December 29, 2006
Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup

Gutterson Fieldhouse • Burlington, Vt.

Holiday Tournament Preview


Friday, December 29
St. Cloud State vs. Union, 4 p.m.
Rensselaer at Vermont, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 30
Consolation Game, 4 p.m.
Championship Game, 7 p.m.

(All times Eastern)


Vermont left the ECAC Hockey League, but didn't forget how to shut down a pair of former league rivals. The Catamounts blanked Dartmouth 1-0 in the semifinals, and scored a 3-0 win over Clarkson in the championship game. Joe Fallon made 37 saves over two games in earning both shutouts.

Clarkson defeated Bemidji State in a shootout in the other semifinal, after the game ended in a 3-3 tie, but the Beavers came back to beat Dartmouth 4-3 in overtime in the consolation game.


Vermont has an unimpressive 6-12-2 mark all-time in the 10 holiday tournaments it has hosted, but is 3-0-1 in the Catamount Cup since Kevin Sneddon became head coach.


St. Cloud State boasts the third-longest unbeaten streak in college hockey at 8-0-3 over its last 11 games. Freshman Andreas Nodl leads the team in scoring with 23 points and fellow rookie Ryan Lasch is tied for second on the team with 19 points.

Also keep an eye on how Union's players respond to a new face behind the bench. Rick Bennett will serve as head coach while Nate Leaman is away at the World Junior Championships as assistant coach for the United States.

Junior goalie Joe Fallon will look to repeat his double-shutout performance from last year for the Catamounts, when he earned tournament MVP honors.

RPI broke a seven-game winless streak with a 2-1 win over UMass Lowell in the Engineers' last outing, and will look to build some momentum this weekend. Senior defenseman Jake Luthi has 15 assists and 17 points on the year.


Expect the two ranked teams to make it through the semifinal round, as St. Cloud State should take advantage of the familiar larger ice surface and make things difficult for the Dutchmen in the opener. Vermont's recent run of success in its own tournament should continue in the other semifinal, albeit in a much closer game against RPI.

Those results would set up a consolation game between ECACHL travel partners, who would meet for a second time this season, with a home-and-home series on tap in two weeks. We'll take the Dutchmen in that one, on the basis of a recent goal-scoring spree (11 goals in their last two games).

In the championship, let's go with St. Cloud State in a 2-1 contest highlighted by excellent goaltending from Bobby Goepfert and Vermont's Fallon.

— Joe Gladziszewski