by Warren Kozireski
NY Hockey Online Magazine
In their fourth NCAA playoff appearance, Union College outlasted Boston College in the semi-finals and scored three unanswered in the first period on their way to a 7-4 win over Minnesota in the final.
“I think that’s been a staple of our team all year that we come in waves,” said senior defenseman Mat Bodie. “You really felt that at the end of the first there. I thought we really carried the play for a stretch of time there. All three of those goals were pack of wolves’ goals where guys were on net, and second and third chances. I think that’s probably one of the biggest staples of our team all year.”
Junior defenseman Shayne Gotisbehere scored one goal and assisted on two others in the championship contest, which followed his two-assist effort in the semi’s as he was named the Frozen Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
“I noticed the Union faithful out there for sure,” said Gotisbehere in the postgame press conference. “I saw the fans in the stands, and they looked pretty happy. My mom was crying, of course. It was really awesome. It feels like we’re dreaming right now, but sometimes dreams come true.”
Junior forward Daniel Campini netted Union’s first hat trick of the season against BC, added one goal and one assist in the title game and was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Senior defenseman Mat Bodie scored key goals in both contests and was named the other defenseman on the unit.
Junior goaltender Colin Stevens (Niskayuna) made 70 saves on 78 shots over two games and was named goaltender on the A-T Team.
Senior forward Matt Hatch (Massena) had a key assist on Union’s fourth goal at the end of the first period, and had trouble describing the feeling in the postgame locker room. “It is surreal. To do this in your senior year with guys that I battled with for four years, it’s hard not to get emotional. To win the last game in your college career, not many people get to do that, so it’s a pretty good feeling.”
Freshman defenseman Jeff Taylor (Clifton Park) ha the primary assist on Union’s first goal and was +4 plus/minus in the championship contest. “I’m just trying to enjoy this, soak it in. You never know when you’re going to get back here again.
The seniors made it easy. They’ve been here before and told us how to play. We had an unbelievable turnout—we have unbelievable fans.”
As for the senior class, which leaves as the winningest class in school history with a 104-37-20 record, third year head coach Rick Bennett said, “it was great to have a part to recruit them as an assistant coach, so I’m a little probably closer with their families than some of the classes, the juniors, sophomores and freshmen. So this is pretty darn special to have a hand in the recruiting process and to be the coach of the phenomenal program here, and to see them go out as winners, it’s pretty darn special. Saw a guy in the back there. He only played 13 games for us, Mike Ingoldsby, and he was a phenomenal player. Concussions basically cut his career short. So it was great to see him as I was walking to this press conference, and I think there is a reason for that. He was a big part of this program. He lives with our senior class. They’d be the first to tell you that his career was cut short, but he has really brought it in the classroom as well, and I think that resonates to that house that he lives in. And these guys know, every one of them, every senior does a phenomenal job in the classroom, and I think it really helps how they play on the ice.”