ACHA Gold Wins D3 National Championship
VINELAND, N.J. - The Adrian College ACHA Gold team has captured the 2012 ACHA Division 3 National Championship with a 4-2 win over in-state rival Davenport University on Saturday, March 17 from the Canlan Ice Sports Red Rink in Vineland, N.J.
Adrian College led 3-0 into the second period and held on for the first national championship in the program's brief history. Bo Beaupre gave Adrian a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes with a goal at 11:40 of the first period with assists from Kyle Powell and Alex Toth. The first period saw just one penalty as Jeff LeRoy served a two-minute minor for holding at 14:32.
The second period opened with Russ Rizzo scoring his first of two goals on the night. Rizzo was named the game's MVP for his efforts. LeRoy assisted on Rizzo's first goal at 2:46. Eddie Schaeffer made it 3-0 in favor of black and gold at 7:12 of the second with an assist from Beaupre.
Davenport started to mount a comeback with a pair of goals to cut the lead to 3-2. Zack Feher found the net at 12:13 followed by a power play goal from Mike Soto after a Toth tripping minor penalty at 12:13. The Soto goal at 13:12 made things interesting down the stretch. Rizzo gave Adrian a much-needed insurance goal at 15:00 of the second with Toth gaining his second assist of the title game.
There were no goals or penalties in the final 20 minutes as Adrian played a steady game and kept Davenport on their heels. Adrian's Garrett Knappe was named Tournament MVP going 4-0 between the pipes for the Bulldogs. He made 38 saves in the championship game and finished the tournament with a 2.00 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
LeRoy and Josh Dollinger were named to the All-Tournament Team for Adrian. LeRoy led the team with eight assists during his four games on the ice. Dollinger recorded three goals and two assists on defense during his five games in the tournament. Adrian went 5-0 during the week and finished the season with an overall record of 26-5.
"This is an amazing accomplishment by a hard working team," said head coach Brett Berger in an interview on Fast Hockey.com after the game. "The program has grown so much and it is great to see our seniors leave Adrian College with the ultimate prize."