Union-RPI Mayor's Cup postgame report: Embarrassing end to game (with 2 videos)
We should have been talking about how RPI finally ended its 10-game losing streak to Capital Region-rival Union on Saturday in the second annual Mayor’s Cup game at the Times Union Center.
We should have been discussing Mike Zalewski’s game-winning goal with 3:38 left in the third period.
We should have been praising the play of RPI goalie Scott Diebold, who made 28 saves, including a look-what-I-found glove save on a Max Novak shot from the left wing with one minute left to preserve the win.
We should have marveled at the short-handed, wraparound goal scored by Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere in the first period.
We should have applauded the 7,100 fans who came out in miserable weather to watch the rivals battle.
Instead, we were left with a very disgusting taste in our mouth.
The fracas at the end of the Engineers’ 2-1 win over the third-ranked Dutchmen marred everything that happened during the game. I don’t know who started it because I was sending a Tweet out with the result, and that is when all hell broke loose.
After a faceoff with 1.7 seconds left in the RPI zone, time expired, and the Engineers came out to celebrate, which is their right to do. Union had six skaters on the ice, and maybe someone said something to trigger things.
As the Dutchmen went out on the ice, Union coach Rick Bennett charged after RPI coach Seth Appert. Bennett, who was a tough guy during his pro playing days, was in a rage. He had to be held back by one of the referees.
There were a couple of fights, with the main event being RPI defenseman Luke Curadi and Union forward Eli Lichtenwald. Zalewski was involved in a fight. Union defenseman Mat Bodie grabbed someone’s facemask hard.
Those four players not only got five minute majors, but game disqualifications, as well. That means they will miss their team’s games Friday. Union is at St. Lawrence, and RPI is at Clarkson.
I just thought of this. Both teams are probably staying at the Best Western in Canton next weekend. Someone alert the authorities!
Enough of the humor.
This was an embarrassment for both schools. Both coaches profusely apologized in their respective postgame press conferences. They apologized to everyone under the sun. And I do believe they were very sincere.
But, it won’t erase the memory of what happened.
And there will be more punishment handed out. Don’t be surprised if Bennett gets some time off from not only the league, but from the school. He was out of control. If he hadn’t been held back, he could have done some damage to Appert.
There could be some additional penalties to the players. We could find out as early as Sunday.
It was a good win for RPI. Too bad the focus isn’t on that.
But maybe next year’s press conference prior to the Mayor’s Cup will be more lively.
I have two postgame videos.
To see Union’s press conference, click here.
To see the RPI press conference, click here.
My three stars of the game:
1) Scott Diebold, RPI goalie — Made 28 saves.
2) Mike Zalewski, RPI center — Scored game-winning goal.
3) Shayne Gostisbehere, Union defenseman — Scored short-handed goal.
That is all from the Times Union Center. I’m exhausted. I’ll be back with you Monday with my College Hockey Slap Schotts blog, or maybe sooner if their is news of suspensions.
Good Night! Good Hockey!