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Farmingdale State hockey in ACHA Division III nationals

The Farmingdale State men’s ice hockey team will be playing for the national championship next week.

The Rams (22-6-2), seeded No. 2 in the Atlantic Region, earned their seventh trip to the ACHA Division III nationals in nine years, said program director of hockey operations and general manager Jon LaRochester.

Farmingdale State opens pool play against Aurora University on Tuesday and faces Central Michigan and Florida Gulf Coast the following two days. The championship game is Saturday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

“This is the best team that we’ve ever put together on paper,” said LaRochester, also the former coach from 2007-11. “Sometimes people say they want to go to nationals just to get there, but we can win this thing. There are some very strong teams there, but I would say we’re definitely in the top five.”

Michael Tardino, a senior from Massapequa, leads the team with 69 points and Albert Markopoulos of New Hyde Park is next with 64. The two are in the top 10 in Division III scoring.

“We have a tremendous core,” LaRochester said. “We’re young, we only graduate two players this year. There’s a great mix of veterans, juniors and seniors. The guys are all in.”

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