For the third consecutive year, the Hope College ice hockey club team has earned a berth in the national tournament of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

The Flying Dutchmen will be one of 16 teams competing in the Division III bracket at Arizona State University beginning Thursday (March 4) and continuing through Saturday.

The Flying Dutchmen were national runnersup in 2003 and finished fifth in their first national tournament appearance in 2002.

The teams enters this year's tournament seeded sixth as champions of the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Flying Dutchmen have a 21-5-2 record.

The national tournament will begin with pool play. The Flying Dutchmen will first play #11 seeded Florida Gulf Coast University of Ft. Myers, Fla. (Thursday 10:15 a.m.). Other teams in this pool are #3 seeded Indiana University Purdue, Ft. Wayne and #14 seeded West Los Angeles.

Also competing in the tournament will be MIAA member Calvin College which is top-seeded. After losing three times to Calvin during the regular season, the Flying Dutchmen gained a 6-2 win over the Knights in the championship game of the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament.

Members of the Hope team are freshman Matt Adkins of Holland, Mich., freshman Mike Banducci of Traverse City, Mich., junior Mike Chovaz of North Muskegon, Mich., sophomore Ken Cooke of Williamsburg, Mich. freshman Karalise DeJong of Zeeland, Mich., junior George Dickinson of Ann Arbor, Mich., senior Josh Dufon of Mattawan, Mich., freshman Adam Folsom of Hillsdale, Tex., sophomore Steve Fugit of East Grand Rapids, Mich., freshman Jeff Guy of Kalkaska, Mich., freshman Craig Jackson of Holland, Mich., sophomore Michael McChesney of Columbus, Ohio, freshman Andrew Radler of Midland, Mich., junior Pete Rusche of Comstock Park, Mich., sophomore Kyle Samuelson of Maplewood, Minn., senior Jonathon Sedon of Midland, Mich., freshman Chris Strauss of Barrington, Ill., freshman Pete Volbrecht of Dexter, Mich., senior Ben Von Eitzen of Vicksburg, Mich., and freshman Jordan Winfield of Grosse Pointe, Mich.

The team's coach is Hope alumnus Chris Van Timmeren assisted by Jeremy Pearson and William Schubert.