Remembering What Got Them Here
Ciampini, Union Make Adjustments, Win
by Jashvina Shah/Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Daniel Ciampini was standing by the left post of the net when Shayne Gostisbehere threw a shot on net. Boston College’s Thatcher Demko got his glove on the puck, and redirected it to the left.
Ciampini swatted it in for his first goal of the game, and the tally that gave Union a 2-1 lead in the second period.
It was one of three goals Ciampini scored in Union’s 5-4 win. The junior added an empty-net goal in the third, the game-winning goal, for his first career hat trick.
“I was very lucky to get it, that’s for sure,” Ciampini said. “Easy back door tap-ins, other guys on my line making it very easy.”
Thanks to Thursday night’s performance, Ciampini increased his NCAA tournament goal total to six. But his three goals tonight marked the first time Ciampini lit the lamp in this year’s NCAA tournament.
He’s on Union’s top line with the program’s all-time leading scorer Daniel Carr and freshman center Mike Vecchione.
“He’s just a really smart player,” Vecchione said. “He knows where to go, what to do with the puck all the time and it just takes a lot of pressure off of me.
“I have a lot of responsibility in the D zone, staying high. With him on my line, it allows him to just be creative in the O zone and I’m used to trying to find the areas where we can give him the puck.”
With Thursday’s hat trick, Ciampini recorded his fourth goal against Boston College all-time in tournament play.
But it was far from luck.
Ciampini scored two of his three goals because he was stationed right by the net.
“I think it was just trying to do what coach asked, getting to the net and make a good play,” Ciampini said. “Just sit in front of the net, wait for rebounds and I think it was special to be able to tap it in a couple of times like that.”
In the third period, the Dutchmen created a 4-2 lead after killing off a five-minute major penalty when Mike Vecchione was driving to the net. Kevin Sullivan had taken the initial shot, found his rebound from behind the net and fed it to Vecchione.
Vecchione said Rick Benett keeps his pregame speeches simple. But Bennett told his players before the game to put bodies in front of the net.
“We always want to get the goalies’ eyes and take away his vision,” Vecchione said. “When we’re cycling, we always want to have a guy in the slot or have a guy out front to take this eyes away when the D gets the puck.”
While Union thrived on sending skaters to distract Demko in the final two periods, Union struggled sending skaters to the net in the first frame. They allowed Boston College to score first, and entered the second period down 1-0.
“[We] just have a couple of adjustments. We had to have a transition to D. We didn't want to get caught in that run-and-gun game,” Bennett said.
“Can we play that way at times? Certainly. But it's not in our structure. It's not within our foundation.”
Although Bennett made some adjustments, his first intermission speech to his players was simple, just like his pregame speech, Vecchione said. But Bennett told his skaters to keep playing their systems.
“He just reiterated what he tried to do at the beginning of the game,” Ciampini said.
“We pushed back and we weren’t sitting back in the second period. We wanted to make a statement.”
Part of “sticking to their systems” meant Union had to keep sending players to the net to distract Demko and search for rebounds and tipped shots.
Ciampini found himself near the net again, this time as Gostisbehere ripped a shot from the point. Ciampini tipped the shot to put Union up 3-2 and give the Dutchmen a permanent lead.
And again, Ciampini finding himself in front of the net was no accident.
“It’s something that we work on in practice all the time,” Vecchione said. “When we do it, good things happen, like the shot from the point. Ciampini was out front taking the eyes and he ended up tipping it in. that was a huge goal for us so that’s definitely something that we stressed.”