ROCHESTER, NY - The 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association ice hockey championship is up for grabs this weekend as four teams will battle for the right to be called national champion.
Top-seeded and defending national titlist Monroe Community College (N.Y.) will host the tournament. Joining the Tribunes are second-seeded Williston State College (16-14), No. 3 Hudson Valley Community College (12-6), and No. 4 Erie Community College (N.Y.).
The puck drops at 1 p.m. Eastern Saturday, with Monroe taking on Erie in the first semifinal. Williston and Hudson Valley follow at 4:30 p.m. in the other semifinal.
Sunday’s championship is at 2 p.m.
Monroe (18-7), which went undefeated in regional play to earn the top seed, comes into the tournament winners of six straight. The Tribunes are led by sophomore forwards Dan Turgeon and Mike Boyd. Turgeon leads the team with 24 goals and 47 points, and Boyd has registered 19 goals and 21 assists. Sophomore Tom Dehr has been stout in goal with a 10-4 record and a 2.62 goals against average.
Erie (13-7) has been a regular participant at the national tournament, having won its first NJCAA national hockey title in 2011. The attack is spearheaded by Ryan Rogalski (15 goals, 22 assists) and Eric Mueller (16 goals, 20 assists). The Tribunes won all three regular season meetings with the Kats.
Williston (16-14), in just its second year of existence, is looking to break through after falling to Monroe, 4-2, in last year’s title tilt. The Tetons took down Dakota College at Bottineau two games to none in a best-of-three series to earn the Region XIII title and a return trip to the national tournament.
Hudson Valley (12-6) finished as the runner-up in Region III and boasts the top two scorers in the nation. Forwards William Huber (27 goals, 24 assists) and James Murphy (32 goals, 19 assists) have each tallied 51 points on the season and will provide a formidable attack for the Vikings. Hudson Valley has outscored its opponents 121-75 on the year.