December 27, 2004
Ledyard National Bank Classic

Thompson Arena • Hanover, N.H.

Holiday Tournament Preview

This week's schedule
National TV Schedule

Holiday Tournament Previews
Badger Hockey Showdown
Florida College Classic
Great Lakes Invitational
Ohio Hockey Classic
UConn Hockey Classic
Wells Fargo Denver Cup
Dodge Holiday Classic


Wednesday, December 29
Providence vs. Vermont, 4 p.m. ET
Bowling Green at Dartmouth, 7 p.m. ET

Thursday, December 30
Consolation game, 4 p.m. ET
Championship, 7 p.m. ET


The “tournament” was played as a showcase last year, with predetermined matchups instead of a semifinals-consolation-championship format. Both Dartmouth and Vermont earned ties against No. 9 Massachusetts and defeated Minnesota State, Mankato on the weekend. Dartmouth’s 8-5 win over Mankato earned the trophy as Vermont’s winning score against the Mavericks was 3-2.


Seven-year itch: Wednesday’s semifinal games exactly match the first-round pairings from the 1997 edition of this tournament. At that time, it was called the Sheraton/US Airways Classic and was hosted that year at Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse. Dartmouth won the title with a 5-1 win over Bowling Green and a 4-1 win over Providence in the finals.


Providence sophomore Jamie Carroll has scored a point in each of the Friars’ last six games, with three goals and three assists. His contributions are especially necessary for the Friars, who enter the tournament with one win in their last nine games.

Vermont is 9-1-3 in its last 12 games and senior Scott Mifsud has 25 points in 18 games to lead the way. Forward Torrey Mitchell and goaltender Joe Fallon are two of the most popular freshmen on campus as each has played a big part in UVM’s success thus far.

Dartmouth senior forward Lee Stempniak was a pre-season Hobey Baker candidate but his mediocre stats and the Big Green’s so-so first-half won’t have him on many mid-season Hobey watch lists. The loss of linemate Hugh Jessiman to injury certainly didn’t help. Freshman Nick Johnson has joined Stempniak and center Mike Ouellette on the Big Green’s top line, which started to heat up in mid-December.

Bowling Green juniors Jon Sitko and Bryan Dobek started to contribute to the offense as each had a pair of assists in an 8-3 loss at Michigan on Dec. 10. Jonathan Matsumoto and James Unger share the Falcon scoring lead with 12 points each.


Bowling Green and Vermont are two of the most improved teams in the nation. At this time last year, Bowling Green was 4-8-6 and in 12th place in the CCHA. This year, the Falcons are 8-6-2 and in fifth place in the CCHA. In 2003-04 Vermont was 1-11-2 and the last men’s Division I team to earn a victory. This year the Catamounts are 10-5-3 and nationally ranked.

Look for the Catamounts to overpower Providence in the first semifinal. On home ice, Dartmouth should extend Bowling Green’s three-game losing streak in the last game to set up an all-ECACHL championship game. Vermont beat Dartmouth 5-1 on Dec. 19 and the teams will play again on Jan. 15. The middle game, and tournament title, will go to the Big Green.

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