UTICA, N.Y. – The fourth seeded Utica College women’s hockey team dominated the second period of play, outscoring visiting Neumann University 3-0 in the 20 minute span, on its way to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Knights in the quarterfinal game of the ECAC Women’s West Conference Tournament Monday night. Senior goalie Jill Doherty was a rock in net for the Pioneers all night and stopped 35 shots in her program-best 35th career victory.
The Pioneers (13-11-2) will now travel to top seeded and host Plattsburgh State for semi-final action on Saturday. With a win on Monday night Utica avenged a 6-1 loss at the hands of Neumann in the quarterfinal contest of last year’s conference tournament.
Neumann jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period of play after Diane Peters netted a power-play goal to give the Knights an early one goal lead.
The Pioneers outburst in the second period set the tone for the rest of the contest as they exploded for three unanswered goals. Junior captain Lynny Gonzales tallied her team-best 16th goal of the season to knot the score at 1-1 just 1:31 into the second stanza.
Junior forward Meagan Sudik continued the scoring for Utica with her tenth goal of the season just over eight minutes later to give the Pioneers a 2-1 lead. Freshman defender Nicole Joslyn added her second assist of the night, while junior forward Samantha Glockling was also credited with an assist on the games’ third goal.
Utica earned a two goal advantage on a power play opportunity in the 18th minute of the second period. Glockling’s slap shot on goal from 20 feet out squeaked by Neumann freshman net minder Shannon Donnelly to put the Pioneers up 3-1 with less than two minutes to go in the period.
UC commanded the third period of play as well and netted an insurance goal, from the stick of Darcy Hier, to seal the 4-1 victory.
Donnelly made 25 stops in net for the Knights, who out shot the Pioneers 36-29 on the evening.