D-III Turkey Tourneys

If you like college hockey tournaments, there’s much to be thankful for this weekend. One of the many cool things about D-III hockey is the large number of holiday tournaments taking place (Division I has just three tourneys this weekend). Here’s a rundown of the action, which includes a pair of Western Tourneys. Pack the Turkey sandwiches and catch some if you can:

Primelink Great Northern Shootout

When: November 27 & 28

Who: Norwich (host), Middlebury Norwich, Plattsburgh, UW-Stout

Outlook: Year in and year out, the best D-III tournament with three traditional powers plus a guest. All four teams are ranked in the top ten – it doesn’t get much better. I expect a Plattsburgh-Stout final with the Cards coming out on top.

Adrian Tournament

When: November 27 & 28

Who: Adrian (host), St. John’s, Concordia (MN), Buffalo State

Outlook: The Bulldogs have had trouble getting non-conference games, so a tournament seems the logical solution. Hopefully this will turn into an annual event. I like the hosts to come out on top.

St. Scholastica Tournament

When November 27 & 28

Who: St. Scholstica (host), Salem State, Lawrence, St. Norbert.

Outlook: The three western teams all played at St. Norbert last Thanksgiving. This year St. Scholastica hosts, and I’m picking both the Saint schools (Scholastica and Norbert) to win both their games in this preset format.

Bowdoin/Colby Faceoff Classic

When: November 28 & 29

Who: Bowdoin (host), Colby (host), Salve Regina, US Under 18 Team

Outlook: The two Maine schools will take turn hosting Salve Regina and the US Under 18 Team. I like Team USA to win both its games.

PAL Stovepipe Tournament

When: November 28 & 29

Who: Southern New Hampshire (host), Stonehill, UMass-Boston, Penn State

Outlook: Club powerhouse Penn State adds a nice twist to this tournament. I’m picking Mass-Boston to beat the Nittany Lions in the finals.

Spurrier Tournament

When: November 28 & 29

Who: Wesleyan (host), Trinity, Conn College, Amherst

Outlook: This is the fourth straight year for this tournament, which has rotated among the four schools and returns to Wesleyan. I like Amherst to defeat Trinity in the finals.

Skidmore Invitational

When: November 28 & 29

Who: Skidmore (host), Brockport, University of New England, Nichols

Outlook: New kids on the block UNE make their first tournament appearance. I’m picking Nichols over Brockport in the finals.

Rutland/Herald Invitational

When: November 29 & 30

Who: Castleton (host), Neumann, Tufts, Becker

Outlook: Two-time champs Neumann come back to defend their title. Oh, and they have a national title as well. I’m picking the Knights to three-peat win a win over host Castleton in the finals.


        • You’re a drunk buffoon for thinking that North Dakotan’s are drunk baffoons. Just because you’re jealous of how awesome North Dakota is, how great the people are from here, and how amazingly amazing the hockey program is here doesn’t give you the right to bash on people that you wish you were but sadly are not. You need to calm down. GO SIOUX!!! 

        • yep, such goons. hard nosed hockey gets you nowhere-look at the bruins. real smart man. i personally like to watch hockey with as little hitting as possible.

          • Maybe you should just watch the ladies play then, if you like low impact hockey.

            So stick your hand down the back side of your pants and push your undies out for between you butt cheeks and go watch the ladies play.

            GO DOGS! 

          • puckhead get your facts together. A) hitting may not be allowed in womens hockey, but it still is a contact sport. B) dont bash womens hockey because there is ALOT of skill involved in the game, and in my opinion some of the players have more skill than some of the D1 mens players. C) fans just looking for the fights and big hits in games is runing mens hockey, i know that it is a big part of the game, but its not what hockey is all about. hockey is about creative passing plays, scoring amazing goals, seeing a goalie completely rob someone, and great team play. so before you make a comment like this again be sure to get your facts together bro!

  1. Saturday night’s DU-MINN game was worthy of a Frozen Four game!!! The refs (Thul and Bokal) called probably the 2 best games at Magness Arena in the last couple of years. With the exception of a horrible non-offsides call, by Keltie, their judgement was perfect. Was really nice to have important games without Anderson, either Shepherd, or Adam……

  2. Have to disagree on the Rau suspension.  The penalty should have been at least 2 games, if not more.  As you have stated, it was pretty clear that he lined the guy up for a cheap shot.  You seem to think that just because Zucker did not end up with a major injury that the league should just ignore a dirty hit.  There are too many players ending up with serious injuries and it is time for a major crackdown on this stuff.  I like a physical game, but there is no place in hockey for a late, blind hit and smacking a guys head around.  

    • As one who was there, I agree that he should have been given a Match Misconduct which would have put him out of Saturday’s game. Standing up for the refs though, who controlled both games perfectly, they knew the play would be reviewed by the WCHA office. Zucker released the puck about 3 full seconds before the hit and was on his way to the bench for a line change. Rau is not a dirty player, he usually is the one getting checked very hard due to his size, but this was a bad hit with an elbow to the head.

    • Are you serious? get your head out of the sand! Take a look at JT Brown’s hit or Kristo’s hit and then get back to me. These hits had more intent, and either player received a game suspension. Actually, Brown’s hit came in the third period when the game was pretty much over, so why is this ok? Also, Blood throws a punch at Rau in the hand shake without suspension? I also think Rau shouldn’t have received the extra game suspension – hit from behind – NO – hit to the head – NO.

  3. The argument put forth that the “consequences” of an illegal hit should, in some way, determine the punishment is completely asinine.  Should Brad Malone have had his hockey career ended for him because of the consequences of the Jesse Martin hit? 

    Even the most blindingly homer-istic Denver fan would say, “no”.

    Rau’s hit was late AND intentionally to the head.  With the NCAA’s focus on eliminating violent contact to the head, a game misconduct plus a one game suspension was ABSOLUTELY the right outcome, here.

    I don’t often praise the WCHA or its officials, but to their credit, they definitely got this one right. 

    • Even though I am not fond of you catagorizing any fans a “blindingly homer-istic”, and those that disagree with you as “completely asinine”, I do agree with your thoughts. Brad Malone’s hit on Jesse Martin had horrible results but, truthfully, it was a combination of an intentional charge and the fact Jess Martin put himself into a vulnerable position. Like I stated before, Thul and Bokal did a nice job this weekend and knew the hit would be reviewed. Those of us in attendance had no doubt that both Zucker and Rau would not be available Saturday.

      • Apparently I should have been more clear.  I wasn’t singling out any particular team’s fans.  In fact, ANY team’s fans can be “blindingly homer-istic” at times. 

        To whit:  North Dakota fans claiming that Malone didn’t charge Jesse Martin.  Gophers fans claiming that the Rau hit was clean.  Denver fans claiming that Paukovitch didn’t deserve a suspension for the Bina hit.

        Those that cannot or will not see past their rooting interest to realize when something is/was blatantly and irrevocably wrong are “blindingly homer-istic”…regardless of WHICH team they cheer for. 

        (FWIW, I am a DU season ticket holder and was “in attendance” as well…)

        • Agreed.  I just saw the JT Brown hit on Blood.  Dirty as they come.  Then Saturday Blood gets his first CFB.  Now that being said….It seems like nearly every game I’ve seen this year or read about there has been a checking from behind penalty.  CFB HAS TO GO!  There is no place for it and  I’m sure we can all agree.  Time for college hockey to crack down.  

          Rau deserves his penalty and suspension.  Where were the other suspensions?  Its a complete joke.  Bad boarding penalties, CFB, and contact to the head are all deserving of a suspension.  Kristo should’ve had one as well.  I’m a Sioux fan and have to say it’s been a fault of all teams.  I think the Sioux only have 3 CFB’s all year.  I know they’ve been on the receiving end of more than that.I propose that the first major penalty of these types deserves at least an additional game suspension.  If the player receives a second major of Boarding, CFB, or contact to the head he must sit out 2 complete games or more.  And a third should be the remainder of the season or at least 5 games.

          I love physical play and wish for it to continue but please no more of this.  

          • CFB is a bad deal, people get hurt. That being said, I sat in the 1st row for both of those UMD games. It’s unbelievable to me how many times a player purposely turns their back on an approaching player. I get that the “hope” is that the other player, traveling at full speed, will suddenly stop or that the hit will draw a penalty but the risk players are putting themselves at in these situations is ridiculous. I don’t know if it’s coached but guys are getting hurt doing this.
            In the end, they need to allow the grab check that keeps the player from getting demolished

  4. Good god, don’t the Sioux fans realize how ignorant they are (ref’s suck, other team full of goons, we had a player injured) and they sound like Packer fans if there team goes 5-11.     

  5. Mr. Connelly,

    Where, please, will I find the SCHEDULE of these games? Can USCHO provide it? Is there an obvious link I am too silly to to see?

    Thanks for you fine article. I was a BU boy and if your surmise was not abutting accuracy I’d have taken offense. What an ugly non-playing year for BU. Their playing has been rather good from time to time. 

    Thank you.

    • The schedule is available if you click the TV schedule link at the top of the page and then scroll to the bottom. The rounds start this weekend

  6. Go to the black bar at the top of the USCHO home page, click on “Scoreboard,” and then click on the numerical link for next week…

  7. I know being a Massachusetts diehard hockey fan has been rough.  We barely crawled into the playoffs and of course we get stuck playing BC, the hottest team around.  Looking towards next week-end …our only straw of hope to grab onto is that we did beat BC (2) times during the regular season, including when they were ranked #1.  I realize it’s wishful thinking,  but with this Massachusetts team you can at times expect the unexpected. Two wins over BC,  wins over Yale and Merrimack, and on the road wins against Maine, Cornell, and BU while #1.  The Dream is alive……for now anyway!

  8. UMass has played very well this year(at home anyway) but there is a reason that they’re the 8 seed and will be golfing some sunday
    Go EAGLES!!

    • Wonder what team you’re a fan of.. Can’t look at the broad picture of a 1-0 win off a first period deflection goal with a screen. You wanna call that an impressive win against a struggling New Hampshire team that in my opinion outplayed Maine anyway go ahead, be impressed.

      • Maybe not an impressive “team” win but Sullivan won that game for Maine and that IS impressive.  Give Maine fans a break.  There hasn’t been a lot to get excited about the past few years.  I think his point was a team out of the Boston does anything it is down-played where BC beats a horrible UVM team and you think think they beat the Bruins or something.  

        • I don’t disagree one bit, Boston teams get all hyped over every win. Its a passion and an expectation for those teams to win. However, Maine is no underdog team by any means. Their national ranking is also an expectation for them to go out and assert their dominance over unranked teams on a nightly basis. A lucky first period goal and half assed play after that is hardly impressive or dominating.

      • A win is a win which has not been in BU’s vocabulary much lately.
        It takes a hot goaltender to go deep in the playoffs and Sully is capable of carrying this team. The offense will come around and it was nice to see them hold a lead for 2 periods which is something that could not be done last year. Very few penaltys CALLED in this game so that nations best power play did not have many chances to contribute either……

      • UNH may have struggled this year, especially in the goal scoring department, but they came into that game 5-2-1 in February and thoroughly outplayed Maine in that game.  UNH is dangerous, but will likely crumple before my eyes at Agganis next weekend.

        •  their record was a reflection of the easy schedule in feb. I agree they are dangerous and in fact, i believe they will beat BU in the series. But im expecting some comments from BU fans everywhere disagreeing with me. I guess we will wait and see

  9. As disappointing as the demolition at the hands of Colorado College was last year, Jerry York will use that to (hopefully) assure the same thing doesn’t happen again this year. Staying ‘home’ in Worcester will help the cause. The usual teams that would ordinarily pose problems for BC…North Dakota, Notre Dame, Miami, Michigan…either won’t be around or are mediocre themselves. If it comes to pass that Maine & BC are both sent to Worcester, and if they face each other in the NE Final, that will be a full building.

  10. Send the life rafts to BU? After a beat down sweep of UVM, then one OT goal (really should have OTL in college hockey) away from sweeping a NU squad that was fighting for their lives? 

    As horrible as the off ice scandals have been, I think BU has shown (so far) they haven’t affected Jack and Crew while on the ice (Jack’s been quoted that being on the ice is the only time the team is enjoying themselves).  BU’s got a good shot to go far in the Hockey East and NCAA tourney, it’ll all come down to how hard they want to play

    • Yeah, that was some beat down of 3-win UVM a week ago Sat., needing an extra attacker to tie it in the last minute before winning in OT!!

      You think BU’s been playing OK, huh?  I hate being the bearer of bad news, but over their last dozen games, they’ve played .500 hockey, the very definition of mediocrity.

      The “it’ll all come down to how hard they want to play” assertion is the single thing you’ve said that does have a ring of truth to it; but isn’t it a shame that that’s even a question for this team??  Jack’s propensity for not putting a whole lot of emphasis on character in the recruiting process bites the program in the as$ every so often, and this year’s definitely one of those instances. 

      You’d think Jack would learn; maybe he should seek advice from Jerry!!

    • If the Terriers ending to their season boils down to “how hard they want to play”, then it would seem reasonable to wonder what it takes to get this BU team to play hard? 

      At the end of January BU knew they had an extremely good shot at winning a Hockey East regular season title and doing so relied on “how hard they played”, yet they played .500 hockey over the last 12 games of the season. That loss against NU — also known as the last team in the playoffs or a bottom dweller — cost them the second seed in the HEC. 

      For BU fans sake I hope your right though, because maybe the post season will make the team play harder, because the regular season title certainly didn’t cut it down the stretch.

      Side note: “really should have OTL in college hockey”

      Really? C’mon man, to the victor goes the spoils! 

      it’s one of the few bad moves I think the NHL made. That’s just in my opinion, though. Points are won, and a team shouldn’t earn any points for losing a game, regardless of what period it is. 

      As Herm Edwards infamously stated, “you play to win the game”.  

  11. The one thing that has Maine fans excited is their goaltending. That has been our weakness the past couple of years but Sullivan seems to be taking care of that for now. Certainly will have a tought w/e with Merrimack but like our chances at home.
    GO BLUE, can’t wait to see Joey Diamond and Bigos go at it!!!

    • Sullivan is looking solid, and his play is worth the excitement as of late. However, the one thing that ought to worry Maine fans about his play is the amount of rather juicy rebounds he tends to give up from time to time. If he and the defense can control and limit these opportunities the Black Bears can hang with any team. The Warriors are penalty prone so Maine’s power play should get the opportunity to make a difference, but Merrimack has had Maine’s number in the recent match-ups between the two teams. Should be a tight series.

  12. I just hate Jeff Bunyon, and as we all know, the road to the Hockey East Championship goes through him, and him alone. Call it fair and call it right, if so I am fine with any outcome.

  13. BC is going to need to be on its game this weekend. UMass took two of three this season, as well as taking BU into OT twice and winning the third game (plus one win each against Maine and Merrimack). UMass may not be good every game, but its clear they can be very good on some nights.

    An intriguing question to me is what affect the HE tournament might have on the PairWise rankings of the league’s teams? At this moment, HE has five teams in (Merrimack has a precarious hold on the 15th slot). With UNH and UMass being the bottom two TUCs (shouldn’t this really be ‘TsUC’?), it seems likely that without at least one win in the first round, both could drop out.

    So the question is what impact would that have on the five teams still in the hunt for a trip to the NCAA?

    At this point, BC isn’t worried about not getting to the national tournament, but seeding could be at stake. A BC series win probably knocks UMass out of TUC status, and if that happens BC drops one win and two losses from its record vs. TUC, which improves its TUC win ratio from .625 to .660. However, if UMass loses in two games but remains a TUC, BC’s win ratio vs. TUC still improves from .625 to .650. If BC wins in three and UMass remains a TUC, BC’s win ratio would still improve to .629. So, as long as BC wins the first-round series, it benefits in the PWR even if UMass remains a TUC, despite BC’s 1-2 record in the regular season. Nonetheless, BC benefits most if it knocks UMass out of TUC status.

    For BC, UNH losing TUC status would cost three wins, dropping its win ratio vs. TUC to .580 (disregarding UMass’s status), so clearly BC wants UNH to win its series and stay a TUC (not to mention the satisfaction of seeing BU knocked out). If both UNH and UMass lose TUC status, BC’s win ratio falls slightly to .6136.

    For Merrimack, however, losing just UNH as a TUC would improve its win ratio to .525 (from .5217), while losing just UMass would drop its win ratio to .500 (7-7-1). Losing both as TUCs would also drop its win ratio to .500 (6-6-5). So it is also in Merrimack’s interest for UNH to beat BU and remain a TUC.

    Of course, it’s more complicated than this (I can’t say for certain that losing in three would drop either UNH or UMass from TUC status), but I think it raises interesting questions about how the conference tournament will affect the national tournament (even discounting a tourney championship run by UMass or UNH).

  14. I agree with almost everything except for BU vs UMD. The
    bulldogs have a good record home in the past 2 years while the Terriers have a
    bad one away (outside New England). I see a split where UMD takes the 1st
    as per usual and BU comes back for revenge on the second.

    I hope the polls will make more sense next week. It seems to
    be very focused on ECAC for some reason. I see the gap very close but more of a
    mix in between Hockey East and ECAC. While the polls should only matter for
    teams one month before selection Sunday, they still have a tendency to set
    expectations for players. Of all the years I’ve followed it, I’ve never
    disagreed a much as this week. Either
    way the 1st month of the second half will clear the waters in the
    top 10.

  15. As a Gopher hockey addict I would like to congratulate the St. Cloud St. hockey program for winning the MacNaugton Cup. I’m not wanting to start a discussion whether it was right or wrong for the Gophers to bring it to Bemidji. With this being the final season of the WCHA as we have known it, I am glad they earned the right to hoist it. Your program has come a long way since its inception, and it’s only fitting that the players get to enjoy it. Congratulations!

  16. As a Gopher hockey addict, I would like to congratulate the St. Cloud State hockey program on winning the MacNaughton Cup. I do not want to start a discussion whether it was right or wrong bringing the cup to Bemidji. With this being the last season of the WCHA as we have known it, I feel it is only fitting that the St. Cloud players earned the right to hoist the trophy. Since your inception you have been a great hockey program and serious rival. Something unfortunately I’m going to miss greatly. Well deserved and Congratulations again.

  17. Sorry you bunch of mutts. But we had the cup and we will do whatever we want with it! If you don’t like it, do something about it! See you clowns at the “X”

    • Another low-life Goofer yakking his lips, and such big ones they are! Congrats to the Huskies for their excellent year. When any team can remain ahead of UM, Denver, and UND in the standings, much like the Bulldogs did in 2011, they deserve a few gestures of respect. Brazil, here, doesn’t have any class and isn’t much of a hockey fan at all.


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