SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Last season when Union and AIC met at Messa Rink, the Dutchmen dominated the game, winning 6-0. Those who expected a similar result were disappointed as Union freshman Wayne Simpson scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to break a 2-2 tie before Stephane Boileau added an empty netter to give Union a 4-2 victory.
Union head coach Nate Leaman praised the AIC with their effort throughout the game.
“I got a lot of respect for the way they played tonight, he said.
The Dutchmen completely controlled the first frame, outshooting the Yellow Jackets 14-7 and taking a 2-0 lead.
Union’s first goal, 7:33 into the opening period, was the product of the dominant first line of Adam Presizniuk, Jason Walters, and Mario Valery-Trabucco
The tally came when Walters skated behind the Yellow Jacket net where he put on the breaks and found Presizniuk creeping towards the left post. Walters slid the puck to him on the backhand and Presizniuk instantly snapped the puck past the glove of AIC goaltender Dan Ramirez, who was caught leaning to his right.
Union had the momentum early but AIC seemed to have taken it right back when it looked like they scored a rebound goal. But, the goal was called off due to interference.
After this scare the Dutchmen went right back to bringing offensive pressure.
They took a 2-0 lead when sophomore Brian Yanovitch scored his third goal in as many weekends. The play started when Wayne Simpson streaked down the right wing with the puck and slid the puck over to his older brother John. John quick touched the puck towards the goal, but Ramirez made a sprawling right leg save. Unluckily for Ramirez the puck landed right on the stick of Yanovitch where he flipped the puck up into the open net.
The second frame was a different story as it was AIC who had the advantage in shots and scored two goals.
When Union’s Brock Matheson and Mike Wakita were each called for penalties within seven seconds of each other the Yellow Jackets received a 5-on-3 advantage about seven minutes into the period. They would not let this opportunity go to waste as midway through the advantage Adam Pleskach scored his first career goal on a scrum in front of the Union net.
After an AIC shot from the point, Milan made an initial save but the rebound bounced around in front of the net and was finally picked up by Pleskach to the right of Milan where he deposited the puck into the net.
AIC tied the game up with 4:06 to go in the period when Richard Leitner fired a hard one-timer past Milan from the top of the right circle. Pleskach assisted on the goal as he dug the puck out of the left corner and found Leitner by himself at the left circle.
“They out worked us in the second,” said Union goaltender Corey Milan. “But our third period showed what we are made of.”
The game would not remain tied for long as the Dutchmen took the lead for good just 1:52 into the final period when Wayne Simpson scored his first career goal.
The eventual game-winning goal occurred when senior defenseman Mike Schreiber received a pass from John Simpson and slid a pass into the slot where Wayne stretched out to put his stick on the puck, which flipped right over the head of Ramirez and into the net.
“It was a good play between my brother and ‘Schribes’ (Mike Schreiber),” said Wayne. “It was a lucky goal, but I’ll take it.”
With the score remaining 3-2 for the majority of the third period, AIC pulled goaltender Dan Ramirez and called a timeout with 59.1 seconds left. But, the Yellow Jackets were unable to score the tying goal and send the game to overtime.
Stephane Boileau added an insurance empty-net goal with 12.3 seconds remaining.
Union goaltender Corey Milan made 23 saves in the victory becoming the first Union goaltender since Kris Mayotte in 2002-03 to start a season 3-0-1. Also, with the win Milan passes Mayotte for third place on Union’s career wins list with 28.
The Dutchmen (3-1-1) will face-off against Sacred Heart tomorrow night at Messa Rink, while the Yellow Jackets (0-1-0) will travel to Union’s arch-nemesis RPI for a game in Troy.