Photo credit: Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.
By Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.
The Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey Team (1-1-1 overall, 1-0-1 UCHC) opened up their UCHC schedule on Friday and Saturday at the Adirondack Bank Center against the Arcadia Knights (0-1-1 overall, 0-1-1 UCHC). After Friday night, it appeared the Pioneers would roll through the weekend, but as Saturday afternoon would prove, conference play can prove to be very difficult regardless of the opponent.
In their first home game of the regular season on Friday night, Utica overwhelmed Arcadia by a score of 8-0. Courtney Staniszewski scored the games first goal at the 8:18 mark and the home team never looked back. Six Pioneers had multi-point nights, including Erica Sloan (two goals and two assists), Carly Stefanini (four assists), Georgiana Santullo (two goals and one assist, led the team in shots with seven), Kaci Ryder (one goal and one assist), Molly Pedone (one goal and one assist), and Holly Silva (two assists). Angela Hawthorne made nineteen saves in net for Utica to earn the shutout and her first win of the season. Click on Utica Puts on an Offensive Clinic in Home Opening Shutout Win – Utica University Athletics for more details from this game.
The teams met again on Saturday afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center, and while the shot totals might suggest a high scoring game (forty-one to twenty-five in favor of Utica), the scoreboard said otherwise as two total goals were scored. The Pioneers dominated play in the first period, but it was the Knights that would get the games first goal, when at the 9:03 mark, Berklee Hibbard wound up and let a slap shot fly from the left circle that beat Hawthorne on the blocker side (Hawthorne was making her second start in two days). Arcadia goaltender Jo Coates stopped all seventeen shots she faced.
The Pioneers tied at just under four minutes played into the second period when a loose puck in front of the Arcadia net off of a shot by Holly Silva was put in by Hailey Modlin. Utica would continue to put shots on goal, but Coates made twelve more saves, while Hawthorne stopped all nine shots she faced.
Coates and Hawthorne continued their goaltenders battle in the third period, as Coates kept her team in the game by stopping all nine Pioneers shots for the period, while Hawthorne turned aside all five shots by the Knights. With no goals being scored in the third period, the teams went to a three on three five minute overtime period. Nothing was solved here, as Hawthorne was the busier of the two netminders stopping four shots to the Pioneers one (thanks mainly to a two minute Arcadia power play). Officially, the game was now a tie, but it was followed by a thrilling extended shootout. After eleven rounds with each team having scored twice, Erica Sheaffer beat Coates to win the shootout for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers head back out on the road next Friday and Saturday for two more UCHC games against the King’s College Monarchs. For more information about Utica Pioneers hockey, visit https://uticapioneers.com.