The UC hockey team is coming off a seventeen win season, twelve of which were in the comforts of The Aud. Today they started official NCAA practice's and it's evident everyone is ready for another season of pioneer hockey. College hockey is one of only a handful of sports that starts in the fall semester and ends in the spring. Therefore coaches and players have to be ready to go from day one. "Hockey's a little different animal than most sports because we've only got five days to prepare for our first game. So it's a matter of A getting guys in shape and B getting the younger guys into our new systems and of course our systems are going to change every year, a little bit depending on who our opponents are and the personal we have. There's a lot of work to be done on the ice to get ready for this Friday night." The pioneers welcome seven new faces to this year's team. For freshman acclimating to the college game can sometime be difficult but defenseman Mike Barid is ready to go. "I'm extremely excited to be here, it's been a while waiting for Men's hockey to officially start, but finally being on the ice here is something we've been looking forward to for a while" Veteran guys know that every years brings new chemistry but it also brings new guys challenging for spots. "Well each year it gets a little harder and harder coming back, you know more competitive guys coming in, so each year you have to do a little bit more over the summer, doing more over the summer will help you during preseason workouts and getting back into the season each year." The Pioneers offseason was different from most division three hockey teams because they played four games in Europe against professional teams. "A little different this year because six weeks ago we were in Europe playing hockey and so now you get back to camps and you're like alright guys take your skates off for six weeks and it's a little frustrating for those guys because we had it going over there, you know so now its calm down, simmer down, and then we want to get the competition back going so that's been different and a little bit of an adjustment for our guys. So now we're asking them to kick start the engines and get right back up to that competitiveness." Prior to on ice practices the team had film sessions and chalk talk's so they were thrilled to finally lace up the skates and hit the ice.