The two Fredonia Blue Devil men's ice hockey teams to reach consecutive NCAA Division III Frozen Fours will be recognized as part of the 2014 Athletics Hall of Fame dinner and induction Oct. 18.
Members of the 1993-94 and 1994-95 teams have been invited back to take part in the event, which will include the induction of one of their teammates, Eric Preston. A 1997 Fredonia graduate, Preston will become the fifth member of the Frozen Four teams to enter the Hall. He's preceded by Craig Conley, Doug Florkowski, Jeff Lupu and Jim Pinti.
Preston was a freshman on the 1993-94 team, which won the SUNYAC championship and defeated Rochester Institute of Technology in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time. The Blue Devils lost to Wisconsin-River Falls in the national semifinal round before defeating Salem State in the consolation game to finish 29-1-4 overall, the best record in school history.
He was a sophomore when the 1994-95 team repeated as SUNYAC champions and defeated Salem State to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four for the second straight year. After defeating Wisconsin-Superior in the semifinal round, the Blue Devils fell 1-0 to host Middlebury in what still stands as Fredonia's only national championship game appearance in any sport.
Jeff Meredith was head coach of the Blue Devils then, and now. "I feel very fortunate," he said, "to have been able to coach those teams and players that played in back-to-back Frozen Fours and the national championship game. The accomplishments of those groups are hard to comprehend today and the success that they had will be unmatched. They took the campus and community by storm en route to two amazing years and I look forward to having them back to campus to reminisce and celebrate their accomplishments."
In addition to Preston, four other Blue Devil alums will be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 18. They are Danielle Bleecker, '08, from women's soccer; Matt Clark, '06, from baseball; Heather (Martin) McIntosh, '05, from women's volleyball and basketball; and Heather Mercer, '04, from softball. Tickets for the dinner are available by calling the Fredonia athletics office at 673-3101.