Getting to Know the University of New England Nor’easters

Photo credit: University of New England.

The University of New England Nor’easters will face the Utica Pioneers on Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Men’s Hockey Tournament.

The University of New England Nor’easters (22-3-1 overall, 17-3-1 CCC) is not a team that is familiar with hockey fans in central New York. They are, however, the team the number two ranked in the nation Utica Pioneers must get through to reach the semi-finals of the Division III Men’s College Hockey Tournament that will take place on March 25th in Lake Placid, NY. The Nor’easters themselves are ranked eighth in the country and should provide a stiff test for the Pioneers. It’s been over three years since these two teams have faced each other, which was a 4-2 exhibition game win for the Nor’easters at the Adirondack Bank Center on October 26, 2019 (thank you Aaron Markis for posting the stat line in the Facebook group Utica Hockey Fans), so now would be a good time to re-familiarize ourselves with the Nor’easters.

All rankings and statistics courtesy of https://uscho.com and https://athletics.une.edu.

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At a glance:

  • Campus/rink location: Biddeford, Maine.
  • Team colors: blue, gray, and white.
  • Conference: Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).
  • Coach: Kevin Swallow.

The Nor’easters advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating the fifteenth ranked Plymouth State Panthers (19-5-2 overall, 14-2-2 MASCAC) last Saturday night in a thrilling double-overtime victory by a score of 3-2. The game was played at the Nor’easters home rink, the Harold Alfond Forum. Overall this season, they were 13-2-0 at home, while on the road UNE had a mark of 9-1-1.

Overall, the Nor’easters are ranked tenth in the country on team offense – scoring 107 goals in 25 games for an average of 4.28 goals per game. Individually, they have four players that are averaging at least one point per game. Jake Fuss has eleven goals and twenty-six assists for thirty-seven points, leading the team in both assists and points. He is followed by Austin Morgan with thirty-four points (eleven goals and twenty-three assists), Jared Christy with thirty-three points (sixteen goals and seventeen assists), and Daniel Winslow with twenty-six points (twelve goals and fourteen assists). Christy’s sixteen goals lead the team in goals scored as well.

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

For overall team defense, the University of New England has surrendered 58 goals for an average of 2.32 per game – ranking them twenty-first in the country. Billy Girard IV is the undisputed starter in goal for the Nor’easters. He has compiled a record of 20-3-1 with a GAA of 2.21 and a save percentage of .916 to go with one shutout. Girard ranks twenty-eighth in Division III in GAA, forty-seventh in save percentage, and twenty-second in shutouts. The other goaltenders on the club’s roster are Peter Ciccarelli, Aiden Hosein, and James Corcoran.

The Nor’easters are ranked seventeenth in the nation on the power play, scoring 26 goals on 108 opportunities for a success rate of 24.07%. Fuss leads the team in power-play goals with six, followed by Winslow, Chris Jones, and Aaron Aragon with four each.

On the penalty kill, the Nor’easters are ranked twenty-ninth in all of Division III, having allowed 8 goals in the 114 times they have been shorthanded for a success rate of 92.98%. They have scored three shorthanded goals on the season, getting two from Tyler Seltenreich and one from Austin Morgan.

The game between the Nor’easters and Pioneers is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm EST on Saturday, March 19th at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY.

Here is the interview with John Moncovich, Justin Allen, Brandon Osmundson, and Khristian Acosta of the UCHC champion Utica Pioneers from Episode #67 of Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast.

The Utica College Pioneers are now ranked number two

The Utica College Pioneers mens ice hockey team moves up one spot in the new national poll.

The Utica College Pioneers are now the second ranked team in the nation according the USCHO Division III poll that was released on Monday. The Pioneers were ranked third in the same poll last week.

Utica College swept both of their games on the road this past weekend to improve their record to 5-1 and 4-0 in the UCHC. On Friday night they defeated Chatham in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by a score of 10-1. The following day they traveled to Maryland to take on the Stevenson University Mustangs. Stevenson would put up a much tougher fight than Chatham did, but they also fell to the Pioneers by a score of 5-3.

Utica College Pioneers complete successful weekend

The Utica College Pioneers replaced Norwich at number two in the poll, who fell all the way to number four. Rounding out the top five are number one Geneseo, number three Adrian, and number five Augsburg. Geneseo received seventeen of twenty first place votes, with Utica College being awarded two first place votes, and Adrian got one.

Utica College and Lebanon Valley get set for a face off on Saturday November 6th at the Adirondack Bank Center. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Besides Utica College, the UCHC is also represented in this weeks USCHO poll by the Wilkes Colonels. Wilkes is ranked thirteenth on the strength of an overall record of 6-0-0 to go with a UCHC mark of 3-0-0. Although they are not ranked in the top fifteen, the aforementioned Stevenson did receive fifteen votes to round out the UCHC schools mentioned in the poll.

The Utica College Pioneers next play on Friday night, November 19th, when they travel to Bill Gray’s Iceplex in Rochester, NY to take on Nazareth College. Nazareth enters the game with a 2-4-0 record overall and are currently 1-2-0 in the UCHC. The game starts at 7:00pm.

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