Two teams in Region XIII of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) are set to face-off in a best-of 3 championship series this weekend. A berth to the National Tournament semifinals is on the line for the winner.
Williston State (11-16) are the defending national champions and are the favorite to return to nationals in Binghamton (NY) on February 21-22. The Tetons swept the two-game season series against Dakota College Bottineau (7-16), winning 6-1 in both matchups.
The DCB Jacks are seven-time (1986, 1991, 1998, 2007-10) national champions, last winning five seasons ago. Freshman Lucas Walsh (Seattle Totems; WSHL) led the Jacks in scoring with 14 points this season. Phoenix McElroy-Smith (Pembina Valley AAA Hawks) chipped in 7 goals and 5 assists. Goaltender Ryan Miner (Swan Valley Stampeders; MJHL) played the majority of games this season, posting stats of 4.55 GAA and .877 save%.
Winners of the past two national titles, Williston State will be eager for a three-peat . Despite winning 11 of 27 games, the Tetons are battle-tested. With just two NJCAA teams in the region, Williston play mostly ACHA four-year school club teams. The schedule included ranked ACHA Division I Colorado, Colorado State and Minot State. Saskatchewan senior club Rosetown Redwings (SVHL) and Briercrest College also were opponents this season.
Region XIII Championship
- February 6- Game 1: Dakota College Bottineau at Williston State, 7 PM
- February 8- Game 2: Williston State at Dakota College Bottineau, 7:30 PM
- February 10- Game 3 (if necessary): Dakota College Bottineau at Williston State, 7 PM