BOSTON – For the first official day of the season, instead of holding practice, the No. 16 Union College men’s hockey team squared-off against No. 2 Boston University. Despite both teams being evenly matched, special teams was the difference maker as the Terriers used two power-play goals and two empty-net goals to defeat Union, 4-1, Saturday night at Agganis Arena.
There were a total of 11 power plays in the contest between the two nationally-ranked teams, six for Union and five for Boston University. With that many man advantages, it was no surprise that one special-teams goal would make all the difference.
Union jumped on the board first, scoring on its first power play of the game.
With control of the puck in the BU zone, Anthony Rinaldi saw Brett Supinski wide open in the slot. Rinaldi made the quick pass over to his linemate and Supinski finished off the play putting the puck past BU’s Jake Oettinger for the 1-0 lead.
However, the very next power play of the game would result in another goal, this time for the Terriers.
Boston University’s Jordan Greenway shot the puck on net and Union netminder Jake Kupsky made the first save. On the ensuing scramble and chaos in Kupsky’s crease, BU’s Patrick Harper found the loose puck first to tie the game less than three minutes after Union opened the scoring.
For the next 26 minutes of the game, neither side was able to get an advantage. BU out-shot Union 13-9 in the first period, but the Dutchmen out-shot the Terriers 12-11 in the second.
It was in the third period that Boston University started owning up to its No. 2 ranking. Kupsky stood tall in net for the Dutchmen during the increased pressure from the Terriers, but it would be BU’s final power play that would seal Union’s fate.
Boston University’s Dante Fabbro received a pass on the back side of the net and unleashed a one timer that squeaked by Kupsky with less than eight minutes to play in the game.
Union opted twice for an extra attacker in the final two minutes, but BU scored on both last-ditch efforts to clinch the season-opening win.
Kupsky was brilliant in net all night for Union, making a total of 39 saves to start off his junior season.
The Dutchmen return to the ice next weekend, taking part in the 2017 Ice Breaker Tournament, hosted by