Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey Set to Open Their Season

The Utica Pioneers Women’s Hockey Team opens their regular season this Friday and is putting themselves to the test right from the start.

Head coach Dave Clausen’s team is coming off of an outstanding 2021-22 season that saw them set a school record for wins in a season en route to an overall record of 21-6-0 that included a UCHC mark of 17-3-0. They entered this season ranked number two in the UCHC preseason poll, and are just outside of the top fifteen in the latest USCHO Women’s Divison III national poll. With the exception of thirty-point scorer Rebecca Brown (who has since graduated), the Pioneer’s top ten scorers from last season return to the team this season, including the reigning UCHC Player of the Year and First Team All-American Georgiana Santullo, Erica Sloan, and Carly Stefanini. Also back this season is standout junior goaltender Angela Hawthorne, who will most likely assume the starter duties in net for the Pioneers.

Senior forward Erica Sloan (#6) of the Utica University Pioneers tracks down the puck during Sunday’s exhibition game on Sunday against the Norwich Cadets at the Adirondack Bank Center. Photo credit: Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.

The Pioneers now have their sights set on the 2022-23 season and have already sparred with a top-fifteen team before their regular season has even begun. After defeating SUNY Canton last Friday, Utica faced the eleventh-ranked Norwich Cadets in the friendly confines of the Adirondack Bank Center. Although they would lose this game by a score of 1-0, the Pioneers got a fantastic performance from Hawthorne in the net and now prepare for their next opponent – the fourth-ranked Elmira College Soaring Eagles.

Utica Pioneers goaltender Angela Hawthorne (#32) tracks the action through a maze of players in front of her during Sunday’s game against the Norwich Cadets. Photo credit: Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.

Friday’s game against the Soaring Eagles (which will start at 4:30 pm EDT) will be the regular season opener for both teams. Adding to the challenge for Utica is the game will be played in Elmira’s home rink at the Murray Athletic Center. Last season, the Soaring Eagles finished with an overall regular season record of 25-4-1 as well as an NEHC mark of 17-0-0. In the postseason, they made it to the semifinal of the NCAA Division III tournament. Utica and Elmira College opened their regular seasons against each other last season as well, with the Soaring Eagles winning that matchup at the Adirondack Bank Center by a score of 5-1.

For more information on Utica University Pioneers hockey, visit https://uticapioneers.com.

This episode of 315 Hockey Live is our Utica Pioneers Hockey preview show! Joining us to take a look at the season ahead for the Men’s team is their Head Coach Gary Heenan! After Coach Heenan, Women’s Head Coach Dave Clausen comes on to discuss the season ahead for his Pioneers team!

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