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Ice Hockey

02/20/2005
Hudson Valley Ice Hockey Selected For NJCAA Tournament

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 429-9486
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Hudson Valley Community College ice hockey team has earned the sixth seed in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament and will meet No. 3 Monroe Community College in the opening round at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 4 in Morrisville.

Hudson Valley won three of its final four games of the season to improve its record to 11-7-1 and guarantee itself a slot in the six-team national championship tournament. It will be the third postseason appearance for Hudson Valley in the program's history, and the first for the Vikings since winning the national championship in 2001. Monroe enters the tournament with a 13-7-2 mark.

"We're very excited to get a chance to play for a national championship," said Hudson Valley head coach Matt Alvey. "We're peaking at the right time. Over the last couple of weeks we've been able to put the puck in the net and our goaltending has come up big for us on several occasions."

Freshman Jeff Beecher (South Glens Falls/South Glens Falls High School) leads Hudson Valley and ranks sixth in the NJCAA in scoring with 42 points (21 goals and 21 assists). He has had eight goals and six assists over the last four games.

Three other Hudson Valley players have tallied at least 20 points this season. Sophomore Mike Van Baaren (Albany/LaSalle Institute) is second on the team with 13 goals and has nine assists. Sophomore Stephen Barrett (Claverack/Hudson High School) has 12 goals and eight assists, and sophomore Devin Krichbaum (Pattersonville/Sault Ste Marie, MI High School) has four goals and 16 assists.

Sophomore goaltender Bryan McDonald (Ballston Lake/Shenendehowa High School) ranks fourth in Region III with a 2.86 goals against average.

Hudson Valley and Monroe already have played twice this season. The Tribunes won, 6-2, on November 12 in Rochester. The two teams tied, 4-4, on January 22 in Troy.

The winner of Friday night's game will meet second seeded Minot State University-Bottineau (ND) in the tournament semifinals at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. Bottineau currently sports a 20-4 record.