Bombers Corral Pioneers to Sit Atop Empire 8 at 4-0

ITHACA, N.Y. 24th-ranked Ithaca (9-4, 4-0 Empire 8) corralled visiting Utica (7-6, 2-3 Empire 8), 13-6, on Wednesday afternoon at Higgins Stadium. The Bombers sit atop the Empire 8 standings as the only team undefeated in conference action.

The Bombers jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead, allowing the Pioneers no closer than four scores, as they powered to their fourth win out of their last five contests. Utica made it a 7-3 game early in the third, but Ithaca rattled off another five consecutive to lead 12-3 with six minutes lingering in the game. Utica scored three of the game's final four goals to cut within seven, 13-6.

Ithaca, who improved to 11-1 all-time against the Pioneers, was led by senior Tom Mongelli (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) with a hat trick that propelled him into a three-way tie in Ithaca's record books. He has tallied 110 career goals to knot with two others for ninth in program history.

Senior Billy LaPerch (Katonah/John Jay-Cross River) added a pair of scores for Ithaca, while eight others contributed one goal each to the balanced attack. Freshman Matt Greenblatt (North Potomac, Md./Thomas S. Wootton) had team-best performances of five ground balls and six faceoffs and sophomore Casey Schattner (Syracuse/West Genesee) scooped up a career-best five ground balls. Sophomore Brandon Henne (Port Washington/Port Washington) was 4 for 4 on faceoffs.

Senior Brendan Green (Pittsford/Pittsford Mendon) was credited for the win in goal making nine saves in 56:20. Freshman Mac Davis (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) relieved Green for the final 3:40 of action.

Ithaca outshot Utica, 33-31, held a 43-30 edge in ground balls and won 13 faceoffs to the Pioneers' nine.

LaPerch opened all scoring at the 12-minute mark of the first on an assist from sophomore Pat Slawta (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman). Freshman Steve Danylyshyn (Fairport/Fairport) went unassisted before senior Brian DiBetta (Katonah/John Jay) found LaPerch for a 3-0 advantage.

Danylyshyn assisted Long less than one minute later and senior Devin Weinshank (Long Beach/Long Beach) netted one in the final 60 seconds to solidify a 5-0 Ithaca gap at the end of the first frame. The squads went goal for goal in the second stint to take a 7-2 Ithaca advantage into intermission.

Utica found the back of the net at 11:12 of the third before Mongelli scored on a Jimmy Ryan (Chevy Chase, Md./The Hill School) assist sparking five-consecutive Ithaca goals that bridged the third and fourth periods.

Sophomore Ryan Burns (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch), DiBetta, Mongelli and Slawta aided in the Bombers' 12-3 cushion with six minutes lingering in the game. Ryan tallied his first collegiate goal at the three-minute mark to break up three Utica goals that ran out the clock in Ithaca's favor, 13-6.

The Bombers return to action Saturday, April 21 at Hartwick.


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