The nationally-ranked No. 9 Utica College men’s hockey team poured on eight goals in the final two periods as it rebounded from a loss against Manhattanville on Friday night with a convincing 9-3 victory on the road Saturday. Senior forward Tim Coffman netted two goals and tied the school-record for goals in a career (58). Coffman needs just one goal to become the school’s all-time leader in every major scoring category (goals, assists, points). Junior assistant captain Evan Chlanda also chipped in with two goals and one assist for the Pioneers.
“Our guys really responded after a tough loss at home last night and I’m proud of the way we finished the weekend against a team that has had our number this year,” said Head Coach Gary Heenan. “Now we have to concentrate our efforts on Neumann back at the Aud next weekend. We’ll enjoy this one, but we still have a lot of work to do to prepare for next weekend.”
The Pioneers (15-6-1, 4-4-1 ECAC West) have three conference contests left on their regular season schedule and they currently sit in third place, behind and Manhattanville, in the highly competitive ECAC Men’s West Conference. The Valiants (12-6-2, 6-4 ECAC West) will take on Morrisville next weekend before wrapping up their regular season with a pair of conference games against last place
M’Ville’s Brett Skalski opened the scoring just 6:00 into the first period of play when he beat UC starting goalie Nick Therrien to give the home team an early advantage. Chlanda helped the Pioneers knot the score at 1-1 just over five minutes later after assists from sophomore Jon Gaffney and Coffman.
UC broke the contest wide open when it scored three goals in a span of just over four minutes to give the Pioneers a commanding 4-1 advantage midway through the second period of play. Manhattanville threatened with a goal at the 13:02 mark of the second to cut the Pioneers lead to 4-2, but the visitors thwarted any come back opportunity when they added two more second period goals, from the sticks of Eric Peterson and Rob Morton, in the final six minutes of the stanza.
Coffman, freshman Justin Hogan and sophomore Trever Hertz each added one goal in the third period to seal the six goal victory. UC out shot the Valiants 27-22 on the evening.
Gaffney finished the night with one goal and one assist. Therrien stopped 19 shots in the victory, while Pierre-Oliver Lemieux made 18 saves in net for Manhattanville.