Union a win away from Frozen Four
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Massena’s Matt Hatch and Max Novak each scored two goals to help top-seeded Union beat Vermont 5-2 on Friday in the opening game of the NCAA East Regional.
Mat Bodie also scored for Union, which came into the tournament as the nation’s top-ranked team for the first time in program history after winning the ECAC tournament for the third straight season. Kevin Sullivan added three assists and Daniel Carr had two for the Dutchman (29-6-4).
Chris McCarthy had two goals for Vermont (20-15-3), which was making its first NCAA appearance since 2010.
Union is 13-0-1 in its last 14 games. Two of those wins came a week ago in Lake Placid during the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship tournament at the Olympic Center.
The Catamounts took eight penalties, and Union converted three times on special teams.
The Dutchmen got on the board 4:15 into the game with a short-handed goal. Hatch went almost end-to-end unimpeded, skating down the right half-wall before cutting into the slot and beating goalie Brody Hoffman to the glove side.
“That really got the bench going,” Bodie said. “Special teams often dictate who wins and I thought our special teams did it tonight.”
Vermont tied in the period when McCarthy went behind the Union net, threw the puck in front and saw it ricochet back to him for an easy shot past Colin Stevens, who made 23 saves. Hoffman had 34 for Vermont.
Union took the lead back just over a minute later with a power-play goal. Carr’s slap shot rebounded to Sullivan, who found Novak to the left of the goalie and he backhanded it into the net from his knees.
Carr played give-and-go with Novak on the power play to give the Dutchman a 3-1 lead in the second. Novak’s pass back to Carr hit the stick of Vermont’s Yvan Pattyn and into the net.
“We were moving the puck well, but more importantly we were winning the battles down low and that’s a huge component to the power play,” said Novak.
Bodie made it 4-1 on a 4-on-1 rush after taking a pass from Sullivan in front of the net.
Vermont cut the deficit to two goals on a backhander by McCarthy at 13:19 of the third. But Hatch got his second goal on an empty net to put the game away.
“Our kids played their hearts out, but just took too many penalties,” said Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon, who coached Union from 1999-2003.
Vermont completed its first 20-win season since 2009, the last time the team reached the Frozen Four.
The Dutchmen, who lost to Quinnipiac in last year’s regional championship game in Providence, will face Providence on Saturday for a berth in the Frozen Four. Providence beat Quinnipiac 4-0 in the second semifinal.
“We’re very honored to be going to that game,” said coach Rick Bennett.
Union went to the Frozen Four in 2012, beating UMass-Lowell on this same rink.
Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0
Also in Bridgeport, Jon Gillies made 37 saves and third-seeded Providence beat second-seeded Quinnipiac 4-0 on Friday night in an NCAA East Region semifinal.
Mark Jankowski, Anthony Florentino, Shane Luke, and Trevor Mingoia scored for Providence (22-10-6). The Friars led 1-0 after the first, and scored three second-period goals.
Providence is making its 10th tournament appearance, but the first since 2001. It was the Friar’s first win in the tournament since 1991.
Ferris State 1, Colgate 0
CINCINNATI (AP) – Gerald Mayhew scored a power-play goal midway through the first period, and C.J. Motte made it stand up by turning away 35 shots Friday, leading Ferris State to a 1-0 victory over Colgate in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.
The Bulldogs, the second-seed who now have a 29-10-3 record, advanced to the Midwest Regional final by pulling off their sixth shutout of the season, their fifth with Motte in goal.
Colgate, which finished with 20-14-5 record and was runner-up in last weekend’s ECAC?championships in Lake Placid, had more shots on goal, but couldn’t get one past the junior goaltender, who made two impressive stops during a power play in the third period.
He also made a glove save on Spiro Goulakos’ slap shot with 1:37 to go. Colgate’s Tyson Spink was called for cross-checking with 57.9 seconds left, allowing Ferris State to finish it off on a power play.