Florida College Classic
Arena • Estero, Fla.
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.
TV: Online streaming available via B2 Networks
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
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
HOW WE SEE IT
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