It is fun to coach the team this year. We are playing at a high level, came to play both nights and our young players are maturing as we head into the last third of our schedule.
At RPI, all phases of the game were ready except the power play. We generated more offense on the penalty kill with four breakaways then we did on the power play. We jumped on RPI early, and freshman forward Jonathan Castagna, who had quite a weekend, scored at 3:58 of the first period, while on a delayed penalty call. Junior forward Sullivan Mack tallied his first of two assists on the play. Near the end of the opening period (18:45), freshman forward Luke Devlin extended his scoring streak to three games with a full-strength, wrap-around goal to put us up, 2-0, at the first intermission.
The Engineers tallied their lone goal at 5:18 of the second period on a laser shot through traffic. Senior forward Gabriel Seger recorded his 100th college career point with a goal at 10:18 of the middle period. On the breakaway Seger was hooked by a RPI player, he scored the goal and we went on our second power play of the game. It didn’t take long to make it 4-1 on the power play, when junior forward Ondrej Psenicka fired a shot hitting the inside-top of the net.
The team did a great job limiting chances for the Engineers and closed out the game. Junior goaltender Ian Shane made 19 saves, and the RPI goalie stopped 28 shots. Both teams were 1-for-4 on power plays.
On Saturday, again we were focused early and started well, gaining a 4 -0 lead. At 4:58 Castagna got us going for the second straight night with a laser shot from the left circle for an unassisted goal. He wasn’t done and pounced on a loose puck at 13:51 depositing it into the net. We had an excellent offensive opportunity when Union was assessed a 5-minute major penalty spanning the final 3:18 of the first period and the opening 1:42 of the second. But, the Garnet Chargers held strong and denied us another score.
At 6:16 of the second period, Seger made it 3-0, scoring against his former teammates (he played his first two years at Union). Mack and Castagna teamed up for a 2-on-1 break at 7:03, with Mack scoring. Five minutes later on a power play, Union tallied their lone goal on a shot from the point to make it 4-1. At 18:39 Psenicka scored on a long shot into an empty net. Nineteen seconds later, Castagna won a faceoff sending the puck to sophomore forward Winter Wallace for the game’s final tally. After we were up 4-0, I was disappointed in our play for the rest of the game; we were sloppy in our own zone and didn’t play as physical or keep pucks in front of us.
Ian Shane made 23 saves and the Union goalie stopped 17 shots. We were 1-for-5 on the power play and Union was 1-for-3. Nevertheless, I was pleased that our young team was able to sweep on the road.
We return to Lynah Rink this coming weekend to play Brown on Friday and Yale on Saturday. He have the longest unbeaten streak (9-0-3) among Division I hockey teams this season. We are 15-4-4 overall and 10-4-2 in the ECAC. Quinnipiac is first with 41 points, we are second with 33 points, and Colgate is third with 28 with six regular season games left. Hope to see you this weekend to cheer on our team.