Utica Clinches Home Ice For UCHC First Round

Friday February 7, 2020

#4 Utica College (16-2-2, 10-2-1 UCHC) – 3
#15 Elmira College (13-6-1, 9-5-0 UCHC) – 2

It must be hard for #4 Utica College’s (16-2-2, 9-2-1 UCHC) Kasper Kjellkvist (Curry College) to play with a superhero cape under his jersey, but the junior from Sweden scored the game winning goal with 1:34 left to play against #15 Elmira College (13-6-1, 9-5 UCHC) Friday night. The victory keeps the Pioneer’s record a perfect 7-0 against nationally ranked opponents.

The first period was a defensive battle with Utica’s Gianluca Baggetta (North York) and Elmira’s Chris Janzen (Clarkson University) stopping every shot they took at the Murray Athletic Center in Pine Valley, NY. Neither team spent any time in the penalty box, either.

Both teams were able to take advantage of a power play in the second period. Utica’s John Moncovich (Hampton Roads Whalers) fired a wrist shot from a wide open lane at 9:00 to put the Pioneers on the board first. At 18:40, the Soaring Eagles took advantage of their extra man to create quick puck movement in the Pioneer’s zone. A tic-tac-toe of Matthew Cousino (New Jersey Hitmen), Nick Ford (Brookings Blizzard) and Connor Powell (New Hampshire Monarchs) tied the game at one.

Elmira quickly took the lead at :33 in the third period. Powell was successful with a poke check, that Ford was able to pass to Anthony Parrucci (Johnstown Tomahawks) whose one timer sailed over Baggetta’s shoulder. Utica applied pressure in Elmira’s zone with Dante Zapata (Austin Bruins) finding the tape of Brett Everson (Hawkesbury) who pushed it to senior captain Jarrod Fitzpatrick (Northern Cyclones), who got it by Janzen at 3:58. Both teams seemed to be preparing for overtime when Conor Landrigan (Binghamton Jr. Sens) started a quick sequence of events with Donovan Ott (RPI) finding Kjellkvist for the game winner. Elmira pulled Jenzen for the extra attacker with a minute left, but Utica was able to seal the victory. Baggetta earned the victory with 29 saves, while Jenzen got the loss with 22 saves.

The win evened the series with Elmira for the 2019-20 season.

BOX SCORE

Saturday, February 8, 2020

#4 Utica College (17-2-2, 11-2-1 UCHC) – 5
Lebanon Valley (5-14-3, 3-9-3 UCHC) – 0

Twelve is the magic number for Gianluca Baggetta (North York) and his #4 Utica College Pioneers (17-2-2, 11-2-1 UCHC). Baggetta had 12 saves in the Pioneers’ twelveth straight win over the Lebanon Valley Dutchmen (5-14-3, 3-9-3 UCHC) on Saturday afternoon at Hershey Park Arena in Hershey, PA. This current win streak is the best in the Pioneers’ history.

Rebound isn’t a sport term saved for basketball. It was how the Pioneers scored their first period goals. At 7:33, Eric Holland (Brockville Braves) found Daniel Fritz’s (Canisius College) stick. His shot was kick saved by Lebanon Valley’s goalie, and Camillus, NY native, Henry Burns (Nichols College). Buster Larsson (Syracuse Stars) quickly caught the rebound and lifted the puck over Burns’ pad. At 9:53 Fritz passed the puck up to Cameron Bartkowski (Amarillo Bulls) whose rebound was caught by Holland and back handed into the back of the cage to take Utica up by two.

Lebanon, PA native, Donovan Ott (RPI) was able to score, bar down, in front of his hometown crowd at 18:16 in the second period. Former Hampton Roads Whalers Brandon Osmundson and Vaden McManus were credited with the assists.

Bartkowski scored his own goal at 3:23 in the third period with assists from Brendon Schultz (Topeka) and Jarrod Fitzpatrick (Northern Cyclones). Fritz earned his third point of the night on a blue line power play goal at 15:38. Dante Zapata (Austin Bruins) and Conor Landrigan (Binghamton Jr. Sens) passed the puck around the Dutchmen’s zone before getting it on the tape of Fritz. Utica was perfect on the penalty kill. Burns was credited with 32 saves on the afternoon.

The Pioneers’ win moved their record to 1-0-1 with the Dutchmen this season. It also means that the Pioneers will end up in the top four of their conference and will have at least a first round playoff game on home ice.

BOX SCORE

TOP PERFORMERS

Gianluca Baggetta - 41 Saves, 2 Goals Agaist
Daniel Fritz - 1 Goal, 2 Assists
Eric Holland - 1 Goal, 1 Assist

Utica College goes for win “lucky” number 13 on Valentine’s Day at the Adirondack Bank Center against Chatham University. Bring your Valentine. The puck drops at 7pm.

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