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Pioneers fall to Neumann in OT

By WKTV Sports/Utica College

UTICA, N.Y. -- The fifth-seeded Neumann University men's hockey team rallied from a 3-1 second period deficit to earn a 4-3 overtime victory over host and fourth-seeded  Utica College in the quarterfinals of the ECAC Men's West Conference Tournament on Wednesday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.  Neumann's Brent Tamane pushed home the game-winner 2:46 into the overtime period to seal the Knights come from behind victory. Sophomore forward Lou Malvasi, who entered the contest with just three games played all season, netted one goal and added one assist, but it was not enough as the Pioneers record fell to 15-9-2 overall.

Neumann (14-7-3) stretched its unbeaten streak against Utica to eight games and they will now travel to top-seeded and nationally-ranked No. 9 Elmira College for the semifinals of the conference tournament on Saturday at 7 p.m.  The Knights, who were led by a goal and an assist each from Tamane and senior forward Marlon Gardner, have now knocked the Pioneers out of the conference tournament in five of the last six seasons.   Second-seeded Manhattanville will host Hobart in the other ECAC West semi-final contest at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The Knights battled back from their 3-1 hole by tallying two goals in the first 12:07 of the third period to send the contest to overtime.  Andrew Love tipped in Neumann's second goal of the night less than three minutes into the third period.   Senior forward Marlon Gardner caused a turnover at center ice and skated into the Pioneer zone before ripping home his 10th goal of the year at the 12:07 mark to tie the game up at 3-3.

UC outscored the visitors 2-0 in the second period to take the momentum, and a commanding 3-1 lead, into the third and final period.  Hobaica knocked in a loose puck on a controversial call 8:36 into the second period before Malvasi ripped home his first goal of the season at the 15:10 mark of the second to put UC on top by two goals. Junior Eric Peterson and classmate Robert Etts were each credited with an assist in the Pioneers' second period surge.

The two evenly match squads skated two a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes of action.  The Knights took advantage of a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity when they converted on the game's first goal at the 7:19 mark of the first period.  William Lacasse and Marlon Gardner got UC goalie Nick Therrien out of position after a crossing pass, before Jordan Zalba finally finished the one-timer on the far side to put Neumann up 1-0.  Less than four minutes later UC's Evan Chlanda tipped Max White's shot on net out of the air and past Neumann goalie Ross MacKinnon to knot the score at 1-1 midway through the period.  Senior captain Tim Coffman was also credited with an assist on the game-tying goal.  Coffman, who is the program's all-time leading scorer, closed out his illustrious four year career with one assist on the evening.

MacKinnon stopped 30 shots in net for the Knights as the Pioneers outshot the visitors 33-22 on the afternoon.  Sophomore goalie Nick Therrien made 18 saves in between the pipes for Utica.

 

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