Excitement continues to build in the community as the men’s hockey team prepares for its trip to the NCAA Frozen Four this week in Philadelphia.

On Monday, the Chamber of Schenectady County joined local business and civic leaders to unveil two 5-foot-by-24-foot banners hung from a pedestrian bridge over Erie Boulevard in the shadow of College Park Hall.

The banners, stating “Go Union,” will greet the 25,000 vehicles that travel the roadway daily. In addition, the Chamber will distribute window posters for area businesses to show their support in the team’s quest for a national championship.

“Regardless of what happens, our community is incredibly fortunate to be the home of Union College and the remarkable student-athletes who make up this team,” said James Connolly, chairman of the Chamber.

Calling it an exciting time for the city, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy wished the team well and said the community would be rooting loudly for them to return home as champions.

“We are thrilled by the success of the hockey team and what they represent,” said Union President Stephen C. Ainlay. “They certainly represent the College, but we’re also very proud they represent the city of Schenectady. The resurgence of Union hockey mirrors the resurgence of the city.”

Pointing out the team’s success not only on the ice, but in the classroom and community, Ainlay said “Union hockey is a demonstration of the fact you can still choose to excel in academics and athletics. One doesn’t have to make a choice between the two.”

Coach Rick Bennett has led the team to its second Frozen Four in three years. The team is appreciative of the support the program has received from the community.

“Every time our guys put on that jersey, they are playing for the school, true,” he said. “But they are also playing for the community.”

Ray Bleser, owner of Northeastern Fine Jewelry, presented Bennett and Athletic Director Jim McLaughlin with garnet-encrusted hockey pucks to mark the team’s success.

Also, Chamber President Chuck Steiner announced that Mazzone Hospitality has created a special Frozen Four dessert, a flourless chocolate cake resembling a puck with the College logo on top in fondant and four scoops of gelato to represent the four teams. The treat will be available all week at the group’s Schenectady restaurants, Angelo’s Tavolo and Aperitivo Bistro.

“This is an exciting time for everyone in the community,” Steiner said. “Go Union!”