POTSDAM, N.Y. — It wasn’t a special weekend for Union’s specialty teams. The Dutchmen didn’t score a power-play goal Saturday against Clarkson, and gave up two in a 4-1 ECACHL loss to the Golden Knights at Cheel Arena.
It was a costly loss for the Dutchmen (0-2 ECACHL, 3-4-1 overall). They lost junior defenseman and co-captain Sean Streich 4:19 into the game with a dislocated shoulder. He was taken to Potsdam-Canton Hospital for examination. It isn’t known how long Streich will be out.
“Obviously, it was a big hit for us, our captain going down,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “He’s a big heart and soul of our team.”
The Dutchmen failed in nine power-play opportunities against the Knights (1-0-1, 5-2-1). In Friday’s 6-2 loss to St. Lawrence, Union was 1-for-14 on the power play.
“Special teams hurt us,” said forward Josh Coyle, who scored Union’s only goal, an evenstrength tally, with two seconds left in the second period. “We missed a lot of chances on the power play. Special teams are going be pretty serious in the league this year, with the refs calling a lot more [penalties], trying to be like the NHL.”
Union’s penalty killing allowed five goals in 21 chances over the weekend. For the season, the Dutchmen have killed off just 72.3 percent (47-for-65) of opposition power plays.
“That was the difference in the game,” Leaman said. “They outexecuted us in the specialty teams, no doubt about that.”
Shawn Weller gave the Knights a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 4:25 of the first period. In a goal reminiscent of his series-clinching tally in last season’s ECACHL tournament first-round matchup with Union, Weller tipped Grant Clitsome’s shot from the left point past goalie Kris Mayotte.
The Dutchmen were down two men to start the second period, and the Knights made them pay. Michael Grenzy’s shot from the top of the slot was blocked by Union defenseman Bryan Campbell, but the puck caromed to Jeff Genovy at the right of the net. Genovy fired it past Mayotte at 1:12 to make it 2-0.
Coyle’s wraparound goal cut Clarkson’s lead in half, but Chris D’Alvise ended any hopes of a Union comeback at 8:49 of the third. He made a nice move past Union defenseman Lane Caffaro coming down the slot, and then lifted a backhander over Mayotte’s left shoulder.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, NY