Congratulations to the Elmira Soaring Eagles!! Elmira took out the two top seeds to earn their first ever UCHC title. We are talking playoffs and a championship won in the UCHC as the 2020-21 season champion was decided on Easter Monday. It was a great playoff week and there were a few other easter eggs to be spotted on the action that has continued into April. Here is a recap of all the week’s sensational playoff action:
Manhattanville (8) @ Utica (1)
After a scoreless first period, the Pioneers got the offense going scoring nine goals over the final 40 minutes to post the 9-0 win over Manhattanville. Dylan McMahon, John Moncovich and Conor Landrigan each scored two goals and Chris Dickson made 12 saves to earn the shutout. Dickson earned his fourth shutout in six starts this season and now holds the single season record at Utica.
Neumann (7) v. Stevenson (2)
On Thursday the last of the quarterfinals took place with the Mustangs facing a Knights team they had defeated twice during the regular season. The Knights seemed to put the losses behind them as Evan Hoey gave the visitors a 1-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. Blake Colman evened the score at 1-1 with a power play goal for Stevenson setting up a winner-take-all third period. Anthony Starzi scored early in the third and Austin Master scored late for a 3-1 Stevenson lead. Clay Boyd cut the deficit to one with just over a minute left, but Ryan Kenny preserved the lead for the 3-2 win.
Nazareth (6) @ Wilkes (3)
Despite being outshot by a 47-24 margin, Nazareth gave Wilkes all they could handle in a 3-2 overtime loss on Wednesday. Mateo Capriotti and Ray Falso gave the visitors one goal leads in each of the first two periods and goaltender Raphael Provencher was outstanding making 34 saves heading into the third period. Tyler Dill tied the game at 2-2 with a power play goal in the third period and Tyler Barrow delivered the overtime winner for Wilkes at 9:16 of the extra session.
Chatham (5) @ Elmira (4)
Jordan Gonzalez, Ryan Reifler and Shawn Kennedy combined for four goals and nine points in a 6-0 win over the Cougars on Wednesday. Gonzalez got Elmira on the board with just four seconds remaining and the hosts added two more goals in the second period and three in the third. Goaltender Chris Janzen stopped all 31 shots he faced to earn the shutout.
Elmira (4) @ Utica (1)
The game was simply epic as it took three overtime periods to determine a winner. Despite being outshot by a 63-41 margin, the visitors from Elmira pulled off the stunning upset of the top-seeded Utica Pioneers to advance to the UCHC title game with a 2-1 win. Chance Gorman gave the visitors a first period lead and Brett Everson responded for the Pioneers in the second period for a 1-1 tie that would last a long time. Goaltender Chris Janzen was stellar in making 62 saves while Elmira-native Bailey Krawczyk finally broke the 1-1- tie 5:46 into the third overtime period.
Wilkes (3) @ Stevenson (2)
Friday saw a strong push by Wilkes offset by a determined Stevenson squad that scored three unanswered goals in the final 27 minutes to advance the UCHC title game with a 4-1 win. After Mac Lowry and Donald Flynn exchanged goals in the first period, Wilkes came out hard in the second period outshooting the Mustangs by an 11-5 margin. Ryan Kenny was solid in goal to hold the Colonels off the scoreboard while Blake Colman scored what proved to be the game winner on the power play late in the period. Austin Master and Chad Watt closed out the scoring for the final margin
Elmira (4) @ Stevenson (2)
Krawczyk and his teammates clearly don’t mind being the underdog as they scored on the power play in the first to take a 1-0 lead less than four minutes after the opening draw. Shawn Kennedy extended the lead to 2-0 in the second period while goaltender Chris Janzen held the Mustangs off the scoreboard with 23 saves through 40 minutes. Elmira controlled play in the third period holding the Mustangs to just six shots on goal. Again, it was Krawczyk who put the game away for Elmira scoring a shorthanded, empty-net goal with under three minutes remining in regulation to seal the win and the title. Janzen, the tournament’s MVP, finished the night with 29 saves and the shutout win.
Tyler Barrow – Wilkes – scored the overtime winning goal against Nazareth as Wilkes had to rally from one-goal deficits twice to advance in the UCHC tournament
Chris Dickson – Utica – made 12 saves against Manhattanville in a 9-0 quarterfinal Pioneer win. The shutout extended Dickson’s scoreless streak to over 195 minutes and broke the single season record for shutouts at Utica.
Chris Janzen – Elmira – stopped 62 of 63 shots to backstop Elmira to a 2-1 triple overtime win over Utica in the UCHC semifinals and stopped all 29 shots he faced in picking the 3-0 shutout win in the title game earning tournament MVP honors.
Bailey Krawczyk – Elmira – scored the triple overtime game winner against Utica and then helped the Soaring Eagles to the win in the title game at Stevenson with two goals.
There will be just a few more games among non-conference opponents coming up over the next week or two, but most schools need to make way for the spring sports and start thinking about the fall and the excitement for a full and complete 2021-22 season compels.