UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The season may be three months away, but the Utica College Men's Hockey team will be back on the ice this week, playing overseas. The Pioneers are playing a four game exchange trip in Germany and Slovenia against pros from all over Europe.
UC will be without incoming freshmen for the trip per NCAA rules, but the leadership core of uinderclassmen will be together to get a head start on the season.
"It's a real privilege the schedule we put together over there, they're all in their training camps so for most of the pro teams it will be their first game, an exhibition versus us, and really skilled and talented players, it'll be a different brand of hockey, on the big sheet," head coach Gary Heenan told NEWSChannel 2 on the eve of the team's trip abroad. "So we'll learn a lot and we'll get to see them pre-skate, and I'll be taking notes and trying to learn as a coach, and hopefully breaking some bread with their coaching staff before/after the games and making some contacts that way so, a real good hockey trip but we'll also have the opportunity to learn and come together as a unit as well."