Here’s wishing a belated happy holidays to all of our faithful USCHO readers. This week’s edition is more of what I’ve crunched rather than what I think.
For the past couple of seasons, I’ve ranked the holiday tournaments by combined winning percentage of the teams involved. I can’t exactly remember why — probably because, when I was covering Wisconsin for my newspaper job, I wanted to see how the Badger Hockey Showdown stacked up against the other fields. It always seemed like the Showdown was falling off in terms of the quality of the invited teams, and I wanted some way to quantify that.
So here it is, the 21st and last season of the Showdown, and look which tournament is topping the rankings:
1. Badger Hockey Showdown, 38-19-6 (.651)
2. Wells Fargo Denver Cup, 38-22-10 (.614)
3. Florida College Classic, 31-21-7 (.585)
4. Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup, 32-20-6 (.515)
5. Toyota UConn Classic, 26-27-10 (.492)
6. Shillelagh Tournament, 27-30-13 (.479)
7. Great Lakes Invitational, 33-38-3 (.466)
8. Ledyard National Bank Classic, 23-31-6 (.433)
9. Dodge Holiday Classic, 21-41-9 (.359)
At least the Showdown is going out in style. It started at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center in 1989 as something of a novelty, and it had an incredible first five years. But interest waned, and the tournament moved to Wisconsin’s campus in 2003.
Now, with expectations of games between Big Ten teams on the rise, the Badgers have some scheduling flexibility down the road.
It was probably time for it to go, but speaking as someone who’s been at 20 of the 21 Showdowns, it’ll be a little odd not having it around next year.