This Week in Union College Hockey - March 19
Union Earns No. 1 seed in East Regional, to face Michigan State - On the heels of the program’s first ECAC Hockey Championship, the Union College men’s hockey team (24-7-7, 14-4-4 ECAC Hockey) earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will take on No. 4 seed Michigan State (19-15-4, 14-11-3 CCHA). Union will travel to the East Regional in Bridgeport, CT for the second straight season and will play on Friday, March 23 at 3:00 p.m. The Dutchmen earned their first NCAA Tournament berth in 2010-11 as a No. 2 seed in Bridgeport, falling 2-0 to No. 3 seed Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs went on to win the national championship.
Friday’s meeting will mark the first time in Union’s 21-year Division I history that Union and Michigan State will meet.
The Spartans earned an at-large berth after finishing fifth in the CCHA. Michigan State fell in the CCHA Quarterfinals to Miami (OH) 2-0 in a best-of-three series, dropping a 4-1 decision on March 10 in its most recent contest. The Spartans are making their first appearance in the NCAA
Tournament since 2008, and their 27th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. Michigan State has won three NCAA titles (1966, 1996, and 2007).
Must Read/See/Hear Material
ESPN.com: Union College Could Surprise
ESPN.com: NCAA Hockey Tournament Preview
USA Hockey Magazine: 2011-12 Men’s College Hockey Poll - #24
USCHO.com: March 19 – Division I Men’s Poll
New York Hockey Journal: Union’s Grosenick, Colgate’s Smith Named Hobey Baker Finalists
Albany Times-Union: National Crown Next? Believe it.
Albany Times-Union: Union gets No. 1 seed, plays Friday
Schenectady Daily Gazette: Union rises to the top, 3-1
Schenectady Daily Gazette: Union gets No. 1 seed, will face Michigan State in regionals
Inside College Hockey: Union Leans On Top Players, Experience
College Hockey News: A Star is Born
NOTE OF THE WEEK
Union Wins First Ever Whitelaw Cup - Daniel Carr scored at 10:26 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie lead Union College to a 3-1 win over Harvard University for the school’s first-ever ECAC Hockey Championship at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday. 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. Troy Grosenick stopped 16 of 17 shots, and Jeremy Welsh helped Union rally from a 1-0 deficit in the third period with the game-tying goal at 5:29 of the third period. Josh Jooris added an empty net goal at 19:38 to seal the win. The All-Tournament Team featured Welsh, Carr, Gostisbehere and Grosenick. Welsh was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
FIVE MORE NOTES NO MEDIA PERSON SHOULD BE WITHOUT
Bennett, Zajac, and Grosenick Earn Individual Awards at ECAC Hockey Banquet – Head coach Rick Bennett, sophomore goaltender Troy Grosenick and senior forward Kelly Zajac each earned individual awards at the ECAC Hockey Awards Banquet at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Bennett earned the Tim Taylor Coach of the Year Award, while Grosenick earned the Ken Dryden Goaltender of the Year of the Award, and Zajac earned Best Defensive Forward honors. Sophomore defenseman Mat Bodie and Grosenick earned ECAC Hockey First Team honors, junior forward Jeremy Welsh earned second team honors, and Zajac earned third team honors. Union also earned the SKOR Sports Trophy for team sportsmanship.
Union in the Rankings – The Union College men’s ice hockey team moved up to No. 3 in both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Today and USA Hockey Magazine poll, the highest ranking in the program’s 21-year history at the Division I level. Union’s previous high in the national rankings was No. 4, which the team achieved in the March 7, 2011 editions of both polls. Union earned 864 points in the USCHO.com poll, and 410 points in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. Union has appeared in the USCHO.com poll for 62 consecutive weeks since the Dec. 7, 2009 rankings, extending a school record. Union has been ranked in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll in 22 out of a possible 24 weeks this season. The Dutchmen have been ranked in the top-10 of both national polls for five consecutive weeks.
Troy Grosenick Named One of Ten Finalists for Hobey Baker Award - Union College sophomore goaltender Troy Grosenick was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, presented annually to the top men’s college hockey player, the Hobey Baker Selection Committee announced. Grosenick is the first student-athlete in program history to be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
Grosenick, who entered the season with just one career start, is in the midst of a stellar campaign for the Dutchmen. In his first year as a starter. Grosenick ranked first in conference action in goals-against average (1.60); save percentage (.940); and win percentage (.767).
At 18-5-3, Grosenick, who has started 28 of 36 games, is third in the nation in goals-against average (1.66); save percentage (.963); and goals against average with a 1.66 mark and is third in the country in save percentage (.937). His five shutouts on the season matches Kris Mayotte ‘06 for the single-season school record. Grosenick is on pace to shatter school single-season goals-against average and save percentage records established by Keith Kinkaid (2010-11) and Trevor Koenig (1996-1997), respectively. Grosenick earned the Ken Dryden Award as ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year for his efforts.
Bodie Nears Own Record – Sophomore defensmean Mat Bodie set a school record for points by a defenseman in the Division I era last season, recording 32 points (six goals, 26 assists) in 40 games played. This season, Bodie could break his own record, with 28 points (eight goals, 20 assists) in 36 games played.
Hat Trick Happy - After recording four hat tricks in five seasons (188 games) from 2005-06 to 2009-10, the Dutchmen have recorded eight hat tricks over the past two seasons (78 games), including four this season. Most recently, sophomore forward Daniel Carr recorded his third career hat trick in a 5-3 win in Union’s regular season finale at Colgate on Feb. 25. Carr also had a hat trick earlier in the season in a 5-1 win at RPI on Nov. 15. On Oct. 8 at Army, junior forward Wayne Simpson recorded his first career hat trick in an 8-1 win. On Oct. 15 against No. 12 Western Michigan, junior forward Jeremy Welsh recorded his second career hat trick, scoring all three Union goals in a 3-3 tie.