#12 Union Skates Past Merrimack 4-1

Posted at: 12/30/2012 7:34 PM
By: Union Athletics

BURLINGTON, VT –  Senior forwards Wayne Simpson and Kyle Bodie each had a goal and two assists, and sophomore forward Daniel Ciampini scored the go-ahead goal in a four-goal third period for the Dutchmen as No. 12/13 Union men’s hockey (9-4-4) earned a 4-1 win over Merrimack (6-8-4) at Gutterson Fieldhouse as part of the Catamount Cup at the University of Vermont.
Junior forward Daniel Carr also scored, and sophomore goaltender Colin Stevens made 20 saves in net for Union, which snapped a five-game winless streak with the win.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, Carr tied the game on Union’s second power play opportunity of the frame. With Kyle Bigos in the penalty box for tripping, freshman forward Matt Wilkins fired a shot into traffic that didn’t get to the net. Carr corralled the rebound and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Merrimack goaltender Rasumus Tirronen (26 saves) at 6:30 to tie the game at 1-1.
Union finished the game 1-for-5 on the man advantage.
“Dan Carr, who is a goal scorer, found the back of the net and it really gave us a spark,” said Union head coach Rick Bennett. “It was one of those things where we got that off of our backs and we felt we could start to roll. Sometimes you’ve got to keep battling, it’s not always going to be easy, and I thought our guys fed off that first goal.”
The Dutchmen would take the lead with its first even strength goal in three games. After sustaining pressure in the Merrimack zone, Tirronen stopped an initial shot by Kyle Bodie, but Ciampini was there to put a low shot past the Merrimack goaltender at 13:30 to give Union the lead.
Just over four minutes later, the Dutchmen would have a 3-1 lead when Kyle Bodie skated into the Merrimack zone on the left wing, cut to open ice in the slot and beat Tirronen with a wrist shot over the shoulder at 17:40.
Simpson added an empty net goal at 18:30 to seal the win for Union.
Merrimack broke a scoreless tie with a power play goal at 9:59 of the second period, as Brian Christie got to a rebound off a point shot by Bigos and beat Stevens to put Merrimack ahead heading into the final period of play. Merrimack went 1-for-4 on the power play for the game.
Union’s penalty kill, ranked No. 4 in the nation heading into the contest, continued its solid play in the first period against Merrimack, as the Dutchmen killed off two power play opportunities for the Warriors in the opening frame.
Union had its first good chance of the contest on the man advantage with Merrimack’s Kyle Bigos in the penalty box at 8:51 for slashing. Senior forward Wayne Simpson chased a loose puck in the corner, curled in front of the net and fired a low wrist shot that Tirronen kicked away.
Union’s Stevens made a number of impressive saves in the frame, stopping Mike Collins’ wrist shot from between the circles at the 12:00 mark, and covering a deflection from Christie at 17:28.
Union will continue non-conference play next weekend with a two-game series at Lake Superior St. on Jan. 4-5.