UTICA, N.Y. — Manhattanville’s Dave Schmalenberg broke open a scoreless game late in the second period with two goals just 30 seconds apart. The Valiants held on to the 2-0 win, riding on the back of goaltender Jon Peczka, who stopped all 33 shots that he faced.
“For the last 10 minutes of the second period, we were good,” said Manhattanville coach Keith Levinthal. “But for the other 50 minutes, we were average at best.”
The Valiants came out from the opening faceoff with a storm of pressure against Utica. The Pioneers weathered the storm, though, limiting Manhattanville to only a single shot on goal even though the majority of the first five minutes of play was spent in the Utica end of the ice.
Manhattanville (7-4-2) also received a gift power play just 13 seconds in to the game, but failed to convert.
Once Utica (5-7-2) settled down midway through the first period, play was more even. Manhattanville outshot Utica, 12-5, in the first period, but most of the shot differential was from outside or tight angles.
The second period saw very even play between the two teams, evidenced both by play on the ice and by the slim 13-12 shots edge for Utica.
“We match up pretty well against these guys,” said Utica coach Gary Heenan. “They use the same forecheck scheme, and similar other plays that allow us to match up well.”
But it was Dave Schmalenberg who took things in to his own hands 15 minutes in to the period, when he scored both second period goals on the same shift.
The first goal at 15:06 was on a blast from the point by Mike Camarinos. The shot wound through traffic on its way towards the net, and Schmalenberg deflected it under Utica netminder Jake Miskovic for the goal.
Schmalenberg’s second goal came just 30 seconds later to give Manhattanville the 2-0 lead. Valiant John Auxier was digging in the corner and was able to pop the puck out the Schmalenberg waiting at the bottom of the faceoff circle. Schmalenberg carried the puck towards the net and beat Miskovic from a tight angle and into the top of the net.
“[Schmalenberg] had a good shift there in the second,” said Levinthal. “But he stunk the rest of the game.”
It was Manhattanville’s turn to weather the Utica storm early in the third period. The Pioneers outshot Manhattanville 9-1 over the first seven minutes of the third period but was unable to put anything past Valiant goaltender Jon Peczka.
Utica mounted pressure again in the waning minutes of the game but Peczka kept them off the scoreboard to earn his first shutout of the season.