ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Feb. 27 – Behind two goals and two assists from Nicholas Friol (Orchard Park, N.Y.), the Erie Community College hockey team recorded its first NJCAA national title as the Kats downed Monroe Community College 4-2 Sunday in the championship game at Monroe CC. Friol was named the tournament's most valuable player.
After Frank Briandi (Tonawanda, N.Y.) gave the Kats a 1-0 lead, Friol scored on a power play to give ECC a 2-0 with 2:28 remaining in the first period.
Monroe CC cut the Kats' lead to 2-1 with a goal in the third period's first 1:20 but Friol scored his second goal of the game at 6:03. Friol and Paul Brown (Depew, N.Y.) then assisted on Todd Lyness' power-play goal at 9:26 to give the Kats a 4-1 lead.
Andrew Yelich (Fredonia, N.Y.) made 31 saves. Yelich joined Friol, Briandi and Zachary Williams (Buffalo) on the all-tournament team. The entire squad is listed below.
ECC had finished as the NJCAA runners-up in 1982, 1987, 1994, 2009, and 2010, before claiming this year’s crown.
The national title is the 51st overall for the ECC athletics department.
ECC head coach Gary Rost was the named the NJCAA national coach of the year.
The All-NJCAA Championships team was:
MVP - Nick Friol – Erie CC
Frank Briandi – Erie CC
Zachary Williams – Erie CC
Andrew Yelich – Erie CC
Will Kinsman - Dakota College
Corey Hume – Monroe CC
Eddie Montgomery – Monroe CC
John Ambrose – Monroe CC