Stevens Captures Empire 8 Win at Utica

UTICA, N.Y. (April 16, 2014) Stevens picked up a 13-4 Empire 8 Conference victory at Utica on Wednesday to even its record at 6-6 on the season. Stevens is now 3-1 in the Empire 8 with three conference games left on its schedule.

The Ducks held Utica (6-7, 2-3) scoreless through the first 30 minutes of play and surrendered Utica's first goal of the game with 7:32 left in the third quarter. Stevens led, 3-0, at the break and 6-2 after three quarters, and then exploded for seven goals in the final period to tally the nine-goal victory.

Sophomore Colin Sawula (Northampton, Mass.) netted the lone goal of the first quarter with 9:26 remaining in the frame for his fifth score of the season.

Senior Charlie Cronin (Northampton, Mass.) then put Stevens ahead, 2-0, just 37 seconds into the second stanza on an unassisted goal before classmate Sean Scrudato (Westfield, N.J.) took a pass from junior Michael Maroon (Virginia Beach, Va.) at the 12:57 mark of the second to close out the offense in the first half.

In the third quarter, junior JP Giroux (Ashburn, Va.) staked the Ducks to a 4-0 edge off Maroon's second assist nearly four minutes in before the Pioneers finally beat sophomore goalie Austin Boyd (Bellevue, Wash.) midway through the period for their first goal of the contest. Sophomore Michael Serrante (Bridgwater, N.J.) put Stevens back up by four goals with just over two minutes left for his 18th goal of the season. After another Utica goal with 26 seconds to go, Maroon beat the buzzer in the third to give the Ducks a 6-2 lead heading to the final 15 minutes of play.

Cronin took a feed from Scrudato 1:02 into the fourth to give the Ducks their largest lead of the game at that time and then sophomore Matt Ferentini (South Salem, N.Y.) put in a man-up score just 2:29 later off a pass from freshman Connor McKeon (Branchburg, N.J.). Utica crept back to an 8-3 difference at the 10:12 mark, but Cronin posted back-to-back scores in a 30-second span to give Stevens a 10-3 hold on the game. The Pioneers final goal was man-up with 5:23 left before the Ducks put the tilt away with three goals in the final 4:22.

Scrudato, Sawula and Maroon all scored in that stretch for Stevens.

In goal, Boyd earned his first win of the season with seven saves in all 60 minutes between the pipes. Ferentini paced Stevens with five groundballs, while sophomore DJ Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) forced a team-high four turnovers with three groundballs.

Sophomores Brett Incollingo (Yardley, Pa.) and Jeff Wyckoff (Summit, N.J.) each won five faceoffs at the "X".

Stevens dominated the game in shots with a distinct 53-19 disparity and took over 10 in each quarter. The Ducks also benefitted from 30 Utica turnovers and were successful on 15 of 16 clears.

The Ducks host a crucial Empire 8 contest on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against Nazareth College. Nazareth sits a half-game ahead of Stevens in the conference standings.


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