Ohio Hockey Classic
Arena • Columbus, Ohio
Miami vs. Bowling Green, 5:05 p.m.
Minnesota Duluth at Ohio State, 8:05 p.m.
Saturday, December 30
Minnesota Duluth vs. Miami/Bowling Green, 5:05 p.m.
Miami/Bowling Green vs. Ohio State, 7 p.m.
Miami won the tournament championship
after defeating Ohio State in a shootout in the championship
game after the teams tied 1-1. Miami defeated Rensselaer
3-2 and Ohio State bettered Holy Cross 4-0 in the
semifinal games. Holy Cross beat RPI 4-2 in the consolation
game. This is the third year of the Ohio Hockey Classic.
Ohio State has been involved in a shootout
to determine the champion of the first two Ohio Hockey
Classics, and came out on the wrong side of each.
The Buckeyes lost to Colorado College in 2004 and
to Miami in 2005. The 2004 tournament featured pre-determined
matchups on both days, but both CC and Ohio State
won their opening-day games in that event.
The Buckeyes are anticipating a return
to the lineup for Dan Fritsche, their leading scorer
in the last two seasons, who missed the first half
after suffering from ulcerative colitis.
Miami goaltender Charlie Effinger will
get a chance to play both games after missing a significant
part of the first half of the season with mononucleosis.
The Red Hawks' other contributing goalie, Jeff Zatkoff,
is with the United States team at the World Junior
Sophomores Mason Raymond and Matt Niskanen
lead the UMD Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points each.
The Bulldogs dress up to 10 players in the lineup
every week that are NHL draft picks.
Two players share the scoring lead for
Bowling Green as well, with Derek Whitmore and Jonathan
Matsumoto scoring 17 points each thus far.
HOW WE SEE IT
The most likely scenario is that we'll
see a rematch of last year's tournament title game
between Ohio State and Miami. The Red Hawks will prove
to be too much for the Bowling Green Falcons to overcome
in the first game. The Buckeyes will get a close win
(overtime perhaps?) against a struggling Minnesota
Duluth team in the nightcap.
Look for Miami to retain its championship
with a win over the Buckeyes. Those regional rivals
are getting to know one another very well in these
weeks, as they played a home-and-home series in early
December and will play another series near the end
— Joe Gladziszewski