Ice Hockey

Hudson Valley Hockey Team Defeats Erie 7-3; Will Play Morrisville In Championship Game At Noon Tomorrow

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, February 24, 2001

Vikings Advance With Brotherly Love
And A Hat Trick From Cottrell

     Troy, February 24 – Top-seeded Hudson Valley Community College capitalized on a little brotherly love - that of forwards Mike and Chris Paine - to win their NJCAA Region Ice Hockey Championship semifinal game against Erie Community College today. Skating at Hudson Valley's Conway Ice Arena, the Vikings stole momentum and the contest on Mike Paine's (Saratoga) game-winner 4 minutes and 32 seconds into the third period. Hudson Valley triumphed, 7-3, beating Erie for the third time this season and extending its winning streak to 13 games. Hudson Valley has not lost since Dec. 6, 2000.

     Number-five seed Erie had advanced to the game with an 8-5 victory against number-four seed Mohawk Valley in the tournament's opening round on Friday.

     The Vikings (21-4) held a 3-0 edge after 20 minutes of play today, outshooting Erie 17-3, and looked to be in for an easy afternoon against the Kats (14-10-2). Erie, however, rebounded in the second period. Using a slow, physical style of play and a pair of scores by Matt Landahl, Erie tied the game at three goals apiece by the end of the second period.

     "We had to make some adjustments between the second and third periods," Hudson Valley coach Ron Kuhl said. "We talked about assessing our own performance. These kids are good enough to know that they didn't play that well in the second period. And they're winners. They knew what they had to do to change that."

     Hudson Valley looked re-energized at the start of the third period. First, the Vikings did not allow an Erie shot on goal for the first four minutes. Then, after an Erie penalty gave Hudson Valley a one-man advantage, Chris Paine (Saratoga) took a pass from Dean Vandervort (Jacobstown, NJ) and skated behind the Erie net. Paine's brother, Mike, was trailing on the opposite side of the ice.

     "All throughout high school, we played in those same slots during power plays," Chris Paine said. "Mike's always been open on that play, so he's the first person I look for."

     Mike Paine was indeed open. Chris sent him a cross-ice pass, and Mike gathered the puck, judged the goaltender's position and fired a wrister over his left shoulder from 10-feet away. The puck settled in the back of the net, giving Hudson Valley a 4-3 edge, which they would never relinquish.

     "I saw that thing go in and I was relieved," Chris Paine said. "I knew we wouldn't fall back after that."

     "That goal was the result of playing together for years," said Mike Paine, one of just six Hudson Valley players who also skated for Saratoga's 1999 state championship team. "I read his eyes and I saw he was looking for me."
     After Paine's game-winning goal, his second score of the afternoon, the floodgates opened. Vandervort went coast-to-coast for a score. And Josh Cottrell (Ballston Spa), who tallied a first-period score, knocked in two goals, including one with 36 seconds left, giving him a hat trick.

     "I haven't had a hat trick in years," said Cottrell with a grin. "I only had four goals during the regular season this year. To do that today felt great."

     Hudson Valley gave the Kats just three power-player opportunities on the day. Erie converted once. The Vikings, meanwhile, were four-for-seven on power-play opportunities.

     "I've got faith that my kids are going to work it out," said Kuhl, explaining that he wasn't worried when Erie knotted the score during the middle portion of the game. "They're big-game players and they know how to get the job done."

     Hudson Valley's Phil Usas (Saratoga) and Chris Paine each contributed a pair of assists. In all, 11 Vikings checked in with an assist or a score, or a combination of both. Jason Vasco (CBA) made 12 saves to earn his 12th victory of the season.

     The Vikings will take on SUNY Morrisville (23-3) in the NJCAA Region III Championship title game at noon on Sunday. Morrisville, seeded third, advanced by beating the number-two seed, Monroe Community College (16-8-1), 3-2, Friday night. Shea Maliszewski made 31 saves for Morrisville. Kyle Bostic scored the game-winner for the Mustangs.

     Hudson Valley and Morrisville have played twice this year, each winning one game.

Erie Community College                  0     3     0     --     3
Hudson Valley Community College 3     0     4     --     7

     First Period - 1) HV, 2:26, Cottrell (Griffiths). 2) HV, 7:53, M. Paine (Santamoor, Chandler), pp. 3) HV, 19:59, Sturges (Usas, C. Paine).

     Second Period - 4) Erie, 00:17, Landahl (Hall). 5) Erie, 11:26, Landahl (Stucke, Shields). 6) Erie, 16:16, Szymkowiak (Shields, Buckley), pp.

     Third Period – 7) HV, 4:32, M. Paine (C. Paine, Vandervort), pp. 8) HV, 13:10, Cottrell (Usas), pp. 9), HV, 13:56, Vandervort (Sturges). 10) HV, 19:24, Cottrell (Corrigan), pp.

    Shots on goal - HV 17-9-13--39, Erie 3-9-3--15

     Goalies – HV, Jason Vasco, 12 saves; Erie, Chris Wittmeyer, 32 saves.

    Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions; Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, Hudson Valley has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.