UConn Hockey Classic

Site: Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum, Storrs, Conn.

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 29-30, 2007

Participants: Brown, Ferris State, Army, Connecticut

Game 1: Ferris State vs. Brown, 4:05 p.m. ET

Ferris State Bulldogs (7-8-1, 6-6-0 CCHA)

Head coach: Bob Daniels

Leading scorers: So. Cody Chupp (4-8 — 12), Jr. Brendan Connolly (5-6 — 11)

Leading netminders: Jr. Mitch O’Keefe (3-3-1, 2.04 GAA, .931 SV%), Fr. Pat Nagle (4-4-0, 2.24 GAA, .931 SV%)

Brown Bears (1-7-3, 1-3-3 ECAC)

Head coach: Roger Grillo

Leading scorers: Sr. Jeff Prough (3-5 — 8), Sr. Sean Hurley (1-6 — 7)

Leading netminder: So. Dan Rosen (1-5-3, 3.32 GAA, .901 SV%)

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

Army Black Knights (6-6-2, 6-3-2 Atlantic Hockey)

Head coach: Brian Riley

Leading scorers: So. Owen Meyer (11-9 — 20), Sr. Luke Flicek (6-14 — 20), Sr. Bryce Hollweg (6-10 — 16)

Leading netminder: Jr. Josh Kassel (5-5-1, 2.46 GAA, .905 SV%)

Connecticut Huskies (4-9-1, 3-7-1 Atlantic Hockey)

Head coach: Bruce Marshall

Leading scorers: Jr. Sean Erickson (3-8 — 11), Fr. Andrew Olson (6-3 — 9), So. Michael Coppola (5-4 — 9)

Leading netminder: Beau Erickson (4-9-1, 3.24 GAA, .901 SV%)

Tournament Outlook

This tournament, in its 15th season, features two teams from Atlantic Hockey and representatives from the ECAC and CCHA. The first game pits Ferris State against Brown. The Bulldogs finished the first half of the season with two losses in a home-and-home series against top-10 ranked Michigan State (Dec. 7-8) and are 3-3-0 in their last six. Ferris State is 17-16-4 all-time in regular-season tournaments and 1-1-0 in the UConn Classic. In 2002, FSU beat Connecticut in the third-place game of the classic after losing to Alabama-Huntsville in the semifinal contest. The Bulldogs are currently fifth in the CCHA standings. Junior goaltender Mitch O’Keefe and freshman Pat Nagle split time in the FSU nets. O’Keefe has the 17th-best goals-against average in the country and 12th-best save percentage, while Nagle’s GAA is 23rd and his save percentage 26th. FSU has the 32nd-best scoring offense in the nation, averaging 2.62 goals per game.

This is the first meeting between the Bulldogs and the Brown Bears. Brown is still looking for its second win of the season; the Bears finished the first half with losses to Yale and Providence in December, having been outscored 10-1 in those two contests. Brown is tied with host Connecticut for the 54th-best scoring offense nationally (2.00 goals per game) and has the 53rd-best defense in the country. One of leading scorer Jeff Prough’s goals has come shorthanded this season, and senior defenseman Sean Hurley is 25th among blueliners in scoring this year. The Bears are eighth nationally in penalty minutes, averaging 18.1 per game. The Bears continue their tough start to the season as they have played only two of their first 11 games at home, and after this tournament, only two of 13.

The second game between Army and UConn is also an Atlantic Hockey Association conference game. Army is currently tied with Sacred Heart in the AHA standings. The Black Knights went 1-1-2 in their last four games to end the first half of the season. Army has the top scoring line in Atlantic Hockey; Meyer, Flicek and Hollweg have accounted for 23 of Army’s 41 goals. Meyer leads the league in goals and is tied for first in points along with Flicek and Air Force’s Eric Ehn. Flicek and Meyer are tied for sixth nationally in points per game and Hollweg is tied for 29th. Meyer is fifth nationally in goals per game and Flicek is third in assists. Meyer has five power-play goals, Flicek four and the Black Knights have the 14th-best offense in the country — but the 28th-best power play (15.7). Army leads UConn 23-16-1 all-time, and the Black Knights beat the Huskies, 4-1, in Connecticut Oct. 27.

This Connecticut Huskies have hosted this tournament for 15 years, dating back to their days playing Division III hockey. UConn is currently in last place in the AHA and has yet to string two wins together this season. The Huskies’ biggest victories came against Colgate and Air Force. They’ve played four overtime games this season, with three of their four wins this year coming in OT. UConn is struggling to score, averaging only 2.00 goals per game, tied for 54th nationally and last in the AHA. Connecticut has just one senior, co-captain Charles Solberg who spent the first six weeks of the season on the bench with a knee injury. Sophomore Michael Coppola scored two of UConn’s four game-winning goals this season. Junior defenseman Sean Erickson is eighth nationally among defensemen in points per game. Connecticut’s defense is tied for 50th nationally and UConn’s scoring margin is tied for 55th in the country. The Huskies have the 55th-best power play in the nation and are 19th on the penalty kill, giving Connecticut the 13th-best combined special teams nationally.