SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — If there one aspect of Friday’s 2-0 win over Ferris State that didn’t please Union coach Nate Leaman, it was the Dutchmen’s play in the third period. He thought that Ferris State controlled the period.
“I thought we turned too many pucks over, especially late in the game,” Leaman said after that game.
It was a much different scenario Saturday.
Freshman forward Adam Presizniuk ignited a three-goal outburst with his first of his collegiate career, and junior forward Matt Cook assisted on two other scores to power the Dutchmen to a 4-1 win and a sweep of the two-game series with the Bulldogs at Messa Rink.
“I was really happy,” Leaman said after Union swept Ferris State for the second straight season. “What I said to the guys between the second and third is that every guy is in different roles than they were last year, and every guy has to realize that and bring a little bit more to the table. We have good leadership. It’s nice as a coach because they took those words to heart, and they picked it up.
“It was really their game to win or lose. I thought they did a good job of responding, and turned it up in the third for the win.”
Presizniuk nearly scored in Friday’s game before assisting on Mario Valery-Trabucco’s game-winner. Valery-Trabucco returned the favor, sending a pass to Presizniuk in the slot. Goalie Derek MacIntyre made the first save, but Presizniuk slammed home the rebound.
“It feels good,” Presizniuk said. “I had great linemates who’ve been playing very good with me. Mario sent me out a great pass. I just followed my own rebound.”
Sophomore forward Jason Walters got the next goal 2:39 later. Cook, who scored Union’s first goal late in the second period, was skating down the right wing and went past the goal line when he backhanded a pass out in front. Walters, who was coming down the slot, fired it past a startled MacIntyre.
“I didn’t have to do very much,” Walters said. “Cook gave me the puck, and I just tapped it in. It was pretty easy one when you get a pass like that.”
Then at 6:17, Cook assisted on senior forward Torren Delforte’s power-play goal, his second goal in the series. Walters sent the puck from the top of the slot to Cook in the right circle. Cook fired it to Delforte in the slot, and he fired it past MacIntyre’s left pad.
Cook couldn’t decide which assist was better.
“They were both great buries by Torren and Walters,” Cook said. “Its nice to be involved in the offense.”
Ferris State came out with much more jump in the first period than it showed Friday. The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead late in the first on Justin Lewandowski’s goal.
The Bulldogs had a chance to go up by two while short-handed late in the second. Brendan Connolly led a two-on-one rush down the right wing, but his shot sailed wide of goalie Justin Mrazek. Lane Caffaro got the puck and sent it to Stephane Boileau, who spotted Cook behind the Ferris State defense.
Cook took Boileau’s pass, broke in alone on MacIntyre and beat him with a wrist shot to the stick side.
“It was a great play by Lane,” Cook said. “He played the two-on-one, and then he read offense. Obviously, we were on the power play, so even though they had the odd-man rush, we knew if we could get the puck, we could counter quick.”
Leaman saw a Union team that wasn’t as crisp in the first two periods like it was the previous night. But Cook’s goal helped the Dutchmen relax.
“I told the guys they have to be loose and lethal,” Leaman said. “You can’t be tense and play this game because you tighten up. I thought they did a good job of settling down and making plays.”
The Dutchmen play an exhibition game against Trois Rivieres next Sunday at 4 p.m. Their next regular-season game will come against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Governor’s Cup Oct. 26 at the Times Union Center. … An examination by a doctor confirmed that senior forward Josh Coyle had a sprained knee. He will be out two weeks. Coyle injured the knee in the first period Friday. … The Dutchmen killed off all 11 of the Bulldogs’ power-play opportunities over the weekend.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.