On athletic teams responsibility falls on the shoulders of everyone. Whether it be on the playing field or off, athletes often find themselves giving to others. For the pioneers responsibility occurs all the time. Coach Gary Heenan has been around hockey long enough to know how much his players can handle. He's also been around Utica long enough to know he needs to give back.......And his team does. This past weekend was the seventh annual teddy bear toss, an event that the community embraces. But regardless of event the pioneers needed to win. "Halfway point of the season and we're 8-3, yet we find ourselves near the bottom of the league, you know and a couple one goal losses where we didn't feel like we played that great. But being 7-0 out of conference certainly very good on the guys, we have the potential to play some very good hockey and be a very good college hockey team." The Pioneers schedule tough non-conference opponents in order to prepare for a tough conference schedule and this weekend was no exception. Utica exploded for thirteen goals but only one on Friday night. "We definitely weren't happy with only a one goal win. I think it just gave us that much more for the next night, we wanted to really put on the show." The Pioneers certainly put on a show Saturday night lighting the lamp twelve times but none more important than the first one. "That first ones always a big one, everyone's pretty anxious, everyone wants to get that first goal. And after that it was basically on a roll, things started clicking and pucks started going into the net. Now that the season is half over, where do the Pioneers need to improve? "Our power plays been hot and cold but more hot than cold, so we like the way that's going. Our penalty kill is number two or three in the nation so we love that. Goaltending's been strong. So where we've got to improve is consistency and knowing who we are, we tend to be a little cute at times, we can play down to our competition at times, so playing 60 minutes of Utica College hockey at this point would be our goal." And the pioneers will have to play a full sixty minutes when they return from the break. Utica travels to Plattsburg to face Castleton state, a team ranked third in the nation. On a side note, the teddy bear toss raised around forty five hundred teddy bears.