#10 Utica Wins Inaugural UCHC Regular Season Title

UTICA, NY – The nationally-ranked No. 10 Utica College men's hockey team claimed the inaugural United Collegiate Hockey Conference regular season title with a convincing 7-1 victory over visiting Manhattanville College on Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Utica's Devin Warfield(Cary, NC/Carolina Eagles (USPHL)) and Kevin Valenti(Queensbury, NY/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) each recorded one goal and two assists to help the Pioneers earn the season sweep of the Valiants.

Utica has now won a conference regular season title in four of the last six seasons and the Pioneers have clinched the top seed in the upcoming UCHC Tournament.  UC will receive a quarterfinal bye and will host the lowest remaining seed next Saturday in the semifinals at the Adirondack Bank Center. Tickets for the UCHC semifinal are currently on sale at the Adirondack Bank Center box office or online at www.empirestatetix.com.

The Pioneers capped the regular season with a 19-5-1 overall record and a 12-4 ledger in conference play.  19 wins in the regular season marks just the second time in program-history that the Pioneers accomplished the feat. 

Utica's six goal victory was in large part due to an explosive four goal second period where the Pioneers outshot the visiting Valiants 14-6. Having already held a 2-0 lead, Utica's Kevin Valenti (Queensbury, NY/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) netted his seventh goal of the season 2:11 into the second period to give the home team a 3-0 lead. Joey Rutkowski (Rome, NY/Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL)) and Devin Warfield (Cary, NC/Carolina Eagles (USPHL)) each assisted on Valenti's goal.  Valenti now has 79 career points and needs just one more to move into a tie for sixth on the College's all-time scoring list.

Gregg Burmaster (Clinton, NY/Colorado College (NCHC)) then netted his ninth of the year to put the Pioneers on top 4-0 at the 6:26 mark of the second. Freshman Conor Landrigan (New Tripoli, PA/Binghamton Jr. Sens (NAHL)) and Valenti each registered an assist on the goal. Jacob Gerson (Colorado Springs, CO/Hampton Roads (USPHL)) and Jamie Bucell (Garfield Heights, OH/Philadelphia (EHL)) added second period goals and the home team held a convincing 6-0 lead headed into the third and final period of play.

Freshman Tyler Pietrowski (Curtice, OH/Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL)) added his second goal of the weekend in the third period to cap the scoring on the day for Utica. Senior Roman Ammirato (Williamstown, NJ/Union College (ECAC)) and Devin Warfield (Cary, NC/Carolina Eagles (USPHL)) assisted on the final Pioneer goal.

The visitors were able to add a power-play goal with 1:43 left in the contest to spoil the shut out for Utica goalie Patrik Virtanen (Vantaa, Finland/Lincoln (USHL)).  Virtanen made 25 saves as he picked up his tenth win of the season between the pipes for Utica.

Conor Landrigan (New Tripoli, PA/Binghamton Jr. Sens (NAHL)) and Devin Warfield (Cary, NC/Carolina Eagles (USPHL)) got the Pioneers going in the first period with a goal each to hand the home team a 2-0 first period lead. Burmaster and Valenti assisted on Landrigan's goal, while Ammirato and Pietrowski posted helpers on the Warfield tally.

Tyler Feaver and Kyle Redmond split time in net for Manhattanville. The Valiants closed out the regular season with a 12-8-5 overall record and they have earned the No. 4 seed in the upcoming UCHC Tournament. They will host No. 5 Elmira in quarterfinal action on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
No. 6 Neumann University will travel to No. 3 Lebanon Valley in the other quarterfinal and the lowest remaining seed will travel to No. 1 Utica to take on the Pioneers in the semifinals of the conference tournament next Saturday.

Landrigan finished the night with one goal and one assist for Utica and he is currently tied for ninth in the nation among freshman with an average of 1.00 points per game. Roman Ammirato (Williamstown, NJ/Union College (ECAC)) and Dalton Carter (Toledo, OH/Northern Cyclones (EHL)) each picked up two assists. Ammirato is tied for eighth in the nation with an average of 1.60 points per game. Carter now ranks second nationally among defensemen with an average of 1.46 points per game.  Carter, who is the top scoring defensemen in program history, now has 78 career points. Burmaster finished with one goal and one assist to reach the 20 point plateau in his first season in the orange and blue.

No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.