Pioneers Extend Winning Streak To Nine

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Neumann (5-12-0, 4-6-0 UCHC) – 2
Utica College (13-2-2, 7-2-1 UCHC) – 5

The #5 Utica College Pioneers (13-2-2, 7-2-1 (UCHC) haven’t played at home since the December 14th Teddy Bear Toss game. After a perfect five game road win streak, they treated the hometown crowd at the Adirondack Bank Center to a 5-2 victory over long time UCHC rival Neumann University (5-12, 4-6 UCHC). The victory extends the Pioneers’ win streak to eight.

The Pioneers came out to play. Brett Everson (Hawkesbury) took advantage of the delayed penalty confusion to fire it past the Knights’ goalie, Kyle Pantelone (New York Apple Core) at 4:27 in the first period. Captain Jarrod Fitzpatrick (Northern Cyclones) and Daniel Fritz (Canisius College) were credited with the assists.

Utica took advantage of a power play early in the second period. Conor Landrigan (Binghamton Jr. Sens) found Fritz, who got the biscuit to Dante Zapata’s (Austin Bruins) tape, who lit the lamp at 7:29. Those two assists for Fritz moved him up to second on Utica College’s list for defensive point scorers. He now has 65 career points. After killing a 5 on 3 penalty, the Pioneers were able to take advantage of John Moncovich (Hampton Roads Whalers) coming out of the penalty box. Moncovich was able to receive the puck from Jacob Cuffley (Smith Falls Bears), who passed it to a wide open Donovan Ott (RPI) for the one timer at 14:48. The shot was so strong that he fell over and decided to do a snow angel celly.

Neumann mounted a comeback in the third period. At 2:35, Austin Boyle (El Paso Rhinos) and Richie Brusco (Philadelphia Flyers Elite) peppered Utica’s goalie, Gianluca Baggetta (North York) with three consecutive shots until Mario Tropea (P.A.L. Islanders) controlled the fourth rebound past Baggetta. Utica answered back at 5:05 when Brendan Schultz (Topeka) got it to Buster Larsson (Syracuse Stars) who quickly skated it in the zone for a shot on Pantelone. Eric Holland (Brockville Braves) got Larsson’s rebound through Pantelone’s five hole. The Knights scored again at 8:03 when Danny Cangelosi (New England Wolves) found Baggetta’s five hole. Two former Florida Eels, Clay Boyd and Zac Boyle, were credited with the assists. That was all Neumann could get by Baggetta who had 23 saves for the night. The Pioneers sealed the victory at 13:43 when Brandon Osmundson found Kasper Kjellkvist (Curry College). Kjellkvist gave the zone entry pass to Landrigan, who shot the puck past Pantelone (34 saves).

The Pioneers have swept the conference series with Neumann and now have the third winningest percentage in DIII.

BOX SCORE

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Manhattanville (7-10-1, 4-7-0 UCHC) – 3
Utica College (14-2-2, 8-2-2 UCHC) – 5

Very few #5 Utica College fans will ever forget Manhattanville College’s last second goal that defeated the Pioneers in last year’s UCHC mini-game for the championship. It seems that the players themselves will never forget. Utica extended their win streak to nine with a 5-3 victory over the Valiants.

The first goal of the night belonged to Justin Allen (Rochester Monarchs). Utica’s goalie, Gianluca Baggetta (North York) earned an assist when he stretch passed the puck to Allen, who toe dragged around a defender and got the Knights’ goalie, Alexei Masanko (Don Bosco Prep) to commit to one side. Allen was then able to drag it to the other side and in behind Masanko at 9:03. Utica doubled its lead when two former Hampton Roads Whalers, John Moncovich and Brandon Osmundson assisted Conor Landrigan (Binghamton Jr. Sens) with his goal at 13:39.

The Pioneers didn’t waste any time getting the crowd fired up just 35 seconds into the second period. Donovan Ott (RPI) found the back of the net with a nice assist from Kasper Kjellkvist (Curry College). The Valiants’ coaching staff decided that Masanko had taken enough shots (20 saves) and replaced him with Mac Vail (Baccalaureate School for Global Education). It was the spark that Manhattanville needed. They scored twice in the second. The first was on a power play. Former Syracuse Star, Niko Happo found Nick Prestia (Salisbury School) entering the zone. Noah Bradley (Manheim Township) was able to control the rebound past an out of position Baggetta at 6:34. Happo again assisted with the Valiants’ second goal. Connor Boyce earned his first collegiate goal at 11:19. As he did with the series against Adrian, Kjellkvist lit the lamp when his team needed it the most. He was able to use Vail’s 6’6″ height against him and fire it when he was off balanced. Daniel Fritz (Canisius College) and Ott were credited with the assists. The 19:46 goal was enough to breathe life back into the Utica bench.

It was Kjellkvist again at 1:22 in the third period who fired a rocket over Vail’s shoulder to put his team up by two. Regen Cavanagh (Sioux Falls Stampede) and Vaden McManus (Hampton Roads Whalers) assisted. The Valiants didn’t give up and were able to charge the net. Conner Hunt (iSchool High) was able to create confusion in front of Baggetta (11 saves), so Boyce could score his second career goal at 7:28. Vail ended his night with 21 saves.

BOX SCORE

TOP PERFORMERS

Kasper Kjellkvist - 2 Goals, 2 Assists
Conor Landigan - 2 Goals, 1 Assist
Donovan Ott - 2 Goals, 1 Assist

This weekend’s wins have Utica only one point out of first place in the conference (behind Wilkes and Stevenson). The Pioneers hit the road to take on Nazareth for a conference game on Friday night at 7pm.

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