SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Just over 24 hours after Union men’s hockey head coach Rick Bennett was placed on paid administrative leave, the Dutchmen took the ice for their first game without him, and their first game at home since early December.
Assistant coach John Ronan filled in behind the bench for Union, and was the only coach on the bench. Fellow assistant coach TJ Manastersky was out Friday night due to COVID-19.
The Dutchmen jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period, holding on for a 3-1 win. Collin Graf, Josh Kosack, and Ville Immonen all found the back of the net for Union.
Kosack said while the mood of the team was a little different over the past 24 hours, the team stayed focused on the task at hand. “There’s a lot going on,” said Kosack. “We just tried to stay as focused as we could on today’s game, and coach Ronan did a great job kind of centering us.”
Ronan’s been in contact with Bennett, but while he had a job to do professionally, it’s complicated personally. “Rick Bennett’s my boss,” said Ronan. “Rick Bennett’s my co-worker. You know, Rick Bennett’s my friend and he’s in a tough situation right now, and I’m gonna support him to the end.”
Bennett’s on leave following an unspecified allegation against him. Ronan didn’t have a timeline on how long the investigation would be, but said he expects Manastersky to be back behind the bench Saturday.