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Union Whips Rival

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, November 14, 2004

SCHENECTADY - It was a historical night Saturday in many ways for the Union College menís hockey team.

Start with the Dutchmenís first-ever season sweep of Capital Region rival Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Then thereís the Dutchmenís best start in ECACHL play, and senior center Jordan Webb moving up Unionís all-time scoring list.

And one other thing. Unionís 3-2 victory before a standingroom-only crowd of 2,317, coupled with Vermontís 1-1 tie at Clarkson, puts the Dutchmen (4-0 ECACHL, 5-5 overall) all alone in first place.

The Dutchmen, who beat the Engineers, 5-4, Friday at Houston Field House, did their best to try and keep things in perspective after winning their fourth straight.

"Itís a big win because of the rivalry," said Webb, who scored twice to give him 97 career points, moving him into second place past Chris Albert, who had 95 points from 1991-95. "But more importantly, it gets us out of the blocks early in league play."

Junior forward Scott Seney, who had two assists, agreed with Webb.

"The most important thing is the 4-0 start, not who we beat and when," said Seney, who assisted on Olivier Bouchardís game-winning goal late in the second period. "First place is huge for us. Thatíll be a good building block going into next weekend with Princeton and Yale."

RPI coach Dan Fridgen, who broke up his top scoring line of Kevin MacDonald, Nick Economakos and Kevin Croxton during the second period, was blunt in his assessment of Unionís sweep.

"Theyíve been in the league long enough. Theyíve been in Division I long enough. Itís going to come around sooner or later," Fridgen said. "I can remember when they tied us and beat us in the [2002-03] season. They had the playoff series over here [which RPI won]. Weíll see whoís there in the end."

Webb broke a scoreless tie 1:54 into the second period when he tipped a Joel Beal shot past goalie Andrew Martin on the power play.

Then at 14:02, Webb scored his 10th goal of the season, and seventh on the power play, when he beat Martin from the right of the net.

Just like it did in the second period Friday, Union burned RPI with a goal in the final minute.

Seney won a faceoff from Oren Eizenman in the RPI left circle. Seney drew the puck back to Bouchard, who fired a low wrist shot past Martinís left pad with 12.6 seconds left in the second.

"Me and 'Bouchí have been trying to do that for two years," Seney said. "It finally worked. It was a relief for us, and it was a big boost for us going into the locker room."

After that goal, Union was penalized for delay of game when oranges were thrown on the ice for the second straight goal. RPI took advantage of that early in the third period when Kevin Broad scored a powerplay goal.

Shortly after that, Andrew Lord, who replaced MacDonald on the right wing, took a pass from Croxton and beat goalie Justin Mrazek to cut Unionís lead to a goal. RPI (1-3, 5-5-1) had the Dutchmen running around. Economakos hit the crossbar during an RPI power play with 8:39 left in the game.

"It was frustrating taking that penalty when the oranges came on the ice," Union coach Nate Leaman said. "Itís frustrating because you have 20 guys on the bench that are working their hardest for the school, and you have one fan that maybe gets a little carried away and throws an orange on the ice, and we get penalized for it."

"I told the guys to enjoy this tonight," Leaman said. "Tomorrow, itís studying [for exams], and Monday, itís Princeton. We start thinking about Princeton."

Women Cornell 5, Union 3

ITHACA - Caeleigh Beerworth scored twice, and Vicki Hodgkinson added a goal and an assist as Cornell completed a two-game sweep of Union with an ECACHL victory at Lynah Rink.

Meghan OíConnor had a goal and an assist for the Dutchwomen (0-4 ECACHL, 3-5-1 overall), who are winless in their last four games.