ECAC Hockey Tournament: Union jumps past Cornell to advance to championship game

Union players celebrate a goal during the team's win over Cornell in the ECAC Hockey Tournament semifinals. - Robert Dungan

Union will go for its third consecutive ECAC Hockey Tournament crown on Saturday night.

LAKE PLACID, NY -- Five different players scored for No. 1 Union as the Dutchmen advanced to the ECAC Hockey championship game with a 5-2 victory over No. 4 Cornell in the ECAC Hockey semifinal from 1980 Rink at Herb Brooks Arena.

Cole Ikkala opened the scoring for the Dutchmen at the 9:24 mark of the opening period. Michael Pontarelli and Sam Coatta assisted on the goal.

Kevin Sullivan extended the Union lead later in the period on the power play. The senior notched his eighth goal of the season at the 17:47 mark, set up by Matt Wilkins and Mat Bodie.

Cornell cut the lead in half 5:56 into the second frame when Christian Hilbrich scored an unassisted goal.

Union's Max Novak and Cornell's Joakim Ryan exchanged goals less than a minute apart late in the second period to keep the Dutchemn up by two goals, but the backbreaker for Cornell came just 14 seconds after Ryan's goal.

Freshman Michael Vecchione scored on a beautiful set up from Mat Bodie. It was the 11th goal of the season for the ECAC All-Rookie Team member from Saugus, Mass.

Senior Daniel Carr, the school's all-time leading scorer, provided insurance with an empty-net goal with 1:23 to play in the game.

The Dutchmen out shot the Big Red, 31-26. Union goaltender Colin Stevens made 24 saves while Cornell's Andy Iles stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced.

Union will go for its third consecutive ECAC Hockey Championship Saturday night against the winner of Friday's second semifinal between Colgate and Quinnipiac.

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