PLATTSBURGH — Chris Panek, Bryan Murray and Niklas Sundberg are three names synonymous with Plattsburgh State men’s hockey success.
The three, who are among the most recent inductees into the Plattsburgh State Athletic Hall of Fame, will be recognized this weekend at the men’s hockey program’s bi-annual alumni weekend.
“It’s great to have three former players with great character being recognized,” Plattsburgh State coach Bob Emery said.
The weekend starts tonight with the alumni hockey game being held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ameri-Can North Sports Center.
Saturday there will be a golf tournament with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start at the Bluff Point Golf Resort. Then the three former Cardinals standouts will be honored at a reception at the Naked Turtle, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Panek, who was a Plattsburgh defenseman from 1985 to 1988, entered the Plattsburgh State Athletic Hall of Fame last year but will be recognized this year since the alumni weekend takes place every two years.
“I never had the chance to coach Chris, but many people tell me that he was the best player ever to put on a Cardinal uniform,” said Emery. “He signed a National Hockey League contract with the Los Angeles Kings, and that’s an unbelievable accomplishment in itself.
“He has been dedicated to the Cardinal hockey program and is our best alumni supporter, showing up for games at home and away. Chris is what we strive for from our hockey alumni.”
Both Murray and Sundberg will be inductees into this year’s Plattsburgh State Athletic Hall of Fame. The two will be inducted in October.
Murray played defense for the Cardinals from 1997 to 2001.
“Bryan was an outstanding leader as well as being a talented player,” said Emery. “That combination makes any coach happy. He was very instrumental in multiple final fours, including the 2001 national championship team. He’s one of those players who can say he won his last collegiate game as a Cardinal.
“He was a well-spoken member of the team. Bryan was instrumental in the team’s off-ice goals with community service.”
Sundberg was a standout goaltender from 1998 to 2002 and was Murray’s teammate for a good part of that time.
“Obviously, Nik’s numbers speak for themselves,” said Emery. “He is arguably the best goaltender Plattsburgh State has ever had. He represented the team well both on and off the ice and in the classroom. We knew in his freshman year that he was going to be a successful player and student.
“Nik was a quiet leader. On many nights, he made the coaching staff and team look very good. He was instrumental in our 2001 championship run and made 50 saves in our semifinal win.”