Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Netminder Darion Hanson leads Union College to Friendship Four glory

Boston University Terriers 1-2 Union College Dutchmen

By Adam McKendry

Union College are the 2018 Friendship Four champions as netminder Darion Hanson produced a stunning rearguard performance to help them to a 2-1 win over Boston University at the SSE Arena.

Hanson pulled off several outrageous stops late in the game to deny the relentless Terriers, leading them to the victory which saw them lift the Belpot Trophy at the end of the game.

It was all BU to start the game as the Terriers burst out of the blocks, and Patrick Harper nearly had them ahead in the opening couple of minutes when he drove the net and hit the post on the backhand.

But completely against the run of play, Union found the opening goal when a good recycle in the offensive zone saw winger Anthony Rinaldi fire into the slot where Brett Supinski diverted it past BU netminder Jake Oettinger at 11:31.

That strike saw Union take control of the game, with Supinski narrowly missing out on doubling his, and his team's, tally for the night when his wrister from the top of the right circle rang the iron.

Just when it looked like the Dutchmen would lead at the interval, the Terriers struck back, Patrick Curry taking two whacks at Union goaltender Darion Hanson before Ty Amonte slid home the rebound at 19:21.

But Union came out faster in the middle period and they were rewarded for it when they retook the lead at 23:25, a beautiful drop pass from Sam Morton allowing Parker Foo to skate in on Oettinger and rip his shot past the netminder.

Indeed, but for the first-round draft pick between the pipes, it could have been a lot worse for BU as Oettinger bailed them out twice, saving five-hole on a Brendan Taylor redirect before denying Foo a second when he went forehand-backhand at the crease.

At the other end, Matthew Quercia should have done a lot better when he stick handled his way on Hanson only to fire wide, while only a last ditch intervention denied Curry a tap in at the doorstep.

Rinaldi had a chance to double the Dutchmen's lead just before the second intermission when he whiffed on a shot out in front, while just after the intermission he had another chance that Oettinger pad saved.

From there, BU took over and began to pile on relentless pressure to the Union net, and after Harper flipped the puck over the net from close range, Hanson took over as the stand-out player to close out the game.

The young goaltender made a simply unbelievable kick save when seemingly unsighted to deny Bobo Carpenter on the backhand, and he then somehow kept out a redirect from Shane Bowers right at the doorstep.

And with the final buzzer, that sparked joyous celebrations from the Dutchmen, who mobbed their outstanding netminder, leaving captain Cole Maier to ring the Belpot Trophy in celebration.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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