December 29, 2006
Ohio Hockey Classic

Nationwide Arena • Columbus, Ohio

Holiday Tournament Preview


Friday, December 29
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.

(All times Eastern)


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 Championship.

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.


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 of January.

— Joe Gladziszewski