Men's Hockey: Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament Preview

Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament preview

ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT

Welcome to Norwich University's Kreitzberg Arena for the eighth annual Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament. This year marks the 19th annual holiday tournament, a tradition started at Norwich in 1999, with the first games played on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 of that year. For the eighth straight year, the tournament is generously sponsored by Northfield Savings Bank. In the last seven seasons, Norwich has come out victorious four times, including last year with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Williams in the championship game. Joining the Cadets on the ice this year is No. 6/7-ranked SUNY Geneseo, who is making its first appearance at the NSB holiday Tournament. Univ. of New England and Northland are also both making their first appearance in the tournament. Next year, the ninth NSB Holiday Tournament field will be comprised of Neumann (UCHC), Buffalo State (SUNYAC) and Endicott (CCC).

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE 

Friday, January 5 
University of New England vs. SUNY Geneseo 4 p.m.
Northland College vs. Norwich Univeristy 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 6
Consolation Game - 4 p.m.
Champiomship Game - 7 p.m.

MEET THE TEAMS

Norwich (7-3-1, 6-1-1 NEHC) comes into the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament as the No. 12/12-ranked team in the nation and is on a three-game winning streak. The Cadets have featured a balanced offense all season long with 15 players scoring at least one goal. Freshman Coby Downs (5-6-11) leads the team in points and has earned three NEHC Rookie of the Week selections this season. Senior Kevin Salvucci and sophomore Todd Jackson each have four goals and five assists for nine points this season. Sophomore Jordan Hall and freshman Carter Cowlthorp each have three goals and four assists for seven points. In goal, senior Braeden Ostepchuk has played the lion's share of the minutes, compiling a 5-3-1 record with a 1.67 goals against average and a .936 save percentage. 

Northland (5-6-2, 2-5-1 NCHA) comes to the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament for the first time this season all the way from Ashland, Wis. The Lumberjacks swept UW-Eau Claire 4-2 and 5-2 in their last two games. Northland is led offensively by Lucas DeBenedet, who has nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points this season. Sophomores Ty Kraus (7-5-12) and Kalib Ford (5-7-12) have each reached double digits, while junior Jason Reynolds (4-4-8) and sophomore Kyle Pouncy (2-6-8) round out the top-five scorers. In goal, junior AJ Smith and freshman Victor Forslund have split the time. Smith is 1-5-2 with a 3.08 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Forslund is 4-1-0 with a 2.19 goals against average and a .938 save percentage. Friday night will mark the first time Northland and Norwich have met in men's ice hockey competition.

SUNY Geneseo (8-3-1, 6-2-1 SUNYAC) comes to Kreitzberg Arena for the first time as the No. 6/7-ranked team in the country. The Knights were winless in their last three games leading up to the holiday break before they downed Brockport 6-2 in their final game. Geneseo features a potent offense that averages 4.17 goals per game. The sophomore trio of Conlan Keenan (10- 8-18), Tyson Empey (8-6-14) and Andrew Romano (1-13-14) lead the Knights' offense. Junior Duggie Lagrone (2-10-12) and freshman Carson Kelley (4-6-10) round out Geneseo's top offensive threats so far this season. In goal, junior Devin McDonald is 7-2-1 with a 1.99 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Geneseo made NCAA Division III Frozen Four appearances in 2014 and 2016. Geneseo and Norwich last met in the 2014 NCAA Quarterfinals with the Knights downing the Cadets 3-2 at the Ira S. Wilson Arena in Geneseo.

The University of New England (7-3-2, 5-3-2 CCC) features one of the nation's most explosive offenses, averaging 4.75 goals per game. UNE is a former NEHC conference rival for Norwich that returns to Kreitzberg Arena for the first time since Jan. 15, 2016. UNE is led by sophomore Ryan Bloom (7-10-17) and junior Brady Fleurent (4-13-17). Freshman Tyler Seltenreich (10- 6-16) leads the team in goals, while classmate Jeff Eppright has three goals and 11 assists for 14 points. Junior Andrew Slotnick rounds out the Nor'Easters leading scorers with five goals and seven assists for 12 points. In goal, freshman Ben Churchfield has played the majority of the minutes, compiling a 5-1-2 record with a 3.54 goals against average and a .885 save percentage. 

All four games will be live video streamed at www.nsnsports.net/colleges/norwich.