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#2 Utica Pioneers set to take on the #1 Hobart Statesmen

The NCAA Division III Men’s Tournament semifinals kick off on Thursday at the Koeppel Community Center in Hartford, Connecticut when the #2 Utica Pioneers (24-2-3 overall) face the defending national champion #1 Hobart Statesmen (24-2-3 overall). The winner will advance to the championship game on Saturday to take on the winner of the #3 Trinity Bantams versus the #4 Adrian Bulldogs.

The former ECAC West rivals have not played since 2016-17, the last season they were in the same conference.

2023-24 has been a season of pleasant surprises for the Pioneers. With 13 first-year players and two transfers, many expected this season to be a rebuilding campaign for the perennial powerhouse – including their head coach Gary Heenan.

“We were completely gutted,” Heenan said of his roster this season. “There’s no way anybody in this league thought we would do this. We graduated everybody. 18 guys off that last game last year (the 2022-23 NCAA quarterfinals loss to New England) are no longer here. I am so proud of this young group, they came a long way, they bought in.”

Heenan may have a young team this season, but he still has veteran leadership as well. In particular, the team captain Brian Scoville has been a huge influence in bringing such a young team to this level of success.

#2 Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey advances to the Frozen Four

“I think Scoville deserves a ton of credit,” the Pioneers bench boss said in regards to his team’s leadership. “He was the veteran guy who led our team in scoring as a D (defenseman). He didn’t play powerplay his entire career until this year, and he’s leading us in powerplay points, his plus-minus is on the moon, and he’s the one in the locker room. He deserves all the credit for putting a young team on his back.”

“I’m just really, really, proud of him. He’s a quiet guy that leads by example, he’s not a rah rah guy and boy did he lead us this year for sure.”

Utica Pioneers head coach Gary Heenan on team captain Brian Scoville’s leadership this season.

Heenan isn’t the only one who has taken notice of Scoville’s efforts this season. The senior defenseman was named the UCHC Player of the Year, the UCHC Defensive Player of the Year, and AHCA East First Team All-American.

Here’s a statistical breakdown of the NCAA Tournament Semifinals matchup between the Utica Pioneers and Hobart Statesmen. Thursday’s game starts at 3:00 pm EDT and can be heard on WPNR 90.7, and can be streamed at https://uticapioneers.com.

Team Records

Utica Pioneers

  • Overall: 24-2-3.
  • UCHC record: 19-0-1.
  • National ranking: #2.
  • Goal differential: +94.
  • Head coach: Gary Heenan.

Hobart Statesmen

  • Overall: 26-2-1.
  • NEHC record: 16-1-1.
  • National ranking: #1.
  • Goal differential: +127.
  • Head coach: Mark Taylor.

Team Offense

Utica Pioneers

  • Goals: 136.
  • Goals Per Game: 4.7.
  • Shots: 1,273.
  • Shots Per Game: 43.9.
  • Power Play: 20.5% (24 for 117).

Hobart Statesmen

  • Goals: 156.
  • Goals Per Game: 5.4.
  • Shots: 1,387.
  • Shots Per Game: 47.8.
  • Power Play: 28.8% (32 for 111).

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Utica Pioneers

  • 1.) Brian Scoville: 9G + 24A = 33Pts.
  • 2.) Jakob Breault: 11G + 19A = 30Pts.
  • 3.) Matt Wood: 12G + 17A = 29Pts.
  • 4.) Shane Murphy: 13G + 15A = 28Pts.
  • 5.) Eric Vitale: 12G + 15A = 27Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Brian Scoville with 114.
  • PPG Leader: Matt Wood and Khristian Acosta with four each.
  • SHG Leader: Shane Murphy with two.
  • GWG Leader: Matt Wood with five.
  • +/- Leader: Brian Scoville at +42.
  • PIM Leader: Preston Brighton with 22.
Matt Wood of the Utica Pioneers.

Hobart Statesmen

  • 1.) Tanner Hartman: 19G + 25A = 44Pts.
  • 2.) Ignat Belov: 16G + 21A = 37Pts.
  • 3.) Artem Buroverya: 8G + 23A = 31Pts.
  • 4/5.) Luke Aquaro: 16G + 11A = 27 Pts. / Jonah Alexander: 6G + 21A = 27Pts. / Bauer Morrissey: 5G + 22A = 27Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Chris Duclair with 118.
  • PPG Leader: Chris Duclair with seven.
  • SHG: Tanner Hartman with one.
  • GWG Leader: Tanner Hartman with five.
  • +/- Leader: Tanner Hartman at +40.
  • PIM Leader: Matthew Jasenza with 25.

Team Defense

Utica Pioneers

  • Goals Against: 42.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 1.4.
  • Shots Allowed: 745.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 25.7.
  • Penalty Kill: 87.9% (80 for 91).
  • Shorthanded goals scored: five.

Hobart Statesmen

  • Goals Against: 29.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 1.0.
  • Shots Allowed: 660.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 22.8.
  • Penalty Kill: 96.6% (85 for 88).
  • Shorthanded goals scored: one.

Goaltending

Utica Pioneers

Ethan Roberts

  • Record: 15-2-3.
  • GAA: 1.54.
  • Saves: 501.
  • Save %: 0.942.
  • Shutouts: five.

Bryan Landsberger

  • Record: 9-0-0.
  • GAA: 1.14.
  • Saves: 196.
  • Save %: 0.951.
  • Shutouts: three.

Avery Sturtz

  • Record: 0-0-0.
  • GAA: 0.00.
  • Saves: six.
  • Save %: 1.000.
  • Shutouts: none.

Hobart Statesmen

Damon Beaver

  • Record: 16-1-1.
  • GAA: 0.98.
  • Saves: 456.
  • Save %: 0.960.
  • Shutouts: six.

Mavrick Goyer

  • Record: 9-1-0.
  • GAA: 0.91.
  • Saves: 161.
  • Save %: 0.947.
  • Shutouts: six.

Graham Burke

  • Record: 1-0-0.
  • GAA: 1.00.
  • Saves: 14.
  • Save %: 0.933.
  • Shutouts: none.
Goaltender Ethan Roberts makes a save.

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