SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Ever since his hat trick against Princeton Nov. 19, Union junior center Scott Seney has had trouble scoring goals. Over the next 17 games, Seney managed just one goal.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but as Seney has struggled, so have the Dutchmen, going 4-12-1 during that span.
But after his two-goal, one-assist effort in Union’s 4-2 non-league win over Holy Cross on Friday at Messa Rink, which snapped the Dutchmen’s seven-game losing streak, Seney could be back on track.
And that could go a long way in righting Union (11-17-1) as it prepares for the final five ECACHL regular-season games.
“I don’t know if it’s coincidence, but it’s about time,” Seney said. “It’s been in my head not scoring. It’s good to get the breaks I got tonight. They weren’t the prettiest goals, but they went in, and that’s what the team needed.”
After a statistics-free first period — no goals, no penalties — Seney scored the game’s first goal at 6:38 of the second period. The puck rolled over to him at the left side of the net, and he put it past goalie Tony Quesada.
“It was mayhem in front of the net,” said Seney, whose last goal came Jan. 2 against Connecticut. “I think my whole [line] was in front of the net, with three [Holy Cross] guys. The puck squirted free, and I was able to break free of one of their defenders tying me up.”
That goal started an exchange program between the two teams. The Crusaders (12-8-5) tied it midway through the second when Tyler McGregor stole a Phil McDavitt pass in the slot and fired it past goalie Kris Mayotte.
Union regained the lead on Jordan Webb’s goal with 7.7 seconds left in the second, but another giveaway led to Pierre Napert-Frenette’s goal 12 seconds into the third that tied it, 2-2.
But 2:22 later, Seney led a two-on-one rush down the right wing. As he shot, Seney’s stick hit Crusaders defenseman Frank O’Grady’s stick, slowing the puck down. That fooled Quesada, who had the slow-rolling puck dribble between his pads and into the net.
“His second goal was what exactly our team needed, just get the puck on net that needs to go on net and getting an ugly goal,” Union coach Nate Leaman said.
Union’s struggling power play, which was 4 of 69 in the last 11 games, sealed the win when Joel Beal scored from the slot with 10:41 left. Beal batted down the puck out of the air fired it past Quesada just as he was getting knocked down.
“To score on the power play was good,” said Beal, who is two points away from 100 for his career. “Hopefully, we can keep it going next weekend when there’s league points on the line. It’s always nice to break out of a slump with a few cheapies, and then you add a power-play goal.”
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.