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Defending champ Post meets Le Moyne for Div. II title

Men's NCAA Division II National Championship

When: Sunday, 3 p.m.

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore.

Radio: WCWP (88.1)

Teams: Defending champion and top-ranked C.W. Post (15-1) vs. 2009 runner-up and third-ranked Le Moyne (15-1)

Coaches: Post, John Jez (fourth season, 50-9); Le Moyne, Dan Sheehan (14th year, 173-34).

Jez said of third-ranked Le Moyne: "On paper they are the more dominating team.'' But Post has proved its mettle on the field. It rebounded form a tough loss to powerful Dowling by defeating then-No. 1 Mercyhurst in a must-win game and then came back from a three-goal deficit to beat Dowling again, this time in a national quarterfinal last week in Brookville.

Jez spent the season worrying about his team's offensive output, but the Pioneers spread out the statistics. Eddie Plompen (41 goals, eight assists), Joe Meo (38 goals), Nick Coric (23, 24), Doug Hoch (18, 19), Mike Messina (17, 9), Keith Rodriguez (13, 14) and James Johnston (18 goals) comprised a formidable core. But the key for Post's offense comes at faceoff, where All-American Mike Cama leads the nation with a winning percentage of .713.

Post has had an interesting year with its goalies. Hofstra transfer Dan Orlando started nine games, but when an illness pushed him to the sideline, Mike Giordano came in and has taken over as No. 1. He was the stopper in the last Dowling game, shutting down a potent team when Post staged its fourth-quarter comeback.

Le Moyne, located in Syracuse, has a similar profile to Post. It does not rely on one sniper. Scoring comes from Matt Chadderdon (35 goals, 7 assists), Jack Harmatuk (30, 10), Jack Venditti (16, 18), Vinnie Alexander (24, 7) and Mike Rabbit (15, 13). It also has an outstanding faceoff performer in Corey Bulken, who has won nearly 64 percent of his faceoffs.

In goal, Jeff White was clearly No. 1 with a 4.62 goals against average over 11 games, but he was injured for the last four games of the season. Le Moyne has listed his status as questionable for the game and backup Matt Krupa has allowed an average of 7.27 goals.

"You play the whole season to get to this game,'' Jez said. "The ultimate goal is to win the whole thing. That's what our school is set up for, to win national championships.''

Prediction: Post 11, Le Moyne 8.

New York Sports