By Tommy Schaffer
Union Men’s Hockey (15-12-5 overall, 8-8-4 ECAC Hockey) made their last road trip of the season this past weekend to Colgate and Cornell. The Dutchmen were looking to make a late season push to secure a first-round bye in the upcoming ECAC tournament; however, they were unsuccessful this weekend.
Friday night the Dutchmen traveled to Starr Rink to take on Colgate. Shayne Gostisbehere ‘14 added the only goal of the night for Union in a 4-1 loss.
Colgate’s Kurtis Bartliff scored the first goal on Colgate’s first shot of the night. Bartliff, fed by teammate Thomas Larkin, received a pass in the slot where he beat goaltender Troy Grosenick ‘14 in a close-range shot to take the 1-0 lead.
The Dutchmen controlled the rest of the first period and added their only goal of the night. Only about four minutes after Colgate scored, Gostisbehere scored on Union’s first power play opportunity.
Colgate added the next two goals on power plays to pull away in the final two periods. Spiro Goulakos beat Grosenick with a slapshot early in the second period after forward Josh Jooris ‘14 took a charging penalty in the opening minutes.
Colgate’s next goal came in the third period when Mat Bodie ‘14 went to the penalty box for interference. A blocked shot from Colgate’s Jeremy Price was corralled by Tylor Spink who scored on the rebound giving the Raiders a two goal lead.
Union failed to capitalize on a couple opportunities to bring the game within reach. Their best chance to cut into their lead came when Jooris caught a rebounded shot off Charlie Vasaturo ‘15 and shot the puck into the pads of Colgate’s goalie, Eric Mihalik.
Colgate added their final goal in an empty netter in the final minute of the game. This win for the Raiders snapped a six-game losing streak and snapped the Dutchmen’s two-game winning streak.
The Dutchmen traveled to Cornell on Saturday but were unable to comeback from a three goal deficit, losing 4-2.
Cornell established a three-goal lead in the first period. This marked the fourth consecutive time that Union allowed their opponents to score first on the road. Cornell outshot Union 11-6 in the first period. The Big Red broke the scoreless tie with a goal from John Knisley after he stole the puck from defensemen Tim Boyle ‘16. Knisley fired a high wrist shot to beat Grosenick. About two minutes later, Cornell’s Joakim Ryan beat Grosenick with a low wrist shot through traffic for the second goal. Cornell added another goal two minutes after the second goal. After Gostibehere took a hooking penalty, Greg Miller tallied the third goal for the Big Red, increasing their lead to 3-0.
Union picked up their play, but it proved to be too late. After a scoreless second period, Union added goals from Cole Ikkala ‘14 and Daniel Carr ‘14 to pull within one with about six minutes left in the game. Forward Max Novak ‘15 almost notched the game-tying goal within the final minutes. Novak fired a shot from the slot as he drove to the net, but the Cornell defense blocked his attempt.
Cornell notched the game clinching goal with 30 seconds left in the game. Miller added his second goal for Cornell, when he sealed the game with an empty net goal.
Union had a number of great chances, but they were unable to breakthrough. The Dutchmen outshot the Big Red 38-27 for the game. Andy Iles made 36 stops in net for Cornell, while Grosenick made 23 saves for the Dutchmen. Union finished the night one for seven on the power play while Cornell went one for three.
With the losses, Union currently sits at sixth in the ECAC with 20 points. Union can still salvage a first-round bye in the ECAC tournament because the second through seventh spots are within four points of each other. Quinnipac sits on top, since they have clinched the number one seed with a 12 point lead; however, the second seed is wide open. This final weekend of the regular season will determine the seeding, but it will certainly be a close finish.
Union finishes the regular season this weekend at Messa rink against St. Lawrence and Clarkson.