Hudson Valley Hockey Coach Matt Alvey Has Fond Memories of 1994 NCAA Frozen Four
Troy Native Scored the Game-Winning Goal for Lake Superior
CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, March 22, 2004
It has been 10 years, but thoughts of the 1994 Frozen Four still warm Hudson Valley Community College Hockey Coach Matt Alvey's heart.
Alvey scored the game-winning goal for Lake Superior State University in the Lakers' 9-1 win over Boston University in the NCAA Championship game. Alvey's goal, 3:17 into the second period, gave Lake Superior a 2-0 lead and sparked a five-goal period.
With three NCAA tournament appearances in three years at Lake Superior, Alvey can testify as to what members of the Boston College, Harvard University, Ohio State University and University of Wisconsin players are feeling as they enter the NCAA East Regional in Albany this weekend.
"They are probably very excited and a little nervous at the same time," Alvey said. "As the tournament moves on the distractions from media, professional scouts, family and boosters will increase."
Alvey, a native of Troy, played junior hockey with the Springfield Olympics and was drafted in the second round (51st overall) by the Boston Bruins in the 1993 National Hockey League Draft. He was selected ahead of several current NHL players including, Miroslav Satan, Darcy Tucker and Eric Daze, but chose to attend college before entering the professional ranks.
"My parents wanted me to go to college and get an education," Alvey said. "I wanted to get away and go west, and at the time, Lake Superior had a great team. I wanted a chance to win a championship."
It did not take Alvey long to win that ring.
Lake Superior entered the 1994 tournament as the No. 4 seed in the West Regional. Alvey, who was the only true freshman on the team, played right wing and was expected to use his size (6-5, 200) and ability to help control the puck.
The Lakers won three straight overtime games-a 6-5 win over Northeastern University, a 5-4 victory over the No. 1 seed University of Michigan, and a 3-2 win over Harvard in the national semifinals-before reaching the final.
"It was a very exciting tournament," Alvey said. "I didn't feel as much pressure in the overtime games as you would think. We knew we had a good defensive system that would allow us to win the games. It was my mom who could not watch any of the games. She would just pace back and forth in the hallways of the arenas."
The championship game, played in St. Paul, Minnesota, was not nearly as close. After holding a slim 1-0 lead at the first intermission, the Lakers netted five goals in the second period, including Alvey's goal, which he shot from just inside the blue line, and went on to the easy win.
Alvey played two more years at Lake Superior, turning pro after his junior season. He spent time in the East Coast Hockey League and West Coast Hockey League before injuries to his knee and shoulder eventually convinced him it was time to retire.
He returned to Troy in 2002 to become the coach at Hudson Valley. After struggling through a 3-14 season his first year, he coached the Vikings to an 8-9-1 mark in 2003-04 and is looking for better things from his team in the future.
"It takes time to build a winning team," Alvey said. "We made great strides this year from year one, but there is a lot of work left to do."
For all of the teams in this year's NCAA Championship, every moment could become a lasting memory. Just ask Matt Alvey.
"Along with getting drafted, it was the most exciting moment of my life."