It has been 15 years since Union celebrated a tournament championship. The drought ended Saturday night.
Mario Valery-Trabucco scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:09 left in the third period, and goalie Corey Milan made 26 saves to help the Dutchmen beat Colgate, 4-2, in the Governor’s Cup championship at the Times Union Center.
Luke Cain and all-tournament selection Brendan Milnamow scored second-period goals for the Dutchmen (2-1-1). Matt Cook, another all-tournament pick, assisted on both of them. Adam Presizniuk added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
“It obviously feels good,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “I’m just happy for the program. I’m happy for the kids in the locker room because we’ve gotten to some of these points previously. You keep chipping away and chipping away, and it’s going to happen for you. I thought the guys played a good game tonight.”
The Dutchmen (2-1-1), which advanced to the final by winning an overtime shootout against Rensselaer on Friday, captured their first tournament title at the Division I level since winning the 1993 Concordia Christmas Tournament in Montreal.
“It’s huge,” said Milan, who made the all-tournament team and was named the most outstanding player after making 56 saves in the two games. “It’s something that we can build off of, and we can feel very proud of. It’s a great weekend for us, our school and our entire program. We’re very proud right now.”
The only goals Milan allowed came on two-man advantages. David McIntyre scored in the first period, and Francois Brisebois got the other in the second.
Union reached the final of last weekend’s Mutual of Omaha Stampede, but dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to tournament-host Nebraska-Omaha. And it appeared Saturday’s game was headed that way, too.
Valery-Trabucco changed all that. Taking a pass from John Simpson at the Colgate blue line, Valery-Trabucco burst though the Raiders’ defense. Despite being hacked from behind by McIntyre, Valery-Trabucco fired a wrist shot past goalie Charles Long’s left pad.
“I was trying to shovel it in,” said Valery-Trabucco, who was named to the all-tournament team. “I was trying to find any hole I could find. [McIntyre] was on my back. I figured I just have to get the shot off quick, and I shoveled it in there.”
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.