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Roadrunners youth hockey team heading to National Championships

The Plattsburgh Youth Hockey Roadrunners in the 1980 Herb Brooks Olympic Arena in Lake Placid.

The Plattsburgh Youth Hockey Roadrunners in the 1980 Herb Brooks Olympic Arena in Lake Placid.

PLATTSBURGH —The Plattsburgh Youth Hockey Roadrunners will be heading to Troy, Michigan, to compete in the USA Hockey National Championship Tournament this weekend.

The Tier II Boys Midget Team earned its place in the championship after finishing second place in the USA Hockey NY District State Championships recently held in Buffalo.

“Our boys have accomplished something extraordinary which has never been done previously by a local boys youth hockey team,” said Coach Steve Gagnier in an email.

The state championship featured eight of the top teams from across New York.

The Roadrunners tied the top-ranked Nassau County Lions, 2-2, in the first game, scoring their final goal on a penalty shot with only 0.4 seconds on the clock.

They suffered a 3-2 loss in the second game against Buffalo’s Clarence Mustangs, but went on to secure a 7-1 victory over the Long Island Rebels, which qualified them for a semifinal match against the Long Island Edge, with the Roadrunners scoring a 4-0 win.

Advancing to the finals, the Roadrunners were narrowly defeated 5-4 by Buffalo’s Cheektowaga Warriors in double overtime.

"We put this team together last fall to try and supplement the high school schedule and give these players some more quality games,” said Head Coach Keith Clark in a press release. “We knew we had quality players but never remotely anticipated being so close to the State Championship.”

The Roadrunners’ second place finish in the State Championship Tournament earned them a spot in the National Championships in Troy, Michigan, April 3-7.

They will compete against 39 other teams from across the United States.

The teams will be divided into three divisions, and the Roadrunners will be placed in the top bracket with 15 other teams.

The first three games will be held April 3,4 and 5, and the tournament quarterfinals and semifinals will be held on Saturday, April 6. The National Championship game will be held April 7.

"What a great honor to be able to represent the New York District and northern New York in the National Tournament,” Clark said. “We will go with the attitude of enjoying the experience and competing hard."

Anyone is interested in helping, or just learning more about the team, can contact Steve Gagnier at 643-2870 or Dave Champagne at 561-1938.

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