ROCHESTER - The Monroe Community College ice hockey team rode the strength of four first-period goals to defeat Erie Community College 8-1 Saturday in the NJCAA national semifinals.
The Tribunes (19-7) advance to play Williston State College in a rematch of last year's national title game. Williston defeated Hudson Valley 6-1 in the other semifinal. the championship is 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tyler Underhill (Marilla, NY/St. Francis) scored the game's first two goals, including the eventual game-winner 12:04 into the first to make it 2-0.
Dan Going (Wilton, NY/Saratoga Springs) tallied the only goal in the second period to give Monroe a 5-0 lead. Goalie Tom Dehr (Varysburg, NY/Batavia Notre Dame) came up big for the Tribunes, stopping 11 shots in the period.
The Kats got on the board early in the third as Ryan Rogalski (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) found the back of the net to cut the lead to 5-1. But Corey Kifner (Tonawanda, NY/Kenmore West) responded for MCC less than two minutes later to restore the five-goal advantage.
Brandon Kirchens (Wheeling, IL/Wheeling) then closed theings out with a pair of goals to provide the final margin.
Cameron Randles (Canyon Country, CA/Pete Knight) helped create opportunities all day for Monroe, finishing with three assists. Going, Devin Coon (Sandy Creek, NY/Sandy Creek), and John Papas (Irondequoit, NY/Irondequoit) all added two assists.
Dehr allowed just the one goal and made 22 saves in a little more than two periods of work. Rasmus Nilsson (Kungsbacka, Sweden/Elof Lindalvs) came on to stop all three shots he faced over the final 13:50.