Elmira Stuns UC; Pioneers Bounced in Triple OT
It was the first pro or collegiate hockey game played in front of fans at the Adirondack Bank Center in over a year, and while the 400 in attendance got to a see a thriller, it didn't end the way Utica College fans had hoped.
The Elmira Eagles - the fourth seed - outlasted the top-seeded Pioneers 2-1 in triple overtime in the United College Hockey Conference semi-finals. The game winner came off the stick of Eagles' Bailey Krawczyk 5:46 into the third extra period, sending the Elmira to the championship game on Monday.
Chance Gorman score the game's first goal with just over five minutes to play in the opening period to the Eagles at 1-0 advantage. The Pioneers outshot their opponent 11-8 in that first period, but took a 1-0 deficit into the break. In fact, UC put 63 pucks on net in the contest. But, Eagles goalie Chris Janzen was outstanding, turning aside 62 of the 63 he faced.
Pioneer Senior Brett Everson had Utica's only goal, as he tied things up 6:17 into the second, a score that would last for almost three full periods of action. Unfortunately Utica saw its hopes of defending their UCHC title slip away in what is the longest game to date in Utica College men's hockey history.
Gary Heenan's club ends the season 8-2 overall, with their team's two loses coming in their first conference game of the season and in their last.
Elmira improved to 7-3-1 in-conference and 9-4-1 overall. They'll face No. 2 Stevenson on Monday for the UCHC title.
There is no NCAA national hockey championship this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a normal season, the UCHC's tourney winner would receive an automatic bid.
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