University at Buffalo Sweeps D1 and B ECRHA Titles for the Second Time in 3 Years!
Both teams will travel to San Jose, CA to compete in the NCRHA National Championships!
The D1 Team went into regionals putting their ECRHA undefeated streak on the line. They would play Stony Brook first and win in decisive fashion 10-1. Tyler Walser had 5 goals and 2 assists in the effort. Next, the Wings would play West Point; the only team they tied conference play this season. The Wings would come out on top, 5-3. In their final round robin game, they would play their rival Towson. They would get off to slow start only being up 4-2 after two periods of play, but would score 8 goals in the 3rd to win 12-2. The Wings received a bye to the semi finals boasting a 3-0 record. The Wings would play Rutgers and dominated from start to finish winning 9-1. Mike Kaminska would get his first career hat trick. The finals were set and it would be a rematch of last years championship, between Rhode Island and Buffalo. After being deadlocked at 3 after two periods, the Wings would score 3 unanswered to win their second D1 title in 3 years. They clinched an auto-bid to Nationals in San Jose, CA in early April.
The B squad went into regionals needing a championship to receive a bid to Nationals. They would start off the campaign against Suffolk CC. They would beat them 6-2. Jeff Elias had 5 points in the win. Next the Wings would play Stony Brook. They beat them with ease 6-1. Elias had a hat trick while his linemate Bryan Feiler added 3 assists. Next they would have to play West Chester. A team that had beat them twice earlier this season. The Wings would end up taking 44 penalty minutes in the game which caused a 3-1 loss. They had to play an extra game against Towson to get to the semi finals. Buffalo would go up 3-0 in the first and then wait out a very sloppy victory to end a long day. The next morning they faced West Chester in the semi finals. The Wings would get into some penalty trouble and after two periods were down 5-3. While killing off a major penalty to start the 3rd the Wings went down 7-3. With less than 8 minutes left in the game the Wings would score 5 answered goals to win the game. Freshman John “Fake Jmac” McLaughlin would have a natural hat trick to cap the 5-0 run. The Wings would then play #2 ranked in the country, Penn State. The Wings went up 4-0 with the help of another freshman natural hat trick by Dan “K-Rust” Vrana. However, a late surge by Penn State would pull the game to within one. With 5 seconds left the puck was cleared from Buffalos zone and the Wings jumped the boards and mauled goaltender Ben Kozar. The B team won their 2nd ECRHA title in 3 years. They also clinched an auto-bid to Nationals in San Jose.
By the Numbers:
2nd time in 3 years both teams have won the ECRHA Championship. 3rd Straight year both will get bids to Nationals
D1-Tyler Walser led all players in the tournament with 27 points and 16 goals. Chris Kendall led all players with 14 assists. Had 3 of the top 4 scores in the tournament (Tyler Walser, Chris Kendall, Alex Durinka). Alexx Christie led all goaltenders in wins (5), GAA (2.00), and save percentage (.902).This was their 2nd ECRHA Championship in 3 years. They have made it to the ECRHA Championship game the last 4 years (2-2 record). This is their 7th straight year of getting a bid to the National Tournament. This year was their first D1 Regular season championship. They were undefeated in Conference play as well.
B-Bryan Feiler led all players in assists (9). The Wings had the number 2-6 scorers in the tournament (Bryan Feiler, Jeff Elias, Dan Vrana, John McLaughlin, Nick Narchus). Goaltender Ben Kozar was first in GAA (2.70) and 2nd in save percentage (.888). He also played a game as player and added a goal. This was their second ECRHA championship in 3 years. This is the 3rd straight year they will get a bid to Nationals.