Utica Wins Delta Hotels Thanksgiving Showcase Championship

Friday, November 29, 2019

Plymouth State (4-4-0, 4-1-0 MASCAC) – 1
#12 Utica (5-1-2, 3-1-1 UCHC) – 2

After watching unbeaten #7 Salve Regina (7-0-0, 6-0-0 CCC) come from behind to beat #9 Oswego St. (5-3-0. 4-1-1 SUNYAC) 6-3 during the first game of the Delta Hotels Thanksgiving Showcase at the Adirondack Bank Center, the #12 Utica College Pioneers (5-1-2, 3-1-1 UCHC) knew they had to dig deep to beat Plymouth St. (4-4-0, 4-1-0 MASCAC) in the second game on Friday night. They did to beat the Panthers 2-1.

Gary Heenan’s Pioneers struck first at 7:11 in the first period. Buster Larsson (Syracuse Stars) fed a pass to Regen Cavanagh (Sioux Falls Stampede) whose shot went wide, but was able to regain control and get it to Justin Allen (Rochester Monarchs) whose shot did make it into the back of the net. That was the only score of the first period.

The second period was a defensive battle until Brandon Osmundson (Hampton Road Whalers) got the puck to Nick Yzaguirre (Charlotte Rush) whose shot missed, but Tyler Dill (Charlotte Rush) forced the turnover and got the puck to Rome, NY native, Joey Rutkowski (Smiths Falls Bears), for his first goal of the season. Rutkowski dangled the puck around the right side of Plymouth’s goalie, Andreas Pettersson (Ogden Mustangs) for the game winner.

The third period caused a scare for the Pioneers. Just 41 seconds into the third period, Gianluca Baggetta (North York) was injured during his 14th save of the night and had to leave the game. Sean Dickson (Hampton Roads Whalers) came into replace him. It didn’t take the Panthers long to strike. At 5:00 JR Barone (Philadelphia Flyers) was able to get Jarrett Slear’s (NH Avalanche) and Myles Abbate’s (Proctor Academy) rebounds past Dickson for his first goal of the season.

That was all Plymouth State would get past Dickson (5 saves); despite pulling Pettersson (42 saves) with a minute left and taking a time out at 19:44.

BOX SCORE

Saturday, November 30, 2019

#7 Salve Regina (8-1-0, 6-0-0 CCC) – 1
#12 Utica College (5-1-2, 3-1-1 UCHC) – 5

On Saturday night, Oswego State beat Plymouth State 8-0 in the consolation game. Then it was onto the main event, unbeaten Salve Regina taking on the home team. The Pioneers knew they had to strike first and often to have a chance. They did just that.

At 3:43 in the first period, Cameron Bartowski (Amarillo Bulls) scored his first goal of the season with assists from Vaden McManus (Hampton Roads Whalers) and Brandon Osmundson (Hampton Roads Whalers). Thirty seconds later, Dante Zapata (Austin Bruins) scored. He was assisted by John Moncovich (Hampton Roads Whalers) and Donovan Ott (RPI). The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead into the locker room for the first intermission.

Utica did not let up on their attack in the second. National freshman scoring leader, Osmundson lit the lamp at 2:25 with a redirect from Tyler Dill (Charlotte Rush) and Ott. The Seahawks decided to pull goaltender Louis-Felix St. Jean (Islanders Hockey Club) after that goal. He had 16 saves in his first loss of the season. Three minutes later, Donovan Ott scored on the Seahawks’ replacement goalie, Tony Rehm University of Alaska Fairbanks) with a behind the back, between the legs shot that should make ESPN’s top 10 of the week recap. Osmundson and Jamie Bucell (Philadelphia) were credited with the assists. Salve Regina did get on the board with an unassisted short handed goal by Cayden Kraus (Bonnyville Pontiacs) at 13:05 in the second. However, that was the only Seahawk goal of the game.

Utica learned from watching the Oswego State/Salve Regina game the night before to not give the Seahawks any opportunities in the third. Bucell sniped over the right shoulder of Rehm (26 saves) at 2:44 in the third. Zapata and UC’s captain Jarrod Fitzpatrick (Northern Cyclones) assisted. Pioneer goalie Sean Dickson (22 saves) stood strong to hand Salve Regina its first loss of the season. As of December 1st, there are now only two unbeaten men’s college hockey teams in the nation.

BOX SCORE

All-Tournament Team

John McLean (F) Salve Regina
Brandon Osmundson (F) Utica
Danny Eruzione (F) Salve Regina
Joey Rutkowski (D) Utica
Matthew Dillon (D) Salve Regina
Sean Dickson (G) Utica
Tournament MVP: Donovan Ott (Utica)

Utica College continues UCHC play next weekend when they travel to Chatham and Stevenson.

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