UTICA, NY – The Utica College men’s hockey team lost a 4-2 decision against visiting Hobart College in ECAC Men’s West Conference play on Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Pioneers trailed 3-2, and had a power-play opportunity with 1:40 left in the contest, but the Statesmen killed the penalty and scored an insurance empty-netter with 36 seconds left on the clock to earn the two goal victory.
The Pioneers dropped to 10-8-4 overall and 3-7-2 in the ECAC West. Hobart has now won 10 of its last 11 games as their record moved to 16-6 overall. The Statesmen now sit alone atop the ECAC West standings with 18 points and a 9-3 record in conference play.
Freshman classmates Dalton Carter (Toledo, OH/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) and Kollin Schultz (Buffalo, NY/Bay State (USPHL)) each netted a goal for the Pioneers on the evening. Utica returns home for game three of a four game home stand on Friday night when it hosts Elmira College for and ECAC West contest.
Carter opened the scoring on the afternoon just 7:04 into the first period when he rifled a shot from the right point just over the glove of Hobart freshman goalie Frank Oplinger and into the top right corner of the cage. Carter’s fifth goal of the season gave UC an early 1-0 lead and it was assisted by Kevin Kirisits (Buffalo, NY/Brockville (CCHL)) and Anthony McVeigh (Kemptville, Ontario/Carleton Place (CCHL)).
Brad Robbins tied the score up at 1-1 when he netted his third goal of the weekend and seventh of the year at the 3:38 ledger of the second period. Carl Belizario and Tommaso Traversa assisted on the first Statesman goal of the evening.
Bobby Sokol gave the visitors the 2-1 lead just 5:57 later when he scored his fourth goal of the season off assists from Nick Bingaman and Peter Ryan.
Utica’s Kollin Schultz (Buffalo, NY/Bay State (USPHL)) tied the score at 2-2 at the 13:16 mark of the second period when he tallied his first collegiate goal for the Pioneers. It was just the second appearance of the season for Schultz. His goal was assisted by Nick Miglio (San Antonio, TX/Bismarck (NAHL)) and Luc Boby (Chicago, IL/Kalamazoo (NAHL)).
Sean Rudy scored what proved to be the game-winner 1:44 into the third period of play off an assist from Brad McBride. The Pioneers had a chance down the stretch as they pulled Dylan Wells (Nashville, TN/Bonnyville (AJHL)) from the net and held a 6-on-4 advantage, but the Statesmen killed the power-play and just as the penalty was released Jon Neal was able to capitalize on an empty net to hand the visitors the two goal victory.
Utica goalie Dylan Wells (Nashville, TN/Bonnyville (AJHL)) stopped 31 shots between the pipes, while Oplinger made 28 saves for the visitors. Hobart finished the night going 1-for-6 on the power-play.