SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — It was youth hockey night at Achilles Rink on Saturday, and Union was giving the young Capital Region hockey players an opportunity to watch the Dutchmen play.
The Dutchmen gave them a good lesson in how to play uninspired hockey as Yale took advantage of a listless Union team, and shaky goaltending by Brandon Snee, and cruised to a 5-2 ECAC victory.
“We were horrible,” Union coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I don’t think anybody came to play tonight, from the net out. Brandon’s got to find a way to be a little more consistent. Our defensemen were not good. Our forwards were real weak defensively.”
The Dutchmen (4-5-3, 1-3-1 ECAC), who were looking to build momentum off their 3-1 win Friday over Princeton, now will have two weeks to think about their lackluster performance against the Bulldogs (4-6-2, 4-4-2). Union doesn’t play again until Dec. 29 against Northeastern.
“The thing that disgusts me is that Yale walked into our building tonight and outworked us,” Sneddon said. “I told our players that they were lucky we don’t have practice [today]. They would not want to be at our practice.”
During a Yale power play, Snee went behind the net to handle the puck. But he had problems with it, and Luke Earl took it away. His shot bounced off the side of the net as Snee tried to get back into position. But Nick Deschenes got the rebound and scored at 7:22.
“It was a simple wrap,” Snee said. “I got ahead of the game a bit. I popped up behind me to see what was going on, and the puck took a weird hop. It went off the end of my stick, and popped right out in front.”
Snee’s night went from bad to worse early in the second period. He was gone after giving up two soft goals in less than a minute. Dutchmen defenseman Chris DiStefano made a nice play poking the puck off Evan Wax’s stick as he drove the net. Unfortunately for the Dutchmen, the puck found the stick of Ryan Steeves, and he fired it past Snee, who appeared surprised by the shot, at 2:39.
Forty-six seconds later, Mike Klema’s wrist shot from the right circle beat Snee between the pads. Snee’s night was over, and he was replaced by Kyle Loney.
“You don’t expect to do that against Union and Snee,” Yale coach Tim Taylor said. “We have a lot of respect for what kind of defensive team they can put on the ice. If you would have asked me if we would have an easy time with Snee, I would have said no.”
Steeves beat Loney on a stuffer at 6:29 of the second. After the goal, Sneddon called a timeout. All of the Union players skated onto the ice and stood in front of the bench to hear Sneddon’s one-sided diatribe.
“They’re fortunate to be playing Division I hockey,” Sneddon said. “Nobody on our team is going to quit. I let them know that.”
Both of Union’s goals came on the power play. Kris Goodjohn scored the first one at 14:42 of the second period. Joel Beal got the other one with 3:10 left in the game during a two-man advantage.
But a minute later, Jeff Dwyer scored a shorthanded goal from center ice into an empty net to ice the result.