There werenâ€™t any smiles on the faces of Union coach Nate Leaman, goalie Corey Milan and forward StephÂ¬ane Boileau in the interview room after Fridayâ€™s non-conference college hockey game against Connecticut.
And the Dutchmen won.
But there wasnâ€™t much for the Dutchmen to be happy about after their 3-2 win over the Huskies in their Messa Rink opener.
The Dutchmen (3-1-1) went from dominating UConn (2-3) to holding on for dear life.
â€œWe didnâ€™t finish our chances well tonight,â€ Leaman said. â€œWhen you donâ€™t put a team away with the number of chances we had tonight, it allows them to keep hanging around.â€
The Dutchmen jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Kelly Zajac and Adam Presizniuk 58 seconds apart early in the first period. They took a 3-1 lead into the third, but couldnâ€™t get another puck past goalie Beau Erickson.
The Huskies pulled to within one on Brendan Olinykâ€™s goal at 7:09 of the third. UConn had two great chances to tie it, but the Dutchmen got some fortunate breaks.
The first came with 4:03 left, when Nick Schneiderâ€™s drive from the left circle hit the post to the left of Milan. Less than two minutes later, Milan stopped Daniel Nauratoâ€™s right-wing drive, but he couldnâ€™t control the rebound. Justin Hernandez had Milan down, but he shot the puck over the net.
â€œIt was pretty hectic,â€ Milan said. â€œI got lucky with some posts, and them missing the net. We got away with it.â€
Then, with 1:37 left, Boileau was called for tripping Jason Krispel in the UConn zone, giving the Huskies a power play and one last chance to tie it up.
The Dutchmen survived that, too.
â€œI was feeling bad,â€ said Boileau, who scored late in the second. â€œIt was a bad penalty at the end of the game. I want to say thank you to the PK [penalty kill], thank you to Corey Milan, who did a great job at the end of the game.â€
Ken Schott covers college hockey for the The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.