ELMIRA, NY – The Elmira College men’s hockey team jumped out to a 4-1 first period lead and went on to defeat visiting Utica College 5-2 in the ECAC Men’s West Conference Tournament Quarterfinals on Wednesday night at the Murray Athletic Center Ice Arena.
Utica closed out its 2014-15 season with an 11-10-5 overall record. Elmira (12-11-3) advances to the ECAC West Tournament Semifinals where it will take on top-seeded Hobart College on Saturday.
Utica senior forward Louie Educate (Chicago, IL/Aberdeen (NAHL)) wrapped up his storied career in the blue and orange with one goal and one assist to pace the Pioneers. Educate tied the game up at 1-1 just 5:50 into the first period off an assist from sophomore Trent Samuels-Thomas (West Hartford, CT/Omaha (USHL)). Educate capped his collegiate career with 122 career points (63 goals, 59 assists) in 108 games played. He also led the team this season with 12 goals and 14 assists.
Elmira went onto score three devastating goals in a span of 2:05 later in the first period. The Soaring Eagles took a 4-1 lead at the 14:36 mark of the first period after scoring their second straight short-handed goal in a span of just 48 seconds.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second period and the Pioneers skated into the third trailing by three goals.
UC senior Peter LaFosse (Merrimack, NH/Kimball Union Academy) made it a 4-2 game with 3:10 left in regulation when he scored a power-play goal, his eighth of the season, to cut the Pioneer deficit to two goals. Educate assisted on LaFosse’s final collegiate goal.
Elmira’s Andrew Ciampichini added an empty-netter with 24 seconds left to seal the victory for the Soaring Eagles.
Utica senior goalie Mike Taffe (Moose Lake, MN/Amarillo (NAHL)) stopped 31 shots in his final collegiate game. Elmira goalie Sal Magliocco made 32 saves in net as he improved his record to 7-4-2 on the year.
Both of Utica’s goals were scored on the power-play as they finished the night 2-for-9 with a man-advantage. Elmira earned a 36-34 shot advantage and also racked up 13 penalties for 37 minutes.
Carter Shinkaruk led Elmira with three points on the evening (one goal, two assists).