Stony Brook will face league rival Rhode Island in the first round of the ACHA National Tournament. Photo by Adrian Szkolar.
Stony Brook will face league rival Rhode Island in the first round of the ACHA National Tournament. Photo by Adrian Szkolar.

It has been an eventful last few weeks for the Stony Brook ice hockey team.

After finding themselves on the bubble of getting an at-large bid for the ACHA national tournament after being upset by Rutgers, the Seawolves were selected into the tournament as the 16th seed, and then won the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League playoff championship a week later.

“We had a weekend off after the snowstorm, and that really helped us rest up, a few guys were injured, it’s a long season,”  head coach Chris Garofalo said. “The players just had a different gear when we got down there.”

In the ESCHL playoffs, hosted by Delaware, Stony Brook defeated Rhode Island 4-2 on Feb. 16 and followed that up with a 3-2 win over Delaware in the finals the next day.

Junior forward Wesley Hawkins was named the MVP of the playoffs.

“We accomplished a lot this season,” Garofalo said. “To win our league championship speaks volumes.”

In the ACHA national tournament, hosted by Robert Morris Illinois, Stony Brook will open up against a familiar opponent in Rhode Island on Friday, March 1. Stony Brook was 3-0 against Rhode Island this season.

“They are a team that is very, very skilled; they can definitely upset us,” Garofalo said. “I know who their top guys are, but because of the way our team is, it concerns me, are they going to be assumptive since they swept them?”

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Garofalo also said that freshman goalie Brendan Jones will likely get the start against Rhode Island.

The winner of that opening game will play the number one seed of the tournament, Adrian College.

“They are probably going to have a lot of depth, very smart players that will make good decisions with the puck.” Garofalo said. “I’m actually glad we could get a chance to play them, you have to play the best sooner or later.”

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