December 20, 2005
Providence Holiday Tournament

Schneider Arena • Providence, R.I.

Holiday Tournament Preview


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.


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 tournament.

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 and 1998-2005.


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.


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 losing streaks.

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.