Daniel Ciampini's six-point night highlights Union's win against RPI
ALBANY, NY – Daniel Ciampini scored a hat trick with three assists and Mike Vecchione had two goals and three assists to lead the Union to an 8-3 victory against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the third annual Capital District Mayor's Cup Game at the Times Union Center Saturday night. Matt Wilkins had four assists.
The Dutchmen broke a three game losing streak and improved to 12-10-2 on the season. Ciampini's six points tied the school record set by Jason Ralph against Colgate on November 5, 1999. The Union goal total was the most for any game this season.
Colin Stevens made 10 saves on the night and Jason Kasdorf had 23 stops. Union outshot the Engineers, 31-13, and scored six goals in the third period after trailing 3-2 after two.
RPI opened the scoring at 2:07. Drew Melanson got a feed to the doorstep of the left crease and fired home his fifth of the season off assists from Riley Bourbonnais and Chris Bradley. But just 27 seconds later, Union tied it up. Daniel Ciampini scored his 18th of the season after a scramble of traffic in front, and backhanded the goal assisted by Jeff Taylor and Vecchione. That goal gave Ciampini his 100th career point.
Matt Neal gave the Engineers a 2-1 lead at 16:13 of the first period. Jacob Laliberte came in on a rush and passed from the high on the right circle across to the other circle, where Neal fired home his fourth of the season. Milos Bubela had the second assist. The first period ended with the 2-1 Engineers lead, and the Dutchmen outshot RPI, 8-5.
RPI made it a 3-1 lead with 6:56 remaining in the second period. A left point drive by Luke Curadi was side but the rebound off the boards behind the net came right out to Melanson on the right post, who quickly tucked it in for this second of the night and sixth of the season.
The Dutchmen got back to within one at 17:14. Freshman defenseman Nick DeSimone fired from inside the right point after passes from J.C. Brassard and Wilkins and scored the first goal of his career, making it a 3-2 game. Union dominated in the shots department again, 12-5, and a two period total of 20-10.
Just 17 seconds into the third period, the Dutchmen tied it at 3-3. Ryan Scarfo got a lead pass from Jeff Taylor (Noah Henry also had an assist) inside the right blueline and his wrister to the glove side was his eighth goal of the season. Then at 3:30, Union took the lead for the first time, with a third consecutive goal and a 4-3 advantage. Ciampini scored his second goal of the night with a wrist shot between the circles after assists from Taylor and Eli Lichtenwald.
At 6:58, Vecchione batted a loose puck out of the air to the left side of the RPI net, and after review, was awarded the goal that made it 5-3 Union. Wilkins had fed the deflected puck from behind the goal and Ciampini also assisted. Then, at 8:58, Lichtenwald was credited with his third of the year after a review, as goalie Jason Kasdorf made the save but his glove was in the net, over the line. Union led 6-3 with the fourth Dutchman goal of the period. Vecchione and Wilkins assisted. They were not done. At 10:43, Vecchione scored from the slot with passes from Wilkins and Ciampini, and his second of the night made it 7-3. Union capped the scoring at 15:19 with Ciampini's hat trick goal assisted by Vecchione and Wilkins.
Union had an 11-3 shot advantage in the third period, finishing with 31 shots on net while allowing just 13.