Courtesy of Utica College Sports Information Dept.
UTICA, NY – The nationally-ranked No. 15 Utica College men’s hockey team jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but visiting Buffalo State rallied with three unanswered third period goals to earn a 3-1 non-conference victory at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday night.
Utica snapped a six game unbeaten streak and saw its record move to 8-4-2 overall on the year. Buffalo State has now won two in a row and improved to 6-4-3 overall.
Utica sophomore Max Bartell (Rome, NY/Walpole (EHL)) netted his first goal of the season on his first shift of the season to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead just 1:46 into the contest. Sophomore Kevin Valenti(Queensbury, NY/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) found the streaking Bartell on the tape in front of the net and he tipped his second career goal past Buffalo State goalie Mike DeLaVergne to give the Pioneers the one goal lead. Junior captain Kevin Kirisits (Buffalo, NY/Brockville (CCHL)) was also credited with an assist after starting the break with a nice pass to Valenti.
Both teams were held scoreless for the remainder of the first period and all the way through the second period as the Pioneers held a 1-0 lead headed into the final period of play.
Utica freshman goalie Michael Fredrick (Lethbridge, Alberta/Brooks Bandits (AJHL)) snapped a 143:48 shutout streak when Buffalo State tied the game up at 1-1 1:48 into the third period of play. Buffalo’s Ryan Salkeld pushed home a rebound after Anthony Beaumont put a shot on net and the puck snuck behind Fredrick. Todd Graham was also credited with an assist on the game tying goal.
Buffalo State then added the game-winner with 9:47 on the clock when Mac Wood punched home the rebound goal after a scrum in front of the net that eventually pushed the net off its pegs. The officials deliberated and determined that Wood’s third goal of the year crossed the goal line before the net was off to give the Benglas the 2-1 lead. Wood’s goal was assisted by Jonathan Hall and Zach Nieminen.
The Bengals then added an empty netter with 31 seconds left to earn the two goal victory. Anthony Beaumont flipped the puck out of the Bengal zone and it slid into the back of the net to secure the visitor’s sixth win of the season.
Three third period penalties on Utica hindered the Pioneers chances of a comeback.
Fredrick finished the night with 28 saves in net for UC, while DeLaVergne added 27 saves for the Bengals.
Utica was held to an 0-for-6 effort on the power-play as the Bengals earned a 31-28 shot advantage. UC’s penalty kill unit remained strong as it held Buffalo State to an 0-for-4 effort in man-up opportunities.
The Pioneers capped a four game home stand and will now travel to Oswego on Friday night for a rematch of yesterday’s scoreless tie at the Aud. The contest is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. They remain on the road Saturday when they travel to Potsdam to take on the Bears at 7 p.m.