Hudson Valley Ice Hockey Preparing For National Tournament
CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, March 1, 2005
It has been four years since the Hudson Valley Community College ice hockey team hoisted the national championship trophy. There is a new coach and new players, but this weekend Hudson Valley will look to return to the top of the junior college hockey world.
Hudson Valley (11-7-1) is the sixth seed in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament and will meet third-seeded Monroe Community College at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 4 in the opening round. The winner will face No. 2 Minot State University-Bottineau (ND) in the semifinals on Saturday, March 5.
In his third season as the head coach at Hudson Valley, Matt Alvey may have the Vikings playing their best hockey at the right time. Hudson Valley has won two straight games entering the tournament, including a 5-3 win over fifth-seeded SUNY Canton in the season finale on February 19.
"We're peaking at the right time," Alvey said. "The guys have been playing really well the last few weeks. If we continue to put the puck in the net and get strong goaltending we can do well in this tournament."
Freshman forward Jeff Beecher (South Glens falls/South Glens Falls High School) is a big reason why the Vikings have scored 24 goals over their last four outings. He was named the NJCAA Player of the Week two of the last three weeks of the season and ranks eighth in the nation in scoring with 21 goals and 21 assists.
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) should receive the start in net for the Vikings. He ranks fifth in the NJCAA with a 2.85 goals against average.
Monroe (13-7-2) enters the tournament on a two-game losing streak. Hudson Valley and Monroe have met twice this season. The Tribunes defeated Hudson Valley, 6-2, on November 12 in Rochester, and the two teams played to a 4-4 tie on January 22 in Troy.
For Alvey, this weekend's tournament is another shot at a national title. He helped Lake Superior State University to the NCAA Division I championship in 1994 as a player.