Hudson Valley hosts NJCAA National Championships

Carissa Phillips, Sports Editor

For the first time since 2010, Hudson Valley hosted the 2014 NJCAA Ice Hockey National Championships in the Robert M. Conway Ice Arena this past weekend.

The four teams to play in the National tournament were Hudson Valley, ranking the number four seed, Erie Community College in the number three seed, Williston State College, N.D.  in the number two seed and Monroe Community College holding the number one seed.

Last spring, Hudson Valley’s request was granted, allowing the National Championships to be hosted on their home ice.

“A lot of time and effort went into planning this event,” said Athletics Director Kristan Pelletier.

“When we heard we were awarded to host the championship game, Justin Hoyt, Matt Alvey and I immediately began planning,” said Pelletier.

“Our number one objective was putting on a first-class championship tournament for the student athletes and the fans of each school and representing Hudson Valley Community College in a positive manner,” said Assistant Athletic Director Justin Hoyt.

“Kristan Pelletier deserves a large portion of the credit for bidding as host along with her leadership and coordination of the tournament,” Hoyt said.

“There are a lot of people that work behind the scenes that need to be recognized for their contributions,” Hoyt said.

Hudson Valley’s Director of Institutional Events and Services, Zach Yannone and Assistant Director, Andy Fuda prepped the arena and manned the logistics of the event including scheduling, organization, and providing audio and visual game coverage with the help of Viking Video Technologies in streaming the event through NJCAA TV.

From Communications and Marketing’s promotion of the tournament, to Chartwells providing and serving food during the National Championship Banquet Ceremony held Friday, Feb. 20, Hudson Valley staff put a deal of hours into prepping for the Championship even before the 2014 new year.

“Without the help of all of these individuals, none of this could have been possible and we are lucky to have them at the college,” said Hoyt.

“Very few colleges have an ice rink on campus,” said Pelletier. “We are lucky to have such a great facility that can host large national events such as this one.”

With seating to accommodate 1,000 people and 18,000 square feet of ice surface, the rink is considered one of the best ice hockey facilities in the capital region.

“We never mind the travel to HVCC. The ice skating rink is by far the best we’ve ever visited,” said a spectator from Monroe Community College.

Hudson Valley and Monroe were the first teams to play on Saturday.

Monroe came out on top, winning 0-10 over Hudson Valley, giving Monroe 22 game winning scores with one loss through their entire season before advancing into the Championship game.

“It was an uphill battle from the start,” said Head Coach Matt Alvey. “The score did not affect the energy of the team. They were faced off against a great team and played hard the whole game.”

In the second round of games on Saturday, Williston State College won over Erie Community College. Williston broke the 0-0 tie in the last two minutes of the first period before ending with a final score of 7-0.

Williston State won their second consecutive NJCAA Hockey Championship on Sunday after beating Monroe 2-0.

Monroe dropped to 22-2-1 after only their second loss this season and first since November. This was also Monroe’s  last year having an ice hockey team.

”It becomes pretty expensive to rent an rink for practices and games after a while,” said Matt Alvey.

“[Hudson Valley’s] team [has been] losing a lot of our guys this year, but I’ll be scouting for Monroe’s players next year,” said Alvey.

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