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Ice Hockey

10/29/2004
Hudson Valley Ice Hockey Preview

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, October 29, 2004

Vikings to Open Season at Morris on Saturday

It is time to take the next step.

Entering his third season at the helm of the Hudson Valley Community College ice hockey team, Head Coach Matt Alvey has the Vikings going in the right direction.

Hudson Valley finished 8-9-1 a year ago. That is not a great record, but it is definitely a significant step up from the 3-14 record in 2002-03. Another five game improvement and the Vikings should once again be right in the middle of the national championship race.

"We plan on getting to the national tournament this year," Alvey said. "For that to happen, the guys need to work hard in the classroom and on the ice."

With 11 players returning, including three of the top four goal scorers from a year ago, and Alvey's second full recruiting class, reaching the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tournament is a real possibility.

Forwards Kenny Holvig (New City/Clarkstown South High School), Devin Krichbaum (Pattersonville/Sault Area, MI High School), Aaron Coopersmith (Souderton/Souderton Area High School), Joe Evers (Albany/LaSalle Institute) and Stephen Barrett (Claverack/Hudson High School) all return to give Hudson Valley good size at the forward position.

Holvig (6'3", 185 pounds) led the Vikings with eight goals a year ago. Krichbaum (6'4", 220 pounds), who was named to the Region III All-Freshman team as a defenseman last year, will play up front this year. He had five goals and six assists last year. Coopersmith (5'11", 210 pounds) had three goals and nine assists in his freshman campaign. Barrett (5'11", 175 pounds) and Evers (5'11", 185 pounds) scored five and four goals, respectively, last season.

Mike VanBaaren (Albany/LaSalle Institute), who had three goals and five assists last season, and Travis Larson (Burnt Hills/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School) also return at the forward position.

Freshman Jeff Beecher (South Glens Falls/South Glens Falls High School), who was named the Capital District High School Hockey League Player of the Year last year, will be counted on to make an immediate scoring impact.

Jeff Weaver (Abington, PA/Upper Moreland High School) returns to lead the Hudson Valley defense. He had four goals and four assists a year ago. Andrew Usas (Saratoga Springs/The Winchendon School, MA) and Richie McKenna (Greenwood Lake/Don Bosco Prep, NJ) also return on defense.

Freshman Michael Devoid (Berwick, ME/Noble High School), who played junior hockey with the Laconia Leafs, is expected to make an immediate contribution on the defensive end of the ice.

Bryan McDonald (Ballston Lake/Champlain Valley Union, VT School) fought off injuries to make 13 starts in net for the Vikings as a freshman. His 0.905 save percentage is the highest single season mark in Hudson Valley history, and his 2.98 goals against average ranks second in school history.

"This is the most talented team I've had in three years at Hudson Valley," Alvey said. "If we can put the puck in the net, we'll be a good team."

Hudson Valley will play a 20-game schedule beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 30 against County College of Morris in Randolph, NJ.