SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Vengeance was on the mind of the Union College Dutchmen this week heading into an opening weekend series with the Maine Black Bears.
Last season, Maine embarrassed the Dutchmen at Alfond Arena by scores of 3-1 and 5-1. This year, things were different, as Union got the sweep with a 6-3 win behind goals from six different players.
“They outworked us,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “Union was very impressive at all three positions.”
Union controlled the first frame. building an early 2-0 lead. Right after a failed power-play opportunity by Maine, where Union’s Wayne Simpson was stopped on a short-handed breakaway, his older brother John, who scored Union’s first goal last night, notched a goal. The play started at mid-ice, where freshman Jeremy Welsh poked the puck through the Maine defense. Simpson raced behind the defenders and picked up the puck, breaking in alone on Maine’s Dave Wilson and flipped the puck over his glove.
Union took a two-goal lead about two minutes later. Welsh took a pass from Kelly Zajac and ripped a wrist shot past Wilson’s blocker.
“I was very surprised on how we came out after last nights’ result,” said Whitehead.
Maine came out flying to start off the middle period, swarming the Dutchmen net. They had some great opportunities, but Union goaltender Corey Milan was up to the task.
“They came out real hard at the beginning of the second,” said Coach Leaman. “We bent, but we didn’t break.”
Union halted this early Black Bear barrage when sophomore Brian Yanovitch scored his first career goal at 7:54, snapping a shot over the right shoulder of Wilson from the right faceoff circle.
Less than two minutes later, Union extended their lead to four when Adam Presizniuk deflected the puck into the back of the net off of a shot from the right point by sophomore defenseman Nolan Julseth-White. This was the first point in Julseth-White’s career.
Maine was finally got on the scoreboard when freshman Adam Shemansky scored a power-play goal, his second in as many nights. The goal came when Maine defenseman Josh Van Dyk flubbed a shot towards the Dutchmen net. The puck knuckled its’ way to Shemansky on the right post, where he hit it out of the air and into the net.
The Dutchmen extended their lead 1:20 into the final period when Jason Walters won a faceoff back to Mario Valery-Trabucco at the right faceoff circle, where he instantly took a shot which got past Wilson.
With 12:24, Gustav Nyquist knocked the puck over the Dutchmen goal line on a scramble in front of the net. This was the Black Bears’ second power-play goal of the night.
Nyquist wasn’t done, as just over two minutes later he scored again on a rebound. The goal occurred when junior defenseman Josh Van Dyk took a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that was saved by Milan, but was kicked out right to the stick of Nyquist, who quickly fired the puck into the back of the net.
Union junior defenseman Brock Matheson put the icing on the cake with 35.7 seconds to go with a power-play goal. Wayne Simpson hit Matheson in stride at the right faceoff circle with a pass from the slot, and Matheson wristed the puck over Wilson, making the final score 6-3.
With the win, Milan moves into a tie for third place with Kris Mayotte on Union’s career wins list with 27.
“Milo might have been the difference in the game,” said Leaman. “I thought Corey played great.”
Union (2-0-0) will head to Minnesota next weekend for a series with the WCHA’s St. Cloud State University, while Maine (0-2-0) will head home for a weekend series with Michigan State of the CCHA.
“It’s the first weekend,” said Mario Valery-Trabucco who led the Dutchmen offense with a goal and two assists, “But, it’s huge to start off with two wins.”