Bulldog Men's Hockey Loses Nailbiter to Visiting Utica in Overtime, 7-6

Alessio Luciani had a career-high three points against nationally-ranked Utica on Jan. 4, 2020. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Alessio Luciani had a career-high three points against nationally-ranked Utica on Jan. 4, 2020. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

ADRIAN, Mich.--Adrian freshman Alessio Luciani notched a career-high three assists, but Utica's Regen Cavanagh scored his first goal of the season 1 minute and 51 seconds into overtime to lift the Pioneers to a 7-6 non-conference men's hockey victory over the host Bulldogs on Saturday evening.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Utica College 7, Adrian College 6

= Location: Weston Rink at Arrington Ice Arena; Adrian, Mich.

= Updated Records: Utica Pioneers, 8-2-2; Adrian Bulldogs, 8-3-1 

= National Rankings: Adrian is No. 7 (166 points) by U.S. College Hockey Online for NCAA Division III; Utica is No. 11 (81) by USCHO.com

TOP 'DAWGS
= Sophomore Andrew Bellant had a goal and an assist on game-high seven shots on goal.

= Seniors Dino Balsamo and Matt McNair also both had a goal and an assist. 

= Sophomores Brandon Marinelli and Sam Ruffin posted two assists apiece.

THE OPPOSITION
= Kasper Kjellkvist netted a pair of goals.

= Brandon Osmundson had three points on a goal and two assists, and went 9-for-17 on face-offs.

= Vaden McManus matched Osmundson's scoreline with three points.

= Cavanagh added an assist for two points and was 8-for-13 on face-offs.

= Conor Landrigan also had a multiple-point game with a goal and an assist.  

= Dante Zapata (13-21) and Brett Everson (11-18) helped the Pioneers control the face-off dot, winning 51 of 88 draws.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= With Adrian pulling the goalie in favor of an extra attacker, McNair poked the puck past the goal line during a scrum with 7 seconds left to force the five-minute, sudden-victory extra session.

= Cavanagh took a centering feed from Vaden McManus and redirected the puck into the net with one hand for the game-winner.

= Adrian held leads of 2-0 in the first period and 4-2 in the third.

= Utica scored three unanswered goals within a span of 7 minutes and 47 seconds to take a 5-4 lead in the final period. Kjellkvist scored both of his goals and Osmundson the other in the comeback that was completed at 12:40 into the stanza.

= Freshman Zachary Heintz tallied a power play goal at 14:18 of the third period to knot the score 5-all.

= McManus reclaimed Utica's lead with a goal coming 52 seconds left in regulation before McNair equalized 45 seconds later.

= Adrian was 2-for-5 on the power play and killed off all seven Utica man-advantage chances.

= The Bulldogs had 45 shots on goal while the Pioneers recorded 30.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian falls to Utica for the first time in four meetings (3-1). There were more goals (13) scored in this contest than the three previous games when the Bulldogs outscored the Pioneers by an 8-4 combined score.

= Tonight was Adrian's highest-scoring game since Feb. 12, 2016, when it pelted Concordia-Wisconsin 12-2 at home.

UP NEXT
= Adrian and Utica will close their weekend series on Sunday (4:05 p.m.) at Arrington, signaling the end of the Bulldogs' non-conference portion of their schedule.

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