By Warren Kozireski —
After initially following his hockey dream of playing Division I college hockey, senior forward Lucas Herrmann decided to leave the University of New Hampshire after three seasons and join Utica College and he couldn’t be happier.
Herrmann scored three goals over a combined 71 games with the Wildcats—all coming during his shortened sophomore campaign. With two weeks remaining in the regular season this year, the 22-year-old had seven goals and 21 points in 21 games.
“I went into the transfer portal out of UNH and a couple options here and there and just thought Utica was the best spot for me hockey-wise and life-wise,” Herrmann said in late-January. “I’m having a good time here; a really good team, really good guys on the team and it makes it even better that we’re winning.”
To say the least. The Pioneers entered the next to last weekend ranked first in the country (USCHO poll) with an 18-2-1 record.
“A little bit of opportunity does wonders for the confidence and playing with some good players here; it’s pretty fun.”
“He’s a big, strong kid and he’s a super human and has been a great addition for us,” Utica head coach Gary Heenan said. “He’s seeing special teams and just playing in much better situations allowing him to succeed.
“It’s been a breath of fresh air I think for him and for us.”
Herrmann, whose brother Zac played on the blueline for four years at Niagara and is now playing in Great Britain, played at the Nichols School in Buffalo before spending one season in the NAHL split between Odessa and Topeka and one season in the USHL in Madison where he netted 14 goals in 53 games.
“They (Nichols) had a really great coaching staff (Jamie Prince)…and they were pretty big in my development,” Herrmann said. “I grew a couple of inches from freshman to sophomore year and they kind of helped me mold my game into more a power forward rather than a skill guy.”
“I was actually committed to Niagara University back then (at Nichols) and my brother went to Odessa. I went to a camp they had to tag along with my brother and ended up making the team. I did pretty well and was fortunate enough to get drafted in the USHL and ended up in Madison. Then things changed and I ended up at UNH instead of Niagara.”
Herrmann has another year of eligibility remaining if he chooses to use it. “And there’s pros out there as well, but pretty undecided and just rolling with this year trying to get to the national championship and make decisions later on.”
Then he could look to team up with his brother in Europe to replicate the one year they played together in Odessa.
“If the opportunity comes, that would be perfect; that would be awesome.”
(Utica University Athletic Photos)