The Great Northeast Collegiate Hockey defending champion C.W. Post Pioneers defeated New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), 3-1 on October 29th but suffered their first loss Saturday in overtime against Kutztown University.
Against NJIT, the Pioneers took a 1-0 first period lead on junior Lawrence Kutsovsky’s first career goal off a scramble in front of NJIT goaltender, Mike Lipinski. Securing a rebound off a John Ninivaggi shot, Kutsovsky lifted a wrist shot over Lipinski’s left shoulder at 12:23 of period one. Just 5:04 later, Brian “Sully” Sullivan put Post on top 2-0, with his fifth goal of the season. Carrying the puck down the right side, the senior winger shot the puck towards the net, where it deflected in off a NJIT defenseman.
In the second period, the Pioneers extended their lead to 3-0, as senior Shawn Hroch scored a power play goal. The screaming wrist shot at 8:42 was assisted by freshman Chris Joseph and Sullivan. For Hroch, it was his league-leading 13th goal in five games. Junior Andrew Palladino, playing his first year as a Post goaltender, was sensational all night making 37 saves. He was finally beaten at 7:18 of the third period on a shorthanded breakaway by NJIT’s Rob Amos.
In their battle against Kutztown, the Pioneers (5-0-0-1 GNCHC/5-2-0-1ACHA) blew a 3-0 first period lead, by taking eight penalties while Kutztown only had three. The Pioneers, who last year were top ten in the nation in penalty killing, gave up four power play goals in eight attempts; including the game winner.
With the Pioneers leading 3-0 from goals by TJ Kilbride and two from Shawn Hroch Kutztown cut the lead to 3-2. Sully Sullivan scored a shorthanded goal to put the Pioneers up by two goals midway through the second period. Two Kutztown goals tied the score at 4-4 going into the third period. Post’s Conor Reeves and Kutztown’s Doug Coughlin traded third period goals to send the game into overtime tied at 5.
After a goal crease skirmish, Post goaltender, Andrew Palladino was assessed a five minute major with 1:45 remaining in the third period. In overtime, Kutztown’s, Vincent Stagliano beat Palladino with his third goal of the night for the win on that power play.
The Pioneers are set to play two home games this week, Friday, November 12th vs Princeton at 10:30pm and Saturday, November 13th vs Muhlenberg at 8:15pm. Both games are at Parkwood Ice Rink in Great Neck. Admission is free.