Engineers comeback falls just short in conference opener

Engineers comeback falls just short in conference opener

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Junior Brett Supinski recorded a game-high three points to lead the Union College men's hockey team to a 4-3 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Saturday night at Messa Rink. With the win, the Dutchmen improve to 3-5-0 (1-0-0 ECAC Hockey), while the Engineers drop to 1-2-2 (0-1-0 ECAC Hockey).

Union netted a pair of goals just 47 second apart in the first period. Senior Sebastian Vidmar (Malmo, Sweden) buried a one-timer at the right post for his first goal of the year. The opening tally, which came at 11:13 of the opening frame, drew assists from sophomore Anthony Rinaldi (Montreal, PQ) and Supinski (Collegeville, PA).

Sophomore Zachary Emelifeonwu (Kingston, ON) doubled the hosts' advantage at 12:00, sticking home a back-door feed from freshman blueliner Joseph Campolieto (Eynon, PA) for his first collegiate goal. Senior captain Cole Maier (Pequannock, NJ) earned the secondary assist.

Following a scoreless second period, sophomore Jacob Hayhurst (Missassauga, ON/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) brought RPI to within 2-1, we he finished on a breakaway, after receiving a pass from freshman Jon Richards (Callaway, MN/Austin Bruins).

The Dutchmen answered with a shorthanded goal from Supinski, who scored on a rebound. Vidmar led the rush into the zone and forced a save from Engineers junior netminder Chase Perry (Andover, MN/Wenatchee Wild), before Supinski cleaned up the loose puck for his fifth goal of the season.

Rinaldo made it 4-1 at 10:31 of the third, firing a shot from the right wing that beat Perry glove side.

Rensselaer fought back, pulling within 4-2 on freshman Billy Jerry's (River Falls, WI/Madison Capitals) first collegiate tally. Helpers went to Richards and sophomore Todd Burgess (Phoenix, AZ/Fairbanks Ice Dogs).

Junior Evan Tironese (Qualicum Beach, BC/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) made it a one-goal game (4-3) with 2:33 to play, swatting in an aerial puck from just outside the crease. Senior Jared Wilson (Calgary, AB/Vernon Vipers) took a shot from the right point that was stopped by Union freshman goalie Darion Hanson (East Bethel, MN), before Tironese batted in the rebound.

Rensselaer pulled Perry with a minute to go, but could not find an equalizing goal. The Engineers finished 1 for 5 on the power play, while the Dutchmen were 1 for 4.

Perry (0-2-2) had 25 saves, including 10 in the first period, while Hanson wound up with 21 stops.

Both teams are back in action tomorrow night, when they play game two of the home-and-home series at the Houston Field House (7pm).