SOUTH BEND, IND. — The Union Skating Dutchmen scored two second period goals and senior goaltender Brandon Snee made 29 saves to hold off Notre Dame for a 2-1 victory at the Joyce Center Thursday night.
Randy Dagenais and Jeff Hutchins scored Union’s two goals while senior David Inman snapped Snee’s shutout bid with 51 seconds left in the game for Notre Dame.
The win makes Union College 1-0-0 on the season while Notre Dame is 0-1-0. The two teams meet again on Friday, Oct. 12 with faceoff at the Joyce Center set for 7:05 p.m EST.
Notre Dame struggled to get started in the first period and was outshot by Union 13-6 in the opening stanza. Irish goaltender Morgan Cey made several big saves to keep the score even.
“We really didn’t play well in the first period. I think we were trying to do to much,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin. “Everyone was trying to make the greatest play in hockey. When theysimplified things later in the game, we played better.”
Union finally broke through on Cey at 6:03 of the second period. The Dutchmen dumped the puck down ice and the rookie goaltender came out to play it. His clearing pass deflected off a Nathan Gillies who was forechecking and went to Dagenais trailing the play. The junior defenseman had a wide-open net and fired the puck in from 35-feet out for his first goal of the season.
The Union lead would go to 2-0 at the 17:15 mark of the second period as Hutchins converted a two-one one with linemate Jordan Webb snapping a wrister from the top off the left wing circle under the crossbar for his first off the season.
From there, Snee, Union’s senior goaltender held the Irish at bay, stopping 14 of 15 shots in the third period.
“He’s (Snee) been the backbone of this program for the last couple years,” said Union head coach Kevin Sneddon. “Actually, he’s struggled in practice, trying to find his game. I think he found it tonight.”
While Snee was holding off the Irish, Cey (28 saves on the night) kept the Irish in the game, stopping two breakaways midway through the final period, until the Irish offense could get untracked.
With an extra attacker, Inman broke through at 19:09 with his first goal of the year off a nice feed from Rob Globke, but that was as close as Notre Dame would get.
On the night, each team had 30 shots on goal. Neither team could score on the power play as Union was 0-for-9 and Notre Dame was 0-for-5.
Notre Dame will look to pick up where they left off on Thursday when the two teams meet on Friday.
“The important thing for us to do is to start tomorrow the way we ended tonight,” said Poulin. “I saw some good things out there tonight. I’m confident that we will be a good team.”