Union goalie Corey Milan has seen teammate Stephane Boileau make a fancy backhanded shot on a breakaway and score too often against him in practice.
Friday night, Milan got to watch Boileau do it against an opposing goalie, and he is happy that now he isn’t the only one who can’t stop him.
Boileau’s spin-a-rama, one-handed backhander beat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute goalie Mathias Lange to open the overtime shootout, and that sparked the Dutchmen to a 2-1 victory over the Engineers in the Governor’s Cup semifinal at the Times Union Center.
Since shootouts aren’t recognized by the NCAA, the game goes down as a 1-1 tie. Still, the Dutchmen (1-1-1), playing their third straight overtime game, advanced to Saturday’s final against Colgate at 8 p.m. The Raiders beat Robert Morris, 5-2, in the first game. RPI and Robert Morris play the consolation game at 5 p.m.
It is the first time Union has reached this tournament’s final, and the second straight weekend they are playing in a tourney championship game. They lost to Nebraska-Omaha, 2-1, in overtime in last Saturday’s Mutual of Omaha Stampede final.
The Dutchmen opened the shootout with Boileau, who skated down the center of the ice. He got to within five feet of the net, stopped, spun around and, with only one hand on his stick, shoved the puck past a startled Lange.
“It was interesting,” Milan said. “He does it in practice. He works on it a lot, so he’s reasonably confident with it. It was a great goal.”
Boileau said the move is simple.
“You fake shot, you drop your shoulder, you go the right and, finally, just go one hand to the left,” Boileau said. “You just wait for the goalie to start moving.”
At least Union coach Nate Leaman could smile about it afterwards.
“If he misses it and comes back to the bench, he’s probably going to be missing a hand,” Leaman joked. “It was a great move. He scored the overtime winner against Quinnipiac [last Friday]. Stephane is a point guy. He has ice in his veins.”
Mario Valery-Trabucco also scored in the shootout for Union, which lost to RPI in a shootout two years ago. Meanwhile, Milan, who made 30 saves, made pad saves on the final two RPI shooters, Alex Angers-Goulet and Patrick Cullen. Jordan Watts and Tyler Helfrich, the first two shooters, missed the net.
RPI (0-4-1) avoided the third 0-5 start in school history, but it joins the 1966-67 and 1995-96 teams in failing to win in their first five games.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.