The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Men’s Hockey to Host Second Golf Tournament

The Utica Pioneers men’s hockey team will host its second annual alumni golf tournament on Friday, Sept. 27 from noon to 6:30 p.m. at the Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford.

The event aims to raise funds for the team’s three-to-four year initiative to help get Utica to play in Europe.

Entry fees cost $200 per player and $125 for recent graduates from 2015 until 2019. Chances to become a sponsor start with $1,000 donations and include specific prizes for each increase in monetary value.

Activities for the day include a dinner, auctions, and of course, playing the game of golf.

Coach Gary Heenan has been the quarterback for this project for the second time and he notes that it’s very successful in its purpose.

“We sell this tournament out very quickly,” Heenan said. “It attracts our hockey alumni from all over North America and at the same time reunites them with our dedicated sponsors.”

The tournament creates a time of bonding between players, alumni and the community. Third-year left wing Brett Everson has this time of the year marked as something special in his personal calendar.

“The golf tournament is not only a great fundraiser for us, but it also an amazing day for all the sponsors, alumni, coaching staff, and even current players to get together, bond and be apart of something special,” Everson said.

The chance to play in Europe also excites players such as Everson. 

Major differences between North American and European rinks, for example, create a different atmosphere and experience for developing players. European rinks conform to Olympic size of 200’x100’; a good 15 inches wider than the average NHL rink.

As a result, playing styles between North America and Europe differ, with a focus on different development styles for younger players. Stars from the 2016 NHL Draft such as Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine honed their skills in Switzerland and Finland, respectively.

“The exposure and experience would just be amazing for everyone able to be involved,” Everson said. “For me personally, my goal is to play in Europe after my career concludes at UC and this would be unbelievable exposure for me to get to that next level.”

At the end of the day, Everson and the team are thankful for the support from everybody involved in Utica College hockey. 

“It means everything to us–their support is the reason we’re able to play in one of the most special atmospheres not only in D3 hockey but in all of the NCAA,” Everson said. “ We are so thankful for the fans’ support and it is one of the reasons we love to play here at Utica College.”

That support extends beyond the golf tournament as the 2017 Pioneers’ campaign saw the team lead the nation of Division III men’s hockey in terms of attendance for the 11th consecutive season with an average attendance of 3,311.

After the tournament concludes, the Pioneers have less than a month before preseason play begins on Oct. 19.  Utica’s home opener against SUNY Canton takes place Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

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