Photo credit: ucpioneers.com
The Pioneers return to a full schedule in 2021-22 after a shortened one the previous season.
The Utica College Pioneers travel to Oswego, New York on Saturday October 16th, when they take on the Oswego Lakers. This will be an exhibition game for both teams and will not count in the standings. The Pioneers play in the UCHC, while the Lakers are a part of the SUNYAC. The Pioneers and Lakers were supposed to play in an outdoor game at Rome’s Griffiss Business and technology Park in February 2021, but it was cancelled due to covid concerns.
Although they lost Captain Conor Landrigan to graduation, Utica College should still be a national powerhouse. In the last USCHO men’s Division Three national poll on March 23, 2020 (the new one isn’t out yet), the Pioneers were ranked number three. Utica College Head Coach Gary Heenan was recently interviewed on Marty’s Illegal Stick, and thinks that despite the loss of Landrigan (who is now playing professionally for the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL), the Pioneers will still have a very good team. They will have a strong veteran presence, with twenty-one players returning from last season’s squad. Heenan believes that veteran leadership and experience will be a strength of this season’s team, saying “we’re full of veteran leadership and feeling really good about ourselves”. The Pioneers bench boss talked about several topics pertaining to his team, you can watch the entire interview with Coach Heenan by clicking on the link below.
The Pioneers play one more preseason game after playing Oswego State. That game will take place on Saturday, October 23rd at their home rink, the Adirondack Bank Center, against SUNY Cortland. Utica College opens their regular season the following weekend at home with a pair of non-conference games against Adrian College on October 30th and October 31st. For schedules, information, and all things Utica College athletics, visit https://ucpioneers.com.