Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup
Gutterson Fieldhouse • Burlington, Vt.
Friday, December 30
Bemidji State vs. Clarkson, 4 p.m.
Dartmouth at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, December 31
Consolation Game, 4 p.m.
Championship Game, 7:05 p.m.
On TV: Adelphia cable
television will broadcast Friday’s Dartmouth-Vermont
game live throughout the state of Vermont.
While this season marks the inaugural
playing of the Catamount Cup as Vermont’s official
holiday tournament, there is some history (see below).
In last season’s Ledyard National
Bank Classic, the hosts from Dartmouth won the title
with a 6-3 victory over Vermont. Dartmouth advanced
to the championship game after tying Bowling Green
1-1 in the semifinals while Vermont beat Providence
4-1 in the other semifinal game.
Vermont and Dartmouth have a long history
of participating in the same holiday tournament. Dartmouth
began hosting the Auld Lang Syne Tournament in 1978.
Starting in 1981, Vermont was an invited participant
every year. The two former ECACHL travel partners
started alternating hosting responsibilities in 1987.
The two exceptions were in 1989 when Vermont and Dartmouth
(with Northeastern) participated in the UNH Holiday
Tournament, and in 1996 when the Catamounts traveled
to the Badger Showdown in Madison, Wisc.
Dartmouth plans to continue to host
a holiday tournament every other year and Vermont
will continue to host the Catamount Cup every season.
Many hockey followers expected Clarkson’s
Shawn Weller to be participating in a marquee tournament
in late December, but the Catamount Cup wasn’t
it. Weller was a member of the United States team
at last year’s World Junior Championship but
didn’t make the team this time around. As an
Ottawa Senators draft pick, he didn’t need to
impress scouts at the WJC and he’ll have a chance
to showcase his skills against some of the nation’s
best college teams this weekend. Weller leads the
Golden Knights with 10 goals on the year.
Bemidji State goaltenders Layne Sedevie
and Matt Climie have split the goaltending duties
so far this season, but Sedevie has a 6-1-1 record
in his eight starts with a 2.10 goals-against average
and .925 save percentage.
Vermont has three players averaging
better than a point-per-game, led by Torrey Mitchell
with 6-16–22. Brady Leisenring (19 points) and
Jeff Corey (17 points) join Mitchell in leading the
Dartmouth ranks sixth nationally with
3.58 goals per game, but their record is just 5-7-0.
The scoring statistics have been bolstered by a 9-3
win against Yale and a 6-1 victory over Cornell. Seniors
Eric Przepiorka and Mike Ouellette lead the Big Green
WE SEE IT
Vermont, Clarkson and Bemidji State
have been nationally ranked for most of the first
half of the season, while a talented Dartmouth team
hasn’t met preseason expectations. The Big Green
have scored big wins over Cornell and Harvard. Despite
the disparity in records and national ranking, the
Dartmouth-Vermont game on Friday will be a close one.
Bemidji State began the season with
a 7-1-0 record and impressive wins against Minnesota
Duluth. Since then, the Beavers are just 2-5-1 in
their last eight games and are winless in their last
four. They hope to get on track against Clarkson.
The Golden Knights played 10 of their first 16 games
at home and took advantage of their time at Cheel
Arena with a 10-5-1 overall record. This tournament
in Burlington will be good preparation for a second-half
schedule that includes four road trips within the
Vermont left the ECAC Hockey League
for Hockey East and lost its only game against a member
school from its former league – a 2-1 home defeat
to St. Lawrence on Dec. 17. After facing Dartmouth
on Friday, we expect the Catamounts to line up against
Clarkson on Saturday in the championship game. A semifinal
win over Dartmouth would even Vermont’s record
against ECACHL teams and make a potential tilt against
Clarkson a tiebreaker in Vermont’s games against
teams from its former league.
The only guarantee is that the team
with the green logo will hoist the trophy at the end
of this tournament.