SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — It has been a difficult season for Union senior forward Jonathan Poirier. After scoring two goals in his first seven games, Poirier didn’t get his next tally until 15 games later.
But Poirier’s luck may be changing, and just in time for the Dutchmen.
Poirier scored the game-winning goal early in the third period, lifting the Dutchmen to a 2-1 ECACHL victory over Brown on Friday at Messa Rink.
Earlier in the day, the Dutchmen (7-6-4 ECACHL, 14-11-6 overall) learned that two of their top freshmen, defenseman Lane Caffaro and forward T.J. Fox, were suspended by the school for the season. No reason was given for the suspension.
Poirier’s play has picked up of late. He scored a goal last Friday against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
“The puck’s bouncing my way right now,” said Poirier, who has five goals and five assists this season, and 27 goals and 42 assists for his career. “I have to keep working hard.”
Poirier’s game winner was a bit of skill, and some luck.
He made a nice move skating out of Brown’s right-wing corner. He tried to pass the puck to Olivier Bouchard in the slot, but the puck hit a Brown defender. The puck came right back to Poirier, who fired it past goalie Mark Sibbald’s left pad.
“I got the puck, and just shot it (to Bouchard),” Poirier said. “It came right to me, and I shot it again and it went in.”
Union coach Nate Leaman is pleased with Poirier’s improved play.
“He’s been playing great lately,” Leaman said. “He’s been a little snake bit. He had two shots that were labeled that hit guys in front. I thought he was our best forward tonight. Obviously, we’re going to need him down the stretch now with losing a couple of guys.”
The Dutchmen, who are 3-0-1 in their last four games, outshot the Bears (2-11-4, 3-15-6) 18-7 in the first period.
Augie DiMarzo gave Union a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal of the season at 3:40. But Jeff Prough tied it for Brown 1:09 later. Brown dominated the second period. At one point, the Bears had an 8-1 shot advantage. They outshot Union 13-7 but the game remained 1-1.
“We took it to them in the first, and in the second, they came right back,” said Union goalie Kris Mayotte, who made 27 saves. “It was a pretty even game. But the final score, that’s what matters.”
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.