UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The nationally-ranked No. 10/11 Utica College men's hockey team tied visiting Hamilton College 4-4 in a non-conference contest at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday night. UC trailed 3-1 in the second period, and stormed back with three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead early in the third period, but the Continentals were able to score the equalizer with 16:04 left in regulation. Both teams were held scoreless for the remainder of the third period, and throughout the five minute overtime, as they tied for the third consecutive time in the series of local rivals.
The two local foes returned from a four year hiatus and squared off on Saturday night for the first time since a 3-3 tie at Hamilton College back on November 30, 2009. Utica is 3-0-3 against the Continentals in their last six meetings and 5-1-4 in their last ten meetings. The two teams have met 14 times since the matchup began in 2002 and the series knotted at 5-5-4 all-time.
The Pioneers are still searching for their first win in over two weeks as their record moved to 10-4-4 overall on the year. Hamilton snapped a two game losing streak and moved its overall record to 4-9-1 on the year.
Utica's Ridge Garbutt (Toronto, Ontario/Brewster Academy (NH)) led the Pioneers with two goals and one assist, while junior All-American Louie Educate (Chicago, IL/Aberdeen (NAHL)) chipped in with two assists of his own. Freshman first line defender Kevin Kirsits netted a goal and added one assist for the Pioneers. Garbutt is now tied for second on the team with 13 points this season.
Kenny Matheson and Truman Landowski each registered one goal and one assist for the Continentals, while Dom Jancaterino added two assists.
After a scoreless first period, the two teams combined to score five goals in the second period to bring the fans to their feet at the Auditorium. Hamilton's Kenny Matheson opened the scoring just 2:11 into the second period when he flipped home his seventh goal of the season past Utica freshman goalie Marcus Zelzer (Green Bay, WI/Kenai River (NAHL)). Conor Lamberti recorded an assist on the first goal of the game.
Just over four minutes later Garbutt came away with a shorthanded breakaway and did not disappoint, putting the brakes on right in front of Hamilton goalie Zach Arnold, beating the Continental net minder on the right side to tie the score at 1-1.
Under three minutes later, at 9:29, Hamilton took the lead back when Brad Smelstor netted a power-play tally, assisted by Jancaterino and Landowski, to put Hamilton on top 2-1.
Hamilton padded it's lead and took a two goal advantage when Landowski and Jancaterino hooked up at the 14:16 marker and beat Zelzer to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
The two goal advantage did not last long, however, as Utica freshman Kevin Kirisits (Buffalo, NY/Brockville (CCHL)) ripped a wrister from the point on the power-play and beat Arnold to cut UC's deficit to 3-2 with less than four minutes to go in the second period.
Things would not slow down in the third period as Utica scored two goals in a span of less than one minute to take its first lead of the contest. Garbutt tipped in his second of the night on a 4-on-3 power-play to tie the score at 3-3 just 42 seconds into the final stanza. 59 seconds later Utica leading scorer Trever Hertz (Jaffray, British Columbia/Quesnel Millionaires (BCHL)) gave Utica its first lead of the night when he used a wraparound to beat Arnold as the Pioneers' earned a 4-3 advantage.
2:04 later Hamilton knotted the score at 4-4 when Pat Curtis scored a power-play goal, his fifth of the season, from Kenny Matheson.
Both goalies played well over the course of the next 21:04 to end the contest in a 4-4 overtime tie. Zelzer made 30 saves as the Pioneers outshot the visitors 37-34 overall. Arnold stopped 33 shots in his first start in a Continental uniform.
The Pioneers return to action when they travel to ECAC Men's West Conference foe Elmira College for a pair of games next Friday and Saturday. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.