By Chris Allen
The men’s hockey team have appeared to hit a bump in the road as they had a 0-2-1 record in the past three games. Last weekend, they hosted a weekend series versus Lake Superior State.
Friday’s game included a lot of scoring from both teams. The scoring went completely back and forth as Union had four leads in the game, but unfortunately Lake Superior was able to better the defense each time.
The Lakers ended up with the final goal in overtime to hand Union its first loss of the season and first time letting up six goals at home since October 2009.
Even with the loss, the fact that scoring came from five different players is a good sign moving forward.
The Lakers and Dutchmen returned to the ice Saturday night. The Dutchmen outshot the Lakers 48-17 but still fell 3-2. The Lakers were able to obtain the momentum early in the game as they went up 2-0 towards the middle of the game. The Dutchmen retaliated with a breakaway goal by Matt Wilkins ‘16, who was returning from an injury. The Lakers took the wind out of the sails of the Dutchmen when they scored about a minute later.
This meant the end of first-year goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos’ night, and Dillon Pieri ‘15 was put into the game. It was Pieri’s second appearance as a Dutchmen and he kept a blank sheet.
Michael Pontarelli ‘17 added to his scoring count with a goal at the end of the second period. This proved to be the final goal, even though the Dutchmen outshot the Lakers 19-6 in the third period.
The next opponent for the Dutchmen was the University of Connecticut, of the Atlantic Hockey conference. The Dutchmen were able to go up early as Mark Benett ‘15 and Mike Vecchione ‘17 scored in the first period. The Huskies retaliated in the second period with a pair of goals to tie the game 2-2.
In the third period the Dutchmen outshot the Huskies 11-5 but similarly to the game against the Lakers, they weren’t able to get the puck in the net. Even with the overtime period there was still no scoring and the Dutchmen finished with a 2-2 tie.
This upcoming weekend, Union will be on the road to start off conference play.
Friday night they will play Dartmouth, who was knocked out of the ECAC playoffs by Union last year. Dartmouth currently has a 0-2-0 record with the losses coming from the Liberty Invitational to fellow ECAC members, Princeton and Brown.
This will be a good test for the Dutchmen, not only because it is the first league game, but also because the Big Green is a competitive and talented team. On Saturday, the Dutchmen will travel to Cambridge, Mass. to face off against Harvard University. There is much to scout on for Harvard as they’ve only played one game against Bentley of the Atlantic Hockey conference.
Harvard won 3-0 in a close game where the shots were 43-39. The Crimson will be facing the dreaded RPI Engineers the night before playing Union, so hopefully that game will become a physical battle, leaving them vulnerable to the fast paced Dutchmen offense.
This weekend will be tough for the Dutchmen, but will give them the opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the league if they can sweep.