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Utica Pioneers Shocked with Questionable Goal at Buzzer

The final view of the scoreboard at the end of the Utica-Hobart game on November 9, 2013. Hobart scored a goal at the buzzer to win the game 3-2. (Photo by Bill Keeler / WIBX)

The Utica men’s hockey team lost their first game of the season in front of a sell-out crowd at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday and it was the last second that had everybody talking.

Utica had led most of the game but Hobart had tied the score at 2-2 with seven seconds left in regulation.

The Statesmen earned a face-off in its own end in front of Utica goalie Nick Therrien.

Hobart won control and put a shot on net that was saved by Therrien; but, the puck remained loose in front of the goal.  Hobart junior forward Robert Sovik charged the net and forced the puck in almost at the very second the final buzzer sounded.  The referees huddled as fans and players watched on for the final decision and after only a few seconds they confirmed the goal was scored before the buzzer and they signaled the end of the game.

Fans sitting near the goal disagreed.

“It was a goal,” said Vinnie Martinelli, “but it came after the buzzer.”

Utica College Hockey Team
The Utica College Hockey Team looks on as the Pioneers fight for the puck behind the Hobart goal on November 9, 2013. Hobart won the game 3-2 with a goal at the buzzer. (Photo by Bill Keeler / WIBX)

Other fans disagreed including one who was sitting behind the goalie who said he felt the referees made the right call.

The loss was Utica’s first of the young season.  Both teams are ranked top 10 in the nation; Utica falls to 2-1 and Hobart improved to 2-0-2.

“We were out of sync for two periods. Played very well in the third and carried the play,” said Utica coach Gary Heenan.  “Give Hobart credit, stayed in it and took advantage of a bounce. We have a ways to go.”

Heenan will be on First News with Keeler in the Morning at 8:05 Monday morning.

Utica begins a stretch of games on the road starting with a game at Manhattanville on Friday night. The trip will also include two more games at Hobart on November 22nd and 23rd.  They return to the Aud for a game against Morrisville State on November 29th at 7 p.m..

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