Pioneers Take Down #1 Ranked Cardinals, 4-2

Posted on Feb 14 2016 - 4:39pm by Jeff Pexton
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Courtesy of Utica College Sports Information Dept.


UTICA, NY- The nationally ranked No. 10 Utica College women’s hockey team earned a thrilling 4-2 victory over previously undefeated and nationally ranked No. 1 Plattsburgh State Saturday evening in ECAC West Conference action at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.  Junior Keira Goin (Dobbs Ferry, NY/Hotchkiss School)made a career-high 55 saves in the win.

This marks just the second time in program history that the Pioneers have defeated the Cardinals.  The last time was Nov. 8, 2008, when UC picked up a 2-1 overtime victory. Plattsburgh, the two-time defending national champion, came into the contest with a 33-game winning streak dating back to Feb. 7, 2015.  The Cardinals now fall to 22-1 on the year and 15-1 in the ECAC West Conference.  The Pioneers meanwhile, improve to 16-5-1 overall (12-2-1 ECAC West). The teams return to action Sunday to wrap up the season series.  Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The Cardinals opened the scoring just 1:44 into the game as a shot from Mackenzie Millen gave Goin trouble and Melissa Ames was able to tap in the rebound for her 13th of the year.  Andrea Ziesman also picked up an assist on the play.

Utica was able to even the score at 5:46 of the second period as freshman Kayla Dion (Colchester, VT/Boston Shamrocks ) rifled home a slap shot from the point into the top left corner of the net for her second of the year.  Senior Morgan Reed (Fort Myers, FL/Cushing Academy) and junior Gabrielle Schnepp (Northville, MI/Belle Tire) assisted on the power play tally.

Then, just three minutes later, UC took the lead as a puck deflected off of Reed and into the back of the net for her team-leading 19th of the season.  Reed and freshman Lauren Patterson (Burlington, Ontario/Oakville) came down on a two-on-one. Patterson placed a low shot off the leg of Cardinal goalie Camille Leonard that bounced off of Reed and into the back of the net to give the Pioneers a 2-1 lead.  Schnepp was awarded the second assist on the play.

The Pioneers capped off the second period scoring as Schnepp put in a rebound off the end boards to give UC the two-goal cushion.  Patterson and freshman Danielle Haasbeek (Grand Forks, ND/Balmoral Hall) assisted on Schnepp’s 12th of the season.

Utica ran into penalty trouble in the third period as the Pioneers were assessed seven penalties in the final 20 minutes of action, including three two-man advantages.  Plattsburgh was finally able to convert at 6:34 of the final frame as Jordan Lipson took a cross-ice feed from Erin Brand to bring the Cardinals within one.  Giovanna Senese was also credited with an assist.

Utica again found itself facing a 5-on-3 penalty kill with 1:37 remaining making for an exciting finish.  The Cardinals pulled Leonard for the extra attacker but timely saves by Goin kept the puck out of the net.  A perfectly timed clear out of the defensive zone found Dion who was leaving the box and sent her in all alone with an empty net to seal the victory.

Utica managed to go 1-for-3 against the nation’s top penalty kill unit, and the Pioneers also held Plattsburgh to just one goal on seven power play opportunities.

This marks the first time all year that Plattsburgh has given up more than three goals in a game.  Utica also held the top two scorers in the country without a point. UC now has three 30-point scorers in a season for the first time in 12 years as Schnepp (39), Reed (37), and Patterson (31) have each reached the 30-point mark.