December 26, 2007
Florida College Classic

Germain Arena • Estero, Fla.

Holiday Tournament Preview


Friday, Dec. 28
UMass-Lowell vs. Cornell, 4:35 p.m.
Clarkson vs. Maine, 7:35 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 29
Third-place Game, 4:35 p.m.
Championship Game, 7:35 p.m.

(All times Eastern)

On TV: Online streaming available via B2 Networks (subscription fee).


Led by tournament MVP Teddy Purcell, the Maine Black Bears scored 14 goals on the weekend and won the title for the third time in their history (also having won it in 2000 and 2002) with a 6-3 triumph over Cornell in the final. The Black Bears disposed of Western Michigan by an 8-4 final in the opening game. For the weekend, Purcell had three goals and two assists for five points. Current Black Bears Bret Tyler, Billy Ryan, and Ben Bishop were on the all-tournament team last year.


Maine and Cornell have participated in all seven Florida College Classics over the years and have combined to win five of the previous seven events. Boston College and Northern Michigan won the others.

Clarkson participated in the inaugural tournament in the 2000-01 season, which was known at the time as the Everblades College Classic.

UMass-Lowell advanced to the championship game in their last two holiday tournament appearances – at Denver in 2006 and at Minnesota in 2005 – but lost to the host school each time.

The champion of the event is awarded the Ned Harkness Cup and the tournament's Most Valuable Player is awarded the Shawn Walsh Memorial Trophy.


UMass-Lowell sophomore goaltender Nevin Hamilton had a solid junior hockey career in Massachusetts but took some community college courses and met other academic requirements before earning a spot on the River Hawks roster. He also overcame a couple of injuries and now he has earned a spot as the team's number-one goaltender. With a .913 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average, Hamilton has posted a 4-3-2 record and has also won three of his last four starts, with a loss at New Hampshire being the only blemish on his recent record. Juniors Mark Roebothan (8-5–13) and Mike Potacco (5-7–12) lead UML in scoring and have spent recent games as the wings on Lowell's top line, centered by freshman Scott Campbell.

Four Maine seniors lead the team in scoring, and that's part of the problem. None has yet to hit the 10-point plateau after 14 games this year and they're not getting enough contributions from their younger players. Defenseman Bret Tyler has four goals and four assists on the year.

Clarkson's Nick Dodge was an All-American last year and currently shares the team scoring lead with junior forward Chris D'Alvise.

A pair of young players lead Cornell's offense as sophomore Colin Greening and highly-touted freshman Riley Nash are each averaging a point per game through nine contests so far. Goalie Ben Scrivens played the best game of his career in his last outing, making 45 saves in a 0-0 tie against nationally-ranked Massachusetts.


Clarkson will have a few players missing from the lineup for at least the first game of the tournament but their depth should be strong enough to carry them to a victory over a struggling Maine team that has just one win in its last nine games. It's the first ever meeting between Cornell and UMass-Lowell and should be a good one. We'll give the edge to the River Hawks based on recent form, which has started to earn them recognition in national polls.

Expect a lot of 5-on-5 hockey this weekend as these are four teams that haven't taken many penalties throughout the course of the year. If our semifinal selections hold true, Clarkson again has enough depth to overcome UMass-Lowell in the final, but a defense that has had to deal with injuries all year long will need to play well in front of reigning ECAC Hockey goaltender of the year David Leggio.

— Joe Gladziszewski