December 27, 2004
Florida College Classic

Germain Arena • Estero, Fla.

Holiday Tournament Preview

This week's schedule
National TV Schedule

Holiday Tournament Previews
Badger Hockey Showdown
Great Lakes Invitational
Ledyard National Bank Classic
Ohio Hockey Classic
UConn Hockey Classic
Wells Fargo Denver Cup
Dodge Holiday Classic


Tuesday, December 28

St. Cloud State vs. Maine, 4 p.m. ET
Boston College vs. Cornell, 7:30 p.m. ET

Wednesday, December 29
Consolation game, 4 p.m. ET
Championship, 7 p.m. ET


Cornell won the tournament championship with a 4-0 semifinal win over Notre Dame and a 4-3 overtime win over Ohio State. It was the first tournament title for the Big Red in the four years of the Everblades College Classic.


Should Maine and Cornell meet in the tournament finals, it will be a rematch of the championship game from the inaugural edition of this tournament, which saw the Black Bears win the Ned Harkness Cup with a 2-1 win in 2000. Maine and Cornell have participated in all five of these tournaments.


With three of four teams nationally ranked and WCHA rep St. Cloud State rounding out the field, the Florida College Classic features the strongest field of the holiday tournaments. As is the case with any successful team, it starts with goaltending.

Maine goalie Jimmy Howard was a second team All-America selection last year and has a 2.25 goals-against average entering the tournament. Derek Damon and Jon Jankus lead the team in scoring.

St. Cloud State goalie Tim Boron recently earned WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors after a great weekend against top-ranked Minnesota. He’s emerged as the number-one option in net for Craig Dahl’s Huskies. Senior forwards Dave Iannazzo and Peter Szabo are among the offensive threats for St. Cloud State.

The Big Red made it their goal at the beginning of the season to be the best defensive team in the nation and that’s been achieved, as Cornell is allowing just 1.45 goals per game to rank first in the country in scoring defense. Sophomore goalie David McKee is the last line of that stingy defense and has stopped 93.5 percent of opponents’ shots. All-tournament team members Matt Moulson, Mike Iggulden, and Mike Knoepfli return from last year’s championship team.

Boston College won’t miss Schneider too much as senior netminder Matti Kaltiainen will handle the goaltending duties. Kaltiainen owns the lowest career goals-against average at The Heights. Offensive stars Ryan Shannon, Dave Spina, and Patrick Eaves lead BC’s forward lines.


Fans at the rink and those viewing the games on CSTV get to see these teams at their best as only two players (St. Cloud State defenseman Casey Borer and Boston College goalie Cory Schneider) are with the U.S. World Junior team. The teams that take the ice in Estero, Fla.will closely resemble those that you’ll see in the post-season.

Maine and St. Cloud State get things started on Tuesday afternoon. As regular participants, the Black Bears own an advantage in preparing for a tournament played at a non-traditional hockey location.

The two best teams in this tournament are playing in the late semifinal on Tuesday when Boston College and Cornell take the ice. At 7-2-2, the Big Red boast an impressive record, but the losses and ties have come against Michigan State, Dartmouth, and Vermont. The most noteworthy win for the Big Red came against Harvard in the second week of the Ivy League season. Boston College will give the Big Red another chance to prove itself against a top-notch team.

Semifinal wins by Maine and Boston College will set up an all-Hockey East final. BC defeated Maine 3-1 in Orono on Nov. 5, and the Eagles should handle the Black Bears again this time around, adding the Ned Harkness Cup to the trophy case next to last year’s GLI title.

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