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Union Wins First-Ever ECAC Men’s Hockey Championship

Union Men's Hockey ECAC Champions
Courtesy Union College Athletics

Daniel Carr scored at 10:26 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie, leading #6/#6 Union College to a 3-1 win over Harvard University (13-10-11) and Union’s first ECAC Hockey Championship at Boardwalk Hall Saturday night. The Dutchmen (24-7-7), two time Cleary Cup Champions for the regular season title, won the tournament title in its second appearance in the Championship Game in three seasons. Union receives the league’s automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships.

The All-Tournament Team featured Welsh, Carr, Gostibehere and Grosenick. Welsh was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Union entered the game 3-0-1 in the last four meetings against Harvard. The Crimson entered the game with 20 goals over the last three games and the Dutchmen were 8-1-1 over the last 10 contests. This was the second straight game against Harvard in an historic neutral site venue. Union won 2-0 at Fenway Park on January 13. Boardwalk Hall opened in 1929 as the Atlantic City Convention Hall.

The Dutchmen carried play early, outshooting the Crimson, 6-1 in the first five minutes. Just 20 seconds into the game, Wayne Simpson had a close in high backhander over the right post, and in the first few minutes flurries followed with a pair of rebound shots by a hot Josh Jooris stopped in tight by Harvard netminder Raphael Girard. Jooris entered the game with five points in the last two games, including a goal and three assists in the semifinal win over Colgate.

Harvard got the first power play of the night at 4:37 on a charging call on Shawn Stuart, but the Crimson did not get a shot on Troy Grosenick. Another power play came at 6:45 on a Matt Hatch hook, but the Dutchmen killed it off again without a drive reaching the net.

With 8:53 left in the period Dan Ford came in through the middle on a rush and got a nice feed but his one timer from between the circles was just wide to the left of the Dutchmen net.

Marshall Everson was whistled for a hit from behind at 11:48. Kyle Bodie had a wrister designed for the high glove side of Girard, but he made a nice glove snag of the shot. The Dutchmen peppered Everson with four shots during this man up, and the puck didn’t leave the Harvard zone for the first 1:44 of the power play. But Harvard got another man up at 13:59 on a hooking call on Shayne Gostisbehere. The best threat for the Crimson came when Luke Greiner barreled in in front and Grosenick kicked it away.

With 6:52 gone in the second, Daniel Carr got a pass from behind the Harvard net and wristed a shot from the middle of the left circle, but Girard made a quick glove save.

Harvard’s Daniel Valek went off from tripping at 7:20 Carr’s high shot to Girard’s left tasted the crossbar, the best chance during this power play. With 10:08 gone, Union continued to carry the play and Carr was stuffed right outside the crease with a low right pad stop by Girard.

Union had another man up at 10:18 on a hit from behind by Colin Moore but did not convert. Wayne Simpson had a drive from between the circles with 3:12 left. Harvard had its first shot of the period with just 2:48 left in the second and a rebound picked up by shot from Conor Morrison was stopped by Grosenick’s glove.

Union outshot the Crimson, 12-4 in the period, with all four Harvard shots coming in the final 3:12. Game totals after two were 27-10, Dutchmen.

Harvard broke the ice 4:52 into the third stanza. Alex Killorn scored from a pass from Alex Fallstrom for the 1-0 lead. The two-on-one had Killorn score to Grosenick’s left post and it was the junior’s 23rd of the season. But the Dutchmen evened it up again, quickly, on the 25th of the year for Jeremy Welsh. He fired home the shot from the right circle with assists to Kevin Sullivan and Ryan Forgaard at 5:29.

The Dutchmen put three straight shots on Girard and the third gave them a 2-1 lead at 10:26. Gostisbehere and Jooris assisted and Carr’s 19th came at from the bottom of the right circle right off the second rebound.

Harvard had a golden opportunity to tie with 2:22 left but a drive by David Valek hit the right post.

The Crimson pulled Girard with 1:28 left in regulation, and Grosenick made two saves during the extra attacker. Union closed out the game with an empty net score from Jooris, his seventh goal of the year, with an assist from Carr at 19:38.

Girard made 32 saves for Harvard and Grosenick stopped 16 for Union. The Dutchmen outshot the Crimson, 34-17 for the game.

The preceding information was provided by Jeffrey Weinstein, Assistant Sports Information Director for Union College Athletics.

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