There's no question this has been a special year for UC's men's hockey team...Breaking school records, earning all-conference awards and appearing in the NCAA tournament for the first time hasn't phased this group.
Coach Gary Heenan says, "I'm actually a little surprised at how quite our excitement level has been within our locker room. I mean we are doing some pretty special things and the guys are being humble and kind of just toeing the line and saying whose next?"
One down and two more to go for the Pioneers to be crowned national champions...But the message in the Utica locker room is a clique...Just one game at a time.
Junior Forward Trevor Hertz says, "That's the main goal right, just make it all that way and now that we're there it's just making that next step and you know right now we're thinking about that Friday game and that's first on our agenda right now."
Friday UC will play in the Herb Brooks Arena, the rink famous for the miracle on ice in 1980... And the Pioneers are hopeful to keep their dream season alive.
Sophomore Forward Peter LaFosse says, "I've never actually been to lake placid, unlike a lot of the other guys on the team, so I'm just looking forward to getting there and taking in the experience because there's no guarantee that you'll ever go back there and play in a such a big game like this."
Head coach Gary Heenan rolled the dice on Saturday dressing 7 defensemen for the first time all year and he says it paid off. But even with the lineup change coach says his game plans will stay consistent. "Overall when you get to this point you don't want to change a ton, you want to keep the guys confidence up and their heads clear and keep in mind it's an exam week, so student-athletes, they've got a lot on their plate right now, never mind trying to win a national championship."