UTICA, NY — The Utica College men’s hockey team heads to Vermont Saturday to face Castleton State in its final non-conference game of the season … UC downed Castleton 4-2 in its season opener back on November 1st at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
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UC SCORES: The Pioneers currently rank 23rd in the nation in scoring offense averaging 3.43 goals per game … The Pioneer power-play unit ranks 10th in the nation, scoring at 27.4% (17-for-62).
CARDINAL WINTER CLASSIC: UC went 1-0-1 last weekend at the Cardinal Winter Classic hosted by Plattsburgh … Utica opened the weekend with a 3-3 tie against nationally-ranked No. 15 Amherst College … The Pioneers lost the ensuing shoot out 1-0, sending them to Saturday’s consolation game against New England College … Louie Educate (Chicago, IL/Aberdeen (NAHL)) led Utica with two goals and one assist on the weekend, while junior Joel Wetmore (Horseheads, NY/Lindsay (OJHL)) tallied one goal and two assists against Amherst on Friday night … Freshmen classmates Kevin Valenti (Queensbury, NY/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) and Kyle Lajeunesse (South Berwick, ME/New Hampshire (EHL)) each chipped in with one goal and one assist on Saturday.
EDUCATE IN THE CLUTCH: Senior Louie Educate (Chicago, IL/Aberdeen (NAHL)) currently leads the country in game-winning goals with four … Educate leads the team and the conference with eight goals and is third overall in scoring with 16 (eight goals, eight assists) … The senior forward also tops the conference with five power-play scores.
UC’s SET UP MAN: Senior Justin Hogan (Val Therese, Ontario/Brooks Bandits (AJHL)) leads the team and is third in the conference in assists with 11 … Hogan ranks fourth in points with 13, averaging .93 points per contest.
CARTER LEADS THE ROOKIE CLASS: Freshman defensemen Dalton Carter (Toledo, OH/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) currently leads the conference and is 29th in the country in rookie scoring with 11 points, averaging .79 points per game … In the league, Carter ranks second in defensemen scoring and also third in power-play points with nine on two goals and seven assists.
BETWEEN THE PIPES: Junior goalie Dylan Wells (Nashville, TN/Bonnyville (AJHL)) currently ranks second in the conference and 32nd in the nation in goals against average (2.38) … Wells presently maintains a .917 save percentage, ranking him third in the league and 40th in the national statistics report … Freshman goalie Cory Simic (Whitby, Ontario/Smith Falls (CCHL)) was named the ECAC West Rookie of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday after he registered his first collegiate win and shut out … Simic posted 30 saves in the Pioneers’ 4-0 win over New England College on Saturday … Simic and the UC penalty-kill unit held the Pilgrims to a 0-for-7 effort on the power-play and 13 of his 30 saves came in the third period.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS: Castleton is currently 5-9 overall on the season while occupying a 3-5 mark in the ECAC East … The Spartans are coming off a 3-0 victory against Salve Regina on Jan. 3, however they have lost seven of their last nine … In the season opener on Nov. 1st, UC jumped out to 3-0 lead over the first two periods and never looked back as it went on to take a 4-2 opening day win … In three matches dating back to the 2009-10 season the teams share a 1-1-1 record headed into Saturday’s contest.
ECAC WEST STANDINGS: Hobart (8-4), Neumann (7-3-2) and Nazareth (5-5-3) currently share first place in the ECAC Men’s West Conference standings with eight points each … Hobart and Neumann hold a 4-2 mark in the league while Nazareth occupies a 3-1-2 ledger … Elmira (5-4-2) sits in fourth place with a 2-2-2 record and six points followed by Manhattanville (5-5-3) in the fifth spot with three points and a 1-3-1 mark in the league … Utica (6-5-3) rounds out the standings at 0-4-1 with one point and is still in search for its first win in conference play.
CONFERENCE ACTION UP NEXT: Following Saturday’s contest, the Pioneers open up a stretch of 10 straight conference games, five home and five on the road … Utica welcomes Manhattanville to “the Aud” next Saturday, Jan. 17th before hitting the road for four straight … Face-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.