In what was a true team effort, Union College has established itself as NCAA national champions for the first time.
The Dutchmen earned a 7-4 victory over top-ranked Minnesota in the title game last night. Eleven different players found the back of the net between the two teams in the high-scoring affair.
After Minnesota established two early leads, Union broke out with three goals over the span of just 1:54 minutes late in the first period, courtesy of Mike Vecchione, Eli Lichtenwald, and Daniel Ciampini.
“The staple of our team all year — we come in waves,” Union captain Mat Bodie said, per NCAA.com. “All three of those goals were pack-of-wolf goals where we were just throwing the puck on net.”
Minnesota managed to keep things interesting after that, but never retook the lead. On the Gophers side of things, 20-year-old forward Justin Kloos stood out with a goal and an assist.
“He controlled the game,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “From my vantage point, he was the best player on the ice [Saturday].”
Philadelphia Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere also recorded a goal and two assists for Union and had a remarkable plus-seven rating.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.