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Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey to play for the UCHC Championship

Credit: Scott Kinville

The second-ranked and number-one UCHC seed Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey Team won its 16th consecutive game on Saturday night, defeating the four-seed Alvernia Golden Wolves 4-0 in the semifinals of the UCHC Tournament. With the victory, Utica advances to the UCHC Championship Game against the two-seed and fourteenth-ranked Stevenson Mustangs. The Pioneers have won the past two championships and five of the last seven.

Utica’s Matt Wood (#12) takes a shot on Alvernia goaltender Jackson Fellner (#35) while fighting off two defenders. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Goaltender Ethan Roberts made 30 saves to record his second straight shutout. He blanked Nazareth 3-0 on Wednesday night and has yet to surrender a goal in the UCHC Tournament.

Utica’s Chris Carroll opened the scoring at the 8:54 mark of the first period with a power play goal. He put a rebound off a shot by Brian Scoville past Alvernia goaltender Jackson Fellner for the only goal of the first period.

Utica Pioneers defeat Nazareth, advance in the UCHC Tournament

The Pioneer’s power play kept rolling in the second period with two more markers. At just over three minutes into the frame, Fellner kicked a rebound off a Jakob Breault from the right circle to Matt Wood, who buried it from the left circle. With the home crowd roaring, Utica struck again with the man advantage two minutes, forty-three seconds later. This time Breault fed a cross-ice pass to Aiden Hughes, whose shot from the left circle got through Fellner and into the net.

With a 3-0 lead entering the third period, the Pioneers launched 27 shots on Fellner and the Golden Wolves. The Alvernia goaltender did all he could to keep his team in the game by making several big stops that stymied the Pioneer attack. Alverina head coach Andrew Burke pulled Fellner in the closing minutes for an extra skater, but it would backfire. Alexander Gullichsen fired a shot into the wide-open Alvernia net from the left side of their zone with 1:03 left to seal the Golden Wolves’ fate.

The start time for the UCHC Championship Game on Saturday, March 2, 2024, has yet to be determined as of this writing. It will be announced on https://uticapioneers.com.

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