The Utica University men's hockey team is one step away from another UCHC championship, and another berth into the NCAA Div III tournament.

How did they celebrate? Coach Gary Heenan set up an outdoor practice on Tuesday on the Parkway Skating Rink, this as temperatures soared to near 70 degrees in the afternoon. The practice was open to the public.

On Tuesday, the UCHC named 9 Pioneers players earned All-UCHC honors from the conference. "The nine members accounted for 12 overall selections including UCHC Player of the Year & UCHC Defensive Player of the year, Brian Scoville (Agawam, MA/Alabama-Huntsville (NCAA DI)), UCHC Rookie of the Year, Eric Vitale (Toronto, ON/Shreveport Mudbugs (NAHL)), and UCHC Coach of the Year, Gary Heenan," according to Utica University.

Utica will go into the championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Adirondack Bank Center ranked #2 in the USCHO Top 15. Utica will face off against Stevenson, which split games with the Pioneers back in November. Utica skated to a 2-2 tie and lost in a shootout, and then on the next night, they won 5-2. The early November series with Stevenson was Utica's second of the season.

Tickets go on sale for Saturday night's championship game at noon on Wednesday. Season ticket holders enjoyed an advance sale opportunity on Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Utica University is looking at several post season teams this year.

The Men's Basketball Pioneers will play in the first round of the NCAA Div. III Basketball Tournament on Friday at Trinity (CT). The Utica Lady Pioneers hockey team will play for the UCHC Championship on Saturday at 3 p.m. against top ranked Nazareth in Rochester.

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