After an up and down weekend in Ann Arbor, men’s hockey bounced back with a win and a tie at American International and Sacred Heart. The two games brought the Dutchmen’s record up to 2-1-1 on the year heading into their home opener on October 21.
On Friday night, Union traveled to Springfield, MA, to face the American International College Yellow Jackets.
Following a weekend that saw both an impressive, resilient win and a tough loss at Michigan, the Dutchmen had an opportunity to create some momentum against a Yellow Jacket team that went just 7-29-3 last year.
The first period opened with the positive momentum Union needed, as forward Ryan Walker ’19 picked up his first goal of the young season, putting the Dutchmen up 1-0.
The game was filled with action and it took American International just over a minute to even up the score.
Union would respond later in the first period on a powerplay goal from defenseman Nick DeSimone ’18, sending the Dutchmen into the intermission with a 2-1 lead after a chippy first period that saw seven combined penalties from the two teams.
Early in the second period, the Yellow Jackets tacked on their second goal when forward Dominik Florian wristed in his second goal of the night, only to be answered by consecutive goals from Union forwards Michael Pontarelli ’17 and Sebastian Vidmar ’19.
The goals Pontarelli and Vidmar marked each’s first of the season. This gave Union a 4-2 lead entering the third period.
Two quick goals early in the third from American International brought some urgency to the Dutchmen side and spawned an immediate reaction on the scoreboard when DeSimone potted his second of the night.
Forwards Michael Vecchione ’17 and Spencer Foo ’18 both picked up assists on DeSimone’s second tally. The score held at 5-4 as Union went on to win, earning its second victory of the year.
The following day the Dutchmen traveled to Sacred Heart for their last game of the season-opening road trip.
The game saw a change in net, as Jake Kupsky ’19 started over Alex Sakellaropoulos ’17, following a Friday performance which saw Sakellaropoulos stop just 22 of the 26 shots that came his way.
After trailing 1-0 early in the contest, Union responded with three goals from forwards Anthony Rinaldi ’20, Vecchione and Ryan Scarfo ’18 in the first and second period. Rinaldi’s score was the first of his Union career.
Sacred Heart would go on to score its second goal of the game in the second period, but continued to trail Union 3-2 going into the game’s final period.
Union forward Cole Maier ’19 stretched the lead to 4-2 as defenseman Matt Krug ’17 picked up his first assist of the year, but the game would end with two unanswered goals from Sacred Heart that sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, neither team was able to find the back of the net, and the game ended in a tie. Forward Brett Supinski ’19 tallied two assists in the contest, and goalie Jake Kupsky ’19 made a career-high 30 saves in the second game of his sophomore season.
The weekend’s performances puts Union at 2-1-1 heading into the home opener on Friday night against RIT (1-1-1) to kick off Union’s Homecoming & Family Weekend, with a puck drop set for 7 p.m.