Winkler nets 100th goal as Utica narrowly escapes Misericordia in OT
UTICA, N.Y. -- Senior Ben Winkler's 100th career goal will go down as a memorable one, not only because it made him just one of three players in program history to reach the century mark, but more importantly it helped Utica defeat visiting Misericordia 10-9 in overtime on Friday at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium.
The back-and-forth contest was eventually closed out by Winkler when he took a pass in front from teammate Joe Schoen, with 1:23 left in the first overtime and scored to help the Pioneers improve to 4-3 overall on the year.
Winkler now has 128 career points, which ranks third all-time at Utica. He has 100 goals and 28 assists, joining Matt Donaldson '05 and Michael Bulger '10 in the 100-goal club. Donaldson posted a school-record 165 goals between 2002-05, and Bulger netted 123 goals between 2007-10.
The contest featured nine different ties, including the game-tying goal with 2:03 left in regulation by leading scorer Nicholas Santillo to send the contest to overtime with the score knotted at nine.
Both teams did not budge in the second half after the score was tied at four at the end of the first 30 minutes. The Pioneers' Trent Jacobs gave them a 5-4 lead 38 seconds into the third quarter, but the Cougars' Jack Stang punched right back to tie the score at five just 14 seconds later.
Winkler gave the Pioneers a 6-5 advantage at the 10:58 ledger of the third quarter off an assist from Andrew Jamieson, but this time the Cougars answered with consecutive goals to take a 7-6 lead with 6:53 to go in the third.
The Pioneers were able to get two more third-quarter goals from Zack Stevenson and Corey Thompson in less than a minute to take an 8-7 lead into the final quarter.
Santillo opened the fourth with a game-tying goal at the 13:18 mark, but once again the Pioneers responded, as Thompson netted his second of the night to push the Pioneer lead back to one goal 9-8 with 8:55 to go. Santillo eventually sent the contest to OT after a goal with two minutes remaining.
Both teams exchanged possessions in the overtime period, before Winkler netted his program-record goal to seal the victory, while snapping the Pioneers' two-game skid.
Both goalies played extremely well in net as UC's Trey Adams stopped 15 shots, one better than his counterpart Patrick Johnson, who made 14 saves on the afternoon.
Six different players finished the game with at least two points including Winkler (two goals), Jamieson (one goal, one assist), Stevenson (two goals), Thompson (two goals, one assist), Schoen (two assists) and Jacobs (two goals).
Utica senior Justin Edelstein came away with one goal and Tom Byrne added five ground balls. Stevenson also went 13 of 15 on faceoff opportunities for the Pioneers.
Matt Gonzalez posted two goals for the Cougars and Johnson scooped up a game-high six ground balls. Misericordia (4-4) is now 0-2 all-time against the Pioneers.