Preview: UConn Hockey Classic

UConn Hockey Classic
Storrs, Conn., Thursday-Friday, Dec. 29-30, 2005

Game 1: Bowling Green vs. Massachusetts, 4 p.m. ET

Bowling Green Falcons (5-11-1, 4-8-1 CCHA)
Head coach: Scott Paluch
Leading scorers: So. F Alex Foster (5-23–28), So. F Jonathan Matsumoto (9-16–25), Sr. F Mike Falk (11-3–14)
Leading netminders: Sr. Jon Horrell (2-6-1, 3.74, .882), Fr. Jimmy Spratt (3-5-0, 5.36, .821)

Massachusetts Minutemen (5-10-0, 3-7-0 Hockey East)
Head coach: Don “Toot” Cahoon
Leading scorers: Sr. F Stephen Werner (5-9–14), Fr. F Chris Davis (5-4–9), Sr. D Marvin Degon (4-3–7)
Leading netminders: Fr. Jon Quick (3-5-0, 2.65, .927), Sr. Gabe Winer (2-5-0, 3.17, .910)

Game 2: Army at Connecticut, 7:15 p.m. ET

Army Black Knights (4-9-3, 2-5-3 Atlantic Hockey)
Head coach: Brian Riley
Leading scorers: So. F Luke Flicek (4-8–12), So. F Bryce Hollweg (5-5–10), Fr. D Tim Manthey (1-8–9)
Leading netminder: Sr. Brad Roberts (4-9-3, 2.73, .904)

Connecticut Huskies (6-7-1, 5-6-0 Atlantic Hockey)
Head coach: Bruce Marshall
Leading scorers: Fr. F Chris Myhro (8-6–14), Jr. F Cole Koidahl (5-8–13), Jr. D William Crum (4-5–9)
Leading netminders: So. Brad Smith (3-1-1, 2.25, .926), Fr. Jon Anderson (3-3-0, 2.98, .899)

Tournament outlook: Bowling Green is the offensive powerhouse in this tournament, despite its 5-11-1 overall record. The Falcons are keyed by assist machine Alex Foster, who has forced his way up the national scoring list alongside Jonathan Matsumoto; both have bettered their impressive freshman seasons so far. Goaltending, though, has been uneven, with Jon Horrell posting the better stats of the two netminders seeing time. BGSU’s semifinal opponent, Massachusetts, has had no such good fortune on the offensive end, with only leading scorer Stephen Werner in double digits in points. That lack of scoring has obscured the netminding performances of Jon Quick and Gabe Winer, both of whom have solid numbers.

In the second opening-night game, both teams will likely rely on goaltending. Host UConn has seen opponents throw a good-sized pile of rubber its way, though Brad Smith has shined while playing each of the Huskies’ last three games, all UConn wins as the Huskies have neared .500 in overall and AHA play. UConn’s opponent, Army, has also had its troubles on offense; the Black Knights have scored three goals or more only three times this season. Four-year stalwart Brad Roberts has played well while seeing nearly all of Army’s minutes in net, but hasn’t been able to lift the Black Knights to very many victories so far.