Utica Men and Women Hockey Teams Explode Offensively, Advance to Finals
It was an amazing Saturday for the men and women Utica University hockey programs over the weekend with both advancing to the UCHC championship game.
Both the men and women faced off against rival Manhattanville, starting with the ladies at 3 PM at the newly opened NEXUS Center. Utica jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the first intermission, and would then score three more goals in the third period to cap off a 7-1 victory. Manhattanville scored the only goal of the second period.
The win advances the Utica women to the UCHC championship game this Saturday at the Bill Gray's Iceplex in Rochester. The time of the game has not yet been announced. Top seeded Nazareth defeated Chatham on Saturday afternoon, 6-1.
Meanwhile, the Utica men played the nightcap at the Adirondack Bank Center, and Gary Heenan had to be please with both the offensive and defensive performance of his Pioneers. Utica jumped out to a 6-0 lead by the end of the first period. The Pioneers would score three more goals in second, and two more in the third to cap off an 11-0 victory over a Manhattanville team that played them competitively during the regular season.
Lucas Herman scored a hat trick in the first period of the game, and then achieved the rare "Texas Hat Trick" when he put in his fourth goal of the game in the second period. Six Pioneers players scored in the game, including Buster Larsson and Shane Murphy who Bothe scored two goals a piece in the Utica rout.
Utica also put on a stellar defensive performance, limiting the Valiants to just 16 shots on goal, as compared to a stunning 71 Utica shots against the Manhattanville goalie. Ultimately, Utica scored five power-play goals, and one short-handed goal.
The win places Utica back at the Adirondack Bank Center on Saturday and like the women, they'll face-off against #2 seed Nazareth at a time that has yet to be announced. Nazareth defeated #3 seed Stevenson on Saturday, 4-2.
The Utica men completed wins in all eight of their games in February, scoring a total of 57 goals as compared to their opponents, who scored only eight.