Providence Holiday Tournament
Arena • Providence, R.I.
Wednesday, December 21
Brown vs. Sacred Heart, 4 p.m.
Colgate at Providence, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 22
Consolation Game, 4 p.m.
Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.
On TV: Cox Sports TV
3 will carry all four games live
The last in-season tournament that Providence
hosted was the Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Pot during
Thanksgiving weekend in 2004. That tournament was
played in downtown Providence at the Dunkin’
Donuts Center. Merrimack defeated the host Friars
5-2 in the championship game. Holy Cross downed Union
3-1 in the consolation.
INTERESTING HISTORICAL FACT
With a little digging through old boxes
and items that have been collected over the years,
Providence assistant coach Stan Moore could probably
furnish business cards with his name on them from
three of the four schools participating in this week’s
Moore began his Division I coaching
career at Brown, where he served under head coach
Herb Hammond from 1985-88. He then moved across town
to join Mike McShane’s staff at Providence College
where he worked as an assistant alongside Tim Army.
Moore then went on to coach at Colgate from 1992-96
WHO TO WATCH
Sacred Heart junior goaltender Jason
Smith finds himself among the nation’s leaders
in goals-against average (2.31) and save percentage
(.923). Those numbers could improve if he starts against
Brown on Wednesday, as the Bears rank 57th of 59 Division
I teams in overall scoring, averaging just 1.82 goals-per-game.
Fans craving a lot of offense might
look forward to the second semifinal. Colgate ranks
fifth nationally in scoring offense and has three
players that have reached double-digit figures in
goals in just 15 games. Kyle Wilson and Tyler Burton
have 13 goals each, and surprising sophomore Jesse
Winchester has 10 goals and 23 points this season
after scoring just four points in his freshman campaign.
Providence is playing an up-tempo game
under first-year head coach Tim Army, but isn’t
sacrificing defense. The Friars are 12th best in the
nation in scoring defense. Senior forward Torry Gajda
is prospering under Army’s watch and has 19
points in 16 games.
HOW WE SEE IT
The winner of Wednesday’s second
game between Colgate and Providence will certainly
be expected to leave town (or stay in town) with the
championship trophy. Both teams find themselves in
the national rankings and have thoughts of making
the NCAA Tournament. Two big wins before Christmas
could propel these teams into the second half as they
chase conference titles and postseason success. Wednesday’s
late game is clearly the marquee matchup this weekend.
A Sacred Heart victory over Brown would
be considered a mild upset, but the Pioneers were
6-1-0 in a seven-game stretch earlier this year. Sacred
Heart and Brown both enter play riding three-game
Both Colgate and Providence have
beaten Brown already this season; as Colgate scored
a 5-0 win over the Bears on Nov. 4 and PC won the
Mayor’s Cup with a 5-1 victory on Dec. 3. Providence
was 0-3-0 against ECAC Hockey League teams this year
until that Mayor’s Cup victory with road losses
to Clarkson, St. Lawrence, and Rensselaer. Home ice
might be the difference.