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Ice Hockey club wins conference title

Feb. 20, 2013

KU men's hockey team celebrates winning the 2013 GNCHC title
photo courtesy of the Ice Hockey club

KUTZTOWN, PA - For the first time in 19 years, the Kutztown University Men's Ice Hockey club claimed the Greater Northeast Collegiate Hockey Conference (GNCHC) Title by defeating Millersville University 8-0 in the Championship game on Sunday, Feb. 17.

After a rough start to the season, the club came together going 18-2-1 in its final 21 games of the season to win the division and advance to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. The club clinched the Western Division regular season title by defeating division foes Gettysburg College and Bucknell University to finish atop division and league with 30 points.

The GNCHC playoffs were a three-day, single-elimination tournament.  Kutztown opened the playoffs as a heavy favorite on Friday, Feb. 15 against No. 8 LaSalle University.  The 9-2 victory was highlighted by great offensive efforts from Nick Dicampli (JR/Havertown, PA), with three goals, and Travis Erb (SR/Bechtelsville, PA), with two goals.

In the second round on Saturday, KU faced No. 7 Muhlenberg College, which had upset the No. 3 seed College of New Jersey. With less than a 12-hour turnaround both teams came out a little sluggish, evident by the 1-0 score after the first period. However Kutztown found its legs and came out firing in the final two frames finishing the game with a 5-1 victory to advance to the championship game. Goaltender Kyle Richardson (JR/Rivervale, NJ) was one of the stars of the night as played an outstanding game, making some great saves to help the defense on multiple occasions.

Kutztown entered into Sunday's championship final against division rival and No. 3 seed Millersville University. It looked like it would be a close game in the early going as Kutztown took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. However Golden Bears' power play unit, of Nick Dicampli, Jared Whitby (JR/Clarks Summit, PA), and Brian Rieveley (JR/ Wyomissing, PA) turned up the offensive output with three power play goals en route to the 8-0 championship clinching victory.

The regular season was highlighted by great all around team play on offense and defense highlighted by the fact that the Golden Bears led the league in goals scored and goals against. The offense was led by forwards Whitby, the regular season league leader in points, and team captain and league all-star Dicampli. The defense was led by Cody Ruff (SR/Northampton, PA) and Richardson providing staunch defensive play at the Kutztown end of the ice.

The club came home with a lot of hardware, the playoff championship trophy and the regular season championship trophy. The Golden Bears also took home individual honors as coach Martin Dziura was named Coach of Year and Richardson took home GNCHC Playoff MVP allowing only three goals in three games.

The club will look to build upon a successful 2012-2013 season, as many Golden Bears will be returning to the den for 2013-2014 season.