No. 3 Men's Hockey Holds Off No. 6/7 Utica to Complete Weekend Road Sweep, 3-2

Junior Dino Balsamo had two assists and was 6-for-10 on face-offs in Adrian's 3-2 victory at Utica Saturday. (Action photo by Patrick Stewart)
Junior Dino Balsamo had two assists and was 6-for-10 on face-offs in Adrian's 3-2 victory at Utica Saturday. (Action photo by Patrick Stewart)

UTICA, N.Y.--Adrian used special teams to grab an early 3-0 lead before turning back host Utica for a 3-2 non-conference victory in battle of nationally-ranked squads on Saturday.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 3, Utica College 2

= Location: Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium; Utica, N.Y.

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 2-0, Utica Pioneers 0-2

= National Rankings: Adrian--#3 USCHO (252 points, 1 first-place votes) and #3 D3hockey (254, 1) polls; Utica--#7 USCHO.com (143 points) and #6 D3hockey.com (195)

TOP 'DAWGS
= Senior captain Cory Dunn led the offense with a goal and an assist.

= Junior Dino Balsamo also had a multi-point night with two assists.

= Senior goalie Kevin Entmaa (2-0) stopped 35 of 37 shots he faced, including key saves in the last 5 minutes to preserve the victory.

= Freshman William Brochu won eight of 10 face-offs. Balsamo finished 6-for-10, followed by seniors Connor Armour (5-for-8) and Bryan Yim (5-for-10).

THE OPPOSITION
= Brett Everson led the Pioneers with two assists.

= Conor Landrigan had a goal and an assist.

= Sean Dickson had 32 saves on 35 shots faced.

= Josh Haskin led all centermen with 11 face-off wins in 19 draws.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian jumped out to a 3-0 lead through two periods on two power-play tallies and a shorthanded goal.

= Dunn got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a shot from the point with a screen in front of Dickson. Freshman Austin Bottrell and Balsamo assisted on the extra-man opportunity with 8 minutes and 33 seconds left in the first period.

= Junior Matt McNair made it 2-0 with a shorthanded marker at 16 seconds left. Utica was in the offensive zone when junior defenseman Niko Coffman blocked a shot that started an Adrian rush the other way. Balsamo picked up the loose puck and Coffman finished with a nice cross-ice pass for McNair to tap it in. 

= Adrian made it 3-0 on freshman Jared Domin's power play goal at 3:01 of the second stanza. Senior defensemen Braden Hellems and Dunn got the assists.

= Utica began its comeback bid at the 15:05 mark later in the period off the stick of Gregg Burmaster, snapping a shot just over the left shoulder of Entmaa into upper right-corner.

= The Pioneers started the third period on the power play and Landrigan cashed in with a goal to cut the deficit to 3-2 just eight seconds in.

= For the last five minutes of the game, Utica outshot Adrian 7-0 (plus there was one blocked attempt) to try to get the equalizing goal but Entmaa stood tall. With 28 seconds left, Dickson was pulled for an extra attacker but could not get a shot off.

= In the second period with Utica on the power play, Entmaa robbed Landrigan at the top of the crease with a glove save. 

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= The Bulldogs now lead the Pioneers in the all-time series, 3-0, including 2-0 in Utica. All three meetings have been decided by two goals or less.

= Dunn sits at 99 points in his 90-game Bulldogs career. He has 19 goals and 80 assists.

= Through two contests, Balsamo leads the team with four points on a goal and three assists. 

= Domin leads Adrian with two goals as three freshmen have accounted for eight of the team's 17 total points so far this season.

= The Bulldogs are averaging almost 40 shots.

= Entmaa surpassed the 1,500-save milestone for his career that spans 3619:39.

UP NEXT
= Adrian will have its home openers in Arrington Ice Arena next weekend against Northern Collegiate Hockey Association foes Lawrence (Friday at 7:05 p.m.) and Marian-Wis. (Saturday at 3:05 p.m.). For tickets, click on the link

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