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Las Vegas Set To Host "Fortress Invitational"

Four-team collegiate tournament starts Friday night at T-Mobile Arena

by Garrett Calloway @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Vegas hockey fans are just days away from catching the Fortress Invitational, a four-team collegiate hockey tournament beginning January 3 at T-Mobile Arena. Three of the four teams participating are currently ranked in the top 15 of the nation. Below is the tournament's full schedule and a summary of each team's season as they approach the new year.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Fortress Invitational by clicking here.

Friday, Jan. 3
Army Black Knights vs. Providence Friars - 5 p.m.
Cornell Big Red vs. Ohio State Buckeyes - 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 4
Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues - 1 p.m.
Championship/Consolation Games - 5:30 p.m. & 9 p.m.
All times are Pacific | Times are subject to change

No. 3 Cornell Big Red (10-1-0)
Coming off a 21-11-4 record and trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Big Red started the 2019-20 season with ten straight wins before dropping its last game to Dartmouth College on December 7. The Big Red's early success has come from strong play in their own zone, giving up the fewest amount of goals in the country, led by junior goaltender Matthew Galajda's 1.37 GAA which is second in the nation. The Jay R. Bloom '77 Head Coach of Men's Hockey Mike Schafer is in his 25th season behind the Cornell bench and the winningest coach in program history. On Friday night the Big Red will take on The Ohio State Buckeyes.

No. 6/7 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-4-2)
After their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and finishing the 2018-19 season with an overall record of 21-11-4, the Buckeyes currently own a seven-game win streak and are tied for second in the Big Ten. Ohio State is led by forwards Tanner Laczynski and 2019 VGK Development Camp invitee Gustaf Westlund, who have 18 and 17 points on the season respectively. Golden Knights 2019 draft pick Layton Ahac, a defenseman out of Vancouver, is one of just two Buckeye freshmen to appear in each of the team's first 18 games. Ohio State is coached by Steve Rohlik, the 2018 and 2019 Big Ten Coach of the Year.

No. 13/15 Providence Friars (10-5-4)
The Friars are looking for their seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance after earning a trip to the Frozen Four last season. Golden Knights 2017 draft pick Jack Dugan leads all of the NCAA in scoring with 35 points (6 G, 29 A) in just 19 games. His linemate and fellow sophomore Tyce Thompson leads the nation in goals with 14. The Friars are led by head coach Nate Leaman, who became the fastest head coach to reach 100 wins in school history during the 2017-18 season. Leaman led Providence College to its first national championship in 2015.

Army West Point Black Knights (13-5-1)
The Black Knights' 13 wins are the most in program history before the new year and more than any other team participating in the Fortress Invitational. Army returned four of their five leading scorers from a team that went 13-20-7 in 2018-19. Senior forward Dominic Franco leads the Black Knights with 15 points (6 G, 9 A) in 19 games. Head coach Brian Riley, a three-time Atlantic Hockey Association Coach of the Year, is the third member of the Riley family to serve as the bench boss of the Black Knights. Brian's brother Rob coached the team from 1986-2004 and their father, Jack, recorded 542 victories in 36 years as Army's coach from 1950-1986. Although unranked, Army is currently receiving votes in the USCHO poll.

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