Utica Pioneers Dominate Their Playoff Games on Tuesday

The Utica Pioneers Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams win their opening UCHC tournament games in a big on Tuesday at the Adirondack Bank Center.

The Utica Pioneers Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams got their UCHC conference tournaments off to a blistering start on Tuesday, as both teams won their opening games in convincing fashion. In the afternoon contest at the Adirondack Bank Center, the Utica Women’s team shut out the Alvernia University Golden Wolves by a score of 4-1. In the nightcap, the Utica Men’s team bludgeoned the Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchmen 11-1 in their UCHC quarterfinal game.

“The Voice of the Comets” Jason Shaya will join Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast on Wednesday, February 23rd at 7:30 pm EST to talk some Utica Comets hockey! Catch the show on Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast YouTube Channel and Facebook page as well.

The Utica Pioneers Women’s Team (21-5 overall, 17-3 UCHC) ended the Alvernia’s (11-14-1 overall, 9-10-1-2 UCHC) season and advanced their own season with a commanding 4-0 win. After a scoreless first period, Utica turned it on in the second period and the Golden Wolves were never able to recover. The Pioneers struck just thirty seconds into the second when Georgiana Santullo opened the scoring with a power-play goal. Additional goals by Rebecca Brown and Maggie Rylott put Utica in firm control of the game with a 3-0 lead heading into the second intermission.

Mohawk Valley College Hockey Recap for the Weekend Ending Feb. 20th

The Pioneers salted the game away with just over three minutes remaining when Carly Stefanini scored a power-play goal to make the score 4-0. Angela Hawthorne stopped all eleven shots she faced to earn the shutout victory and help catapult Utica into the second round of the UCHC Tournament. The Pioneers will host a semifinal game on Saturday afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center against an opponent to be determined after the rest of the UCHC quarterfinals games that will be played on Wednesday.


On Tuesday night the number two ranked in the nation Utica Pioneers Men’s Team (23-2-1 overall, 17-0-1-1 UCHC) steamrolled the Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchmen (6-17-1 overall, 5-12-1-1 UCHC) by a score of 11-1, effectively ending Lebanon Valley’s season. The Pioneers scored early and often, opening the scoring at just one minute and forty-one seconds into the first period on a goal by defenseman Jayson Dobay. After Cameron Patton scored his first of two goals on the night on Utica’s first power play of the game, the Pioneers went on a five-minute power play after an ill-advised headbutting major taken by Lebanon Valley’s Brad Viola. Two more Pioneers goals by Jamie Burcell and Cameron Patton gave the home team an early 4-0 lead. The Dutchmen were able to get on the scoreboard with a little over one minute remaining in the first when they got a power-play goal of their own from Justin Hall to make the score 4-1 going into the first intermission.

Pioneers defensemen Justin Allen fires a shot on goal as coach Gary Heenan and his team look on against Lebanon Valley on Tuesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Pioneers blew the game open in the second period by scoring seven unanswered goals. Captain Dante Zapata notched two of those goals, with Brett Everson, Eric Holland, John Moncovich, Regen Cavanagh, and Remy Parker getting the others. The Cavanagh and first Zapata goal were scored on the power play to help make the Pioneers an impressive five for seven with the man advantage on the night.

Speaking of impressive, Jayson Dobay led all Utica scorers with six points (one goal and five assists), and Dante Zapata had five points (two goals and three assists). Senior defenseman Justin Allen had two assists bringing his career points total to eighty-four, which is now the most points scored by any defenseman in Utica Pioneers history.

After facing only ten shots through the first two periods, Utica starting goaltender Sean Dickson gave way to Louis-Felix St. Jean in the Pioneers net for the third period. St. Jean made seven saves and allowed no goals to close out an 11-1 victory for Utica as they advance to the semifinal of the UCHC Tournament. They will host an opponent to be determined on Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center.

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