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Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey dominates the Neumann Knights

The ninth-ranked Utica Pioneers put in a dominant performance from start to finish in a 10-0 thrashing of Neumann on Friday night.

The Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey Team entered Friday night’s contest with UCHC rival at the Utica University Nexus Center with an undefeated record. After a game, they controlled from start to finish en route to the victory, Utica remains undefeated with an 8-0-2 overall record 5-0-2 in the UCHC.

The home team came out firing on all cylinders, scoring five goals in the first period alone. After a flurry of shots in the opening minutes, the Pioneers opened the scoring at the five-and-a-half-minute mark. Kaci Ryder re-directed a point shot from Ava Suda past Neumann goaltender Michel Winard-Bacon and in. It was just the beginning of a long game for the Knights.

Utica’s Carolyn Whitney (#16) drives into the offensive zone during Friday night’s game against Neumann. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

One and a half minutes later the Pioneers made it 2-0 when Rachel DeLong was the beneficiary of a rebound in front of the Neumann crease which she put in the back of the net. Ninety-seven seconds later, Maggie Rylot wired a wrist shot from the right circle into the Neumann cage to extend the Pioneer lead to three.

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They weren’t done.

At the 12:17 mark of the first, Hailey Modlin made the score 4-0 when she put a rebound off of a shot by Holly Silva past Winand-Bacon. A fifth Utica goal came with five minutes remaining in the opening frame when the Pioneer’s top line went to work. Carly Stefanini sent a centering pass from behind the visitor’s net to Erica Sloan who snapped a shot from the low slot in to give the home team a commanding 5-0 after the first twenty minutes.

The Pioneers outshot the Knights 26-1 in the first period.

Maggie Rylott (#91), Pioneer teammates Carolyn Whitney (#16), and Callie McLaughlin attack the Neumann Knights zone during Friday night’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Utica added two goals and twenty-five more shots in the second period. The sixth Pioneer goal came at the 6:18 mark when Kelsey Elliott drove the visitor’s zone and beat Winand-Bacon with a backhander. Goal number seven for the blue and orange was scored five minutes later. Erica Sheaffer, who was named the UCHC co-player of the week, deposited a loose puck to the left of the Neumann crease to close the scoring for the second period. Utica goaltender Angela Hawthorne turned aside all three shots she faced.

The Pioneers celebrate a goal during Friday night’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

After facing fifty-one shots through two periods, Knights goaltender Michel Winand-Bacon was replaced by Noelle Woodward. The Pioneers welcomed the new goaltender with another goal at the 8:40 mark. Madison Novotny fired a one-timer off a Kelsey Elliott backhand pass. It was knocked down but Rachel DeLong finished the play with her second goal of the game.

The ninth Pioneer goal came with 2:25 remaining. A pile-up in front of the Neumann crease led to Erica Sloan sliding the puck into the open net for her second of the game. Ryder intercepted a pass in the Neumann zone and wired in the tenth goal from the high slot with 11.7 seconds left.

With a 9-0 lead the only question was whether or not Hawthorne was going to complete the shutout. When the final horn sounded she did, stopping all five shots she faced throughout the game.

The final shots on goal for the game was 72-5 in favor of the Pioneers. The teams face each other again on Saturday afternoon with the puck drop scheduled for 2:00 p.m. For more information about Utica Pioneers hockey, visit https://uticapioneers.com.

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