Union hockey edges RPI

SCHENECTADY– The Union College Dutchmen skated to a 4-3 win against cross-town rival Rensselaer to open conference competition on Friday night at Messa Rink.

Union jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period, and weathered a late push by the Engineers in the third period to improve to 3-5-0 (1-0-0 ECAC) on the season. RPI scored three goals in the third period, but Union tallied two of their own in the period, including a shorthanded goal by Brett Supinski, to claim the first win of the series for the Capital Skates Trophy.

The first period was controlled by Union as the Engineers looked flat to start the contest. The Dutchmen out-shot RPI, 12-6, in the opening frame and put home two goals within a minute of each other for the 2-0 lead.

Junior forward Sebastian Vidmar opened the scoring with his first goal of the season on the power play. Vidmar was sitting at the backdoor of the net and received a great pass from Anthony Rinaldi across the crease for the easy tap-in goal.

Just 47 seconds later Union scored another backdoor goal, this one coming off the stick of sophomore Zachary Emelifeonwu, his first collegiate goal. Emelifeonwu charged to the back of the net undetected and freshman defenseman Joseph Campolieto hit him in stride for the 2-0 lead.

In the second period, both teams’ netminders turned away nine shots each to keep the game locked at 2-0. Then in the third period, the offense broke loose on both sides.

Rensselaer opened the scoring in the third period at the 7:53 mark, as Jacob Hayhurst tallied his third of the season. However, just over a minute later while killing off a penalty, Supinski scored Union’s first shorthanded goal of the season on a three-on-two break with Vidmar and Greg Campbell. Supisnki’s first shot was stopped by RPI’s goalie Chase Perry, but Supinski picked up his rebound and put it in the open net for his team-best fifth goal of the season.

Union then took a 4-1 lead minutes later at the 10:31 mark. Rinaldi received the puck from Supinski while entering the zone before sniping it over the left shoulder of Perry for the eventual game-winning goal.

The Engineers turned up the pressure in the closing minutes, but despite scoring two more goals, including one on the power-play, their late rally fell short, as Union held on to claim the 4-3 lead.

First-year goalie Darion Hanson made his third-consecutive start in net for the Dutchmen. He turned away 21 of 24 shots for the win, while on the other end of the ice, Perry made 25 saves in the losing effort.

The two teams will finish the series for the Capital Skates Trophy tomorrow night in Troy. Game time at the Houston Field House is set for 7 p.m. (ET).

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