Pittsburgh Hockey Digest


Duquesne comeback falls short, Pitt takes Hunt Armory City Game 4-3

Duquesne defenseman Tyler Kiss (15) breaks up a play from Pitt forward Alex Crilley (11) during a game on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022 at the Hunt Armory. -- ED MAJOR II

PITTSBURGH — The Duquesne Dukes (9-14-1, 2-8-1 CHMA), despite stellar goaltending from Kyle Plantz, fell to the Pitt Panthers (20-3-1, 11-0-1 CHMA) 4-3 Monday at the Hunt Armory Ice Rink. Plantz made 51 saves on 55 shots as Duquesne was unable to complete the comeback, down 4-1 late in the second period.

After an 11-0 victory on October 22, Pitt fans were in for a shock Monday as Duquesne came out of the gate just as hot as the Panthers. After allowing two goals in the first period, Duquesne settled in and matched Pitt’s tempo and attitude, making every offensive zone possession difficult for the Panthers.

“We had opportunities that should have ended in the back of the net,” said Pitt Captain Alex Crilley after the game. “I think [Plantz] got a little lucky on some of those, but overall I think he played well.”

Plantz did more than just play well. While he continued making saves at one end, PJ Breslow finally put Duquesne on the board at the other end with a power play goal at 8:10 of the second period. Three minutes later, however, Bernardo Vieira scored his own power play goal – and his second goal of the game – to push the Panther lead back to two goals, 3-1. Ben Leslie added to Pitt’s lead at 14:41 to make it 4-1, but Duquesne forward Stephen D’Elia brought the Dukes back to within two with just over two minutes remaining in the period.

The third period was as tight as the rest of the game. Finally, EJ Pohl notched a 4-on-4 goal with 4:44 remaining to bring the deficit to a single goal. It was all Plantz could do to keep that deficit from growing again. A kick save with a minute remaining preceded his sprint to the bench once the Dukes took possession, but time ultimately ran out as the Panthers held on for the 4-3 victory.

Despite the final score, Plantz and Duquesne had plenty of positives to take away.

“It’s not the result we wanted, but coming from an 11-0 loss to this really shows our character. We’ve made a lot of progress since that game and i think that showed tonight,” said Plantz after the game.

Plantz hopes to use his performance and some built-up confidence to help vault his team into a playoff spot.

“We need these next three wins. [My teammates] always support me, they’re awesome. No goal is ever my fault in that locker room that’s why I love them.”

On the other side, despite the score, the game didn’t feel like a victory for the Panthers.

“Duquesne is a good team,” said Crilley. “They’ve been hot as of recent. They played their best game I’ve seen them play in a while. We’re not happy with the result but it was hard fought and well deserved.”

Plantz finished the night saving 51 out of 55 shots in the loss. His Panther counterpart, Tristan Canter, stopped 28 out of 31 shots for the win.

The Panthers will have a chance to clinch the regular-season championship next Friday, Feb. 4, 2022 at S&T Bank Arena against IUP. Pitt will return to Alpha Ice Complex to host Temple on Saturday and West Virginia – their final conference game – on Sunday.

Duquesne will host Temple on Friday night at Alpha Ice Complex before traveling to face Robert Morris Saturday night at the RMU Island Sports Center.


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