Eight Pioneers Men’s Hockey Players, Coach Heenan Get UCHC Honors
Utica University men's hockey coach Gary Heenan is very focused right night and he'll be the first to tell you, accolades are wonderful, but at the end of this season the one thing that really matters at this point in the year is winning the next game.
Still, this is the time of year where the UCHC hands out its accolades, and once again this year, Utica has been dominant. Seven Utica players and Heenan received recognition from the conference.
Coach Heenan was named the UCHC coach of the year. It's the third time Heenan has been named coach of the year. Heenan led the team to its best conference record going undefeated, 20-0-0, for the first time since entering the UCHC. Heenan also has led the Pioneers to 25 straight games without a loss this season which is an all-time program record
Meanwhile, Utica players dominated the All-UCHC list, according to Utica University Athletics.
Jayson Dobay (Weymouth, MA/Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)) had a prodigious season for the Pioneers earning UCHC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team honors. The junior offensively was a key factor for the Pioneers with five goals and 32 assists. With the season at continuation, Dobay also has a chance to set the single-season record for assists, a record that was set by teammate Justin Allen (Hilton, NY/Rochester Monarchs (NCDC)) last season with 32, and can increase the lead he already has for most assists in the UCHC. Dobay was even a bigger help on defense though helping the team allow just 49 goals out of 615 shots over the course of the season. More notably, Dobay also was a key factor in the reason that the Pioneers rank ninth in the nation in scoring defense. The Weymouth, MA native looks to continue his success for the team that is chasing another UCHC championship. These are the second and third all-conference honors for Dobay after being named first team defense last season.
Remy Parker (Montclair, NJ/University of Maine (NCAA DI)) had a remarkable season for the Pioneers and received UCHC First Team honors. On the season, and still looking to further the success, Parker has amassed 23 goals and 12 assists. At 23 goals, Parker now stands alone at the top for most goals in a single season for the Pioneers and is tied for first in UCHC for total goals. He is also tied for second nationally in goals per game with an outstanding .85, currently another single season record for Parker. This is Parker's first All-UCHC honor.
Justin Allen (Hilton, NY/Rochester Monarchs (NCDC)) was nothing less than impressive this season for the Pioneers and earned himself All-UCHC First Team Defense honors. Even after missing seven games due to injury, Allen still found a way to stack up the stats and put on performance after performance for the team. Allen had four goals and 16 assists and was also another key factor in the Pioneers ranking ninth in defensive scoring. Earlier this year, Allen also became the seventh player to amass 100 career points and is the first in program history to do so as a defensive player. This is the fifth All-UCHC honor for Allen as he was named to the UCHC All-Rookie Team in 2018-19, All-UCHC First Team in 2020-21, the UCHC Defensive Player of the Year in 2021-22, and to the All-UCHC First Team in 2021-22.
Bryan Landsberger (Montreal, Quebec/Nepean Raiders (CCHL)) has been an absolute wall for the Pioneers all season long and with his All-UCHC First Team honors, Landsberger becomes the second Utica goalie to have received first team honors since the merge into the UCHC. On the season, Landsberger has collected 532 saves, has only allowed 43 goals, and has a save percentage of .925 on the season. With 24 wins this year, Landsberger now stands alone at the top of the list for most wins in a single season in program history. Nationally, Landsberger ranks eleventh for goals against average and is first in wins and win percentage. This is Landsberger's first career All-UCHC honor.
Mic Curran (Arlington, MA/Curry College (CCC)) has been a good aide to the success for the Pioneers all season and earned All-UCHC Second Team honors. Curran reeled in 12 goals and 24 assists and was a good spark plug for the Pioneers throughout the season. In the UCHC, Curran is eighth in goals, third in assists, and fourth in total points. He also is a big-time contributor in the reason the Pioneers have 119 more assists and 45 more goals than the next highest teams. This is Curran's first career All-UCHC honor.
Dante Zapata (Huntington Beach, CA/Austin Bruins (NAHL)) was another phenom for the Pioneers receiving All-UCHC Second Team honors. Zapata was another major help on the offensively gifted Pioneers team. Zapata had 10 goals and 21 assists under the success of the Pioneers. Zapata also became one of the seven Pioneers that has reached 100 career points as he did so earlier this season. Currently at 112 points, Zapata ranks in the top-five and can continue to climb with Utica being red-hot. This is the third All-UCHC honor for Zapata after also receiving UCHC Player of the Year in 2021-22 and All-UCHC First Team honors in 2021-22.
Kimball Johnson (Coppell, TX/University of St. Thomas (NCAA DI)) is another key piece of the Pioneers lockdown defense and earned All-UCHC Second Team honors. Johnson's ability to pair his elite defense with his playmaking has made him one of the best facilitators for Utica. The Coppell, TX native has five goals this season with 21 assists, which is tied for third on the team and is tied for fifth in the conference. Another key piece of Johnson's game is how he continuously produces, recording at least one point in 20 of his 24 appearances this season. This is the first career All-UCHC honor for Johnson.
On Saturday, the nation's top ranked division III team will host Nazareth at the Adirondack Bank Center at 7pm for the UCHC title. As the number one team in the country, Utica has already earned a spot in the NCAA tournament, but all eyes are on victory for the Pioneers this weekend. Tickets are available for the game at the Aud box office or by purchasing here online.
The Pioneer ladies play for the UCHC championship on Saturday at top ranked Nazareth. The women's All-UCHC honors will be announced on Wednesday.