By Evan Slavit
While the rest of us viewed the end of finals as a time to relax (or hastily get in as many grad school/job applications as possible), the men’s hockey team was more concerned about its upcoming seven-game road trip that spanned over a month and featured four ranked opponents.
Overall Union went 3-2-2 on the road trip and outscored their opponents 21-16. Those numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping, but when more than half of your opponents are potentially Frozen Four contenders, those numbers aren’t exactly mediocre either.
More impressively for the Dutchmen, however, is the fact that 19 players recorded a point during the road trip, 11 players had at least one goal and 12 players recorded multiple points. When you only dress 18 skaters on a given night those numbers are eye-popping.
To add to that, Troy Grosenick ‘14 entered this past weekend as the national leader in goals against average at 1.73.
Union started out the road trip strong. Their first game was against Michigan in Ann Arbor and Union quickly cruised to a 4-0 lead before winning 6-3 against the then 11th ranked Wolverines (now ranked 15th).
Unfortunately Union failed to keep the momentum from that monumental program victory, tying both Princeton and Quinnipiac in the following weekend’s contests. Probably most upsetting about this is the fact that the Dutchmen had a 3-0 lead in the game against Princeton going into the third and couldn’t hold on.
The following weekend Union beat up on RPI in the Festivus Faceoff 5-2, proving their dominance over their bitter rival for the second time this season.They then continued their grueling road trip to Merrimack, a team that was ranked as high as first this season and fifth when Union played them (ranked seventh now). The contest was never in question, and Union prevailed impressively 3-1.
While the wins against Michigan and Merrimack were extremely impressive, the Dutchmen failed to finish the trip on a high note losing to both Denver (ranked 15th before and 16th after) and Colorado College (sixth before and eighth after) by scores of 3-1 and 2-1 respectively.
While the Dutchmen would have liked to pull out a victory over either team on their Colorado trip, beating two top opponents and programs, adding two points to their ECAC total, and, of course, knocking out RPI in the Festivus Faceoff had to be enough to declare the road trip an overall success.
This past weekend the Dutchmen returned home, and while they again blew a third period lead to an ECAC opponent (Harvard), they came out flying the next night, throttling Dartmouth 7-1.
Their next game will be an exciting one, as they will have a rematch with Harvard in an outdoor game at historic Fenway Park.