Mohawk Valley College Hockey Recap for the Weekend Ending Feb. 27th

Regular seasons have ended for college hockey teams in the Mohawk Valley and tournament play has begun!

College hockey conference tournaments are in full swing for the Men’s and Women’s programs in the Mohawk Valley. Utica University, Hamilton College, and Colgate University all qualified for postseason play, while the Morrisville Mustangs Men’s and Women’s Teams seasons have ended.

Men’s

Utica University

The number two ranked in the nation, and number one seed in the UCHC Pioneers are preparing to play in the Championship Game of the UCHC Tournament after defeating Lebanon Valley (6-17-1 overall, 5-12-1 UCHC) and Manhattanville (10-13-3 overall, 6-9-3 UCHC). They will play the number eight team in the country and number two seed in the UCHC Wilkes University (20-4-1 overall, 15-2-1 UCHC). The game will be on Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center with a start time of 7:00 pm EST. Click here Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey Advances to UCHC Championship for more on the Pioneers run through the UCHC Tournament.

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Hamilton College

The fifth-seeded Hamilton College Continentals (11-9-1 overall, 9-8-1 NESCAC) won their NESCAC Championship quarterfinal game against the fourth-seeded Wesleyan Cardinals (10-12-3 overall, 8-7-3 NESCAC) in Middletown, Connecticut on Sunday by a score of 3-2. Sean Thomson’s second-period goal proved to be the game-winner for the Continentals, who also got goals from Nick Rutigliano and Cade Gorton with Matt Gellerman chipping in two assists to lead all Hamilton scorers in points. Sean Storr made twenty-six saves, including eleven in the third period to pick up the win.

Hamilton will face a stiff challenge on Saturday when they travel to Waterville, Maine to face the fourteenth ranked college hockey team in Division III and number one NESCAC Championship seed Colby Mules (16-5-2 overall, 12-4-2 NESCAC). The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm EST.

Colgate

The Colgate Raiders (14-16-4 overall, 9-9-4 ECAC) finished out their regular season over the weekend by splitting a pair of games on the road. On Friday night they defeated the Princeton Tigers (8-19-2 overall, 7-14-1 ECAC) in the Garden State of New Jersey by a score of 4-3. The teams were tied at two after two periods, with the Raiders getting goals from Arnaud Vachon and Griffin Lunn. Princeton took an early lead in the third period on a goal by Spencer Kersten, but Colgate stormed back – getting goals from Tommy Bergsland and the eventual game-winner from Josh McKechney. Bergsland (one goal and one assist), Alex Young (two assists), and Ethan Manderville (two assists) led the team in points. Mitch Benson made thirty-five saves in goal to pick up his sixth win of the season.

Saturday night would not be as kind to the Raiders, as they were shut out by the sixth-ranked in Division I college hockey Quinnipiac Bobcats (28-5-3 overall, 17-4-1 ECAC) by a score of 4-0 in their final game of the regular season. Mitch Benson made twenty-two saves in the losing effort, he ends the regular season with a record of 6-5-3.

The Raiders enter the ECAC Tournament as the fifth seed and begin a best of three series on Friday night against the twelve seed Yale Bulldogs (8-19-1 overall, 7-14-1 ECAC). The other games are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) and all three games will be played at the Class of 1965 Arena in Hamilton, NY.

The crew of Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast discusses the Utica University Pioneers Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams from Episode #65.

Women’s

Utica University

After a dominating 4-0 victory over the Alvernia University Golden Wolves (11-14-1 overall, 9-10-1 UCHC) on Tuesday in the quarterfinal of the UCHC Tournament, the Pioneers suffered a devastating 3-2 overtime loss at home in the semifinal against the Manhattanville College Valiants (17-8-1 overall, 15-5-0 UCHC). Utica got goals from Georgiana Santullo (which was her fifty-fifth point of the season setting a new school record for points in a season) and Rebecca Brown. With the loss, Utica is eliminated from the UCHC Tournament and their season comes to a close with a final record of 21-6-0 overall and 17-3-0 in the UCHC. Their overall record is the best season in team history.

Rebecca Brown scores the Utica Pioneers second goal of the game against the Manhattanville Valiants during their UCHC Championship semifinal game on Saturday at the Adirondack Bank Center. Video credit: Scott Kinville.

Hamilton College

The Hamilton College Continentals (12-9-0 overall, 8-8-0 NESCAC) started their journey into the NESCAC Championship Tournament on the right foot, defeating the Williams Ephs (12-10-0 overall, 7-8-0 NESCAC) 1-0 in a thrilling game at Sage Rink on Saturday. Claire McGennis’s first-period goal was all the Continentals needed, as Sidney Molnar made twenty-one saves to pick up the shutout and victory. Hamilton College now moves on to the semifinal, where they will face the undefeated and number one ranked in the country Middlebury Panthers (22-0-0 overall, 13-0-0 NESCAC) on Saturday. The game will be at Middlebury and is scheduled to start at 1:00 pm EST.

Colgate

The fifth-ranked nationally (per uscho.com) and the third seed in the ECAC Championship Colgate Raiders (28-7-1 overall, 16-5-1 ECAC) defeated their quarterfinal opponent, the sixth seed Cornell Big Red (14-14-2 overall, 12-8-2 ECAC) two games to none to win their best of three quarterfinal series. Both games, which were played at the Class of 1965 Arena in Hamilton, NY, were very close with each being decided by just one goal. Colgate won Friday night’s contest 1-0 on Dara Greig’s overtime goal, with Hannah Murphy making twenty-seven saves to earn the shutout and win.

The following night, the Raiders fell behind by two in the second period but came roaring back to win the game 3-2 on Kalty Kaltounkova’s third-period goal. Kaltounkova and Allyson Simpson each had one goal and one assist, while Danielle Serdachny and Friday night’s hero, Dara Greig both chipped in two assists. Murphy made sixteen saves to pick up her second win of the weekend.

The rest of the ECAC Championship Tournament will be played in New Haven, Connecticut. Colgate will begin their best of three semifinal series against the fourth-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats (25-8-3 overall, 15-7-0 ECAC) on Friday, March 4th. The teams split their two-game regular-season series, with each team winning on the other home ice.

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