Gary Heenan After Utica College Makes Frozen Four: ‘It’s Pretty Cool Stuff’
Utica College Men’s Hockey coach Gary Heenan says he wasn’t at all worried when his team faced a 2-0 hole at the end of the first period, in Saturday’s NCAA Division III Quarterfinals.
”There wasn’t really any effect, getting down two goals. I wasn’t ranting and ravin’, it was stay the course,” Heenan said, adding that despite the deficit, ”I thought we were the better team in the first period.”
The Pioneers went on to score four unanswered goals, en route to their first NCAA Tournament victory, a 4-2 decision with the home crowd at the Utica Aud buzzing with excitement.
After the second and third goals, ”the place was just electric, certainly as loud as I’ve ever heard,” Heenan said. ”Our fans at this level can’t be touched, they’re the best, for sure.”
On his team’s first ever trip to the Frozen Four, ”It’s pretty cool stuff”, and unexpected, he said, saying he expected some 2,000 UC fans would make the trip to the semifinals thisFriday in Lake Placid.
Breaking the Ice
Appearing on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning, Heenan set the stage for the national championships.
Oswego and Norwich have been to the frozen four each of the last four years, he said.
Heenan said he was awaiting a ‘package’ to get a scouting report on his team’s opponent, The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Blugolds.
UC beat Oswego twice this year, and ”I really think that’s what got us into the NCAA Tournament this year” he said.
On the team’s first appearance and win in the NCAA tourney, ”It’s a big step for our program and a huge step for this institution.”
”We like our chances, we’re a pretty good hockey team”, Heenan said.