How much do you know about Union ? Probably not much. How much do I know about Union ? Not much at all but hopefully you will be a little more familiar with Thursday's opponent thanks to my question and answer session with Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gasette. Ken does a tremendous job of covering both Union and RPI for the town's paper. He has been covering sports for over 30 years. You can follow him @slapschotts on Twitter.
Q- It's been a year since Union thumped BC in Providence How is this Union team compared to last years squad ? What are their strengths and weaknesses ?
To me, this year's Union is squad is better than last year. The Dutchmen are more focused this season. They had a big lull midway through last season before snapping out of it in February. This year, after a 5-3 loss to Colgate at Messa Rink dropped the Dutchmen to 3-3-2, an an angry coach Rick Bennett called out several of his players. The next night, they limited Cornell to 11 shots and won, 3-0, Since Bennett's outburst, they are 27-3-2.
The Dutchmen's strength is that they can play any style. You want to play physical? No problem. You want to go up-tempo? They can play that, too. They are excellent in the defensive zone and have quick sticks. The only weakness to me is in faceoffs. They seem to lose more draws than they win.
2) Union has a couple of lines that can score. The line of freshman center Mike Vecchione (12-19-31), left winger Daniel Carr (22-26-48) and right winger Daniel Ciampini (19-17-36) is the Dutchmen's top line. In the East Regional, the line of junior center Max Novak, left winger Matt Hatch and right winger Kevin Sullivan led the way with six goals and six assists. Novak was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player.
The Dutchmen have strong offensive defensemen, left by senior Mat Bodie (6-29-35) and junior Shayne Gostisbehere (8-21-29). Freshman D Jeff Taylor (3-12-15) will be player to watch, too.
Q-The departure of Troy Grosenick last spring seemed like a huge hole to fill this year but Jr Colin Stevens seems to be doing just fine. Has he been the go to guy all year or has their been a lot of flip flopping between goaltenders ?
Q-Last year, I was extremely impressed with the skating ability that some of Union's defensemen possessed. Obviously everyone knows about Gostisbehere but outside of him, who posses a threat on the blue line
Q-Lastly, you're a Philly native, in terms of food/touring what are places that Eagle fans should be sure to visit.
Thanks to Ken for taking the time to answer my questions.