Union opens Conference Play with Home-and-Home with RPI

Story Links This Weekend Union looks set to make a three-game slip as the Dutch play ECAC Hockey with a home-to-home weekend with rival Rensselaer Engineers.

Scouting the Engineers Rensselaer closed the 2021-22 season with an 18-23-3 record. After beating Dartmouth in three games in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs, the Engineers fell to eventual Whitelaw Cup champion, Harvard, in the second round, falling 3-1 in game three after two overtime thrillers.

Last weekend, the Engineers faced the USNDTP in an exhibition game and fell 3-2. Before that, they traveled to Canisius College on October 18 for a non-conference tilt, falling 3-2 to the Golden Griffins.

RPI returned 18 letter winners from the 2021-22 season and welcomed 18 newcomers. The Engineers’ leader this season is junior Jakob Lee. Lee has 10 points (4-6-10) through five games and is second in the country in points per game. All four of Lee’s goals this season have come on the power play.

Sophomore Jack Watson has been solid in his second season between the pipes for the Engineers. Over five games, Watson holds a 4-1-0 record, including a shutout against LIU on October 14. The sophomore has only conceded 12 goals and made 129 saves in that time. Watson has a 2.41 GAA and a save percentage of 0.915.

Conference Play Begins Union opens conference play against rival RPI this weekend. The Dutch ended the 2021-22 season with some overtime losses against Clarkson after beating Princeton in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey Playoffs.

Scheerer scores Junior Bram Scheerer scored his first collegiate goal against UMass last weekend. After losing his first season to the pandemic, his second season was cut short by just eight games with a season-ending injury against Clarkson. To date, Scheerer has played in 13 games in his career and has four points (1-3-4).

mr. 100 Senior Chris Theodore plays his 100th career game on Friday night. Theodore, a transfer from AIC, has played in all eight games for Union this season, scoring four assists. The 2021-22 Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year has racked up 62 points (20-42-62) throughout his career.

The first-year defenders of the reigning Rookies Union have got off to a hot start. Nick Young was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week on October 10 after scoring his first collegiate goal and blocking five shots against the nationally ranked UConn. John Prokop earned the honor the following week after assisting on five of Union’s 10 goals between October 13 and 15.

Top of the Pack Freshman Nate Hanley is one of the top scorers in the country with eight points in eight games. Classmate John Prokop is right behind him with seven points, the first among first-year defenders.

Watkins Lights the Lamp Junior Tyler Watkins has already matched his goal total from last year. Watkins scored twice on the power play in the 5-1 win over Bentley and followed with two goals at RIT.

Faceoff Success Junior Ville Immonen sees a lot of success in the circle, winning 52.2% of his draws. The forward has racked up 60 wins this season, making him 24th nationally and second in the conference, just eight behind the conference leader.

Powerplay makes a statement After a slow start to the season, Union’s powerplay made a statement in a 5-1 win over Bentley, scoring three goals, including two in the opening period.

Spread the Wealth In six games, Union has seen 19 out of 23 skaters score at least one point. Seven of the eight freshmen skaters all have at least one point.

On the Road October October is the busiest month for the Dutch with 10 matches on the program. Of those 10, only three are at home.

New Kids on the Block Freshmen Nate Hanley, Carter Korpi, John Prokop and Cal Mell, as well as sophomore Josh Nixon and senior Chris Theodore all took their first points for Union on opening weekend. In total, newcomers accounted for 12 of the 15 runs scored (4-8-12).

New Bench Boss Josh Hauge was named the 22nd head coach in Union hockey history on April 15, 2022. Hauge was previously the Associate Head Coach at ECAC Hockey rival Clarkson University. Hauge took his first coaching win in Union’s home opener, a 4-3 win over RIT on October 1, 2022.

Transfer Obligations The coaching staff was active in the transfer portal this off-season, committed to four student-athletes: Chris Theodore (AIC), Mason Snell (Penn State), Josh Nixon (Lake Superior State) and Ben Tupker (Cornell).

Rounding out the staff In addition to Josh Hauge and assistant coach John Ronan behind the bench is Lennie Childs, who previously served as an assistant coach with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers.

New numbers Josh Phillips and Thomas Richter have changed numbers this season and will wear 4 and 9 respectively.

Set Records Senior Connor Murphy made an immediate impression for Union in his first season. He set the program’s new single-season records with 1,060.

Looking to Surprise Union was picked to finish eighth in the ECAC Hockey Preseason Coaches election, with 45 points. Local media were more optimistic and chose the Dutch to finish sixth in the preseason media poll.

NHL Bloodlines Sophomore Thomas Richter and junior Mason Snell are sons of retired NHLers Mike Richter (New York Rangers 1989-2002) and Chris Snell (Toronto, Los Angeles 1993-95), respectively.

Leave a Comment