COMMUNITY

Max Novak Wins the NCAA Ice Hockey National Championship with Union College

The Oak Ridge, N.J. Native Played a Crucial Role in the Team's Historical Title Win

Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 12:40 PM ET / Community
By Brittany Burke
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Max Novak Wins the NCAA Ice Hockey National Championship with Union College\r\n
Max Novak, from Oak Ridge helped Union College to its first NCAA Title win.

Max Novak (bottom right of the trophy) is surrounded by his Union College teammates shortly after becoming the 2014 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Champions. (Photo / Getty Images)

For the second year in a row a New Jersey native has helped his team capture the title of NCAA Frozen Four Champions. 

Last year Kenny Agostino, Matt Beattie, Matt Killian, Charles Orzetti, and the Yale Bulldogs won the program’s first title by defeating their Whitney Ave. rivals, the Quinnipiac Bobcats. This year, it is Max Novak, a 6-foot center hailing from Oak Ridge, New Jersey who helped Union (N.Y.) defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Gophers already have five championship titles in their corner and were aiming for number six, but were stopped by the Dutchmen. In a highly offensive game Union was able to outshoot and outscore Minnesota en route to their 7-4 victory. 

nDaniel Ciampini, Novak and Charlie Vasaturo celebrate a third period goal during the Frozen Four semi-final game against Boston College. (Photo / Getty Images)

Novak played an instrumental part in Union’s run for the only title in the program’s history.  Union head coach, Rick Bennett described Novak as a clutch player, and that is evident in his game winners alone. 

This season after fighting through various injuries early on, Novak managed to tally up 29 points in 30 games and half of his 14 goals have in fact won the game for the Dutchmen.

His scoring continued in his team’s 5-2 win over Colgate to secure the ECAC Championship's Whitelaw Cup. The junior showed no signs of slowing down during the NCAA East Regional weekend in Bridgeport, Conn. While securing wins over Vermont and Providence to move on to the team’s second Frozen Four in three years, Novak was honored for most outstanding player. For what? He wracked up four more points for his stats sheet, two of which were gained by scoring the game winners in true clutch player fashion.

Union advanced to the Frozen Final with a 5-4 win over the Boston College Eagles. With both teams sitting as the number one seed in their conferences, The ECAC and Hockey East respectively, it was described as one of the toughest on the schedule. On the way to the final, Novak defeated fellow New Jersey native, Johnny Gaudreau, BC’s talented winger from Carney’s Point.

Novak contributed to his team’s final win of the season by notching an assist on Union’s third goal in the first period, and its fifth overall goal in the third.

Before committing to Union, Novak graduated from the Hill School in Pennsylvania and spent a season in the Eastern Junior Hockey League with the New Jersey Hitmen. His scoring prowess was evident even with the Hitmen, finishing fourth on the team with 61 points and an EJHL regular season championship.

New Jersey youth hockey has come a long way in recent years, and Novak is giving the Garden State yet another reason to be proud.

For more, head to NJ Youth Hockey Central.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59