The Erie Community College hockey team completed its regular season with a pair of weekend wins. The Kats bested the University of Rochester, 11-1, Feb. 18 before a thrilling come-from-behind 7-6 win against Cortland State, Feb. 19.
Tournament officials confirmed that last week's national poll will be used as official seeding positions for this year's Nationals. Two of those teams Erie is familiar with as Region III opponents where the Kats went a collective 6-1-1 against during the regular season, while the third opponent is the defending national champion Dakota from Region XIII.
The Kats (19-4-1) will head to Binghamton Feb. 23 to try and improve upon its national runner-up status from last season with a second national championship in the past three seasons.
The top four seeds will play each other with the national champion determined by the best record in a round-robin affair.
The second-seeded Kats start their play Feb. 24 against third-seed Hudson Valley (12-10-2). Erie held the edge during regular season play with a 2-1-1 record. On the road the Kats took three of a possible four points in November, while splitting at home with each team winning 3-1.
The next day, Feb. 25, Erie will face fourth-seeded Mohawk Valley (10-11-1). The Kats went 4-0 over the Hawks during the regular season with two of those wins coming via shutout.
The last day of the tournament – Feb. 26 – will be a rematch of last year's title game as Erie will face-off against Dakota (23-3-1), the tournament's top seed. Dakota saw a 16-game winning streak end with their last game of the regular season.
Dakota finished the regular season with four losses, while Erie had three.
Last year, the see-saw championship contest saw the Kats fall behind early, but take the lead in the second. Dakota replied and pulled ahead before Erie sent the game to overtime with a last-minute goal.
The tournament is hosted by SUNY Broome at its campus rink.