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WNY well-represented in NCAAs

Hockey players with Western New York connections have been busy this postseason.

Friday night, the University of Vermont played Wisconsin in the West Regional of the NCAA Tournament. Senior Brian Roloff of West Seneca is third in scoring for Vermont with eight goals and 18 assists, and he entered the game with 25 goals, 53 assists and 78 points for his career. Buffalo Sabres draft pick Drew McKenzie has four goals and 14 points to rank second among defensemen for Vermont.

Canisius defenseman Carl Hudson signed Friday with the Rochester Americans (Florida) of the American Hockey League. He had 14 goals and 34 points in his senior season, when he was named second team all-Atlantic Hockey.

Two Western New Yorkers played key roles for teams reaching the Division III Final Four last weekend in Lake Placid.

Senior Kyle Gunn-Taylor of West Seneca was the starting goalie for Oswego State (26-3), which lost to St. Norbert, 4-3, on a goal with 39.4 seconds left. Gunn-Taylor went 18-2 in his senior season, with a .913 save percentage and a 2.10 goals-against average. Gunn-Taylor made 16 saves in the semifinal. The Lakers gave up four goals only three times all season.

In other semifinal, Plattsburgh State lost to eventual champion Norwich, 3-2. Freshman forward Matt Bessing of Cheektowaga helped bring Plattsburgh within a goal with an assist in the third period. He finished with five goals and seven points for the season. He attended Cheektowaga and played for the Buffalo Junior Sabres for two years after he helped the St. Louis Bandits to a junior national championship in 2006-07.

Three other Sabres prospects, all sophomores, will play in the NCAA Tournament today.

Miami (Ohio) plays Alabama-Huntsville at 4 p.m. in the Midwest Regional with draft choice Connor Knapp expected to start in goal. North Dakota plays Yale at 5 p.m. in the Northeast Regional with Brad Eidsness expected to start in goal and Corey Fienhage to play on defense for the Fighting Sioux.

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