ROCHESTER, NY – The Utica College men’s hockey team topped host Nazareth College 4-1 in the ECAC Men’s West Conference opener for both teams on Friday night. The Pioneers improved to 2-0 for the fifth time in the last six seasons and will return to action on Saturday at Nazareth (7 p.m.) as they complete the ECAC West weekend series in Rochester.
UC took a 3-0 lead in the first 31:21 of action and never looked back as it snapped a three game winless streak against the fourth-year Golden Flyers (UC went 0-1-2 against Naz last season). The Pioneers are now 6-2-2 all-time against Nazareth.
Freshman Hayden Dawes (Stony Plain, Alberta/Drayton Valley (AJHL)) led the Pioneers with one goal and one assist, matching his collegiate debut last weekend in the Pioneers home opening win over Castleton.
Sophomore Alex Brissette (Atlanta, GA/Hampton Roads (USPHL)) sparked the Pioneers for the second straight game as he scored the game’s opening goal 16:03 into the contest. Dawes assisted on Brissette’s team-best third goal of the season.
Senior Nick Miglio (San Antonio, TX/Bismarck (NAHL)) gave UC a 2-0 lead just 1:57 later as he netted his first goal of the season and the ninth of his career to give UC a commanding two goal advantage headed into the first intermission. Adam Moody (Newmarket, Ontario/Cowichan Valley (BCHL)) and Vince Stefan (Pittsburgh, PA/Kenai River (NAHL)) each recorded an assist on the Pioneers’ second goal of the game. Stefan now has two assists this season while Moody registered his first career assist.
Senior assistant captain Joel Wetmore (Horseheads, NY/Lindsay (OJHL)) then added his first of the season and the tenth of his career to give UC a 3-0 advantage midway through the second period. Anthony McVeigh (Kemptville, Ontario/Carleton Place (CCHL)) assisted Wetmore on the goal.
Naz added a second period goal of its own, but that was as close as the Golden Flyers would get. UC freshman goalie Michael Fredrick (Lethbridge, Alberta/Brooks Bandits (AJHL)) stood on his head all night as he fended off 31 shots in his second straight start and second straight win. The Pioneers were outshot 32-25 on the afternoon.
Dawes closed out the scoring for the Pioneers midway through the third period as he netted his second goal of the season, assisted by classmate Alex Roberts (Burnaby, British Columbia/Brooks Bandits (AJHL)). It was the first career point of Roberts’ young career.
Nazareth senior goalie Ed Zdolshek made 21 saves in the loss for the Golden Flyers.