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Utica College Pioneers Take A Shot At National Championship This Weekend

Photo Courtesy: Utica College

Just twelve hours before his Pioneers are set to play in the their first NCAA Division III Frozen Four game, Utica College Men’s Hockey coach Gary Heenan joined WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning.

The setting: Lake Placid – where Team USA upset the Russians in 1980. At stake: a National Championship.

”It’s been crazy up here, there’s just a ton of media, but they’ve rolled out the red carpet,” Heenan said.

Adding to the craziness is his team’s unfamiliarity with their oppening, the Wisconsin Eau Claire Blugolds. ”[We don’t know] a whole lot. All the practices are closed practices, so you really have to just focus on playing your game,” he said.

”We usually travel the day-of for games, and we’ve been here since Wednesday so it’s been a long week.

”The amount of emails, text messages, etc. It’s been unbelievable,” Heenan said expressing this appreciation for the all support and encouragement  he’s received from around the country.

The Herb Brooks Arena seats 77-hundred, Heenan said, believing that some two-thousand UC fans will make the trip to Lake Placid.

If you’re not making the trip, you will be able to follow the action via a video stream at the NCAA’s website.

On the other semi-final matchup, featuring Norwich and Oswego State:

”Both teams have been to this point, the Frozen Four, the last four years. Both have won national championships. It should be one heck of a hockey game for sure.”

NCAA Division III Frozen Four:

  • Norwich vs. Oswego State
  • Wis.-Eau Claire vs Utica College

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