December 29, 2005
Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup
Gutterson Fieldhouse • Burlington, Vt.

Holiday Tournament Preview


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 Catamounts offense.

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 in scoring.


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 conference.

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.