The Union Men’s Hockey team traveled to Maine for a double-header against the Black Bears of U-Maine at Alfond Arena this past weekend.
Coming off two victories against solid opponents in American International College and the University of New Hampshire, the Dutchmen looked to continue their strong play and return to Schenectady with a 4-0 record.
In game one of the weekend double-header, the Dutchmen scored just over six minutes into the first period on a slap-shot from outside the blue line by forward Mike Vecchione ’17.
As the shot came from a very low-percentage scoring area, the puck deflected off of the glove of Maine goaltender Matt Morris and trickled across the goal line. The goal was Vecchione’s third of the season.
Union carried its 1-0 lead into the second period.
After a scoreless second period, Union’s Matt Wilkins ’16 and Spencer Foo ’18 added a pair of goals in the third period.
Wilkins buried a pass from Kevin Shier ’18 five minutes and 31 seconds into the period and Foo sealed the win with an empty-netter at 18:49.
Goaltender Colin Stevens ’15 was named the game’s No. 1 star after making 29 saves and recording his 10th career shutout. Vecchione was recognized as the No. 2 star with a goal and an assist.
In the second game of the weekend series at Maine, the Dutchmen continued their impressive play and defeated the Black Bears 5-2.
Alternate Captain Daniel Ciampini ’15 opened the scoring for Union just 51 seconds into the contest as he buried a shot from the left slot on a pass from defender Jeff Taylor ’17.
Maine tied the game at 1-1 early into the second period before Union responded with three unanswered goals of their own, making the score 4-1 Dutchmen.
The first goal of the third came on the power play by forward Michael Pontarelli ’17 at 5:48, as he buried his own rebound through the pads of Maine’s goaltender Sean Romeo.
Two minutes later, Ryan Scarfo ’18 ripped a shot from the right circle past Romeo, which led to a Maine goaltending change.
Ciampini then notched his second goal of the game, as he redirected a centering pass from Mike Vecchione, who extended his points streak to four games.
In the third period, defender J.C. Brassard ’18 increased Union’s lead to 5-1 with a power-play goal, assisted by Vecchione and Taylor.
The Black Bears tallied a second goal with a little over two minutes left in regulation, making the game’s final score 5-2.
Vecchione and Ciampini led the Dutchmen in points, with three points each. Stevens had another solid night between the pipes as he made 27 saves.
Union’s two victories over Maine last weekend extended the team’s winning streak to 10 games against Hockey East opponents. With a start of 4-0, the Dutchmen are also off to their best start since the 2003-04 season.
Union continues its non-conference play this weekend, Oct. 24-25, as they host St. Cloud State at 7:00 p.m. in Messa Rink on both Friday and Saturday.