “Coach Tapp brought it in, and he was trying to resemble old school with a snoop evergreen hat. He brought it in for us for one game, and it’s kind of stuck, just like [the] New York [Rangers], where they give out the Broadway hat.”
Ciampini extended his goal-scoring streak to six games. I asked him about that.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
Somewhere, I can hear Stevie Wonder singing, “Very superstitious, nothin’ more to say.”
Talking Olympic hockey
The subject of Team Canada’s 1-0 win over Team USA in the Winter Olympics semifinal Friday afternoon came up in the postgame press conferences.
Ciampini, who is from Concord, Ontario, was surrounded by three of his teammates who are from the U.S. — center Mike Vecchione (Saugus, Mass.), defenseman Gostisbehere (Margate, Fla.) and goalie Colin Stevens (Niskayuna).
Gostisbehere’s eyes rolled and he shook his head when Ciampini started talking about his country’s victory.
“There was a lot of passion going on,” Ciampini said. “It was a great hockey.”
Union coach Rick Bennett said the Dutchmen used it as motivation to shut down Clarkson. The Golden Knights had only nine shots on goal through two periods. They finished with 20.
“[Assistant coach] Joe Dumais had sent me a text,” Bennett said. “He said this would be a good tool for tonight. As much as it hurts to say this, with Canada beating the U.S., Canada played the ultimate team game. It wins championships. That’s one of themes we used before the game, and they bought in.”
The Dutchmen got forwards Daniel Carr, Cole Ikkala and David Roy back in the lineup. Carr was injured in last Friday’s game at Cornell and missed the next night at Colgate. Ikkala had been out since getting injured while blocking a shot at St. Lawrence in Jan. 31. Roy missed the Colgate game with a stomach virus.
The Dutchmen didn’t have forwards Michael Pontarelli, Theo DiPauli and Max Novak. Bennett said Pontarelli could be ready to go Saturday against St. Lawrence. As for DiPauli and Novak, Bennett said he would have to see how they feel on Saturday before making a decision on them.
The regular-season woes at Messa continue for the Knights. They are now 0-10-3 in their last 13 regular-season games at Messa. The last time they won in the regular season at Messa was Jan. 13, 2001, a 5-0 triumph.
Clarkson did win postseason series at Messa in 2004 and 2005.
I have two postgame videos.
To see the press conference with Ciampini, Gostisbehere, Stevens and Vecchione, click here.
To see Bennett’s press conference, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Daniel Ciampini, Union left winger — Had two goals, one assist.
2) Colin Stevens, Union goalie — Stopped 20 shots.
3) Shayne Gostisbehere, Union defenseman — One goal, one assist.
That is all from Messa Rink. I’ll be back with you Saturday night for the final home game of the regular season against St. Lawrence.
Good Night! Good Hockey!