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#14 Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey returns to the UCHC Final

Credit: Evan Martyinuk/CNY Hockey Report

The #14 Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey Team defeated Manhattanville on Saturday night to set up a UCHC Final rematch with Nazareth.

The Pioneers entered the 2024 UCHC Tournament determined to prove they are the best to conference has to offer. To do so, they would need to win the tournament and advance to the NCAA’s. On Saturday night, they took a big step toward realizing that goal by defeating the Manhattanville Valiants 5-1 to advance to the UCHC championship game.

Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey downs Chatham and advances

Utica got goals from Cortney Staniszewski, Erica Sloan, Tess Barrett, Abby Lillis, and Carolyn Whitney. Angela Hawthorne made 14 saves to pick up her 20th victory of the season.

Gabrielle Cox scored Manhattanville’s only goal. Franny Gerardi made 25 saves in net for the Valiants.

With Saturday night’s victory, the Pioneers have won eight consecutive games. They will travel to Rochester on Saturday March 2 to face the Nazareth Golden Flyers for the UCHC Championship. The winner of the game gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while the loser runs a serious risk of being left out. Next Saturdays game starts at 3:00 pm.

For more information about the Utica Pioneers, visit

All photo credits below belong to Evan Martyinuk and CNY Hockey Report.

Abby Lillis (#3) celebrates during Saturday night’s game.
Utica’s Madison Novotny (#17) looks to make a play.
Carly Stefanini (#81) of the Utica Pioneers.
Madison Novotny looks for an open teammate.
Utica’s Cortney Staniszewski (#12) pursues the puck with a pair of Manhattanville Valiants during Saturday night’s game.
Carolyn Whitney (#16) of the Pioneers battles Manhattanville’s Taylor Willoughby (#6) during Saturday night’s game at the Utica University Nexus Center.
The linesman waits to drop the puck for a faceoff.
Utica’s Autumn Mish (#25), Manhattanville’s Gabrielle Cox (#4) and Grace Genest (#28).
Kelsey Elliott (#20) skates into the Manhattanville zone.
Utica’s Abby Lillis and Manhattanville’s Erin Flaherty (#20).
A puck battle during Saturday night’s UCHC semifinal game between the Utica Pioneers and Manhattanville Valiants.
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