A New Year Means Tournaments

It’s the New Years portion of the Holiday Tournament season, with several intriguing matchups in store:

Salem State Ice Hockey Classic (Salem, Mass.)

When: December 27 & 28

Who: Salem State (host), Salve Regina, Penn State, Bowdoin

Outlook: Club powerhouse Penn State will take on the host Vikings in the first round. Bowdoin won this tournament last year with a win over Salem State in the finals, and I expect the same result this time.

Codfish Bowl (Boston, Mass.)

When: December 29 & 30

Who: Mass-Boston (host), Fitchburg State, Westfield State, Suffolk

Outlook: The 44th annual version of the Codfish features new kids on the block Westfield State (which is off to an impressive 7-2-1 start) against the host Beacons in the semifinals. I think the winner of that game takes the tourney.

Assumption Holiday Classic (Worcester, Mass.)

When: December 29 & 30

Who: Assumption (host), Becker, Trinity, Johnson & Wales

Outlook: Trinity is the team to beat in this one, probably over J&W in the finals.

St. Michael’s Invitational (Burlington, Vt.)

When: January 2 & 3

Who: St. Michael’s (host), Nichols, Amherst, Fitchburg State

Outlook: Fitchburg State plays its second Holiday Tournament in as many weekends, but I think Amherst beats the Falcons in the semifinals and goes on to win the tournament.

Pathfinder Bank Oswego Classic (Oswego, N.Y.)

When: December January 2 & 3

Who: Oswego (host), Augsburg, Babson, Skidmore

Outlook: Not as strong a field as in the first two years of this tournament, but still a good one. I like an Oswego-Babson final with the Lakers getting the win.

Cardinal Classic (Plattsburgh, N.Y.)

When: January 2 & 3

Who: Plattsburgh (host), Wesleyan, Castleton, Williams

Outlook:  There are two sets of Cardinals in this one, and they square off in the semifinals. I think the Plattsburgh Cards beat the Wesleyan Cards, and then defeat Williams in the finals.

Times-Argus Invitational (Northfield, Vt.)

When: January 2 & 3

Who: Norwich (host), Gutavus Adolphus, Elmira, Neumann

Outlook: This one has the strongest field of any of the holiday tourneys, with all four teams getting a mention is the latest USCHO.com Division III poll. I think the winner of the Neumann-Norwich semi will probably take the title, but I think all four games will be close.

Middlebury Holiday Classic (Middlebury, Vt.)

When: January 3 & 4

Who: Middlebury (host), Curry, New England, St. Anselm

Outlook: A much stronger field than last year should make this year a challenge for the Panthers. I’m picking Middlebury-NEC final with the hosts coming out on top.

Check out the action if you can, and have a Happy New Year!