By: Collin Schuck – IceRays Staff
Mar. 14, 2017
With collegiate teams heading through conference and league tournament play, the number of alumni participants have dwindled down to just a small grouping in at each level moving into the 16th edition of the IceRays Alumni Report, Vol. III. That means one more senior played his final career collegiate game at the NCAA Division I level, while a recent run by a professional defenseman has him pressing career numbers.
Though his co-alum earned media attention over the weekend, defenseman Phil Pietroniro (’11-’13) of the Utah Grizzlies put together a multi-point weekend as ECHL play draws closer to their own playoffs. The 22-year-old earned a pair of assists during their three-game week on the road as part of a Florida swing starting in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over the Florida Everblades and followed by his second of the week in Sunday’s 2-0 win against the Orlando Solar Bears. The week extends his points run to three over his last four games, which ends an 11-game point drought started after his three-game point streak to start February. Pietroniro has already surpassed his previous career-high goal total set last season but now also ties his scoring total from last year in the same number of games, putting together three goals and 13 assists for 16 points through 57 games.
In a battle of two NCAA Division I programs in the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC), the home side Cornell Big Red punched their ticket to the ECAC Semifinals this weekend in their hunt for a 13th title with a 2-1 series victory over Clarkson University. The Golden Knights won game one with an assist contributed by forward Nico Sturm (’13-’14) before the Big Red answered with back-to-back 2-1 wins to steal away the series. Sturm finishes a strong freshman campaign that sets him up for future big seasons. The freshman finished the year fifth on the team in goals and sixth in total scoring, amassing eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points through 39 games and sitting second in rookie scoring on the team. Goaltender Hayden Stewart (’12-’13) and the Big Red head to Lake Placid to take on Union College on Friday, and a win sets them up for the championship game on Saturday.
Unfortunately, that also spells the end of a collegiate career for forward Perry D’Arrisso (’11-’13) after four strong seasons with the Golden Knights. The Mississauga, Ont. native jumped right to Clarkson University after a combined 77 points in two seasons with the IceRays and multiple Top Prospect Tournament appearances. While the 25-year-old hasn’t been the biggest scorer on the team, he’s been one of the locker room leaders, earning the alternate captain designation prior to the start of this season. D’Arrisso set a career-high six assists this year, which pairs with four goals for 10 points through 36 games, and his scoring is just one shy of his career-best set last season. Through four seasons, D’Arrisso owns 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points through 119 games to finish his collegiate career.
Miami University (OH) came close to pulling off an upset National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Quarterfinals, but third-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth edged out the RedHawks in back-to-back games to close out their season. Defenseman Grant Hutton (’12-’13) had a strong weekend for the RedHawks, putting up three assists over those two games including a two assist game in Friday’s 5-4 overtime loss including on the eventual evening goal in the third period. He would tack on his third assist on Saturday for the team’s first goal. That caps off a great sophomore season for the defenseman, who ballooned his numbers from just one year ago. After a five-point freshman campaign, the Carmel, Ind. native attacked that with an 18-point performance, stacking up nine goals and nine assists for 18 points through 36 games while leading defensemen in scoring and sitting sixth on the team. If Hutton can keep that kind of production moving into next season, he may have a record-setting career in his final two seasons. Forward Carter Johnson (’15-’16) also finishes his freshman season with a three-assist performance through 35 games.
The Big 10 Tournament begins this weekend with all six teams in the hunt for Saturday’s title at the historic Joe Louis Arena. Ohio State University slots in as the highest seed in the quarterfinal round against Michigan State on Thursday, and forward Matthew Weis (’11-’12) is hoping to help lead the Buckeyes to their first conference title and make it two-straight seasons with the three-seed claiming the tournament. The junior has picked up where he left off last season in terms of production despite fewer games, tallying nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points through 29 games, marking the first regular season with at least a point-per-game average. The Buckeyes took down the Spartans in last year’s quarterfinal round but haven’t made it out of the semifinal round in their last three attempts.
Read the IceRays Alumni Report every Tuesday on www.goicerays.com, and hear the audio version on the IceRays Broadcast Network.
Collin Schuck is the Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Corpus Christi IceRays. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter at @CollinDSchuck.