Union-St. Lawrence postgame report (with 2 videos)
A recap of Union’s 6-2 win over St. Lawrence on Saturday at Messa Rink.
Top seed clinched
Now, it’s official. The Dutchmen are the top seed for the ECAC Hockey tournament. There was a false alarm after Friday’s 5-0 win over Clarkson because everyone thought that the Quinnipiac’s loss to Cornell gave Union the top seed. But Colgate was still in the mix.
“It feels great,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “I guess it’s a little more fitting that it’s on Senior Night, and it’s great for those seniors. We like to share. We’re all about sharing, and we talked about that as a staff. It’s not Christmas. It’s ours. I’m just happy for the guys.
“It says that your consistent. That’s one of the things we talked about at the beginning of the year is being consistent. It’s one of our staples, and they really followed up on that. It’s quite impressive. We’ve just got to keep this going.”
Mat Bodie was very excited to have everything clinched with a week left in the regular season.
“That was definitely the goal coming into the weekend, to put ourselves in a position to clinch at least a share of the Cup,” said Bodie, who had two assists. “Things worked out where we could clinch it outright tonight.”
Union (16-3-1, 22-6-4) showed from the outset that it wanted to wrap things up. The Dutchmen outshot the Saints, 18-3, in the opening period, and got goals from Sebastien Gingras and Nick Cruice 22 seconds apart late in the period.
The Dutchmen sealed the deal with three goals in a 3:36 span in the second. First, Mike Vecchione scored at 12:55. And, as a bonus, the Dutchmen got a power play because Brian Ward tripped Vecchione before the goal. In NCAA hockey, delayed penalties are not erased when a goal is scored.
Daniel Carr, the Dutchmen’s all-time Division I leading scorer, got the next two. On his power-play tally, Carr fired a one-timer from the right circle off a Shayne Gostisbehere pass at 14:25. The second, coming at even strength, came when Bodie sent Carr on a breakaway. Carr beat goalie Matt Weninger blocked side at 16:31.
“The first one was a great play by Mat and Shayne to open it up,” said Carr. “I got a lucky bounce in front of the net. The second one, it was just a great pass by Mat. He has unbelievable vision. He’s such an easy guy to play with. That goal is all him.”
Carr had two chances to get a natural hat trick as time was winding down in the period. His first attempt was stopped by Tyler Parks, Weninger’s replacement. Carr’s second try hit the post.
“It happens,” said Carr, who assisted on Eli Lichtenwald’s third-period goal. “It’s part of the game.”
Gostisbehere is fine
Gostisbehere didn’t play in the third period. But there is no cause for alarm, according to Bennett.
“I just wanted to rest him up,” Bennett said. “He’s played a lot of hockey. It’s just one of those things where you want to give the younger guys, at that time, a shot to play more.”
— Union extended its overall unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1).
— The Dutchmen have won 10 straight at Messa.
— Daniel Ciampini’s six-game goal-scoring streak came to an end.
— Goalie and Niskayuna native Colin Stevens saw his shutout streak end at 141:04 when Alex Hagen scored 5:49 into the third period.
Luckily, I have two postgame videos. Technical issues with my iPhone ruined some of the players’ postgame press conference footage.
To see Bennett’s press conference, click here.
To see the press conference with Carr, Bodie and Vecchione, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Daniel Carr, Union left winger — Had two goals, one assist.
2) Mat Bodie, Union defenseman — Collected two assists.
3) Mike Vecchione, Union center — One goal, one assist.
That is all from Messa Rink. I’ll be back with you Monday with my College Hockey Slap Schotts.
Good Night! Good Hockey!