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UC upsets Manhattanville

By WKTV Sports/Utica College

UTICA, N.Y.  - The Utica College men’s hockey team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as the Pioneers defeated nationally-ranked No. 8 Manhattanville College, 5-3, in a key ECAC Men’s West Conference contest in front of 3,207 fans at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Friday night. Five different Pioneers scored two points as Utica defeated the Valiants for the first time in seven meetings dating back to 2007-08.

UC (7-3, 2-2 ECAC West) has now won two straight games against nationally-ranked opponents as it heads to No. 15 Buffalo State Saturday for a non-conference contest at 7 p.m. The Valiants (5-3-1, 1-3 ECAC West) are now winless in their last two games after a tie against national power Williams Sunday.

Both squads combined for 57 penalty minutes as 23 total penalties were called in the hard hitting contest. Six of the eight goals scored came on the power-play as the Pioneers’ closed out their five game home stand with a victory.

Utica jumped out on top, 2-0, over the course of the first 22:12 of play behind goals from junior captain Tim Coffman and freshman forward Chris Santiago. Freshman Trever Hertz assisted on each of the game’s first two goals.

The visitors answered with their first goal of the contest from assistant captain and team-leading scorer Micky Lane, midway through the second period, to cut the UC lead in half. Lane now has ten goals on the year.

However, the Pioneers would not back down, tallying two straight goals, just 2:27 apart to extend their lead to 4-1 with less than five minutes to go in the second period. Freshman Nick Geraci netted a power-play, breakaway goal, while sophomore Evan Chlanda added the eventual game-winner, his fifth of the year, to put UC up by three.

The Valiants did not go down without a fight, netting a goal before the second period closed, to cut the UC lead to a reasonable two goals, 4-2, with one period to go. They made it even more interesting by adding their third power-play goal with 2:19 to go in the game to cut the Utica lead to 4-3. Lem Randall and Brett Skalski were responsible for the visitor’s final two goals.

The Pioneers got great goaltending and added an open netter with 22 seconds to go to seal the victory. Utica freshman goalie Evan Smith had his second straight stellar evening in net, stopping 27-of-30 shots, en route to his fifth victory of the season. Clinton’s Jordan Hobaica was credited with the open netter.

Reigning ECAC Men’s West Goalie of the Year Pierre-Olivier Lemieux made 28 stops in his third loss of the season.

The Pioneers hit the road Saturday to take on their third straight nationally-ranked opponent as they travel to No. 15 Buffalo State to take on the Bengals at 7 p.m.

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