A tip of the hat should go to the Union College men’s hockey team’s power play during Saturday’s 3-3 draw against Colorado College at the Mesa Rink.
The Dutchman scored two power-play goals, on deflections by sophomore forward Liam Robertson and junior forward Chad Smedsrud. Robertson was standing in front of the net late in the first period when senior defenseman Brad Estes took a shot from the high slot. Robertson pulled out his stick and pushed the puck past the glove side of Tigers goalkeeper Dominic Basse, giving Union a 1–0 lead.
“It’s something that has been a mainstay of this program,” central head coach Rick Bennett said after the game. “We’re just trying to build on that, and [Saturday], it worked in our favor. It’s great to see.”
Smedsrud’s power-play goal leveled the score 2-2 at 7:03 of the second. During the game, Smedsrud was to the left of the right circle when he put his stick on Estes’ right-point shot.
“It’s something we work on after practice,” Smedsrud said. “When all the practice is over, we’ll work on tying the puck. It’s one of those little things that can come in handy. Obviously, we have two [Saturday] Take it off, then it’s something we’ll keep doing.”
Robertson said: “It’s really there we are, standing in front of the net, trying to build traffic, get a tip, the goalkeeper doesn’t see it [and the puck] goes the other way. We did very well. “
Union junior goalkeeper Conor Murphy made 35 saves in Saturday’s game. But the Hudson Falls native struggled with his rebound control in the second period, and it took the Tigers three goals.
“You’re looking at a lot of shots,” Bennett said. “You’re not going to, I guess, take them all in and don’t miss the rebound, so we as a team, we’re trying to help him. I think a lot of times we did, and Obviously on goals, we didn’t.”
Union set a season-high for shots on goal (three) and shot on goal (25) in one game. 25 shots marked the first time the Dutch had broken the 20 shots-on-goal mark.
“We are headed in the right direction in every game,” said Robertson. “We’ll just keep going up from here.”
Union sophomore forward Brad Shearer missed Saturday’s game after kneeling in the third round of Friday’s 2-1 win over Colorado College and being given a five-minute major for sports misconduct. Shearer collided with Tigers forward Noah Prokop in the Tigers’ left circle. Prokop was helped out of the ice and it was later discovered that he had suffered a hip injury.
Bennett stated that Shearer was a healthy bruiser and had not been suspended by ECAC Hockey. Several years ago, the league decided that it would not announce the player’s suspension, so it was a bit curious that Shearer was secretly suspended if the league reviewed the hit.
“It was not malicious in any way,” Bennett said. “Sometimes, as we call it in hockey, when you go straight at a guy, we call it nose-to-nose. Usually, it’s not going to be good for you, and I mean that. There’s the guy who’s coming at you without a puck. That’s exactly what happened because you react, and sometimes the leg comes out.”
Although he did not record his win as Colorado College head coach, former central goalkeeper Chris Mayotte enjoyed a return to campus.
He got emotional while talking about it at the end of Saturday’s postgame press conference.
“It would have been incredible,” Mayotte said of his first win at his former home. “But being here, you talk about full circle, this place is special. It’s really important to me. Coming here to coach was a blast.
“This place changed my life. There are so many people who had a big hand in it.”
see you next year
The union will visit Colorado College next season. Dates have not been set.
The Dutch players were supposed to play at Colorado College last season, but their season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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