The number two ranked Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey Team (8-2-1 overall, 6-0-0 UCHC) has one more game to play before their end-of-the-semester break for the 2022-23 season. That game will be on Saturday night in Plymouth, Michigan when they square off against the Team USA NTDP Under 18 Team (21-4-0) in an exhibition game. This will be the second “Teddy Bear Toss” game the Pioneers will be a part of over the past week, as after having their own last Saturday night, this game will be the Under 18 Team’s version.
The Under 18 Team is a part of Team USA’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). They are comprised of players from around the country that were selected to be on the team by USA Hockey and have yet to be drafted into the NHL. The Under 18 team is a part of the United States Hockey League (USHL) – a junior league that is similar to the USPHL of which the Utica Jr Comets program is a part. Not only does the Under 18 Team play a full USHL schedule, but they also play an exhibition schedule against Division I and Division III American universities and colleges.
For more information about the USNTDP Under 18 Team, click here: https://www.usahockeyntdp.com/faq.
The Pioneers enter Saturday night’s game riding a nine-game undefeated streak. They last played one week ago at home against the then-seventh-ranked Oswego State Lakers. Utica played perhaps their best game of the season thus far in defeating Oswego 4-0 before a sold-out crowd at the Adirondack Bank Center (for a full recap of the game, click here: Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey Shuts Out Oswego State, Three Observations).
The last time the Pioneers and Under 18 Team met was in 2018, a game that Utica won (the Pioneers played the Team USA Under 17 Team last season, but that is a completely different team). Let’s take a look at how the Utica Pioneers and Team USA Under 18 Team match up against each other.
Utica Pioneers Team Offense
Goals For: 48.
Goals For Per Game: 4.4.
Shots Per Game: 39.1.
Power Play: 12.2% (5 for 41).
Team USA Under 18 Team Offense
Goals For: 127.
Goals Per Game: 5.1.
Shots Per Game: 30.9.
Power Play: 30.6%.
Utica Pioneers Top Five Scorers
1.) Mic Curran: 4 goals + 8 assists = 12 points.
2.) Regen Cavanagh: 4 goals + 7 assists = 11 points.
3.) Connor Fedorek: 0 goals + 11 assists = 11 points.
4.) Lucas Herrmann: 4 goals + 6 assists = 10 points.
5.) Dante Zapata: 4 goals + 5 assists = 9 points.
Remy Paker leads the team in shots with 38. He also leads the Pioneers in goals with 6.
Team USA Under 18 Top Five Scorers
1.) Will Smith: 17 goals + 29 assists = 46 points.
2.) Gabe Perreault: 20 goals + 21 assists = 41 points.
3.) Ryan Leonard: 20 goals + 14 assists = 34 points.
4.) Oliver Moore: 14 goals + 18 assists = 32 points.
5.) Danny Nelson: 11 goals + 11 assists = 22 points.
Gabe Perreault leads the team in shots with 78.
Utica Pioneers Team Defense
Goals Against: 31.
Goals Against Per Game: 2.8.
Shots Allowed: 309.
Shots Allowed Per Game: 28.1.
Penalty Kill: 74.2% (23 for 31).
Team USA Under 18 Team Defense
Goals Against: 74.
Goals Against Per Game: 2.9.
Shots Allowed: 745.
Shots Allowed Per Game: 29.8.
Penalty Kill: 86.6%.
Utica Pioneers Goaltending
Bryan Landsberger has a record of 8-2-1 with a GAA of 2.51, a 0.909 save percentage, and one shutout.
Avery Sturtz has no record and 7 saves in 24:45 of playing time.
Andrew Doran has no record and 2 saves in 8:36 of playing time.
Team USA Under 18 Goaltending
Trey Augustine has a record of 12-0-2 with a GAA of 2.10, a 0.930 save percentage, and no shutouts.
Carsen Musser has a record of 7-2-0 with a GAA of 3.44, a 0.886 save percentage, and no shutouts.
Michael Chambre has a record of 2-0-0 with a GAA of 4.05, a 0.860 save percentage, and no shutouts.
Saturday night’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 pm EST. For more information about Utica Pioneers hockey, visit https://uticapioneers.com. For more information about the USNTDP, visit https://usahockeyntdp.com.