2012 Mariucci Classic: Boston College To Face Alabama-Huntsville, Minnesota

Apr 5, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston College Eagles forward Paul Carey (22) attempts to shoot as Minnesota Gophers goalie Kent Patterson (35) defends in the third period during the semifinals of the 2012 Frozen Four at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Boston College won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Boston College hockey's matchups for the Mariucci Classic on December 29th-30th have been set. The winter tournament, set up each year by the University of Minnesota, is our holiday hockey for the 2012-2013 season.

The Eagles will face Alabama-Huntsville to open the tournament, a program BC has never faced, doesn't currently have a conference, and is really pretty terrible at hockey (2-28-1?? Holy crap). The matchup avoids another yawner against Air Force, who is matched up against the hosts and probable preseason #1, Minnesota.

In an interesting twist, the matchups for the finals have already been set.

Minnesota will close this year's Mariucci Classic with a 2012 Frozen Four rematch against Boston College. The Eagles won that game mercilessly pasted the Gophers 6-1 in Tampa, Fla. [Edited for accuracy -GS]

Since all four matchups are predetermined, the tournament champion will be the team with the best overall record. In the event of teams having an identical record the first tiebreaker will be goal differential. The second tiebreaker is the fewest amount of goals allowed.

This isn't entirely uncommon for these tournaments and has even been done as recently as 2010 in this very tournament. It ensures the fans will have a marquee matchup to see between two college hockey powerhouses, and also means that neither national title contender will have a chance at Pairwise suicide by having to play both Huntsville and Air Force in the same tournament.

It's a shame that Minnesota is so far away, because Mariucci Arena is really one of the sport's gems. Anyone with an opportunity to get out to this tournament should really go for it. The main event of this tournament will feature the two early favorites for the national championship in Minnesota and Boston College, as well as two likely Hobey Baker finalists in Minnesota's Nick Bjugstad and our very own Johnny Gaudreau.

Should be a hell of a good time.

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