Syracuse National 99 players shoot to compete in national tournament

By Jillian Marshall

March 28, 2014 Updated Mar 28, 2014 at 10:51 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Three local teenagers are only days away from the National Hockey Tournament in Wisconsin. On Friday, they were at the Binghamton Senators game -- not to watch, but to make sure their dreams come true.

Ryan Reifler, Thomas Draper and Richard Pichura, all of Binghamton, took it to the main concourse at Broome County Veterans Memorial arena to fundraise to compete on national ice.

The three are a part of Syracuse National 99 Hockey Team. Who found out on Sunday from USA Hockey that their team was in the top 16 in the nation and will be heading out to Green Bay, Wisconsin for the National Hockey Tournament on Tuesday.

"It was actually really surprising to get the email about it, I couldn't fall asleep that night just because I was looking forward to going to Green Bay," said goalie Thomas Draper.

The trio raffled off signed jerseys and tickets to Buffalo Sabres games, and more.

For Reifler, Draper and Pichura, it was about more than raising enough to go to the tournament it's about being able to compete on a national level.

"It's pretty big because only the best teams from around the country, and that we made it is pretty big," right wing Reifler said.

"It'll be a good experience for youth hockey and the top teams from the country, so it should be fun," said center Richard Pichura.

According to their parents, it will cost about $1,500 per family for the trip.

The tournament starts this Tuesday with the finals next Sunday.

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