HAMDEN, CT — Luke Cain’s overtime goal helped propel the Union College Dutchmen to a 2-1 victory over the Quinnipiac University Bobcats Saturday evening in ECAC Hockey action.
Cain picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and carried it behind the Bobcats net’ and wrapped the puck around between the pads of Dan Clarke for the victory, keeping the Dutchmen undefeated in conference play.
“I’m very proud,” said Union coach Nate Leaman. “He [Cain] had a lot of jump. We talked about taking pucks hard to the net and he took one hard and he was rewarded for it. It was nice to see for Luke; he deserved it.”
The Bobcats (13-7-1, 7-6-0 ECAC Hockey) came into the game having lost six of seven and five straight conference games after opening up conference play with seven straight victories. Union had yet to be defeated in conference play in their eight games.
“It wasn’t our best game, but we played a solid game,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “Union is a top 20 team for a reason and played a good road game. We had our chances and unfortunately we made a few mistakes and they capitalized.”
Defense was on the mind of both teams, as both kept shots to the point and away from key scoring areas. Both goaltenders were able to see the shots coming and the defenders cleared away any loose rebound chances.
“Clearly last night’s game took a lot out of us and we didn’t have much jump,” said Leaman. “We were fighting the puck a lot. I think part of that was Quinnipiac; they were pretty desperate and they were working hard.”
Quinnipiac opened up the scoring with five minutes remaining in the opening stanza with an Eric Lampe power-play goal. Cycling the puck around the offensive zone, Brandon Wong fed Eric Lampe behind the net for a wraparound shot that slid between the pads of Union’s Corey Milan. It was the only goal Milan gave up in the victory.
“We played pretty good team defense,” said Leaman. “We weren’t sharp and took way too many penalties, which is uncharacteristic for us.”
Union (12-4-5, 6-0-3 ECAC Hockey) responded with their own power-play goal midway through the second period when Mario Valery-Trabucco banged home a rebound shot from the crease after Jason Walters’ initial shot from the right circle. On the assist, Walters recorded his 100th career point in a Dutchmen jersey.
“I was happy for Jason,” said Leaman. “He’s been playing terrific hockey and was a bright spot for us tonight.”
Clarke made 30 saves in the overtime loss while his counterpart Milan made 23 in the overtime win. The Bobcats finished one-for-six on the power play, while Union finished one-for-seven with the man up advantage.
“He [Clarke] played well, but I’m sure he’d like to have that overtime goal back,” said Pecknold. “He made saves when he needed to. He definitely played well enough for us to win tonight. We need to find a way to score more.”
Quinnipiac will continue their home stand next weekend as they host St. Cloud State, while, Union will host RPI next weekend.