December 27, 2007
Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup

Gutterson Arena • Burlington, Vt.

Holiday Tournament Preview


Saturday, Dec. 29
Western Michigan vs. Quinnpiac, 3:30 p.m.
Holy Cross at Vermont, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 30
Third-Place Game, 4 p.m.
Championship Game, 7 p.m.

(All times Eastern)

TV: CN8 in New England will broadcast the Vermont/Holy Cross semifinal on Saturday and both of Sunday's contests. |


Saint Cloud State captured the tournament with a 4-2 win over host Vermont, with tourney MVP Nate Dey scoring a pair of goals. Union topped Rensselaer, 5-1, in the consolation pitting two Capital District foes. In the opening round, St. Cloud doubled up Union, 4-2, and Vermont blanked RPI 3-0.


Vermont has won its tournament just once, blanking Dartmouth, 3-0 in 2005 final. This is the third year in a row which Vermont has hosted the event, and the 12th time since the inaugural event in 1990. Also, all three visitors this year are making their first appearance in the Cat Cup.


Quinnipiac has three veteran forwards who are carrying the load once again: Ben Nelson (16 points; 115 in career), Bryan Leitch (15 and 92) and Jamie Bates (13 and 108). Western Michigan junior Patrick Gallivan has 14 assists and ranks seventh nationally in helpers per game. Junior Jeff LoVecchio has 63 career points and senior Jeff Pierce has 62. Vermont's Dean Strong leads the team with 13 points and has 68 in his career. Corey Carlson, Peter Lenes, Colin Vock and Brayden Irwin all have at least four goals. Holy Cross is getting production from Brodie Sheahan (15 points), Dale Reinhardt (14) and Everett Sheen (eight goals).


Quinnipiac has the hot hand, winning three in a row and six of its last nine (6-2-1). Western Michigan lost eight of 10 in CCHA play before sweeping a non-conference series with Wayne State. The Broncos didn't carry over any momentum, though, losing to the USA Junior Nationals. Give the Bobcats the edge.

Vermont has points in five of its last six games, and has the home-ice advantage so the Cats have the slight edge. Holy Cross has turned up the offensive wick of late so if the Crusaders can get a good goaltending effort they could ruin the Cats' plans.

Quinnipiac will have its hands full in the final but we like the Bobcats. Give the nod to Holy Cross in the consolation final.

— Ken McMillan