Three thoughts from ECAC Hockey’s opening weekend

Union coach Rick Bennett isn’t afraid of facing tough opponents on the road, and that paid off for the Dutchmen, who beat  No. 6 Michigan 4-3 in the season opener for both teams at Yost Arena Friday.

Union rallied from an early two-goal deficit to tie the game, and then scored two unanswered goals after the Wolverines took the lead again in the second period.

However, that momentum didn’t carry over into Saturday, as the Dutchmen were shutout 4-0 despite outshooting Michigan 31-27.

The Dutchmen have finished in the bottom half of the league the last two seasons, but return much of its production from last season.  With so many departures around the league, Union has the pieces in place to move up the standings this year.

An answer in goal for Quinnipiac?

Of the all the questions surrounding the Bobcats entering this season, who would play in goal may have been the biggest one.

It was only one weekend, but the Quinnipiac coaching staff has to be feeling pretty good about the play of junior transfer Chris Truehl. A transfer from Air Force, Truehl sat out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but stopped 60-of-64 shots in a win and tie against Northeastern last weekend.

His 16 second-period saves against the Huskies on Friday were the most by a QU goalie since Michael Garteig had 19 against St. Cloud last October.

Quinnipiac’s four straight NCAA tournament teams have always featured one main goalie, whether it was Eric Hartzell in 2013 or Michael Garteig for the last three years. It’s likely Truehl will get the bulk of the playing time this year, but the Bobcats all have freshman Andrew Shortridge and junior Sean Lawrence at the position as well.

A slow start for the Engineers

Rensselaer’s defense struggled at times during the second half last year. And it didn’t look much better this weekend against Maine.

RPI allowed nine goals in a pair of losses to the Black Bears. The Engineers led 2-1 after two periods on Saturday, but allowed two goals early in the third period en route to a 4-2 loss.

The defense will need to get better for the Engineers, as RPI doesn’t appear to have enough offensive threats to take part in shootouts.