2010 Ledyard National Bank Classic Preview

via flickr.com/photos/redjar/

The Eagles ice hockey team returns to the ice for the first time in 25 days as they face Colgate in the opening round of the Ledyard National Bank Classic Preview. BC is coming off a weekend sweep of their Green Line rivals, Boston University. 

Here's a closer look at this year's tournament.

The Field

Thursday, December 30
Boston College vs. Colgate, 4:00 PM
Mercyhurst vs. Dartmouth, 7:00 PM

Friday, December 31
Consolation Game, 4:00 PM
Championship Game, 7:00 PM

Location: Thompson Arena (cap. 3,500), Hanover, N.H.

Participants:

Boston College Eagles (11-5-0, 9-4-0 Hockey East)
Head coach: Jerry York
Leading scorers: Jr. Cam Atkinson (14-7-21), Sr. Brian Gibbons (7-13-20), Sr. Joe Whitney (2-13-15)
Leading goaltender: Sr. John Muse (10-3-0, 1.87 GAA, .939 SV%)

Colgate Raiders (3-12-1, 0-5-1 ECAC)
Head coach: Don Vaughan
Leading scorers: Jr. Austin Smith (4-10-14), Sr. Brian Day (8-5-13), Sr. Francois Brisebois (4-9-13)
Leading goaltenders: Jr. Alex Evin (3-8-1, 2.84 GAA, .902 SV%)

Mercyhurst Lakers (7-9-1, 5-7-0 Atlantic Hockey)
Head coach: Rick Gotkin  
Leading scorers: Sr. Steve Cameron (6-8-14), Sr. Scott Pitt (5-8-13), Sr. Ryan Raven (6-5-11), Fr. Daniel O'Donoghue (5-6-11)
Leading goaltender: Sr. Ryan Zapolski (6-6-0, 2.70 GAA, .920 SV%) 

Dartmouth Big Green (6-4-1, 5-2-1 ECAC)
Head coach: Bob Gaudet
Leading scorers: Fr. Matt Lindblad (6-7-13), Jr. Nick Walsh (7-5-12), Jr. Doug Jones (1-11-12)
Leading goaltender: Jr. James Mello (5-1-1, 1.67 GAA, .945 SV%)

Boston College opens up this year's Ledyard National Bank Classic against the ECAC's Colgate Raiders.The Raiders enter the tournament with a 'meh' 3-12-1 record overall and 0-5-1 in ECAC play. Colgate's three wins this season have all come against Atlantic Hockey competition in non-conference play, including a pair of wins over Army and one over Sacred Heart. The Raiders offense is scoring just 2.62 goals per game while allowing over 3 a game

BC should be able to get past Colgate, even without the services of Kreider, Dumoulin and Wey, who are playing for the U.S. National Team at the IIHF World Juniors. It looks like Patch Alber is out for 6-8 weeks now too with a broken jaw. That leaves the already thin BC blueline with just three starting defensemen -- Philip Samuelsson, Edwin Shea and Isaac MacLeod.

Should the Eagles get past the Raiders, they will face the winner of the second opening round game between Mercyhurst and host Dartmouth.

Mercyhurst has had an up-and-down season in Atlantic Hockey, and is currently in seventh place in Atlantic Hockey with a 7-9-1 record overall. Mercyhurst has had one of the better offenses the past few seasons, but is averaging just 3.18 goals per game this season (good for 23rd nationally) and while giving up 2.88 a game.

Dartmouth (6-4-1, 5-2-1 ECAC) is off to a good start in conference play, and is led by junior goalie James Mello. Mello currently ranks second nationally in both GAA (1.67) and save percentage (.945) and is a big reason why the Big Green are in third in the ECAC and on the heels of both Yale and Princeton. Should BC and host Dartmouth meet in the finals, the game will be one of the better goaltending matchups of the season for the Eagles.

Predictions:

Even without the services of Kreider, and Dumoulin, Wey and Alber on the blueline, I think BC survives Colgate and squeaks past Dartmouth to win this year's Ledyard National Bank Classic.

First Round: Boston College 5, Colgate 3
Championship: Boston College 3, Dartmouth 2

Predictions Record-to-date: 8-6-0

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