SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Even though Union and Rochester Institute of Technology played scoreless hockey through two periods on Saturday, Dutchmen coach Nate Leaman was pleased with the his offense was getting shots on goal.
Sooner or later, Leaman knew a puck would eventually find its way past Tigers goalie Jocelyn Guimond.
With 8:26 gone in the third period, it finally did. Clifton Park resident Jake Schwan took a pass from Augie DiMarzo and beat Guimond, sparking the Dutchmen to a 2-0 victory over the Tigers at Messa Rink.
Union (9-5-2) extended its overall unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1), and improved to 6-0-2 at home. It also completed a home-and-home sweep of RIT (4-10-1), its former Division III rival. Union won, 3-2, Friday at Ritter Arena.
It was also the Dutchmen’s first home-ice win over the Tigers in five tries. Union also became the first team to shut out RIT since Alabama-Huntsville did it Nov. 26, 1996.
The Dutchmen had a 23-9 shot advantage after two periods. But nothing got past Guimond or George Eliopoulos, who played for 2:24 of the second period while Guimond had a strap repaired on his pad.
“I thought we were doing a lot offensively,” Leaman said. “We just couldn’t put it in the net. I was very happy with the way we played tonight. Our bus got back at three in the morning last night after the snow storm. We run into grocery stores to try and get fluids and apples and oranges for the guys.
“I felt they had more jump than they did last night. I can’t figure it out.”
It was DiMarzo’s fine play that helped break the scoreless deadlock. He blocked Stephen Burns’ right point shot, then picked up the puck and skated down the left wing. After skating into the RIT zone, he stopped at the left circle because Union was in the middle of a line change.
“Coach has been talking about beating our guys up the wall,” DiMarzo said. “I beat the guy up the ice. I pulled up, and I didn’t have many options.”
Then, Schwan arrived from the bench. He skated into the slot, took DiMarzo’s pass and beat Guimond.
“DiMarzo was real patient with the puck in the zone,” said Schwan, who has two career goals, both game-winners. “He was at the top of the circle. Nobody went to him right away. He just held on, and waited for the play to unfold. He made a nice pass, and I threw it on net. I wasn’t aiming anywhere. I think it went in under the goaltender’s blocker.”
Josh Coyle sealed the win with his eighth goal of the season with 3:34 left. Union goalie Kris Mayotte faced just 16 shots, and just one in the second period, to get his third shutout of the season. That ties him for the national lead with Michigan State’s Dominic Vicari and Colorado College’s Matt Zaba. Mayotte has a shutout streak of 132:43 at Messa.
“Our (defensive) zone (coverage) is outstanding,” said Mayotte, who has eight career shutouts. “In the beginning of the year, we had a lot of young guys, and we struggled with missed assignments. Just a lot of confusion. But we worked hard on it in practice. The past three to four weeks, not to take anything away from the other teams, but the shots I’ve faced aren’t shots that I feel shouldn’t go in. That’s a credit to the guys in front of me.”
Union heads to Ohio State for games next Saturday and Sunday.
Referee Frank Murphy called 25 penalties in the game. It was the first Union game Murphy has worked since he called 29 penalties in the Dutchmen-St. Lawrence contest Nov. 4 at Appleton Arena.