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College Hockey:
Union, Rensselaer issued suspensions from ECAC Hockey after postgame incident

ECAC Hockey on Monday announced suspensions stemming from an on-ice postgame incident that took place after the Rensselaer-Union game last Saturday (Jan. 25) at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.

Union senior defenseman Mat Bodie, who was assessed roughing and facemaking penalties, along with a game disqualification at the 20:00 mark, which merits an automatic one-game suspension, received an additional one-game suspension by the league. Bodie is not eligible to compete in the Dutchmen’s next two contests on Friday, Jan. 31 at St. Lawrence and Saturday, Feb. 1 at Clarkson.

Union junior forward Daniel Ciampini has also received a one-game suspension by the league for his actions during the post-game incident and is not eligible to play Friday at St. Lawrence.

The league office also handed out one-game suspensions to Rensselaer senior defenseman Bo Dolan and junior forward Ryan Haggerty for their postgame actions. Both are out for RPI’s game this Friday at Clarkson.

The actions during the postgame incident of both Rensselaer head coach Seth Appert and Union head coach Rick Bennett were reviewed by the league office.

According to a press release, after conferring with administrators from both Rensselaer and Union, the league supports the two-game suspension of Bennett for his involvement in the postgame incident, which was initially rendered Sunday (Jan. 26) by the college. Bennett cannot coach this weekend at St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

In addition, three other players were assessed a major penalty for fighting and a game disqualification penalty at the 20:00 mark of the third period, which by NCAA rules automatically merits a one-game suspension. Rensselaer defenseman junior Luke Curadi and sophomore forward Mike Zalewski and Union freshman forward Eli Lichtenwald will all sit Friday night.


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  • Matt Forget

    Bennett is still allowed to run the practices this week, however. I think I join all my fellow RPI fans, and the more sane ECAC fans, when I say that two games given out by the college itself is nowhere near enough action. And yes, before I get called out on it, if Appert had done something similar, I’d be calling for more action too. I like to see fairness.

    On that note, I have no idea what Ciampini or Haggerty did that could be considered suspendable.

    • 4life4america

      The PIM RPI received in this game, 79 minutes was only eclipsed by the PIM RPI received in the 11/16/2013 game against Union, which was 94 minutes. Haggerty was thrown out of that game. Appert sent his RPI “GOONs” out to attack the three Union Players and the first and biggest GOON of all was Haggerty who lead the attack. Bennett restrained the Union team. The refs/league/schools called it right.

      • Matt Forget

        Conveniently forgot to mention that in that same previous game, Union’s PIM total was nearly the same total. Regardless, that and Haggerty being thrown out has absolutely nothing to do with this incident.

        Bennett restrained the Union team eh? How did he manage to that when he was sucker-punching one of our forwards in the head trying to get at our coaching staff?

        The more I read from Union fans, the more I’m thinking the Schenectady air is doing something to your brains.

        Haggerty lead no attack, moron. You’re watching a completely different video than the rest of us are.

        Also, I looked at your Disqus comments on other sites. If your perspective on hockey is as looney tunes as the rest of the world, I can see why you’d write this comment.

        • 4life4america

          RPI hockey is a real disgrace and an embarresment to the ECAC. You should move to the AHA or maybe division III.

          • Matt Forget

            Wow, what a comeback!

  • Scotia Wines

    If Bodie had not cross-checked Higgs to the head, none of this would have happened. Bodie should lose his “C” as a result of this fracas.

    • 4life4america

      Bodie is a great Captain and a great team leader as well as an outstanding hockey player.

      • Matt Forget

        A great captain who cross-checks an opposing player in the head, while that player is looking in the other direction, for no discernible reason at all other than being a sore loser (that’s the only thing I can surmise). You want a team of thugs, look at your coach and see how it trickles down from there.

        • 4life4america

          The other member of the RPI GOON squad was Curadi. He skated over to the Union bench and started striking Union Players with his hockey stick. That is assault with a deadly weapon and a felony and he should be expelled from RPI and prosecuted.

          • Matt Forget

            So by that standard, Bodie should be expelled from Union and prosecuted for directly attacking a player in the head with a hockey stick. Assault with a deadly weapon, right? I smell a lot of Double Standard in the air.

          • jdhockeyboyz

            It’s hockey, for cryin’ out loud. Did you think you were attending a badminton match?

        • Curt Wood

          I went to last years RPI @ Union game and was disappointed in RPI’s actions and their coach’s goonsmanship (Is it a word, it is in Troy) The game was a rout, and Appert sent his players out to hurt players, including running the goaltender. There was an elderly gentleman that said to me…it is about time for RPI’s coach to bring in the goon tactics, 2 minutes later it erupted! RPI hockey wasn’t like this prior to this coach and Union’s coach is a total nut case to do what he did!

      • jdhockeyboyz

        Fighting Sioux players never lose C or A for fighting. Ol’ Hax gives em the public scolding and the the private knuckle knock

        • WeareBC

          Most UND players can barely read or write. Go Fighting bunnies

    • DLV

      OH YES IT WOULD OF…RPI plays dirty and the y should be renamed RIP because they are going no where. Brodie is a great captain who lost control. Yes he was wrong but what abut the other 22 RPI players that charged onto the ice and started attacking the 6 Union players on the ice. #11 was just cruising the ice looking for someone to blindside. his actions and Haggertys action cost the a game from the ECAC board.
      .

  • 4life4america

    In the Mayors Cup Game RPI was awarded 79 PIM. Union, 62. If we go back to 11.16.2013, the previous game against RPI, RPI was awarded 94 PIM. That “Brawl” was started by Haggerty. Haggerty, 6’0″ and 200 lbs, skated at full speed and deliberately tried to decapitate a 165 lbs Brodie, right at the end of the game. Brodie who was looking down at the ground, behind the net, got smashed into the wall. He retaliated. The full team brawl ensued and both were thrown out of the game along with several others. If I were Brodie, I would have been very leery of anyone coming near me at the end of the Mayors Cup game, especially some GOON from RPI.

    • Matt Forget

      Nice, copying and pasting your posts from forums, including a mis-spelling of your own captain’s last name.

    • Eagles

      This is all true. To reiterate, the Pan view clearly shows the Union bench trying to show restraint. The fact is RPI has very little to play for this season as the only games left that matter are ECAC playoffs. That showed. Union coaches, at least early in the altercation, tried to save suspensions as they have NCAA bid to lose. RPI coaches did little to contain…. Which is what Bennett was wrongfully attacking Appert over. It’s actually pretty simple. Both sides exercised poor judgement but it was RPI who took Advantage of the situation.

      • Matt Forget

        To respond to your post that is not moderated yet:

        Seriously? I say I am an RPI fan and I am cautiously optimistic about the season, and you consider that homerism? What planet are you people from?!

        • Eagles

          Seriously? You don’t think your fandom and dashed expectations contribute to the prism you view this through? You’re the voice of objectivity? What planet are you from?

  • 4life4america

    This is what a Clarkson fan wrote … an impartial observer:

    So what if Bodie’s cross check started it? If all the RPI players skated away, not one of them would have been suspended. Thus, it doesn’t matter what started it. If a guy gets and instigator for starting a fight in the NHL, but in that fight the other guy gouges the eye of the instigator, guess what is going to happen? The facts are that there is plenty of blame on both sides…the RPI guys that came off the bench should have skated right back but instead they got into it and that’s another cardinal sin. Even the dance at center ice with Bodie was more Bodie wrestling and the other guy throwing punches.

    • Matt Forget

      And you’re going to give a pass on the 16 other analyses from SCSU, Cornell, BC, Minnesota, and UND fans who all completely disagree with every Union homer’s analysis? And go completely against the media, your own coaching staff, and own players? Classic!

      • DLV

        matt you really need to get a hobby.. give iT UP..no one wants to listen to you anymore. you make RPI look bad.Union is over it, the ECAC is over it, so why don’t you.. get a cat or dog.

  • critsports

    Very disappointed with both the league, and Union. (Not that RPI is without blame.) For the league to say they are satisfied and support the two game Union College imposed suspension is a total sell out. No mention/discussion about Bennett not only striking out at Apert…but what about the punch to the player? Name me any other sport where a coach hits a player and that coach is back coaching within a week??? Most other schools and sports would suspend the coach for a season if not dismiss him. I also think some action should have been assessed against the RPI coaching staff. They were not blameless. They retaliated, pushed and shoved. Apert getting nothing is not fair either, in my opinion. All the way around…..the University (Union) and the ECAC office….very poor decisions and the ruling
    again states that violence is OK in hockey. Slap on the wrist is all you will get.

    • Crocky

      I agree…after all Mark Morris lost his gig at Clarkson for hitting a player, albeit one of his own…
      First and foremost, I’m saddened that this incident happened in the first place. Second, as a Clarkson hockey fan, I’m disappointed that this diminishes from the games that Clarkson will play against RPI and Union this weekend as well as the games at SLU. I just hope they behave themselves at the hotel (yes, they’re staying at the SAME hotel. SMH), but I’m sure that the Canton Police/St. Lawrence County Sherrif’s office have been put on alert for this weekend.

      • DLV

        Don’t worry about Union diminishing the game against Clarkson. They will bring their A game . It will be clean, fun and family friendly. That crap with RPI does not define Union Hockey

      • Curt Wood

        FYI–Mark Morris didn’t hit his player..he pushed him away after the kid who was a healthy scratch because he wasn’t good and the son of two lawyers from the Albany area, were playing shinny and the kid kept hacking, slashing and playing physical with Morris. This little punk left after that year, and Morris is now in the AHL coaching at a higher level and probably enjoying his compensation package from Clarkson. I just hope Clarkson can put up a better fight vs. Union than they have in recent history, I bet they will, knowing Casey Jones is a much better coach than the joke they had in George Roll.

        • Crocky

          Thanks for the clarification regarding Coach Morris. It was so long ago (12 years already…woah!), that I forgot all the details. I remember when he would come into the Potsdam Arby’s for his usual Giant before games when I worked there as a manager. Very nice guy. :)
          My folks still attend games at Clarkson (I’m now in Hockey East country, a stone’s throw from UMaine where the tickets are WAAAAAY overpriced and the moose are nervous), and I know that every weekend when there were home games, I’d get an email from my dad complaining about how horrible the games were when Roll was helming the team. They are definitely happier with Casey Jones’s performance, and now that I’m a bit closer to Potsdam (was in Wisconsin and Tennessee for a while), I’m hoping to go to a game or two again on an annual basis.
          LET’S GO TECH!

    • jdhockeyboyz

      The punch to the player brings back memories of Woody Hayes’ last game, but Bennett is too young for the old folks home

  • pevan52

    At least the fight started during the game. North Dakota has its players sucker punch opponents in the handshake line, and only get captaincies lifted for a few games. Two game suspensions are light especially for a coach, but look at precident.

    • ec99

      Well, during his playing days at UND their coach was called “The Hack.”

  • EliBlue

    Bigger picture, just hope the ECAC “leadership” has a conversation with every coach about reinforcing that the year after an all ECAC final, it’s important to keep being recognized for the quality of the hockey not this stuff. Feels like we finally have silenced the ECAC haters. Since the game wasn’t carried in my area, just curious if there were a lot of scraps or incidents before the end of the game situation? Both teams are pretty physical, but did something spark fights involving these players in particular or was it just who happened to be on the ice?

    • 4life4america

      On November 16 Union played RPI in game #2 of its home and home and defeated them in Troy. At 16:25 Union scored its 4th goal to put the game out of reach, 4-1. At 16:47 with the game out of reach for RPI, Matt Bodie was behind the Union Goal trying to dig out the puck when Ryan Haggerty came up on his blind side skating at full speed and tried to decapitate him. Bodie (165lbs) was stationary looking down and away and Haggerty (200lbs) hit him blindside and at full stride. That immediately started a brawl. The RPI coach took no action to stop it and exerted no control over his players just as he allowed his bench to clear last Saturday, putting 10 RPI skates the ice to hunt down 4 Union skaters. Haggerty was the first one off the RPI bench, of course.

      REN-9 Brock Higgs (10-Misconduct)16:47
      REN-10 Ryan Haggerty (10-Misconduct)16:47
      REN-11 Brock Higgs (2-Roughing)16:47
      REN-12 Ryan Haggerty (2-Roughing)16:47
      REN-13 Ryan Haggerty (2-Charging) (Served by Zach Schroeder)
      REN-14 Jake Wood (5-Contact to the Head)19:10 REN-15 Jake Wood (5-Spearing)19:10
      REN-16 Jake Wood (10-Game Misconduct)19:10
      REN-17 Jake Wood (10-Game Misconduct)19:10
      REN 0×619:52
      REN-18 Milos Bubela (10-Misconduct)19:52
      REN-19 Mike Zalewski (10-Misconduct)19:52
      REN-20 Mark Miller (2-Cross-Checking)

      You are correct about the reputation of the ECAC. Schools like Union actually hold their hockey players to a much higher standard than what would be permissible by ECAC rules and this has been amply demonstrated “in spades” in the past.

      Union’s PIM without the RPI games are at the very bottom of College Hockey. The College, the Coach and the Captain are all a class act. RPI is IMO a gang of goons and thugs lead by the head Goon Haggerty and an inept coach.

      This year teams like Union, Colgate, Cornell and St. Lawrence have been able to compete succesfully with the best from other leagues and have continued to bring great credit to the league, as Yale’s play did last year.

      The physicality of RPI-UNION hockey will be their going forward but the fighting will be gone. You can be assured of that.