The Utica Pioneers by the Numbers as They Head Into the NCAA’s

The Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey Team won the UCHC Championship on Saturday night and with it secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Here’s a look at the team by the numbers so far this season.

Coach Gary Heenan’s Utica Pioneers have been a force to be reckoned with for the entirety of the 2021-22 season. They rolled through the UCHC, going undefeated en route to their sixth straight regular-season title. They then cruised through the UCHC Conference Championship, winning that title with an impressive 7-4 win over the number eight ranked Wilkes Colonels.

By winning the UCHC Championship, the number two ranked in the nation Pioneers will enter the NCAA Division III Tournament which begins on March 12th. They enter the tournament as the number two seed, and as a result, get a first-round bye. Utica will play their first game of the tournament on March 19th at home against the winner of the University of New England vs Plymouth St. game to be played on the 12th. In the meantime, let’s take a look inside the numbers of the Pioneer’s season to this point. All statistics and rankings are courtesy of http://www.uscho.com or http://www.uticapioneers.com.

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Record

Overall: 25-2-1, UCHC: 17-0-1

Home: 17-2-0

Away: 8-0-1

The twenty-five overall wins are a school record for regular-season wins. They played seven games against nationally-ranked teams, including two against current number one the Adrian Bulldogs, and one against the Geneseo Knights – who were ranked number one when the teams met. In fact, Utica’s only two losses this season came against Adrian and Geneseo.

These impressive records earned coach Heenan the UCHC “Coach of the Year” honor for the 2021-22 season.

Team Offense

Goals scored: 164 in 28 games played for an average of 5.86 per game.

The Utica Pioneers offense is ranked number two in Division III in both goals scored and average goals per game. They trail only the Adrian Bulldogs in total team offense.

Team Defense

Goals allowed: 38 in 28 games played for an average of 1.36 per game.

The Pioneers rank number one in all of Division III in total team defense. A strong defensive unit and goaltending (more on that later) are huge factors in this ranking.

Special Teams: Power Play

Power play goal scored: 49 in 140 opportunities for a success rate of 35%.

Utica has the most power-play goals in Division III and is the number one ranked power play in Division III. With a dominant showing in the top twenty-five list of scorers in Division III, it is no surprise Utica has a dominant power play.

Special Teams: Penalty Kill

Shorthanded goals allowed: 2 in 86 times shorthanded for a success rate of 97.67%.

The Pioneer’s penalty-killing unit ranks as the tenth best in Division III. Regen Cavanagh, Mic Curran, Brett Everson, and Brian Scoville have each scored one shorthanded goal this season.

Scoring: Individual

As previously mentioned, the Utica Pioneers have the number two ranked offense in all of Division III, which is why several Pioneers show up on national individual offense lists as well. Listed below for each category are the top five players on the team with their national rank in parentheses if applicable.

Points

  • Regen Cavanagh, 46 points (tied for 2nd)
  • Buster Larsson, 46 points (tied for 2nd)
  • Dante Zapata, 43 points (tied for 6th)
  • Justin Allen, 40 points (tied for 11th)
  • Brandon Osmundson, 37 points (tied for 17th)

Goals

  • Regen Cavanagh, 20 goals (tied for 5th)
  • John Moncovich, 19 goals (8th)
  • Buster Larsson, 16 goals (tied for 20th)
  • Dante Zapata, 16 goals (tied for 20th)
  • Eric Holland, 13 goals

Assists

  • Justin Allen, 32 assists (tied for 1st)
  • Buster Larsson, 30 assists (3rd)
  • Jayson Dobay, 28 assists (6th)
  • Dante Zapata, 27 assists (tied for 7th)
  • Regen Cavanagh, 26 assists (tied for 9th)
  • Buster Osmundson, 26 assists (tied for 9th)

Power Play Goals

  • Dante Zapata, 8 PP goals (tied for 8th)
  • Buster Larsson, 7 PP goals (tied for 12th)
  • Regan Cavanagh, 6 PP goals (tied for 19th)
  • Jayson Dobay, 5 PP goals (tied for 29th)
  • Cameron Patton, 5 PP goals (tied for 29th)

Shots

  • Buster Larsson, 103 shots
  • John Moncovich, 98 shots
  • Regen Cavanagh, 90 shots
  • Dante Zapata, 83 shots
  • Brandon Osmundson, 82 shots
Goaltender Sean Dickson and defenseman Justin Allen of the Utica Pioneers are ready for action. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Goaltending

The Pioneers trio of goaltenders was simply put, outstanding this season. Senior Sean Dickson made the lion’s share of the starts in the Pioneers crease, but first-year players Bryan Landsberger and Louis-Felix St. Jean had strong showings this season as well. National rankings are in parentheses, to be ranked in the USCHO stat lists, goaltenders must play in 33% of their teams minutes played.

Wins

  • Sean Dickson, 16 wins
  • Bryan Landsberger, 5 wins
  • Louis-Felix St. jean, 4 wins

Shutouts

  • Sean Dickson, 5 shutouts (tied for 2nd)
  • Bryan Landsberger, 2 shutouts
  • Louis-Felix St. Jean, none

GAA

  • Bryan Landsberger, 0.67
  • Sean Dickson, 1.35 (1st)
  • Louis-Felix St. Jean, 1.93

Saves

  • Sean Dickson, 272 saves
  • Bryan Landsberger, 136 saves
  • Louis-Felix St. Jean, 88 saves

Save Percentage

  • Bryan Landsberger, .965%
  • Sean Dickson, .928% (13th)
  • Louis-Felix St. Jean, .898%
On Tuesday night March 8th at 7:30 pm EST, Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast will have a championship theme as John Moncovich, Brandon Osmundson, Mic Curran, Justin Allen, and Sean Dickson from the UCHC Champion Utica Pioneers join the show! We’ll chat about the UCHC Championship, the upcoming NCAA Tournament, home-ice advantage, and much more! Subscribe to Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms! Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast – By the Fans, For the Fans of Mohawk Valley Hockey!

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