This week is the first of two weeks for the holiday tournaments in college hockey. Five holiday tournaments will happen this week, with three of them starting today.
Let’s take a closer look at the three tournaments, beginning with the first one the Great Lakes Invitational, that starts in a few hours.
The Teams: Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, North Dakota.
The games today: Michigan vs. Michigan Tech (3:05 ET), Michigan State vs. North Dakota (6:35 ET)
Outlook: Both Michigan and North Dakota are red hot. Michigan’s last loss came against Wisconsin on November 29. That same day North Dakota’s last loss happened against Cornell. These are unquestionably the two strongest teams in the field. Michigan State is on one of its worst losing skids in recent memory, while Michigan Tech is coming off a sweep of Northern Michigan. Expect a Michigan-North Dakota final, which could mean a lot of implications in March.
The Badger Classic:
The Teams: Wisconsin, Lake Superior, Harvard, Alabama-Huntsville
Games Today: Lake Superior vs. Harvard (4:07 CT), Wisconsin vs. Alabama-Huntsville (7:07 ET)
Outlook: Since their 0-6-1 start, the Wisconsin Badgers have been red hot, going 9-1-1 in the last two months. Wisconsin should take this. The Harvard vs. Lake Superior game should be interesting as both teams are looking for answers.
Florida College Classic:
The Teams: Colgate, Cornell, Maine, St. Cloud State
Games Today: Colgate vs. Maine (4:05 ET), St. Cloud State vs. Cornell (7:35 ET)
Outlook: This is the most interesting tournament this week. Maine has surpassed expectations up to this point, Colgate will look to gain some momentum as well as St. Cloud State, and Cornell is doing quite well also. Cornell and St. Cloud State should be a great first round game as the matchup features a great offensive attack in St. Cloud State and a potent defensive scheme with Cornell. The Sunshine State could be seeing great hockey after all this weekend.
Ledyard Bank Tournament (Dartmouth, Bemidji State, Army, Massachusetts)
UConn Holiday Classic (Connecticut, Air Force, Quinnipiac, Merrimack)
Tournament Final Predictions:
GLI: North Dakota over Michigan
The Badger Classic: Wisconsin over Harvard
Florida College Classic: Cornell over Maine
UConn Holiday Classic: Air Force over Quinnipiac
Ledyard Bank Invitational: Massachusetts over Dartmouth