"It's almost like a lifestyle, every Friday and Saturday night you have to come watch UC hockey!" Temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing and schools are back in session. And that means one thing... Hockey season is right around the corner. Today Utica College held a preseason pep rally for their men's and women's teams. Fans got the chance to interact with players and coaches up close and personal.
Head Coach Gary Heenan says, "With college hockey you've got the full cage on, you know you never really get to meet the kid, you know familiarity with his face. So, with our guys running around with their jerseys, we've charged them with hey step up and introduce yourself to every single person that's here and you can see their doing that. So we're going to have fun tonight for sure."
Clinton native and Junior Forward Jordan Hobaica says, "We really like doing stuff like this off the ice. As players we really look forward to it because we get all these fans and they always see us with our helmets on and never get to meet us up front so to be down here on ice level, it's nice to get to know the people that support us all season long."
For UC fans today was the chance to get to know the masked men and women a little better because these teams attract a devoted audience.
Aaron Markis of Utica says, "It's almost like a lifestyle, every Friday and Saturday night you have to come watch U-C hockey! Even if you're not a college hockey fan, even if you're not a hockey fan just come down and watch it. It's the best hockey now that the NHL is kind of kaput."
Ryan Simons of Verona says, "It's great, I've wanted for years to meet some of the players and just finally get some season tickets. It's good to interact with the community more, so it's a good idea."