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Utica men’s hockey moves to No. 1 spot in USCHO poll

Ben Birnell
Sports writer
email / twitter
Posted 1/23/23

Utica University is the top-ranked team at the NCAA Division III men’s hockey level.

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Utica men’s hockey moves to No. 1 spot in USCHO poll

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Utica University is the top-ranked team at the NCAA Division III men’s hockey level.

That’s according to the national US College Hockey Online (USCHO.com) poll.

It is the first time the Pioneers — led by longtime coach Gary Heenan — have earned the No. 1 ranking in the USCHO’s poll. The ranking was announced Monday.

The Pioneers are also the first United Collegiate Hockey Conference team to be No. 1 nationally since the league’s inception in 2017-18, the conference said.

The Pioneers moved into the top spot with help from a combination of lopsided wins over UCHC foe Lebanon Valley last weekend as well as a setback by previous No. 1 Hobart against unranked Elmira the same day.

Still, it was a close margin for Utica to slide into the top spot. The team received 10 first-place votes while Hobart totaled nine. Endicott also received one vote.

It is believed the voters in the Top-15 poll consist of coaches and media from Division III. USCHO doesn’t reveal who the voters are. The website is considered a notable resource for college hockey.

Notably, Utica is ranked No. 3 in the PairWise rankings. That ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division III hockey tournament.

Utica (14-2-1 overall) has won seven consecutive games and has a 15-game undefeated streak. The team is 12-0-0 in the UCHC, which has four of its 11 total teams with overall records over .500. Utica has a six-point lead over Nazareth College for the top spot in UCHC.

Utica is coming off a 16-1 win over Lebanon Valley (2-12-2 overall). The 16 goals set a single-game program record.

The Pioneers have outscored opponents 72-22 in 12 conference games. Utica has six players averaging at least a point per game and 12 skaters with at least 10 points, including Remy Parker, who has 14 goals in 17 games. He had four goals over Lebanon Valley to tie a single-game program record.

Goalie Bryan Landsberger has played in all 17 games with a 2.20 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.

Utica and Nazareth — receiving votes in the poll — meet in a home-and-home series this weekend. The teams are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Utica followed by a 4 p.m. start the next day in Rochester.

No movement for Utica, Hamilton women

The Hamilton College and Utica women’s teams remain in the same spots in the USCHO poll.

Hamilton is No. 7. Utica is No. 13.

The Continentals, coached by Emily McNamara, are 12-3-0 overall following a lopsided non-conference win over Cortland on Saturday.

Hamilton is in fourth-place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference with 16 points. Hamilton is behind first-place Amherst, ranked No. 3 in the poll. Middlebury, No. 4 in the poll, and unranked Connecticut College, are ahead of Hamilton in the NESCAC.

Meanwhile, Utica — coached by Dave Clausen — is 14-1-1 overall following two wins over Manhattanville. Utica pushed its points streak to 15 games and its winning streak to 13 games with the results.

The team is 11-0-1 in the UCHC, one point back of No. 12-ranked Nazareth.

Hamilton and Utica meet Tuesday. The teams are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Nexus Center in Utica.

Colgate remains in same spot

The Colgate women’s hockey team remains in the same spot in the USCHO Division I poll.

The Raiders are No. 5 in the poll. The team is 20-4-1 overall under coach Greg Fargo.

The team, which includes New Hartford standout Sydney Bard, split a series with No. 10 Cornell. Colgate won on Friday before falling by two goals on Saturday.

Colgate is set to play two home games this weekend. The team plays Dartmouth at 6 p.m. Friday and Harvard at 3 p.m. Saturday in Hamilton.

Colgate knocks off No. 1

The Colgate men’s hockey team scored a comeback upset win over No. 1 Quinnipiac on Saturday.

According to Colgate, it is the program’s first win over a No. 1-ranked team since 1990. It was also the Raiders’ first victory over a top-five opponent since Jan. 4 2019, when they defeated Quinnipiac.

Colgate is 12-10-2 under longtime coach Don Vaughan. While Quinnipac dropped to No. 3 in the USCHO Division I poll, Colgate is not ranked nor is it receiving votes.

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