The nationally-ranked No. 8 Utica College men's hockey team rallied from an early 2-0 deficit, but their comeback bid fell short, as Morrisville stunned the Pioneers 3-2 in a non-conference contest on Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Morrisville's Matthew Beer scored what proved to be the game-winner on the power-play 6:17 into the third period, and the Pioneers threatened to tie the game again on several occasions down the stretch, but the Mustangs stood strong to earn their first win over the Pioneers in program-history.
Morrisville, coached by Utica College alum and former Pioneer hockey player Kevin Krogol, snapped a four game skid and improved to 2-6-1 overall on the year. The Mustangs took national-power Plattsburgh State down to the wire last Saturday but eventually lost, 4-3. The Pioneers dropped to 6-2-1 overall on the year.
Darren Young led the way for the Mustangs as the only multiple point scorer with two assists, while senior goalie Christopher Azzano stopped an incredible 38 shots, including 30 in the final two periods, to earn his first win of the season.
Utica will hit the road tomorrow when they travel to Connecticut College to take on the Camels in game two of a nine game non-conference stretch. The Pioneers return home next Saturday, December 7th for the New York Sash Teddy Bear Toss as they take on Salve Regina at 7 p.m. The event, which is one of Utica's favorite holiday traditions, will be televised live locally by WUTR. Game attendees are asked to bring a donation of a new teddy bear or stuffed animal and when the first Utica College goal is scored fans throw the stuffed animals onto the ice. Thousands of teddy bears will rain down to be collected by New York Sash and the Pioneers. Last year 4,500 toys were collected and since its beginning, the New York Sash Teddy Bear Toss has been able to donate nearly 20,000 toys to the community.