Created: 02/22/2014 12:01 AM WNYT.com
By: Daniel Jankowski
The Cleary Cup now resides in Schenectady.
Union clinched a share of the ECAC Hockey regular season title (Cleary Cup) by virtue of a 5-0 win over Clarkson Friday night before a sellout crowd of 2,194 at Messa Rink.
"To see our team hoist that trophy, that's what it's all about," said Head Coach Rick Bennett. "I'm really proud of our effort tonight, but at the same time, we realize we still have some work to do."
The third-ranked Dutchmen (21-6-4/15-3-1) ran their home winning streak to nine games in dominating fashion. Daniel Ciampini scored twice, including his team-leading 16th marker, to extend his goal-scoring streak to six games. Ciampini provided a short-handed tally in the opening period when a Clarkson player slid into his goaltender, creating an open net. Ciampini then scored from an improbable angle along the goal line in the second period to give the team a 2-0 lead.
Jeff Taylor ripped a slapshot through traffic to bump the lead to 3-0 before Shayne Gostisbehere closed second period scoring with a power play tally at 15:22. Mike Vecchione added an insurance goal at 15:41 of the third period, squeezing through the slot and sliding a shot past goaltender Steve Perry.
Goaltender Colin Stevens made 20 saves to earn his fourth shutout of the season, and the seventh of his career. He now ranks third on the school's career list for the Division I era. Union finished with a 27-20 shot advantage to complete the season series against the Golden Knights (17-14-2/10-9-0).
Union will attempt to win the Cleary Cup championship outright and earn the No. 1 seed for the ECAC Championship when St. Lawrence visits Messa Rink tomorrow night for a 7:08 puck drop.