Utica University Coach Gary Heenan and the UCHC Champion Pioneers didn't leave quietly on Tuesday afternoon for Hartford, CT, to play for a school first, National Championship.

The Pioneers, with a big win over Plymouth on Saturday to win the UCHC Conference Tournament, will face rival Hobart in one of two semi-final games, Thursday afternoon in Hartford.

While Utica won Saturday night comfortably in regulation, by a score of 4-1, last year's national champion Hobart skated into 4 overtimes and their goalie had to block more than 90 shots on goal to defeat Curry 4-3 to earn the right to play Utica, Thursday at 3 p.m..

Meanwhile, on the upper side of the bracket, Trinity will host Adrian at 7 p.m. for a chance to play in the title game. The semi-final winners will play for the national championship on Saturday night at 7 p.m.. in Hartford. Utica last played in the Frozen Four in 2012, and lost in the semi-final game. The Pioneers have never won a National Championship.

Other local teams competing nationally in their respective NCAA Tournaments include the Colgate Women's Hockey Team which will play Wisconsin in the semi-final game at 7:30 p.m., Colgate Men's Basketball will play in March Madness at noon on Friday, against #3 seed Baylor. Meanwhile, Charleston whose team captain is Frankie Policelli of New Hartford, will take on #4 Alabama at 7:35 on Friday night.

Check out Nancy L. Ford's Photo Gallery from Tuesday's Pioneers send-off at the Adirondack Bank Center.

Utica University Men's Hockey Gets Police Escort to D3 Frozen Four

The Utica University Men's Hockey Team got an amazing send-off on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, as they were leaving for Hartford, CT., to compete for a national title in the DIII Frozen Four. Community members along with Utica Police and Fire gave Gary Heenan and his young squad an escort to the New York State Thruway. Utica will compete against Hobart in the NCAA DIII Semi Final game, Thursday at 3 p.m..

Gallery Credit: Photos by Nancy L. Ford

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