Matt Alvey: From Student to Coach

Bobby Colla, staff writer

 According to head hockey Coach Matt Alvey, getting to Nationals is just a stepping stone.

“I try to use some of my memories to tell the guys.  It’s okay to be nervous and excited, just to take care of business when the time comes,” said Matt Alvey.

Hudson Valley forward Will Inman said, “Our goal is to win Nationals, one step at a time.”

This is Coach Alvey’s fourth NJCAA National tournament as head coach of Hudson Valley’s ice hockey team. He also played in three NCAA National tournaments for Lake Superior State University from 1994 to 1997.

In 1994, Alvey was a part of the Lake Superior State National Championship team and scored the game winning goal to clinch the title.

“I was lucky enough to score a goal, and it ended up being the game winning goal,” said Alvey. “That’s a great memory that I have.”

While growing up in Troy, Alvey played junior hockey in Springfield, Mass. This got him drafted straight out of high school in the second round of the NHL draft by the Boston Bruins.

“Because I played in Springfield, the Bruins scouts were familiar with me,” said Alvey.

“I decided to go to Lake Superior State on my own,” Alvey said.

He went there despite being drafted because he wanted to get his education and LSSU was one of the schools recruiting him.

After graduating from LSSU, Alvey began negotiating with the Bruins about signing a contract.

“I went down to Florida to play with the Pensacola Ice Pilots while I was in negotiations,” said Alvey.

“I then went out to the California Coast and played out in Fresno for two seasons,” Alvey said. “Unfortunately, in that second season I badly hurt my knee which finished my playing career.”

With all of Alvey’s experience, he had put together a substantial resume to become the head hockey coach at Hudson Valley.

“I never really thought I was going to be a coach,” Alvey said. “I came back to Hudson Valley to take a computer class.”

“When Coach Ron Kuhl left and the job opened, I was told to apply for it,” said Alvey. “Now 12 years later, here I am.”

Alvey has won over 100 games as head coach. He was the first to do so at Hudson Valley when he accomplished the feat two seasons ago on the road.

“Having Nationals here will be an interesting experience,” Alvey said. “Besides growing up in Troy and being a coach, I am also a physical education graduate from Hudson Valley myself.”

Alvey also has the chance to stay home with his wife and two children because Hudson Valley is hosting the tournament.

“They’re excited. It keeps me home for a couple extra weeks,” said Alvey.

“My family attends just about every game. They love hockey, especially my daughter. She likes coming to all the games,” he said.

Alvey considers Hudson Valley a very unique place to play.

“We have our own rink here. Not many junior or community colleges can say that.”

“Another unique thing about Hudson Valley is the opportunity,” said Alvey. “Our goal is to prep and send these kids off ready for a four year school to get their higher degrees.”

Alvey is very confident in the group of student athletes he has this year.

“My only real concern with the team this year is our numbers are quite low,” he said.

“I still have expectations for this team. Win or lose, we expect to compete,” said Alvey.

Coach Alvey and his Vikings prepare to play their first Nationals tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22 at home.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: