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A look at the Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey 2023-24 schedule

Photo credit: Scott Kinville

The Utica Pioneers Mens Hockey team opens their regular season in October. Here’s a detailed look at their 2023-24 schedule.

By Scott Kinville/CNY Hockey Report.

The Utica Pioneers Mens Hockey Team had an outstanding 2022-23 regular season. After losing the first two games of the season to the then-number-one ranked Adrian College Bulldogs, the Pioneers rebounded to finish the regular season with a record of 25-3-1. Last season saw several individual and team records get established, including a perfect 20-0-0 record in the UCHC and the program’s first ever-number-one ranking in the USCHO National Division III poll. Utica finished fifth in the final USCHO poll of the 2022-23 season.

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This season, Utica Head Coach Gary Heenan and his team will look to put together another solid season, while carrying on with the lofty standards the program has established for itself.

A new season of Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey is set to begin in October, and they will play a total of twenty-six regular season games. Here is a detailed look at the regular season schedule the team will play, which includes several familiar teams and some new ones as well. Please note, this is a look at the schedule only – the CNY Hockey Report Pioneers season preview will be published as we get closer to the start of the season.

All Utica Pioneers home games will be played at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY.

The Preseason Matchup

  • When: Friday, October 20th.
  • Where: The Adirondack Bank Center.
  • Opponent: The USNTDP U18 Team.
  • Final 2022-23 Regular Season Record: 36-21-3-2.
  • Final 2022-23 USCHO Ranking: NA.
  • Notes: Per, “The National Team Development Program is the pinnacle of USA Hockey’s amateur player development program. The NTDP scouts and selects the top 22 players in two age groups (Under-17 and Under-18) to train and develop in a highly competitive environment. The two teams (Under-17 and Under-18) face a rigorous domestic schedule including competition against older, more- developed players.”
  • The Pioneers and USNTDP U18 Team faced off in Plymouth, Michigan last season for an exhibition game as well. The USNTDP U18 Team won the game by a score of 6-2.

The Regular Season Opener

  • When: Friday, October 27th, and Saturday, October 28th.
  • Where: The Adirondack Bank Center.
  • Opponent: Adrian College Bulldogs.
  • Final 2022-23 Regular Season Record: 25-5-2.
  • Final 2022-23 USCHO Ranking: 2.
  • Notes: This will be the third consecutive season the Pioneers open their regular season against the Bulldogs. Utica is 3-6 overall in program history against Adrian.
Action from the Pioneers 2021-22 season opener against Adrian. Photo credit: Dave Warner.

The Thanksgiving Showcase

  • When: Friday, November 24th, and Saturday, November 25th.
  • Where: Adirondack Bank Center.
  • Participants: Oswego St, Elmira, St Johns, and Utica.
  • 2022-23 Regular Season Records: Oswego St. 17-9-1, Elmira 13-12-1, and St. Johns 13-10-3.
  • Notes: The Pioneers will play the St. Johns Johnnies (who are located in Minnesota) on Friday night after Oswego and Elmira square off. On Saturday night, the winners of Friday night’s games will face each other in the championship game and the losers from Friday night will play in the consolation game.

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The Teddy Bear Toss Game

  • When: Friday, December 1st.
  • Where: Adirondack Bank Center.
  • Opponent: Stonehill College Skyhawks.
  • Final 2022-23 Regular Season Record: 17-6-2.
  • Final 2022-23 USCHO Ranking: Unranked.
  • Notes: The Pioneers won last season’s teddy bear toss game 4-0 over Oswego St. This season’s edition of the teddy bear toss game is against Division I Stonehill College. This will be the first-ever matchup between the Utica Pioneers Mens Hockey Team and the Stonehill Skyhawks.
The Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey 2023-24 Schedule. Graphic courtesy of Utica University.

Big Regional Rivalry Game

  • When: Saturday, December 9th.
  • Where: Deborah F. Stanley Arena, Oswego NY.
  • Opponent: Oswego St. Lakers.
  • Final 2022-23 Regular Season Record: 17-9-1.
  • Final 2022-23 USCHO Ranking: 12th.
  • Notes: The Pioneers vs Lakers has become a heated rivalry since the teams began facing each other in 2002. Utica has won the last two contests and has not lost to Oswego since 2017. Overall, the Lakers hold a 14-8-5 edge in the all-time series.

The UCHC Games

Utica Pioneers Mens Hockey will play a total of twenty UCHC games again this season and hope to replicate last season’s perfect 20-0-0 conference record. This season the Pioneers will play UCHC opponents, Stevenson, Manhattanville, Lebanon Valley, Nazareth, Alvernia, and Arcadia at home.

Utica Pioneer John Moncovich (#37) plays the puck during last season’s NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals game against the University of New England. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

For more information about Utica Pioneers Mens Hockey, including schedules and ticketing, visit

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