Created: 03/14/2014 11:06 PM WNYT.com
By: Union Athletics & WNYT Sports
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Union extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 3-0 victory over Dartmouth in the opening game of an ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series held before a sellout crowd of 2,054 at Messa Rink. The third-ranked Dutchmen (25-6-4) have not allowed a goal in nine-plus periods (189:07), stretching the nation's longest home winning streak to 11 games.
After a scoreless first period, freshman Michael Pontarelli put Union on the board with a power play goal at 1:12 of the second period. Pontarelli knocked down a shot wide of the goal, then quickly one-timed a shot to the right of goaltender Charles Grant, who finished with 39 saves on the night.
Union then received a pair of goals from Daniel Carr in the third period, scored 1:11 apart. Carr converted on Union's first successful penalty shot since January, 2003, when he scored on the forehand stick side with 2:37 left in the third period.
"It was a big time goal by a big time player," said coach Rick Bennett afterwards. Carr added an empty-netter at 18:34.
Colin Stevens finished with 32 saves, notching his second consecutive shutout and his school-recording setting sixth shutout of the season. The Niskayuna native hasn't allowed a goal in 129 minutes of action.
Eric Neiley led the Big Green (10-19-4) with eight shots, and had his team's best scoring opportunity of the night at 7:41 of the third when he broke in alone in the slot, only to be denied by a Stevens glove save.
Union will host Dartmouth tomorrow night, as the Big Green look to fight off elimination in the best-of-three game series.