By Dan Greene
The last time the Union Men’s Hockey team was home, it was Opening Weekend against Sacred Heart. In those two games, the Dutchmen skated over their opponent, outscoring the Pioneers 16-3 with 9-0 and 7-3 victories. They didn’t let up for their second home weekend of the season as they beat up on Atlantic Hockey’s Niagara and the Rochester Institute of Technology by a combined score of 13-3. On Friday night, #16 Union topped the Purple Eagles 6-1, and followed that up with a 7-2 win over the Tigers.
Overall, Union has been receiving offensive support from every player on their roster. Of the 22 skaters that have appeared in games this season, only three have not registered a point.
While the Dutchmen offense has been the talk of the town lately, one cannot forget about the play of sophomore goaltender Keith Kinkaid, who made 46 saves on the weekend. Kinkaid is second in the nation with a 1.45 goals-against average, tied for first with five wins, tied for fifth with a .942 save percentage, and fourth in minutes played with 329:23. He is the reason why Union has the third best defense in the country as they have allowed only 1.83 goals per game. The only two teams in front of them are RPI and the defending national champion, Boston College.
Union looks to keep it rolling tonight when the University of Connecticut Huskies visit Schenectady. UConn has had an up-and-down start to their season. They opened up their season with a tie against #7 Maine, but then lost 7-1 to Merrimack the following weekend.
Last weekend they were able to bounce back with a 3-2 win at Army. The Huskies had a miserable 2009-2010 campaign as they were one of the worst college hockey teams in the country, posting a 7-27-3 record. On paper, the Dutchmen should skate all over the Huskies.
On Saturday, Union will travel to Lake Placid to partake in the Halloween Face-Off where they will take on archrival RPI. The games will take place at the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena, which is home to the ‘Miracle on Ice.’ All four games between the Dutchmen and Engineers last season were absolute classics, with the Dutchmen winning three of the games. Three of the four games were decided by one goal, and two of the games were decided in overtime.
After this weekend, Union (5-1-0) opens up ECAC play at Harvard and Dartmouth. This is when we will see if the Dutchmen are truly a national power.