October 12, 2007
Season-Opening Tournament Previews

* All Times Eastern

Ice Breaker

Ice Breaker Tournament
Xcel Energy Center • St. Paul, Minn.

Boston College vs. Michigan, 5:30 p.m.
Rensselaer vs. Minnesota, 8:30 p.m

Rensselaer vs. Boston College/Michigan, 5:30 p.m.
Boston College/Michigan vs. Minnesota, 8:30 p.m.


The Ice Breaker served as the inaugural event at the new Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford, Ohio. Vermont won the championship, however, blanking Colgate in the first round and dropping host Miami by a 4-1 score in the title game. Denver took third place, following its 5-2 first-round loss to the RedHawks with a 3-2 win against Colgate.


Boston College: Benn Ferriero, Jr., F; Nathan Gerbe, Jr., F; Brett Motherwell, Jr., D
Michigan: Chad Kolarik, Sr., F; Mark Mitera, Jr., D; Kevin Porter, Sr., F;
Minnesota: Jay Barriball, So., F; Kyle Okposo, So., F; Blake Wheeler, Jr., F
Rensselaer: Jonathan Ornelas, Sr., F; Peter Merth, So., D; Jordan Alford, Sr., G


Goaltending will be a primary concern for three of the four teams in the Ice Breaker field. Freshman John Muse is expected to take over in goal for Boston College, replacing the departed Cory Schneider, who backstopped the Eagles to two straight appearances in the NCAA tournament title game. Minnesota lost Kellen Briggs to graduation, which leaves junior Jeff Frazee as the Gophers’ go-to guy between the pipes. Billy Sauer returns for a third year as Michigan’s primary starter in goal needing to show consistency, the lack of which plagued his first two seasons with the Wolverines.

Rensselaer boasts two veteran netminders in Jordan Alford and Mathias Lange; the tournament will serve as a measuring stick for an Engineer program entering in its second year under the guidance of coach Seth Appert.

Lefty McFadden

Lefty McFadden Invitational
Nutter Center • Dayton, Ohio

Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin, 5:05 p.m.
Mercyhurst vs. Ohio State, 8:05 p.m.

Third-place game, 4:35 p.m. ET
Championship game, 7:35 p.m. ET


The Lefty McFadden Invitational was not held last season. Miami, the tournament’s host since its launch in 2002, instead hosted the aforementioned Ice Breaker Tournament a year ago.


Mercyhurst: Ben Cottreau, Sr., F; Matt Pierce, Jr. F; Ryan Toomey, Sr., F
Notre Dame: Erik Condra, Jr., F; Kyle Lawson, So., D; Ryan Thang, So., F
Ohio State: Tom Fritsche, Sr., F; Tom Goebel, Sr., F; Joe Palmer, So., G
Wisconsin: Michael Davies, So., F; Jamie McBain, So., F; Kyle Turris, Fr., F


The tournament’s first game is an intriguing one, pitting the young Badgers and its highly touted freshman class led by forward Kyle Turris, the third overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, against a Fighting Irish club that must deal with raised expectations following last season’s surprise run to CCHA regular season and playoff titles and the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Both teams are also dealing with the graduations of standout goalies – Notre Dame lost David Brown, while Wisconsin is without the services of Brian Elliott.

Ohio State defined mediocrity last season; the Buckeyes finished in the middle of the pack in the CCHA with a 12-12-4 league mark and scored the exact number of goals they allowed (120). A return to form from senior forward Tom Fritsche, who missed half of last season with a stomach ailment, will help OSU’s offense greatly; another year of experience under sophomore goaltender Joe Palmer’s belt should boost the defense. Mercyhurst finished in a very un-Laker-like tie for seventh in the Atlantic Hockey standings last season. Ex-Maine goalie Matt Lundin will be counted on to provide a boost for a team that tied for the league lead in most goals allowed (134) last year.

Nye Frontier

Nye Frontier Classic
Sullivan Arena • Anchorage, Alaska

Boston University vs. Robert Morris, 9:05 p.m.
Wayne State at Alaska Anchorage, midnight

Robert Morris vs. Wayne State, 8:05 p.m.
Boston University at Alaska Anchorage, 11:05 p.m.


Two teams – Alaska Anchorage and Colorado College – posted 1-0-1 records at last year’s event. Nebraska-Omaha skated to a pair of ties, while Merrimack lost both its games. The Seawolves earned the tournament title for the third time in four years on the strength of a shootout victory over UNO.


Alaska Anchorage: Paul Crowder, So., F; Josh Lunden, So., F; Merit Waldrop, Sr., F
Boston University: Matt Gilroy, Jr., D; Pete MacArthur, Sr., F; Brandon Yip, Jr., F
Robert Morris: Christian Boucher, Sr., G; Ryan Cruthers, Sr., F; Chris Margott, Jr., F
Wayne State: Brett Bothwell, So., G; Jared Katz, So., F; Derek Bachynski, Sr., F


The tournament marks the beginning of the end for Wayne State, which last month announced it was dropping varsity hockey upon the conclusion of the season. It’ll be interesting to see how the Warriors respond to their lame-duck status, especially since WSU finished last season on a high note, posting a 7-4-2 mark over its last 13 games. The Robert Morris program, meanwhile, marks its fourth year of existence. The veteran group – 14 seniors dot the Colonials’ roster – has its sights set on CHA regular-season and playoff championships. They’ll need a better effort from senior goalie Christian Boucher, who struggled with consistency last season.

On Dec. 30 of last season, Alaska Anchorage’s record sat at 10-8-2 following a sweep of in-state nemesis Alaska. The Seawolves proceeded to win just three of their last 17 games. UAA’s leading goal scorers from a year ago are back. Sophomores Paul Crowder and Josh Lunden (11 goals each last season) need to score closer to 20 goals each for a UAA team that brings back most of its key components from last season. Expectations are high for Boston University as Jack Parker mixes in a heralded freshman class with a solid returning cast. Most observers will focus on the Terriers’ newcomers, but an injury-free season for junior forward Brandon Yip and finding a suitable replacement for goaltender John Curry are of primary concern.

— Mike Eidelbes