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Ice Hockey

10/19/2006
Hudson Valley Ice Hockey to Open Season Friday

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, October 19, 2006

Entering his fifth season, Hudson Valley Community College ice hockey coach Matt Alvey is hoping that this is the year his Vikings are able to take the next step.

Hudson Valley has made great strides under Alvey, going 3-14 his first year to consecutive NJCAA tournament appearances each of the last two seasons. With two of the top three scorers returning and a strong recruiting class, Hudson Valley is hoping to make the deep run into the NJCAA playoffs that has eluded them since winning the national title in 2001.

Sophomore forwards Dane Anderson (Newburgh/Newburgh Free Academy) and Kevin O’Connell (Colonie/Colonie High School) are the top returning players on what should be a much deeper offense. Anderson had 17 goals and 14 assist and O’Connell finished with 13 goals and 15 assists last season. Matt Wyld (East Greenbush/Columbia High School), a strong checking forward who finished with six goals and nine assists last season, also should be a force up front.

Joining them up front will be last year’s Capital District High School Hockey League Player of the Year Eric Nichols (Burnt Hills/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School) and CDHSHL All-Stars Tom Phibbs (Troy/LaSalle Institute) and Sean Caruso (Waterford/LaSalle Institute). Kevin Fairchild (East Greenbush/Columbia High School), a New England Midget Hockey league All-Star last year, also should provide scoring punch.

As deep as the offense is, the defense may be the strength of the team this season. Brett Holmes (Claverack/Hudson High School), who finished with four goals and seven assists as a freshman, is the top returning defenseman. He’ll be joined in the back by sophomore Drew Reynolds (Troy/LaSalle Institute), who played in 23 games at SUNY Cortland last year and was a two-time Eastern Junior Hockey League All-Star with the CD Selects, and Brian Pekala (West Sand Lake/Averill Park High School), who helped lead the Albany Jr. River Rats to a Junior “C” national title.

The Vikings had three goaltenders in camp. Sophomore Daniel Silver (Soldotna, AK/Kenai High School), a transfer from Utah Valley State College, looks to be the starter going into the season. Sophomore Mike Rockwell (Niskayuna/Niskayuna High School) and freshman Colin Bonitz (Guilderland/Guilderland High School) also will see time in net.

Hudson Valley will kick off its season at 9:15 p.m. on Friday, October 20 against the Union College club team in Schenectady. The Vikings will begin league play at the junior college showcase in Morrisville against Erie Community College on Saturday, October 28, and against Monroe Community College on Sunday, October 29.