UTICA, NY – Freshman Alex Brissette (Atlanta, GA/Hampton Roads (USPHL)) netted his second third period game-winner in the last four games as the Utica College men’s hockey team skated to a 3-2 victory over ECAC Men’s West Conference rival Elmira College at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday night. With the score tied at 2-2, Brissette netted what proved to be the game-winner at the 7:27 marker of the third period, assisted by freshman Kevin Valenti (Queensbury, NY/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) and senior Louie Educate (Chicago, IL/Aberdeen (NAHL)) to hand the Pioneers the one goal victory. Educate played a part in all three of the Pioneers’ goals and he now has a team-best 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) on the season.
The Pioneers improved to 11-8-4 overall and 4-7-2 in conference play after the victory and they are now tied for fourth place with Elmira in the conference standings headed into Saturday night’s rematch between the two teams at the Aud (7 p.m.). Elmira has now lost four of its last five games and the Soaring Eagles record moved to 10-10-3 overall and 4-7-2 in the ECAC West.
The Pioneers trailed 1-0 after the first period and both teams were held scoreless for the majority of the second period until three goals were scored in a span of 2:35. Utica tied the game at 1-1 when Educate netted his team-best 11th goal of the season with 2:55 left in the second period. Elmira took the lead right back just 20 seconds later when the conference’s leading scorer Jarryd ten Vaanholt scored his 12th goal of the season to put the visitors back on top 2-1. With just 20 seconds to go in the second period the Pioneers evened the score at 2-2 when Dalton Carter (Toledo, OH/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) netted the lone power-play goal of the evening, off assists from Educate and Easton Powers (South Lyon, MI/Port Huron (NAHL)), to send the game into the final 20 minutes tied up at 2-2. Powers is now tied for the team lead with 13 assists this season and he ranks second on the team with 17 total points.
Brissette’s game-winner in the third period came not long after he was released from the penalty box. Educate and Valenti assisted on the goal. In 105 career games Educate has 120 points (62 goals, 58 assists).
Utica outshot the visitors 38-23 on the afternoon and both teams were charged with seven penalties for a total of 14 minutes.
UC goalie Dylan Wells (Nashville, TN/Bonnyville (AJHL)) fended off a 6-on-4 Elmira advantage in the final 1:31 of the contest to earn his ninth victory of the season. Wells finished the night with 21 saves in net for the Pioneers. Elmira goalie Sal Magliocco finished the evening with 35 saves in the loss.
Both contests between Elmira and Utica have been decided by one goal this season, with the Soaring Eagles earning a 4-3 victory on their home ice back on November 14th.