Sports

Power play? Hockey title puts tiny Union College on the map for more than just academics

  • Accepted students and their parents tour Union College on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Schenectady, N.Y. Tiny Union, enrollment 2,200, defeated Minnesota, enrollment 48,000, Saturday for its first NCAA hockey title. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    Accepted students and their parents tour Union College on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Schenectady, N.Y. Tiny Union, enrollment 2,200, defeated Minnesota, enrollment 48,000, Saturday for its first NCAA hockey title. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)  (The Associated Press)

  • People walk by the Nott Memorial at Union College on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Schenectady, N.Y. Tiny Union, enrollment 2,200, defeated Minnesota, enrollment 48,000, Saturday for its first NCAA hockey title. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    People walk by the Nott Memorial at Union College on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Schenectady, N.Y. Tiny Union, enrollment 2,200, defeated Minnesota, enrollment 48,000, Saturday for its first NCAA hockey title. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)  (The Associated Press)

  • Freshmen Adam Appelbaum of Boston, left, and Liam Glennon of Schenectady, N.Y., pose with the NCAA men's hockey trophy won by Union College, in front of the Nott Memorial at Union on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Schenectady. Tiny Union, enrollment 2,200, defeated Minnesota, enrollment 48,000, Saturday for its first NCAA hockey title. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    Freshmen Adam Appelbaum of Boston, left, and Liam Glennon of Schenectady, N.Y., pose with the NCAA men's hockey trophy won by Union College, in front of the Nott Memorial at Union on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Schenectady. Tiny Union, enrollment 2,200, defeated Minnesota, enrollment 48,000, Saturday for its first NCAA hockey title. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)  (The Associated Press)

Hopes are high at tiny Union College now that they toppled the heavyweights of hockey for the national crown.

Union is a school with 2,200 students and no athletic scholarships. But it became a giant-killer by defeating Boston College in the semifinals before dispatching Minnesota 7-4 Saturday for its first NCAA hockey title.

On a campus that pays more attention to its academic standing than team rankings, there's a feeling that the rafter-shaking win will reverberate in terms of more national attention and interest from prospective students.

Union president Stephen Ainlay says he is particularly proud the players won while maintaining the school's high academic standards. In an era where the term "student athlete" is regularly derided as meaningless, Ainlay says he hopes this team redeems that phrase.