By Tommy Schaffer
This past weekend, Union looked to stay atop the ECAC standings. The Dutchmen squared off against Quinnipiac and Princeton at Messa Rink.
On Friday night, the Dutchmen took on Princeton. The Tigers were coming off two losses from the weekend before as Union was trying to extend their unbeaten streak to six games.
Union posted an impressive 3-0 win. Freshmen Daniel Ciampini and Shayne Gostisbehere added goals for the eighth ranked Dutchmen to lift them over the Tigers. Sophomore netminder Troy Grosenick posted his fifth shutout of the season. Kelly Zajac ‘12 picked up his 30th assist of the season, establishing a new single season record in the Division I era. The Dutchmen outshot the Tigers 60-18, setting a new school single-game record in ECAC Hockey play for shots on goal.
With this win, Union not only extended their unbeaten streak (5-0-1) but also secured themselves a first-round bye in the ECAC Hockey Tournament for the third consecutive year.
On Saturday, Union faced Quinnipiac, which marked the last regular season home game. For the first two periods the game was very close as the Dutchmen only held a one goal lead.
The Dutchmen eventually pulled away in the final period to come out on top with a 5-2 victory. The Dutchmen continued their unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) with the win.
Both Union and Quinnipiac combined for 17 penalties on the night. The Dutchmen contributed eight of these penalties, which is an unusually high number for such a disciplined team. Union spread the puck around as five different players’ added goals.
During the second period, Grosenick exited the game after Quinnipiac’s Spencer Heichman barreled into him. Freshman Colin Stevens replaced Grosenick, saving seven of eight shots fired at him.
At the end of the night, seniors Zajac, Nolan Julseth-White, Taylor Reid and Brian Yanovitch were honored for Senior Night.
Going into the final week of the regular season, Union is ahead of Cornell by two points in the ECAC standings. Union faces Cornell on Friday night and Colgate on Saturday night. The Dutchmen are trying to secure their second straight Cleary Cup. They can do so by just beating Cornell Friday night, extending their lead to an unreachable four points with one game left. Make the trip to Ithaca and Hamilton to support the Dutchmen in their hunt.