Subway Holiday Classic Preview


The most anticipated in-season tournament of the year takes place this weekend in Grand Forks, as a couple of CCHA teams and a future WCHA team step inside Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The Miami Redhawks, ranked 2nd in our latest power rankings, and Ohio State, one of the youngest and most talented teams in the country, will each take on both 2nd ranked North Dakota and 7th ranked Bemidji State. This tournament features the top 3 defensive teams in the country, and 3 of the 12 most penalized teams in the country.

Bemidji State is the highest scoring team in this tournament, averaging 4.08 goals per game. They are also statistically the best defensive team in the country, allowing just 1.67 goals per game. Given that the bulk of their games have been against less than stellar competition, these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, Bemidji has played Alabama Huntsville, 31st in defense, 4 times. They’ve also played Robert Morris (55th), Minnesota (30th) and Northern Michigan (25th). Miami (2nd) will provide a much stiffer test. I think Bemidji will probably get by Ohio State, but fall to Miami

North Dakota has a winning record in the first half of the season. That alone is a remarkable feat. The Sioux are coming off getting swept by Denver, but have played impressively for the most part. Chris VandeVelde leads the Sioux with 12 points, and Evan Trupp looks to be coming into his own as he has 10 points so far in the young season. The big story will be wether or not Senior defenseman Chay Genoway will be back on time. The Senior has 10 points in the 9 games he’s played so far, and is an early candidate for the Hobey Baker award.

Miami is still ranked #1 in the INCH power rankings, and probably rightfully so, but after three ties in two weekends, the RedHawks have to be starved for a win. As I said above, they have really been getting it done defensively; Miami has allowed the 2nd least goals in the country. Sophomore Cody Reichard is 4th nationally in save percentage (.936) as he has seized the #1 job in Oxford. Miami hasn’t gotten terribly balanced scoring, bu they are led by the two headed monster of Andy Miele (5-10–15) and Jarrod Palmer (5-8–13). Once Carter Camper picks it up, Miami will get tons more scoring.

Lastly, Ohio State has failed to live up to expectations a bit. The Buckeyes have gotten tons of scoring from Zac Dalpe (8-8–16), but not a ton else, as they are just the 9th scoring offense in the CCHA (2.5 GPG) Their defense is terrible as well, as they are allowing 3.07 GPG, 2nd worst in the conference. After some solid play last year, Dustin Carlson has been terrible in net for the Buckeyes. Ironically, the Buckeyes have a much better record in games started by Cal Heeter, even though they have played worse.

This should be a great weekend of hockey. In the end, I am going to predict the following records: North Dakota 2-0, Miami and Bemidji each 1-1, Ohio State 0-2.

Happy viewing (and Thanksgiving) everyone.