For the first time in University history, members of the Stony Brook Ice Hockey team were selected to compete on Team USA at the World University Games, which took place in Trentino, Italy, from December 11 to December 21, 2013.
Stony Brook Defenseman Chris Joseph, a junior from Levittown, New York, and forward Ryan Cotcamp, a junior from Hopewell Junction, New York, were named starters; freshman defenseman Alex Miller, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, was selected as an alternate. World University Team Head Coach Scott Balboni selected the Stony Brook trio based on their play at the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) annual showcase in Cleveland, Ohio, in early October.
At the games, Team USA scored early wins over Sweden (2-0) on December 10 and Latvia (3-2 in overtime) on December 13, but fell to Italy on December 15 (5-1). Joseph scored the first goal of the game against Sweden, while Cotcamp assisted on the second goal of the game.
“I have been working my entire life to make a team like this, and all my hard work has finally paid off,” said Joseph.
Still in contention with 11 other teams for a gold medal, Team USA bounced back in the quarterfinals on December 18 with a 5-0 victory over Italy as Cotcamp scored the fifth goal.
“It feels amazing and it is such an honor to represent Stony Brook University and the United States at such a prestigious tournament,” said Cotcamp.
The team advanced to challenge Kazakhstan in the semi-finals on December 20 but lost 5-1, with Cotcamp scoring the lone Team USA goal. On December 21 Team USA fell to Russia, 6-2, in the battle for the bronze medal.
This year’s competition marked the 26th time the games — which take place every two years — were held.
Christopher Garofalo ’96, a member of the team from 1992–1996, is the Stony Brook Ice Hockey coach. He summed up the significance of the selection: “With 60 teams and more than 1,800 players to choose from [in Division I], just having one player considered for this U.S. All-Star team is an honor. Having two make the team and another become an alternate — that’s unbelievable. It speaks volumes as to why Long Island is a hotbed for hockey and how strong a program we’ve been able to build at Stony Brook.”
There are three divisions — DI, DII and DIII — within the ACHA, the governing body for all non-varsity hockey across the country. Stony Brook belongs to DI, the highest division.
Formed in 1968, Stony Brook Ice Hockey has grown to become one of the top non-varsity programs in the country, especially in the past 14 years, said Garofalo. Since 1999, the team has gone 355-123-20, winning seven out of its past 10 conference championships and qualifying for 13 of the past 14 invitation-only ACHA National Tournaments. This year, the team is ranked 10th in the nation at 14-3-3.
For more on the team’s schedule and results visit stonybrookhockey.com/schedule.
— Glenn Jochum