Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tigers Prepare for OOC Showdown

Tommorrow night the Tigers will take on the Bemidji State Beavers in their second real non-conference series of the season. Their last, against now #2 New Hampshire, didn't go so well, with CC getting swept at home. That series sparked a four game losing streak for the Tigers, who had to travel to Minnesota the week afterwards. Bemidji State should not present as much of a challenge for the Tigers, but could still provide a tough series - especially since the Tigers will be missing star freshman Bill Sweatt, who's at the World Junior Championships in Sweden. The series could have important implications when it comes time to make NCAA tournament selections. Out-of-conference games are always important, and a loss in this series could hit the Tigers hard in the pairwise rankings. On the other hand, if Bemidji State ends the season as a TUC (team under consideration), some wins this weekend could give the Tigers a nice boost come selection time.

Speaking of the World Juniors, the US team isn't doing so great. They dropped a heartbreaker in their first game, 2-1 to Germany. In the second, the US was beaten by Canada 6-3. CC's lone representative at the tournament, Bill Sweatt, however, is doing fairly well - notching two points in the first two games. He'll have to keep playing well if the US wants to redeem their medal hopes in the following days.

I haven't updated in awhile because there hasn't really been much going on in the college hockey world. Aside from a bunch of PC crybabies at Dartmouth whining about their upcoming game against North Dakota, things have been quiet. One link of note is INCH's midway all-WCHA team, which includes our own Scott McCulloch. There's some other notes about CC in that article, including a nice mention of McCulloch's emergence with the graduation of Marty Sertich and Brett Sterling, and also a little buildup for CC's home series for Minnesota that's coming up in a month or two. Lastly, there's a nice article on USA Hockey's website about Bill Sweatt.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Bucks are coming! The Bucks are coming!

Soon this phrase will be shouted along the streets of cities where the Bucks are visiting. Much how this phrase struck fear into the colonial Americans when Paul Revere made his famous ride, so too will this one. Last night the Bucks beat San Antonio 114-107. That's right, they not only beat the Spurs, at San Antonio, but they dropped 114 against one of the best defensive teams in the league. I was going to write more, but I am going to let the best Bucks writer out there do the talking today. Sky Hook has his blog: Bucks Diary, that has such a great writeup that I simply cannot top it.

The game turned suddenly at the 8:32 mark of the fourth quarter. With the Bucks trailing by five, and the Spurs calmly looking to close out another victim, Milwaukee's Michael Redd blew down the lane like an Ohio tornado. Tim Duncan stepped to meet him. Undeterred, Redd wrapped a finger roll around the big man's head and raindropped it into the net. The furious Bucks rally was on. From that point to the buzzer, the Bucks tore their teeth into the wounded and lumbering Spurs like a pack of starving hyenas, scoring 25 of the final 38 points. I still don't think the Spurs know what the hell happened.

I'll tell them. The Bucks opened the wagon and unleashed what looked like a Green Strike Team. That fourth quarter stretch that began with the Redd layup and ended with a huge Bucks win was one of the sweetest displays of coldblooded basket attacking I have seen from this team since the days of Marques Johnson. It was surreal. It was dreamlike. It took my breath away. During one stretch within that stretch, the Bucks scored 10 straight points on lay-ups. At crunch time. Against the seasoned Spurs. It was beautiful. Am I getting across to you how excited I was? The Bucks OWNED the lane in the fourth quarter against an elite team on the road. Reread that sentence a couple of times.

The Bucks are a steamroller baby, gonna roll all over you

The win streak is at 5, the run is at 8 of 11. And it includes a spectacular win on the road against the San Antonio Spurs. I think notice has been served. The Bucks want to be taken seriously again.This win will ring out because of the way it was produced. Unstoppable offense, TERRIFIC DEFENSE, energetic rebounding, and a 'my hairs on fire' fourth quarter rally. I don't want to hear about the "ailing Spurs" either. They had a healthy Tim Duncan, didn't they? And still the Bucks dominated all major phases of the game last night. Let that ring out. The Spurs were fortunate to have even been in the game at all. Three pointers and an obnoxious hometown disparity in free throws attempted (28 to 14) is all that kept that them from being completely wiped out.

But can the good times last in BucksNation? Believe it or not, I think they can. The Bucks may genuinely be a team reborn.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hey, they won the bet for me

That was, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst NFL game I have ever witnessed last night. The Packers stumbled and bumbled their way to a win over the Raiders 9-7. Wait, you're saying that was against the Vikings? You sure, because 108 yds of offense, 3 first downs gained and 0 points by the offense along with 10 team penalties sure as hell sounds like the Raiders.

But I won the bet!

Seriously, the Vikings have turned into the NFC equivalent to the Raiders. A horribly coached team with absoultely no discipline on the field. The Packers defense completely dominated the Vikings last night. This is due to equal parts of the Packers DL manhandling the Vikings severly overpaid OL and complete offensive ineptitude of Brad Childress.

But I won the bet!

The Packers did do many things right this game, but screwed the pooch at key moments though. The defense played outstanding, although the 2 deep throws from Jackson could have been disastrous, they nevertheless made the worst offense in football look like the worst offense in football. Too often the Packers D makes opposing teams look good, not so last night. The DL harassed Jackson all night long, did a great job in stopping the run and KGB even looked good. Harris and Woodson were absolutely in shut down mode last night and the LB played a hell of a game.

But I won the bet!

Favre made several outstanding plays and some completely boneheaded ones. The 2 INTs were totally on him. The first was a pick even if Jennings stops his route, the second one, Jennings was wide open in the hole in the zone and Favre decides that his buddy Sharper needs a highlight for his season. As bad as those were, his pump fake late in the game where he had rushers all around him then completed a pass back to Franks was a glimpse of the HOF QB that he is.

But I won the bet!

That brings us to Bubba Franks. Poor, poor Bubba. He had the absolute worst game a player could have last night. Two drops, two fumbles, one of which just prior to crossing the goal line on the aforementioned play by Favre that would have likely won the game. He commits a stupid holding call on a big 30 yard completion to Green that would have given the Packers a 1st and goal from the 5 and either a TD or a chip shot FG to win. His game has completely disintegrated over the last 2 years to where he went from a legit threat to a well below average TE.

Let's look at this though, the Pack are 7-9, 3 wins better than last year and have loads of upside. They could beat Chicago next week and come out of this year with an 8-8 record, which after last season, everyone would welcome. But most importantly...

But I won the bet! (if you don't know what I am talking about, please read the comments between me and my neighbor from the previous post, it's quite enjoyable)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Poe was a Packer Fan

If Edgar Allen Poe was alive today, he would most assuredly be a Packer fan. So, here is what his poem "The Raven" would likely look like had he written it this week. Enjoy!

Once upon a Thursday evening, while I sat with the fish I was cleaning
That I had caught on the ice not more than three hours before
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some NFL team rapping, rapping at my stadium door
“Tis some dumb-ass Viking fan” I muttered –
“only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December
And as the Vikings fell on their ass then as they have always before
Eagerly I wished the kickoff; - As these “fans” began to piss off
Piss me off even more – So much I hoped we would run up the score
It is time for the man who has beaten them time and time before –
Time to bring out number Four.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Look dumbass, your team and offense is a bore.”
“Your receivers are all lacking, and your losses are all stacking
Your team unity is simply cracking – your offense cannot even score.”
“Your coach is a moron” this I stated many times before –
“only this and nothing more”

And the purple painted loser, wobbling like some drunken boozer
Thrilled me filling him with fantastic terrors never felt before;
For he cannot help agreeing that no living Viking being
Could survive without fleeing – Fleeing from the number Four
Sharper, Williams, Childress, Johnson or even Mewelde Moore;
Not even their mascot, Pauly Shore.

The scrawny Vikes fan stood shaking, in his stupid Helga hat quaking
Teared up eyes begging that the truth he hear no more
But the thought of cold Lambeau, either with or without snow
A place where no Viking really wanted to go – A place of hallowed lore
With quivering lip full of fear, nay dread of the final score –
He peed himself upon the floor.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

CC Scores '08 Recruit

Western College Hockey, one of my favorite sports sites out there, reports that CC has picked up another recruit for the class of '08. David Civitarese, currently a member of the Okotoks Oilers of the AJHL, has thus far put up 19 points in 32 games, and is considered by the NHL's scouting bureau to be a possible late round pick in this year's draft. Civitarese joins Andrew Hamburg, Ryan Lowery, and possibly Nick Dineen among the Tiger's '08 recruit class.

Speaking of Ryan Lowery, news concerning him popped up in the college hockey world earlier this week. Apparently Lowery was involved in an altercation with a teammate during practice and he seemed to get the worst of it. Lowery ended up with a separated shoulder and a broken jaw, and is expected to miss significant time. A strange story indeed.

One last piece of news - the NCAA has rejected both CC and UAA's requests to stagger their suspensions from last Saturday's brawl, so all five suspended CC players will be forced to sit on Friday night of this week. Billy Sweatt will be absent too, as he'll be playing with Team USA at the World Juniors.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wild Weekend Ends With Brawl For The Ages

After a weekend that saw both teams come away with one overtime win, the Tigers and the Seawolves decided to settle things with a bench clearing brawl for the ages on Saturday night. The video has yet to be found, but if the pictures tell the story, it'll be an instant classic. What could lead to such an epic struggle? A great weekend of hard fought hockey, filled with late comebacks, plenty of penalties, and dramatic overtime wins. Adding to the obvious frustration that led to the brawl was the fact that both teams had their turn at dramatic third period comebacks, only to lose games in overtime. On Friday, it was the Tigers coming back from 4-0 down to tie it up before falling in overtime. On Saturday, the Seawolves rallied from a 3-1 deficit to send the game to extra time, before getting killed by penalties in the extra session.

Matt Zaba, who had been a rock in net for the past few weeks, was shaky from the start in Friday's game and was pulled after giving up four quick goals. Seawolves freshman Jon Olthuis, who was starting in goal after a terrible performance last week from regular starter Nathan Lawson, was able to finally lead Alaska-Anchorage to a long awaited victory in the World Arena. Lawson and Zaba were back in on Saturday, this time with Zaba coming out on top. Chad Rau and Scott McCulloch led the way offensively for CC, with Rau tallying a goal and two helpers on Saturday, and McCulloch putting in two. Brandon Polich set up two goals on Friday, and Andreas Vlassopoulos also netted his first career point with an assist.

All in all it wasn't a bad weekend for the Tigers, although it would have been nice to keep up the winning streak over UAA at home. The Seawolves have proven so far that they're for real this year in the WCHA, however, so the Friday night loss is not the end of the world. With St. Cloud State playing nonconference games against Colgate over the weekend, the Tigers have clawed their way into second place in the WCHA standings. They are followed in the standings by St. Cloud State, Denver, and Alaska-Anchorage.

The Tigers certainly seemed to have some early letdowns after an hard fought sweep of Denver last week. The Seawolves were able to come out on Friday and put in four goals in the first period. The Tigers seemed to settle in, however, and battle back nicely before dropping the contest in overtime. The Tigers could have sealed the win late in the third on Friday if it was not for a late goal being called back by the officials. CC players also hit a number of pipes throughout the game. On Saturday, it was CC who was able to come out on top after a late scare, with Scott McCulloch finding the back of the net in overtime to seal the win and secure a split for the Tigers.

The Tigers' next series will be at home against nonconference opponent Bemidji State. While the Beavers come from the CHA and may not help the Tigers tournament resume, they have proven themselves a worthy contender, recently sweeping a home and home series with Minnesota-Duluth. In fact, Bemidji State is 4-0-0 so far this year against WCHA competition, as they also swept Minnesota State earlier this year. All things considered, this could end up being a tough series for CC - especially since five players (DeBoer, Testwuide, Straub, L. Sweatt, Gannon) were handed game disqualifications as a result of the fracas in Saturday's game.


* Minnesota continues to pace the WCHA with a weekend sweep of Michigan Tech.

* Either Wisconsin is back on track, or North Dakota is heading into a tailspin. The Badgers swept this weekend in Grand Forks.

* This has already become obvious, but if you haven't been paying attention, Notre Dame is for real this year. This weekend they swept Michigan.

* The Tigers had a recruiting visit this weekend. Wish it could have been a week earlier!

Sunday, December 3, 2006


After a dominating win on Friday night, Colorado College was able to buckle down and steal game two on Saturday for the sweep over the hated University of Denver Pioneers. The sweep puts CC at 3rd in the WCHA with 14 points, and drops Denver to a tie for 4th, at 11 points. The Tigers overall record is now 10-5-1. And while CC is playing such great team hockey right now that it's hard to attribute their success to individuals, but here's some players who had particularly impressive weekends:

#1 Star : Matt Zaba - I always like to give props to the goalie because when they play solid but not spectacular, they rarely get attention. Well, this weekend Zaba was borderline spectacular. On Friday night, he consistently made big saves while the offense pounded away and finished off the Pioneers. On Saturday, he held the Tigers in the game with some huge saves when DU had all the momentum. Just a stellar all-around performance.

#2 Star : Lee Sweatt - Sweatt was not only laying guys out with big hits, but he also put the puck in the net on both nights. On Saturday, he opened the scoring for CC on the powerplay. On Friday, he solidified a 1-0 lead. He's looking sharp out there and playing physical - a real thrill to watch.

#3 Star : Chad Rau - Another big weekend for Rau, as he puts one in on Friday and then scores yet another huge goal in Magness.

Honorable mentions:

Mike Testwuide - Comes flying on Friday and puts in two goals against big-bro's team.

Denver's youngsters - Gotta give some love to Denver's younger players, who were more impressive than the scores of the games would indicate. Ruegsegger, Rhakshani, Trotter - these guys are all for real. Very impressive. Chris Butler (soph) accounted for DU's only goal on Friday, with Ruegsegger netting the assist. On Saturday, Trotter put up a goal and an assist, while two other freshmen (Ruegsegger and Seabrook) had assists. There could be some really good games between these two teams down the road if most of these guys stick around.

This was a huge weekend for CC for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the Tigers have put themself in great position in the WCHA standings. I mentioned earlier that the Tigers are in 3rd behind St. Cloud State by one point; remember, though, that CC has two games in hand and could potentially move three points ahead of the Huskies with two wins. Thus, the Tigers have put themselves in great position in the WCHA, especially after what looked like a crippling sweep at the hands of Minnesota early in the season. Don't discount St. Cloud State though, they're on a roll of their own. They're currently on a six game win streak (four in the WCHA), and have their next six WCHA games against bottom-half teams, although they end their season with a fairly brutal stretch of league games.

The wins also put the Tigers in position to take back the apparently new and improved Gold Pan trophy. While not necessarily important in the big picture, it would be nice to see CC win back the trophy that DU has had a stranglehold on for the past few seasons.

All in all, a fantastic weekend for the Tigers and their fans. This was just good, solid, team hockey. Everyone looked sharp; players were finishing checks, forechecking effectively, crashing the net, and wearing down the opponent. If CC keeps up this type of play they should be able to win a lot of games down the road. Speaking of which, the Tigers are about to start a six game stretch at home, starting with two games against Alaska-Anchorage. The Seawolves come to town at 5-5 in the WCHA. Their most recent series was a split with Minnesota-Duluth. Before that, however, they managed an impressive series sweep of North Dakota. I'm confident that if the Tigers keep up the good team play, they can take some points in this series and further solidify their standing in the WCHA.

A couple more random thoughts:

* Great to see Andre Vlassopoulos playing again for CC - and looking solid.

* Best wishes to DU's Adrian Veideman, whose head hit the ice hard with no helmet on in Saturday's game, leading to a concussion. Also to teammate Ryan Helgason, who broke his hand in the same game.

* Ditto to Minnesota State goaltender Dan Tormey, whose hand was cut up pretty bad on Friday night by an opponent's skate. He suffered a severed tendon - ouch.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

News and Notes

Two pieces of news before we get to the Denver series this weekend.

The first, Scott Owens appeared yesterday on CSTV's Tuesdays at the Rink. You can read the interview here.

The second is an unfortunate bit of recruiting news. Wahs Stacey, last year's SJHL rookie of the year, has committed to Vermont. He had been a target for CC, as well as St. Cloud State. Stacey lives in Quebec, apparently fairly close to Vermont, and opted to remain close to home to play his college hockey.

Also, Let's Go DU reports that CC-DU trash talking is getting "too hot" for many in anticipation of Friday's game.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's Official: Tigers Back on the Right Track

Before I get to the substance of this post I'd like to address a couple things. It's obvious that my posting has slowed down this year, and I'm sure most readers have noticed. I hate to make excuses, but I have had an awful lot going on lately, which always makes it harder to keep up with side interests such as this one. Please keep in mind that this blog is a hobby of mine, it's not a job - I write here for two reasons: 1. I like to write, and 2. I love college hockey. At the same time, like everyone else who runs blogs around the league, I have a personal life that I have to attend to. There will always be periods of time where I miss an update or two. I would love to have more time and energy to commit to this blog, but sometimes circumstances dictate otherwise. So, in terms of things that I want to make clear:

Will I try to update more frequently?
Absolutely. The last month has been one of the busiest and most stressful for me in recent memory, and moving forward I anticipate having more free time to update.

Do I plan on "hanging it up?"
This question refers to a comment made in response to a post of mine a few weeks ago. The answer is certainly not. Like I said, this blog is a hobby of mine, and I do it because I enjoy it. I don't plan on quitting any time soon. For the foreseeable future, I plan to continue with this whether I'm posting once every three days or once every month.

With that said, I want to add one more thing. I'd like to extend an invitation to anyone who might want to contribute to this blog. With more people contributing, there will always be more, and better, content. So if any followers of CC hockey are interested in helping me post more updates, feel free to email me (link on the right), and I'd be glad to have you on the team. With that said, let's move on to the update.

After a four game losing streak that had many questioning whether the Tigers could contend this season, Colorado College extended its season-high winning streak to five games with a 4-3 win before falling to North Dakota 5-2 in the Saturday night contest. While a sweep would have been tremendous, stealing a single win at the hostile and abusive Ralph Engelstad arena against a very good North Dakota team shows how far this CC team has come in the past few weeks. Friday night's win over the Fighting Sioux also marked what could be the Tigers' first "TUC" win of the season.

The usual suspects once again accounted for most of CC's scoring; Jimmy Kilpatrick, Scott McCulloch, Jack Hillen, Billy Sweatt, and Chad Rau all had nice weekends points-wise. Derek Patrosso had some solid production as well. The Friday night win is important because it keeps CC right in the thick of things in the WCHA standings. The Tigers now sit at 5th in the conference standings behind Minnesota (1st), and Denver, North Dakota, and St. Cloud State, all tied for second. The Tigers have two games in hand on North Dakota and St. Cloud State, and face Denver this coming weekend.

As for other WCHA teams, what is there to say? Minnesota is just sick - that's a given. They're sitting at 12-1-2 on the season and are riding a 14 game unbeaten streak. After that, however, things get murky. Last year's champ Wisconsin still has time to turn things around, but things are looking pretty ugly in Madison. The Badgers recently endured a six game losing streak before finally notching a 2-0 win over Michigan State at the College Hockey Showcase. Regardless, they have two non-conference wins (Northern Michigan and Michigan State) that could potentially help them come tournament time - if they can start winning some games. Denver has racked up an impressive 9-4-1 record thus far, but with very few quality wins. St. Cloud State, like Denver, has a solid record - but the Huskies also are lacking in quality wins. So two things seem clear at this point in the WCHA - 1. Minnesota is the class of the league thus far in the season, and 2. CC, DU, UND, and SCSU are the remaining top teams at this point, although each team needs to prove themselves with some quality wins. Who's the best out of those four? Right now, I'd probably go with St. Cloud - they're a solid all around team with a top-tier goaltender, and they managed two ties against Minnesota - that's better than just about anyone else has done. There are still teams in the bottom half of the WCHA that could challenge, as well. While it's unlikely, Alaska-Anchorage's recent sweep of UND has left them at 4-4-0 and just outside the top five - if they can keep winning, don't count them out. Michigan Tech also had been off to an impressive start, but has fallen to 3-3-2 in the league. They could still be considered a sleeper. One team that has underperformed drastically is Minnesota-Duluth, who many thought would be a top five team this year, but so far has accumulated a dismal 1-7-2 record in WCHA play.

Outside of the WCHA, things have gotten even stranger. Maine, who had been off to a fantastic start to the season, is sitting at 6th in the Hockey East standings, while New Hampshire, who indeed looked great out here in the Springs, is at 7-1-1 and 1st in the league. And in the ECAC, people who were expecting big things from Harvard this season have to be disapointed with their pathetic 2-7-0 start. Things are certainly a mess right now in college hockey, and other than Minnesota no team has proven themselves to be a contender, in my opinion. We'll see how things play out in the coming weeks and find out which teams can find their groove and separate themselves from the pack.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tigers Take Care of Business, Earn Sweep of Mankato

After a lackluster few weeks that included a four game losing streak for CC, the Tigers seem to have found their stride once more, and are now riding a four game winning streak. I had the great misfortune of missing the two games this weekend, so I'll have to write this entry based only on box scores, recaps, and fan's impressions of the games.

It sounds to me like CC recovered after playing a horrendous first period on Friday night, and eventually went through a progression that had the boys playing great hockey by the end of the game on Saturday. The Saturday night game sounds like it was a doozy for CC - great defense, abundance of scoring, solid play in net - just good hockey all around.

Some notes:

Billy Sweatt Boy is it nice to have this guy back. Two goals and an assist on Satuday and all of a sudden "The Billy" is scoring at a point per game this season.

Matt Zaba and Drew O'Connell Matt Zaba seems to have stepped up his game to a whole new level in the last few weeks. I heard from some that he didn't have his best game on Friday, but he's still playing great. Drew played nicely in game two, as well.

Scott McCulloch and Jimmy Kilpatrick These guys are doing everything that we knew they would have to going into the season. The two both have 13 points so far this year and seem to have successfully stepped into their new offensive roles.

Cody Lampl Cody has been all over the ice recently, and in my opinion his play has vastly improved since last season. He's playing aggressive: skating hard and finishing his checks, and now looks like one of CC's top forwards.

Cody Lampl and Mike Testwuide Congrats to both on their first goals in the NCAA on Saturday.

The wins this weekend put CC in a three-way tie for fourth in the WCHA along with Alaska and Michigan Tech. The three squads are all one point behind North Dakota for third, with CC having two games in hand. One of the biggest surprises in this young season is the disapointing play of defending champ Wisconsin. Wisconsin has already played 10 WCHA games, and sits in 7th place with a 3-6-1 record. A few weeks ago they were swept at home by DU, and this weekend they were swept on the road by Minnesota. North Dakota, who the Tigers will take on next weekend, suffered a surprising sweep of their own, at the hands of Alaska. In the WCHA thus far, it seems like there is Minnesota, and then there's everyone else. North Dakota and Wisconsin were both supposed to be very good and both seem to have stumbled out of the gate.

Out East, things have been interesting as well. Maine finally lost, getting destroyed by New Hampshire at Alfond. Then, last night, they lost another home game, this time in overtime to Boston College, who is quickly being reduced to "pretender" status after an embarrassing loss to Harvard and a tie against Northeastern. The story of the season so far has come not from Hockey East but from the CCHA, where traditional bottom dweller Notre Dame seems to have improved by leaps and bounds. They sit at 5th in the USCHO poll and are coming off a split against Michigan State. The problem is the Fighting Irish haven't really played any good teams yet, and they did drop an early game to Minnesota State, so let's not declare them a Frozen Four team just yet.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Tigers Back On Track?

Gosh, it's been awhile. Sorry for the lack of posting lately, life's been busy. I'll try to get back to posting with more regularity.

If you haven't been keeping up, here's what's been going on the past two weeks:

Week 1: Tigers travel to Minnesota and get outplayed by an extraordinarily talented Gopher squad. Matt Zaba plays great in the Friday game, holding an impressive Gopher offense to two goals.

Week 2: Tigers keep up the almost annual tradition of beating up on Michigan Tech at the World Arena. Not a bad result considering that Tech is better than they have been in recent years and came in to the series ranked fairly highly.

It was nice to see the Tigers get back to their winning ways last weekend against Michigan Tech. A lot of people were thinking this was finally the year that the Huskies would win one in the Springs, so it was great to see CC prevail. Some notes from the series:

* Matt Zaba is playing spectacular. Not just in this series, but also in the game at Minnesota. If he keeps playing this well I would definitely expect to see him starting regularly.

* Good to see Chad Rau score some goals.

* Cody Lampl is all over the place, and is fitting right in on the offensive side of things.

* Addison DeBoer is looking great, and there's been a lot of improvement in general from the freshmen.

* The team in general is looking more confident and playing more smoothly. Each line has seemed to improve to a degree. I'm looking forward to seeing how the team looks with more players healthy.

Other notes in general:

* My God, Minnesota looked good in that series. I'm glad FSN carried those games because that Gopher team was a pleasure to watch.

* There seems to be a lot of parity in the WCHA so far this season. North Dakota and Minnesota right now look a step above the rest, but aside from that there is a big jumble for the middle spots in the league. Even Alaska-Anchorage, normally a bottom dweller the past few years, has a win over highly touted Wisconsin.

* Minnesota-Duluth, who I was expecting to improve a great deal this year, has gotten off to a disappointing 1-4-1 start in league play.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wildcats Crush Tigers in Battle of the Felines

On Friday night, New Hampshire had to gut it out and hold off a furious late charge by the Tigers to secure a 4-3 win. On Saturday, the Wildcats had no such trouble. After staking themselves to a 2-1 lead in the first period, UNH basically continued to dominate the rest of the game, eventually taking the game 7-2. It's tough to pin down exactly what went wrong for the Tigers, because just about every aspect of the game for CC was terrible. A lack of finishing, both on plays and on checks; stupid penalties; screwy line pairings; bad goaltending - all these things contributed to the Tigers pathetic performance on Saturday night.

For starters, what is going on with this roster? Kris Fredheim and Billy Sweatt are clearly our top recruits - why aren't they playing?* Fredheim was scratched on Friday, with Sweatt sitting out on Saturday (after notching two assists on Friday). Where is the logic here? Is it really so important to keep the "frosh line" of DeBoer, McMillan, and Quilico/Testwuide out there? Moreover, what is captain Brandon Straub doing sitting out the night after a one goal loss? We've seen in the past that Scott Owens likes to tinker with lines, but I would like to hear some explanation for these pairings. For Saturday's game, the Tigers should have had their best and most experienced out there. Is there really any doubt that a line of DeBoer, Quilico, and McMillan is going to get shut down by a larger and more experienced New Hampshire team? Two of these guys were playing high school hockey last year. It's time to play the guys that perform and sit the ones that don't. If it were up to me, we'd see lines like this:

McCulloch - Rau - Patrosso
Sweatt - Polich - Kilpatrick
Cox - Thauwald - Brannigan

We're left with Testwuide, McMillan, DeBoer, Quilico, and eventually Vlassopoulos and Overman. Work these guys into games, but don't sit impact players to keep their lines together.

Another thing that I think Scott Owens must address is the stupid penalties that the Tigers take. This problem has to be solved if we want to have any success in WCHA play. Saturday night was not necessarily so bad, but Friday night was vintage boneheaded hockey from the Tigers. First we're stuck killing a five minute major penalty early on in the game (always good to keep the team rested), then we have our captains punching players in the face and dropping opposing players during faceoffs. This is not good; it's the same type of garbage that lost games for CC last year and will surely result in more losses this year. One more note - if the strange scratches on Saturday night had anything to do with dumb penalties the night before, then I have to agree with them. I didn't see Billy Sweatt take any stupid penalties, but Straub trying to go Jackie Chan on a UNH guy right in front of the ref was not my idea of smart hockey. These guys have to be punished for hurting the team. New Hampshire's power play struggled this weekend, Minnesota's and Denver's will not - so it's time to nip this problem in the butt before it costs us more than two out of conference games (which is going to hurt come selection time anyhow).

Moving on - Now I've been a Drew O'Connell advocate for a long time. He came in as a highly touted goalie and although he struggled a bit his freshman year, he seems to be gaining confidence and poise out there this season. After the game Friday night, I was pretty much expecting to see O'Connell in there on Saturday... and he was - only problem? He didn't come in until halfway through the game, when Matt Zaba had already allowed five goals on 21 shots. Matt Zaba is a solid goalie with a lot of WCHA experience, but he has not been playing up to his potential. Is it time to try out O'Connell more and see if he can be that goalie? I really think that Scott Owens has to consider giving O'Connell more time, perhaps going with a two goalie rotation like Denver uses. A 76% save percentage ain't gonna cut it next weekend in Minnesota against one of the more offensively talented teams we'll see this year.

Another issue with the Tigers is that they tend to be a walking disaster in the third period of games. Ever since the epic comeback win over Michigan in the NCAAs two years ago, I'm not sure that I can even remember one more real comeback win by the Tigers. More often it's other teams coming back to win as CC fades in the third period. We saw this on Friday, as the Tigers gave themselves a nice 2-0 lead before allowing four straight UNH goals in the second and third periods. Last year I attributed this phenomenon to lack of size and lack of physical play. When we played bigger teams (like Cornell for example) they would tend to tire us out by wearing us down with physical play. Now overall this year's Tiger team is bigger than last year's, but still we see them falling apart late in games. I don't know if this is a mental problem, a coaching problem, or what, but one thing I'd like to see to combat this issue is for CC to play more physical and actually finish checks. Don't let the defenseman skate in behind their own net and clear the puck out without getting a body on them. Start wearing down the other team and maybe they won't be skating circles around us in the third period.

That's about all I have to say about CC's weekend - if you want to leave your thoughts, feel free to do so in the comments section. Let's hope we can turn it around and prove something next weekend at Mariucci.

Since the polls are coming out tomorrow, and I'm usually bitching about and disagreeing with those polls, I thought I'd put together my own little top ten list based on the season thus far. Feel free to comment on this as well since I'd like to see what others think.

So without further ado, CC Hockey Blog's National Top Ten:

1. Maine - Off to an incredible start with a road win at Minnesota and road sweep at everyone's preseason favorite; North Dakota. Everything seems to be clicking for the Black Bears, and while Wisconsin and St. Cloud State fans might hate me for saying it, they may have the best goaltender in the country. If that's not enough to get Maine fans excited, freshman Teddy Purcell has put up seven points in his first five games.

2. Wisconsin - The defending champs are off to a decent start, with their only loss being in overtime against a very strong North Dakota team. Brian Elliott is playing well in net and the team seems solid all around, although not quite as dominant as last year's squad.

3. Minnesota - Got off to a rocky start with the loss to Maine, but the Golden Gophers nonetheless are overflowing with talent. With three first round draft picks among their freshman, the Gophers should look forward to improving as the young'uns get more accustomed to the college game.

4. North Dakota - The Sioux have had a somewhat disappointing start to a very promising season. Like Minnesota, they are teeming with talent, yet the Sioux are off to just a 3-3 start. Their wins came against Wisconsin and Quinnipiac, before dropping their last two games to Maine (at home). If that's not enough, they may have also lost star forward Jonathan Toews as well. The #3 NHL draft pick was taken out of Friday's game with an injury and wasn't back for the second.

5. Miami - It was tough to decide between Miami and Michigan for this spot in the top ten, so I gave it to Miami based on the fact that both teams have identical records, but the Redhawks managed to split with the Wolverines at Yost.

6. Michigan - The CCHA has been so pathetic the last few years that I'm hesitant to rank two of their teams this high, but Michigan seems pretty solid. Their only loss came at the hands of last year's regular season CCHA champ, Miami. If they perform to their potential, the Wolverines could be a scary team down the stretch.

7. New Hampshire - This is almost the ballsiest pick of the bunch, as UNH has played only two real games so far. Like CC, the Wildcats started the season with a disheartening exhibition loss. The next week, they came back and crushed the US Under-18 team. We all know what happened this weekend.

8. Boston College - The Eagles have been an early season favorite up until their inexplicable 7-1 loss at the hands of Notre Dame. If they can forget about that loss and take care of business down the stretch, they'll be a top team. If the loss to the Irish is any indication of things to come, though, it could be an ugly year in Chestnut Hill.

9. Michigan Tech - Yeah, yeah, laugh it up (Tech did get only one vote in the most recent USCHO poll), but the Huskies are off to a hot start this year. Tech is coming off a road sweep of Vermont, who had been doing well (USCHO #10). They started things off with a split with Northern Michigan, a team that tied Wisconsin early on and recently beat Nebraska, Omaha. Could this be a long awaited up year for the boys in Houghton?

10. Boston University - The Terriers were expected to be a top ten team this year, and have gotten off to a nice 2-0-1 record. The problem is that BU has not really beaten any quality teams yet. They started the season with a 4-4 tie against Rensselaer before cruising to easy wins over Northeastern and Merrimack; not exactly national powerhouses.

* Edit - Bill Sweatt has been diagnosed with mono and this is the reason for his absence on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mixed Results At Nye Classic

After blowing a chance to pick up an important PWR win on Friday, CC came back and dominated on Satuday night to go 1-0-1 on the weekend. The junior class was at it again, with Scott McCulloch and Jimmy Kilpatrick scoring CC's goals on Friday, and Jack Hillen and Derek Patrosso finding the back of the net on Saturday. Brian Connelly also showcased his offensive talent with three assists on the weekend.

The failure to get a win against Nebraska-Omaha is not the end of the world, but it could come back to haunt the Tigers at tournament selection time if both teams end up being Teams Under Consideration. The last few years, out of conference wins have paid huge dividends to CC at tournament time, and the Tigers will likely need some OOC wins further down the road if they want to play in the postseason this year.

Regardless of the shootout loss on Friday, there are bright spots for the Tigers. Newcomers Brian McMillin, Addison DeBoer, Brian Connelly, Billy Sweatt, and Nate Prosser all had points over the weekend. Drew O'Connell kept up his stellar play in net with an 18-save shutout on Satuday night. And veteran seniors Brandon Polich and Braydon Cox both scored goals on Saturday. CC thus far has demonstrated a much more balanced attack, with most everybody contributing on offense.

The offense is going to have to keep rolling, as the Tigers take on #12 New Hampshire in a two game series this weekend at the World Arena in their first true test of the season.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tigers Crush Huntsville, Move to 2-0

After the close contest between CC and Air Force on Friday, many Tiger fans were probably feeling a little apprehensive about the upcoming season. Saturday, though gave CC fans reason to be hopeful, as the Tigers dominated all aspects of play and throttled the Chargers 8-1.

Everything seemed to click Saturday as Scott McCulloch took after Jimmy Kilpatrick the night before and stepped up to a new offensive role. His four goals, along with tallies from the Sweatt brothers, Jake Gannon and Scott Thauwald, powered the Tigers, who also received stellar play in net from sophomore goalie Drew O'Connell. Although the results are great for a young Tiger team just a week into the season, CC should get their first true test when they play Nebraska-Omaha this weekend at the Nye Classic in Anchorage.

Here are some of my thoughts from the weekend, and the Alabama-Huntsville game in particular:

* Loved to see Drew O'Connell getting a start on Satuday, and was even happier about the way he played. He seemed confident and poised in net, and probably should have had a shutout.

* The forwards from the junior class had an excellent weekend. Great to see Jimmy Kilpatrick and Scott McCulloch stepping up the production already. Also, all these guys (Kilpatrick, McCulloch, Derek Patrosso, James Brannigan) seemed to be playing physical in the offensive zone and tiring out the Chargers defense. Every junior (including defenseman Jack Hillen) recorded a point on Saturday night. Every one but Brannigan and Patrosso actually had two or more.

* Billy Sweatt - Man, this kid can fly. Great to see him get his first goal as a Tiger - he's going to be the real deal.

* This Tigers defense is solid - Kris Fredheim in particular looks like he's in control out there.

* Saw some freshman mistakes from some of the young guys. Connelly, DeBoer, Testwuide and McMillan all looked solid but still have some adjusting to do to the college game.

* Mike Testwuide and Billy Sweatt bring some needed size to the offense.

* Congrats to Jake Gannon - first college goal.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

CC Holds On Against Air Force

If you needed any proof that hockey is a game of inches, take a look at last night. Air Force's last second, tying goal should have resulted in elation for the 3rd largest hockey crowd in AFA school history. The game ended in heartbreak for Falcons fans however, as the goal was waved off due to a high stick, and CC went on to win yet again, 2-1.

Jimmy Kilpatrick stepped up to his new offensive role, scoring two goals for the Tigers, and Chad Rau tallied an assist. Matt Zaba was solid in net, making 25 saves on 26 shots.

The Tigers take on the Chargers of Alabama Huntsville tonight in their home opener at the World Arena.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Season Preview '06

With just hours until Colorado College faces off against Air Force in their season opener, I thought we should take a look at what to expect this season. The loss of a stellar senior class has generally left CC fans with lower expectations than in the past few years, but the Tigers surely have the talent to surprise this year. For this post I thought I'd take a look at how each aspect of the team might shape up. I'll try to provide some more analysis after the games this weekend.


The Tigers lost a majority of last season's top notch offensive corps, leaving many questions about how CC will go about replacing the scoring. Three things are obvious to me - if CC is to be strong offensively this year...

1. Chad Rau has to continue getting better and develop into an elite player.

2. Billy Sweatt must make a smooth transition to the college game.

3. The supporting cast, particularly this year's juniors, must step up and get more involved in the scoring.

I'm not particularly worried about #1. Chad Rau is a potential All-WCHA player who I think could score 50+ points this year. Things get murky as we delve deeper though. Billy Sweatt, one of the most highly touted freshmen in the country, will almost certainly become an elite college hockey player - but can he make an impact this season? I'd be satisfied if Sweatt could imitate Rau's freshman year and put up around 30 points. Anything beyond that is gravy, but don't be surprised if you see Billy Sweatt among the top point scorers in the WCHA this season. As for #3... for the past two years CC has had a number of capable offensive players who have been overshadowed by the Sertich and Sterling show. Look in particular at this year's junior class, with Derek Patrosso, Jimmy Kilpatrick, James Brannigan, and Scott McCulloch. Any one of these players has the potential to score 25+ points in a season. Look for Kilpatrick and McCulloch to have an increased role in the offense. Both of these guys should see significant time on the power play.

In addition to these veterans, the Tigers have an extremely talented freshman class that has the potential to put up solid numbers. Billy Sweatt is a given, having been ranked as the #4 incoming forward by Inside College Hockey, and #2 incoming forward by Chris Heisenburg and the Western College Hockey Blog. But don't forget about some of the other new players we'll be seeing this weekend. Dan Quilico (5'9"/170) put up 46 points in 62 games last season for Trail of the BCHL. Matt Overman (5'10"/165) put up gaudy numbers in high school before spending a season on the injured reserve for Sioux Falls of the USHL. Mike Testwuide (6'3"/205), brother of Denver defenseman J.P. Testwuide, scored 31 points last year for Waterloo of the USHL. Also, Addison DeBoer and Brian McMillin, both coming straight from high school, have the potential to put up numbers if they can smoothly transition to the new challenges of the college game.

Also important to note is that the Tigers should get a nice boost from the return of Andreas Vlassopoulos and Scott Thauwald, both of whom spent nearly all of last season injured. If both are fully recovered, they could make a big difference on offense.

Scott Owens loves to tinker with the lines, so I don't want to try and guess what combinations he might use, although once the season gets going I could certainly see some possible line combos emerging. Chad Rau and Billy Sweatt could team up to put up fantastic numbers. Larger players like Mike Testwuide and Scott McCulloch could play together and bring a more physical presence to the offensive zone. Owens should have plenty of options, with enough forwards to roll five lines if desired. One of the more interesting things to watch for will be DeBoer's and McMillin's transition to the college game - if they can make the jump smoothly, CC will be very deep on offense.


CC's defense this year should be very, very strong. In addition to returning players Lee Sweatt, Jack Hillen, Brandon Straub, Jake Gannon, and Cody Lampl, the Tigers have picked up some top tier defenders in Kris Fredheim, Brian Connelly, and Nate Prosser. Fredheim (6'2"/183) was the most sought after of the bunch; a 2005 NHL draft pick (sixth round), he scored 46 points in 63 games last year for Notre Dame of the SJHL, and was named defenseman of the year. Brian Connelly (5'11"/175) spent last season with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL, scoring 28 points in 59 games. Nate Prosser (6'2"/203), another highly ranked recruit, had 35 points in 72 games last year for Sioux Falls, and was a second team all-star.

I would envision defensive pairings looking something like this:

Sweatt / Fredheim
Hillen / Connelly
Straub / Prosser
Gannon / Lampl

These combinations would at least initially give the new players a chance to play with a veteran blueliner.


Matt Zaba may be the player most important to CC's hopes this year. If he can reach his potential and become a gamechanging goalie, watch out. If he plays like he did last year - meh. If he goes downhill at all, it's time to give O'Connell some looks. In my opinion, Zaba has all the potential to be an All-WCHA goalie - he just needs to put it all together. You can pretty much count on him to make the saves that he should make, but unlike two years ago with Curtis McElhinney, don't expect Zaba to be stealing games for the Tigers. If CC starts out strong and keeps it going, I'd trust Zaba with the starting job. If the Tigers stumble early and post season aspirations are looking like a longshot, I think Scott Owens should give serious thought to giving Drew O'Connell some playing time. One good situation, if CC's season was looking lost, would be to go with a two man rotation of Zaba and O'Connell. Why, you ask? Because O'Connell is a sophomore this year and our two other goalies (Zaba and Kawano) are on the way out. If this season is a bust, at least get ready for next. In addition, I'd feel like O'Connell would be getting a bum deal if he had to compete for the starting job with top recruit Richard Bachman next year, having played in hardly any games over the past two seasons. Give the kid a chance, I say. I don't want to leave Chris Kawano out of the discussion either. He played quite a bit at the end of last season and had some very impressive games. While I think Kawano would currently be considered #2 in the pecking order after Zaba, since he graduates at the end of the year, I'd rather see O'Connell get the playing time. Nevertheless I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him start a game or two here and there.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

News and Notes

Well, a busy summer has finally come to an end and it's time to get back into hockey mode.

With less than a month until the puck drops, CC has had another tough personnel loss; this time not due to graduation or defection to the pros. J.P. Brunkhorst, a solid player and hard worker, will forgo his senior season with the Tigers to focus on his studies. Definitely a tough loss for the Tigers, but we all wish J.P. the best and hope he will go on to be successful at medical school.

A few other notes since I've been a bit too busy this summer to get to everything:

* CC games will now be broadcast on 103.9 - The Eagle.

* The Tigers' two home games against the University of Denver will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

* The New York Rangers lost their rights to Joey Crabb, which allowed him to sign a two year deal with the Atlanta Thrashers, joining CC teammate Brett Sterling.

* Trevor Frischmon has signed a contract with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.

* Weston Tardy and Aaron Slattengren have signed with the Phoenix Roadrunners of the ECHL.

* Marty Sertich signed a two year deal with the Dallas Stars.

* The Western College Hockey Blog picked the Tigers to finish 7th in the WCHA.

* Former CC star Tom Preissing won't be suiting up with DU alum Matt Carle anymore, as he was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Ottawa Senators.

* Apparenly Andreas Vlassopoulous has started skating again this summer, although it's unclear whether he'll be ready to be playing at the beginning of the season.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Been Awhile

Well it's been awhile since this site has seen any updates, mostly because nt much has been going on. There have been two important news items for CC fans of late though. For one, CC star Marty Sertich is now a Dallas Star. He signed a contract a short time ago as an undrafted free agent, and hopefully we'll get to see him make an impact at the NHL level soon. The other piece of news is that top Alaska-Anchorage forward Eric Walsky is leaving UAA and could be heading for CC. If so, it'd be a nice pickup for our 2007 incoming class, which is looking a bit thin. This article comes from the Anchorage Daily News:

Anchorage Daily News

Eric Walsky just returned from a month-long trip to Italy and Switzerland, but he's not done traveling.

Walsky has left the UAA program and intends to transfer to another school in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, the powerful league in which UAA plays.

NCAA transfer rules require the Anchorage native, who was the Seawolves' best forward as last season came to a close, to sit out one season before he is eligible to play for a new team.

Walsky, 21, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, said he will transfer because he believes UAA coach Dave Shyiak's system is too conservative and won't allow him to flourish. Walsky said he didn't harbor anny animosity toward Shyiak. They just disagreed philosophically, he said.

"Simply, I don't feel I'll develop into the player I deserve to be,'' Walsky said. "I don't have the opportunity to do that here. I butted heads with the coach a little bit, and I didn't see that changing.

"I take this decision very seriously. I take my hockey very seriously, and I want to have a career.''

Shyiak said he gave Walsky his best wishes the last time they talked.

"I told him, 'I wish you the best of luck. You have a future in the game,' '' Shyiak said.

Walsky would not say where he intends to transfer, but it won't be to Minnesota. UAA athletic director Steve Cobb refused to grant Walsky a release to join the Gophers because Minnesota assistant John Hill, the former Seawolves head coach, recruited Walsky to UAA on UAA's dime.

"I'm not going to allow someone who worked for us, and used school resources to develop a relationship with the kid, to benefit from that with another school,'' Cobb said. "I agreed to waive him to 57 (other Division I hockey) schools, so I'm not limiting the kid.

"I don't have any bad feelings toward Eric.''

Cobb said Colorado College was the only school he granted a waiver to pursue Walsky. If Walsky chose to transfer to Colorado College, that waiver would, under NCAA rules, allow him to receive scholarship aid while sitting out his transfer season.

After Cobb refused to grant Walsky a waiver to pursue a transfer to Minnesota, Walsky appealed the decision, as allowed by NCAA rules. A UAA appeals committee upheld Cobb's decision.

"The rules are there to protect the institution, not the student-athlete,'' Walsky said.

Walsky became the second Seawolves forward to transfer in the offseason. Winger Shea Hamilton, who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out a transfer season, left the program earlier and signed with North Dakota of the WCHA.

Also, Shyiak said recruit Erik Felde of Anchorage, a forward/defenseman of astonishing speed who tore up the British Columbia Hockey League last season, won't join the Seawolves as planned his fall because he did not meet academic qualifications.

The Tri-City (Wash.) Americans of the Western Hockey League -- a major-junior circuit that produces scores of NHL players -- have Felde, 18, on their list of 50 protected players. That gives them exclusive rights to Felde in the WHL.

Elite young players in North America generally play either major-junior hockey or U.S. college hockey.

Despite those personnel losses, Shyiak said he is looking forward to his second season behind the Seawolves' bench. He has recruited four forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender for 2006-07.

"I'm excited about the guys we have coming in here,'' Shyiak said.

Shyiak, whose team went 6-27-3 last season, also will be joined by two new assistant coaches. Damon Whitten, a former Michigan State skater who previously was an assistant at Division I Wayne (Mich.) State, was hired last month. UAA expects to announce the hiring of the other assistant later this month.

Walsky's numbers last season as a sophomore weren't particularly eye-popping -- three goals, 12 assists and 15 points in 35 games -- but he led the team in assists and tied for the team lead in points.

On a team that produced just 1.89 goals per game, the second fewest in Division I, Walsky was clearly the team's most dangerous player in the postseason, when UAA was swept out of the first round of the WCHA playoffs by Minnesota. Walsky registered two assists in UAA's 7-4 loss in Game 1 and scored one goal in the Seawolves' 6-2 loss in Game 2.

Walsky was UAA's best stick-handler, even after a 2005 surgery that left him with two screws and limited range of motion in his right wrist, and he literally played keep-away with the Gophers in that series.

Walsky, a former state player of the year at East High and a standout with the Alaska All Stars competition program, was a prized recruit when he came to UAA in the fall of 2004.

But a high ankle sprain suffered on the first day of practice caused him to miss the opening 12 games of the season. He later sat out a two-game series at Denver with asthma. And after playing just 16 games, he suffered a broken and dislocated wrist against North Dakota and required surgery.

Between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Walsky underwent surgery to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and his septum straightened. Post-surgery complications caused him to lose 50 of his 195 pounds and landed him in the hospital for two days.

Walsky, who last weekend returned from traveling in Europe, said the physical travails of 2004 and 2005 might actually help him emotionally while sitting out a transfer season.

"I think I'm more prepared with all my injuries,'' he said. "I know what it takes, how depressing it can be. I'm going to force myself to be optimistic.''

Walsky said his decision to transfer involved mixed emotions, but ultimately he thinks it is his best recourse.

"It's tough in some ways, and not in other ways,'' he said. "It's tough to leave my team and my teammates, and I got along with them really well. And it's tough to leave the hockey community, because it's been supportive of me and supportive of this hockey program.

"But I need to do what's best for me and best for my career.''

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yet Another Recruit For '06

The Tigers have picked up another commitment for the upcoming season, according to Chris Heisenberg's list of 2006 recruits. Brian McMillin, out of Roseau High School, scored 57 points in 30 games this season for the Rams with 27 goals and 30 assists. He also had an impressive +/- rating of 31. The addition will add even more depth to CC's offense for the 2006-07 season, and brings the total number of new recruits for next season to nine.

Anyone else starting to think that this incoming class is looking increasingly like the class that just graduated (except with some defense)?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Troy Mattila To Wait On College

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, potential CC recruit Troy Mattila has decided to reject a partial scholarship offer from the school and play a year of juniors. Apparently he is hoping a year in juniors will help him attain a larger scholarship down the road, particularly important considering that Colorado College tuition is now over $40,000 a year. Mattila is 18 and can afford to spend a year playing juniors; he was selected 20th overall in the recent USHL draft, by the Des Moines Buccaneers. It's likely he'll end up playing NCAA hockey next year - hopefully for the Tigers.

On a brighter note, the same article mentions that season ticket sales for Tiger games are up for next season. Assistant AD Scott Lowenberg claims CC is "well above" 6,000 season ticket holders at this point. Not great news for those looking for tickets, but excellent news for a program already among the top in average attendance.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

DeBoer Commits To CC

There's more good news concerning next year's recruiting class as Addison DeBoer has verbally committed to join CC next season. A 6'1", 185 pound forward, DeBoer recently broke David Backes' scoring record at Spring Lake Park High School, with 187 career points. As a senior this past season, DeBoer had 37 goals and 38 assists, and his scoring touch is sure to help the Tigers recover from the loss of dynamic duo Marty Sertich and Brett Sterling.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Another Recruit On The Way For CC?

Apparently there have been rumors swirling about the Tigers picking up another recruit. Addison Deboer, a 6'1", 190 pound forward, played for Spring Lake Park this past season and is the third highest scoring senior in Minnesota high school hockey, with an impressive 70 points. If the rumors are confirmed, it would be a nice pickup for the Tigers, who desperately need some help on offense after losing top three scorers Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling, and Joey Crabb.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Stafford Signs With The Sabres

University of North Dakota forward Drew Stafford has become the most recent WCHA player to bolt to the NHL ranks. He joins teammate Matt Smaby, Denver's Matt Carle, Minnesota's Ryan Potulny and Danny Irmen, Minnesota State's David Backes, and Wisconsin's Robbie Earl as college players signing professional contracts in the offseason. Stafford was a first round pick of the Sabres. While the loss of Stafford will certainly hurt the Sioux next season, it wasn't a surprise, and UND still returns an exceptional crop of young stars for next season.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Doobie Brothers Ready To Rock CC

The Doobie Brothers play at 9:00 tonight on CC's campus. The rtage is set in the middle of CC's campus on Cascade Ave. CC ID or alumni ID needed to attend, I believe. (But it's easy enough to sneak in!)

Another Recruit For The Tigers

The Tigers have picked up another recruit for the 2008 season according to college hockey recruiting guru Chris Heisenberg. Andrew Hamburg, a 6'2", 175 lb. forward of the Dallas Stars Midget AAA program, joins two other former Stars players on the CC roster: Chris Kawano and Cody Lampl. With two years to bulk up, Hamburg could bring some great size to the Tigers' offense. Hamburg is the second player to commit to CC for the 2008 season, joining defenseman Ryan Lowery, who will be playing for Lincoln of the USHL next season.

Friday, April 28, 2006

North Dakota Loses Appeal; "Walker, Texas Ranger®" Mascot in UND's Future?

It might not be the "Fighting Sioux" for much longer. Friday, the NCAA denied North Dakota's appeal concerning their allegedly offensive mascot. North Dakota has threatened to take legal action against the NCAA if the decision stands. I have to say I've heard both sides of the argument in this one and I still don't really care either way. Personally I don't really see the mascot as being offensive, but I can also understand that some do. With the future of the Fighting Sioux looking grim, I thought I'd help get North Dakota fans started with some brainstorming for new mascot ideas:

North Dakota Fighting Raptors * Weren't there a lot of dinosaur fossils found up in the badlands? A North Dakota tradition for 65 million years.

North Dakota Fighting Irish * The jerseys are already green anyways, and no doubt there's an awful lot of drinking going on up in Grand Forks.

North Dakota Fighting Snoopies * Red Baron's arch-enemy. With a mascot as unique as this one, they won't be confused with North Dakota State anymore.

North Dakota Fighting Ethnic Minorities * Nothin' offensive about this one.

North Dakota Fighting Canadians * With ten Canadians on the roster, this might not be such a bad name. Minnesota is basically a Canadian province, and there's 11 Minnesotans on the roster to boot. Maybe this isn't such a bad name after all.

North Dakota Fighting Gamblers * Rather than offending Native Americans, encourage gambling at their casinos!

North Dakota Fighting Seagals * Here's a great solution to UND's problems. Steven Seagal always seems to be pretending to be a Native American in his movies. Using a white man's name to represent an Indian people? Brilliant.


North Dakota Fighting Texas Rangers * Like Seagal, action star Chuck Norris pretends to be a half Indian crime fighter in this entertaining TV series. The Texas Ranger badge design would look spectacular on UND jerseys. As an added bonus, less courageous squads may be afraid to suit up against a team who's mascot is so proficient in the martial arts.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

2006-2007 Schedule Released

The 2006-2007 Tiger Hockey schedule is now available on CC's website.

The notables:

October 20th/21st - University of New Hampshire (home) * The last time these teams faced each other was 2001 (CC lost 6-2). UNH will probably be CC's strongest out of conference opponent in the regular season.

October 27th/28th - University of Minnesota (away) * The Tigers start their WCHA schedule with a trial by fire series in Mariucci.

November 24th/25th - University of North Dakota (away) * UND figures to be one of, if not the top team next year. This series should be an extremely tough one for the Tigers.

December 1st/2nd - University of Denver (home and away) * Self explanatory.

February 2nd/3rd - University of Wisconsin (home) * The defending champs come to town again and the Tigers will be looking for some revenge after the Badgers laid the smack down 9-1 in their last contest.

March 2nd/3rd - University of Denver (home and away) * Self explanatory again.

The Tigers will also be playing out of conference games against Bemidji State (CHA), Air Force (CHA), Alabama - Huntsville (CHA), and Merrimack College (Hockey East). CC also faces the University of Calgary and US Under-18 national team in exhibition games.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Awards Dished Out; Sterling MVP

Brett Sterling was recognized as team MVP on Saturday at the annual Colorado College hockey awards banquet. Sterling was given the Thayer Tutt Award in recognition of his leadership and his team leading 55 points. Fellow seniors Marty Sertich, Joey Crabb, and Trevor Frischmon were also honored with the following awards:

Marty Sertich - Rodman Award Given to the player most representing leadership and sportsmanship.

Joey Crabb - Shout Award Given to the "grittiest" player.

Trevor Frischmon - Steve Ebert Award Given to the player displaying "dedication, desire, ability and sportsmanship."

Other awards given out included:

Chad Rau - Bob Johnson Award Rookie of the year.

Matt Zaba - Tony Frasca Award Given to playoff MVP. Weren't a whole lot of options on this one.

Chris Kawano - Dave Peterson Award Most improved player.

J.P. Brunkhorst and Lee Sweatt - Paul Markovich Award Given to the Tigers' best student-athletes.

Visit the Tigers' official website for a full writeup of the awards along with descriptions of each one.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Colorado College 2005-2006: Season Review

With the Tigers' season having ended last month with a loss to Cornell in the NCAA tournament, it's time to take a look back on the ups and downs of another Colorado College hockey season. The Tigers were ranked 13th in the preseason polls, but most people knew that with returning seniors like Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling, and Joey Crabb, CC would soon be within the top ten. It didn't take long, as CC got off to another fast start this season. The Tigers opened the season with a 6-1 win over Union in the Icebreaker Tournament. Three of the six CC goals in that game came from sophomore Derek Patrosso, and Chad Rau also added his first in a Tiger uniform. The next night, CC took on a very strong Maine team and once again Derek Patrosso was the hero as he scored in overtime to give the Tigers their second win of the season. Chad Rau was impressive again, scoring his second goal in two games. Returning Hobey Baker finalist Brett Sterling also had two goals on the weekend.

The next weekend the Tigers experienced their first loss of the season at the hands of Ohio State. The next night, CC won despite being outshot 34-23, on the strength of a Marty Sertich goal and stellar play from Matt Zaba. The win over Ohio State started a seven game winning streak for the Tigers, as they ran off consecutive wins over Notre Dame and Air Force at home, Minnesota State, Mankato on the road, and then St. Cloud State at home. CC's record at this point was a stellar 9-1-0 and the Tigers were now the #1 ranked team in the country.

It was not to last, however, as CC's next series sent them on the road to Madison to face the #5 ranked Badgers. Things looked good on Friday night as CC took a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Badgers came back, however, and managed to tie the game. The next night, Brian Elliott backstopped the Badgers to a 3-0 shutout victory, and the Tigers run at #1 was over as soon as it had started. CC needed to get back on track, and the next weekend presented the perfect oppurtunity as Michigan Tech came to town. The Tigers held Tech scoreless on the weekend, winning 5-0 and 3-0 as team captain Marty Sertich scored two goals to go with two assists.

The next week, the Tigers were back on the road for games against Massachusetts and Boston University. On Friday night, CC outshot the Minutemen 45-24 but couldn't capitalize on oppurtunities and lost the game 4-3. Massachusetts goalie Gabe Winer was stellar in net, with 42 saves, including 17 in the third period. The next night, the Tigers headed to Boston University's beautiful Agganis Arena with hopes of turning things around. It looked good early for CC, as Chad Rau and Brett Sterling both found the back of the net in the first period, and the Tigers outshot the Terriers 15-4. Jack Hillen scored another one for CC in the second period before the Terriers finally got on the board, striking for two goals of their own before the period was over. With the score at 3-2 heading into the final frame, the Tigers quickly regained control as Brett Sterling scored another one less than two minutes into the third period. 90 Seconds later Scott McCulloch rang up another one for CC thanks to a 5 on 3 oppurtunity due to a bench minor on Boston University. It looked like CC was cruising to an easy victory until the Terriers started an amazing rally late in the period. Down 5-3, Boston University struck for two extra attacker goals in the final 90 seconds to send the game into overtime. The Tigers weren't ready to squander another one, however, as Brett Sterling buried a gorgeous feed from Chad Rau less than a minute into overtime, quieting the Boston University crowd that had been ecstatic after the late comeback. Both teams finished the game with 33 shots on net.

Next up for CC was the hated Denver Pioneers. Denver entered the series with just one win in their last six games and hopes were high that the Tigers would have a good oppurtunity to reclaim the Gold Pan. It looked like the Tigers were on their way to victory halfway through the game, as they led 2-0 on goals from Joey Crabb and Jack Hillen. Paul Stastny, Ryan Dingle, and Matt Carle had other ideas though, and the Pioneers came back to make it 3-2 before adding an empty netter at the end of the game. Stastny had two assists, Carle had three assists, and Dingle scored two goals. The next night, the Pioneers cruised to an easy 5-1 victory at Magness. Drew O'Connell had the start in net and struggled, allowing 5 goals on 30 shots.

The Tigers' next series was against Minnesota Duluth at home, and despite a 7-2 beatdown on Friday, CC could not get the sweep as the Bulldogs took the Saturday contest 4-3. The Tigers then travelled to Anchorage, winning 5-4 and 2-1 (ot) before heading to Michigan for the Great Lakes Invitational over Christmas break. CC put on probably their most impressive performance at the GLI, dominating #6 Michigan 6-1 and then cruising to an easy win over Michigan State, 6-3. Senior Joey Crabb had an impressive seven points on the weekend (four goals, three assists). Marty Sertich set up four goals against the Spartans.

The good times did not last though, as the Tigers got off to a truly atrocious start in 2006. CC's first series of the new year was at home against Wisconsin, and hopes were high that the Tigers would fare better than they did in Madison. It was not to be though, as the Tigers fell 3-2 on Friday before being humiliated 9-1 on Saturday night. The losing streak was just getting started at this point. Next up was the Golden Gophers of Minnesota, and once again CC could not collect any points on the weekend. The Tigers dropped both games, 4-2 and 3-2. With CC basically out of the running for the WCHA title, the focus became on home ice for the playoffs. With that in mind, the Tigers next series was a critical one, with North Dakota coming to town for a series with WCHA standings implications. On Friday night, the Tigers' win streak was extended to five as North Dakota won 4-2. North Dakota freshmen TJ Oshie, Ryan Duncan, and Jonathan Toews each scored a goal in the win. On Saturday, CC finally snapped its longest losing streak since the 90's with a 3-2 comeback win.

Next up for CC were the red-hot Huskies of St. Cloud State. The Huskies entered the series on a six game winning streak, but Bobby Goepfert did not show up for Friday's game and the Tigers scored five goals on 17 shots before Goepfert was finally pulled. The next night, Goepfert was back to his usual self, stopping 40 of 41 CC shots on net and backstopping St. Cloud State to a 2-1 win. After the St. Cloud State series the Tigers had a chance to score some valuable WCHA points with series against the league's two worst teams, Alaska-Anchorage and Minnesota-Duluth. CC took advantage, winning all four games. The Tigers scored 19 goals in the four wins and allowed only five. Things were looking good again going into the final series of the regular season, against Denver.

CC had the chance to get some important WCHA points and solidify NCAA tournament positioning in the series with Denver, but could not get it done. On Friday, the Tigers took a 4-3 lead into the third period before allowing Denver to come back in the third period and eventually win in overtime. Things weren't looking good. The Pioneers had shot up in the Pairwise Rankings, and CC was slipping close to the bubble. Furthermore, Brett Sterling had left the ice halfway through the Friday game with a leg injury and was not expected to play in game two. A road playoff series wasn't looking so unlikely. The next night, the Tigers once again took the lead early thanks to goals from Joey Crabb and Chad Rau. Once again the lead did not last, as Denver scored three straight goals in the third period and took their 3-2 lead into the final minute before Chad Rau scored an acrobatic goal to tie the game with only 47 seconds remaining. Neither team could score in overtime, and CC prevented what would have been an embarrassing season sweep by Denver. The Tigers finished fifth in the WCHA standings and secured home ice for their playoff series against St. Cloud State.

CC entered the playoff series with St. Cloud having won three out of four against the Huskies, but could not solve Bobby Goepfert in game one of the series, and fell by a score of 2-1. CC fell behind 2-0 in game two but was able to come back and even the series at 1-1 thanks largely to Brett Sterling's two goals. In game three, however, Bobby Goepfert shut down the Tigers once again as the Huskies cruised to a 3-1 victory and to the WCHA Final Five play-in game. CC now had to let the NCAA decide if their season would continue.

When the dust had settled and each conference had a champion, the Tigers were awarded an NCAA tournament berth as a three seed. CC was sent off to Green Bay to face Cornell in their tournament opener, with a rematch against Wisconsin likely on the line. Once again the Tigers jumped out to an early lead, and once again they could not hang on. CC was up 2-0 after the first period, in which they outshot the Big Red 11-1, but could not put anything else past David McKee for the remainder of the game as Cornell scored one goal in the second period and two more in the third. The loss capped a disappointing season for the Tigers, who had one of the strongest senior classes in the country and performed well below expectations.

Friday, April 14, 2006

WCHA Stars Leaving Left and Right

Colorado College's hockey team seems to be improving by default this offseason thanks to early departures around the league. The first to go was Denver defenseman and Hobey Baker winner Matt Carle. Carle bolted after the Pioneers were left out of the NCAA tournament. He signed with the San Jose Sharks and has been contributing quite a bit to their strong playoff push. The next victim was the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who lost leading scorer Ryan Potulny to the Philadelphia Flyers. Shortly after they lost another one of their top players, Danny Irmen, who signed with the Minnesota Wild. North Dakota also got hit with a double-whammy as sophomore forward Travis Zajac signed with New Jersey and junior defenseman and team captain Matt Smaby agreed to a deal with Tampa Bay. Minnesota State, Mankato lost their team captain and best player, David Backes to the St. Louis Blues, who desperately need all the help that they can get.The latest big loss in the WCHA is Wisconsin's Robbie Earl, who recently came to terms with the Toronto Maple Leafs and will start playing for their AHL affiliate. There's also cause for concern in St. Cloud due to the fact that, as Western College Hockey writes, the Pittsburgh Penguins will lose Bobby Goepfert's rights if they don't sign him before this summer.

So what does all this mean for CC? It makes the outlook for next year a little better, but not much. Defending champion Wisconsin will likely return all their underclassmen but Earl, and if Denver can hang onto Paul Stastny, which remains to be seen, they'll have the top returning scorer for next season. Not to mention North Dakota, who will have two of the best sophomores in the country next year if they can hang onto Jonathan Toews and T.J. Oshie. Many other teams will return solid cores of players despite some early departures. The good news is that no early departures are expected for CC, although they're always possible. Players to watch for CC this offseason would be rising seniors Brian Salcido and Matt Zaba and rising sophomore Chad Rau, although none are all too likely to bolt for the NHL.

The losses haven't just affected WCHA teams - some big names from other conferences, such as Cornell's David McKee, Bowling Green's Alex Foster, and Nebraska-Omaha's Bill Thomas have also signed pro contracts.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Stuart Scores First NHL Goal

What a nice surprise to turn on OLN just in time to see former Tiger Mark Stuart score his first NHL goal. Stuart's goal came halfway through the third period in tonight's game against the Washington Capitals. Shawn McEachern and Glenn Murray set up the tally, which knotted the score at 1-1. Last year Stuart was the Tigers' captain and led the team to the Frozen Four. He was named last year's WCHA defensive player of the year and was a first team All-American for the West. Stuart has looked strong on defense for the Bruins so far and should be a regular in the lineup next season. Stuart, the 23rd overall draft pick in the 2003 draft, has a "great chance to play with the Bruins all of next season", according to GM Jeff Gorton.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Wisconsin Tops Boston College, Claims Title

The Wisconsin Badgers won their sixth national title last night in what was a better game than I had been expecting. Coming into the game, I was pretty much expecting Wisconsin to steamroll Boston College, but the Eagles really made it a hell of a game to the bitter end, hitting a post on a potentially game-tying shot with one second left. So, the Badgers end their year on a high note after what had been an up and down season (basically, up when Brian Elliott was playing, down when he wasn't). Robbie Earl was named MVP of the Frozen Four in recognition of his three goals. For some CC fans, Wisconsin wasn't exactly a likeable team this year, with characters like the oft-diving Earl, and Adam "Thug Life" Burish, along with their dunderheaded coach Mike Eaves (we all remember the post-Burish press conference), but anyone can see that this was one very talented team. Not only were the Badgers supremely skilled, but unlike our own Tigers, they didn't have any one or two particular people they turned to for goals - they had a balanced attack with everyone contributing and it paid off. With the win, Wisconsin now has six national titles under their belt, just one behind Denver and North Dakota.

Also, I haven't mentioned yet that my pick for Hobey, Matt Carle, turned out to be correct. Check out LetsGoDU for plenty of coverage on that. Congrats Matt.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Wisconsin Powers Past Maine

The national championship is set, and it's going to be a battle between East and West. Wisconsin, the lone WCHA team left in the tournament, beat Maine 5-2 to advance to the final for the first time since 1992. The Badgers got solid play once again from goaltender Brian Elliott, who saw his impressive shutout streak snapped in the first period. The game went pretty much how one would have expected it, with Wisconsin's solid all-around offense and spectacular defense smothering Maine and eliminating the Black Bears' hopes for their first national title since 1999.

I had doubted that Wisconsin would score so much on Maine, but their persistent offense, along with a few breaks, caught the Black Bears off guard for five goals (one an empty netter). With the Badger win, college hockey is back to the usual WCHA/Hockey East matchup for the national title. Prior to last year (Denver vs. North Dakota), the national championship game had been between WCHA and HE opponents for six years in a row. The two teams will face off on Saturday at 7 o'clock Eastern time before what promises to be a largely Badger crowd in Milwaukee.

North Dakota Falls To Boston College

Hopes for another all-WCHA championship were dashed this afternoon as the Boston College Eagles downed the North Dakota Fighting Sioux by a score of 6-5. Hobey Baker Finalist Chris Collins scored three goals for Boston College. Jordan Parise was disappointing in net for North Dakota, allowing six goals on 31 shots, including three goals on five shots in the first period. North Dakota outshot Boston College 41-31 in the game.

This game could have gone either way. The Sioux were resilient, coming back from 3-0 to get within one in the second period, but it was not to be for North Dakota, as Boston College struck back for two more before the period was over. I think the Sioux could have had this game if Parise had just made stops on a few shots he should have saved. Then again, Boston College's Cory Schneider was letting in some ugly ones as well by the time the game was over. This game wasn't really what I was expecting, but nevertheless it was a lot of fun to watch. I hadn't seen a whole lot of Chris Collins before today and man, is he a sniper. He's certainly making the Hobey debate interesting (despite the fact that the voting is done). Boston College is a big, tough, and fast team and I'm expecting them to do well against whoever they end up playing on Saturday.

As for North Dakota, there isn't really much reason to be disappointed with this finish. With the Sioux relying so heavily on their freshman stars, it's very impressive that they made it this far to begin with. If a few of these guys (Oshie, Toews, Duncan) stick around, North Dakota will be a scary team for the next few years. Their great run through the WCHA tournament and NCAA regional is reason to be proud of this young squad.

The Eagles advance to the championship game, which will be played on Saturday against either Maine or Wisconsin.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Frozen Four Ramblings

The WCHA is well represented in the Frozen Four this year, with Wisconsin and North Dakota set to take on Maine and Boston College. Not unexpectedly, CCHA teams fared quite poorly in the tournament, with just one team making it beyond the first round. I wouldn't normally wouldn't root against any particular conference, but it was nice to see some of these teams and their fans put in their places after a season of hearing about how the CCHA was the best conference in the country. Newsflash for those who insisted throughout the season that the CCHA was better than the WCHA: Beating up on Michigan Tech and Alaska-Anchorage (1-7-0 against CCHA teams) does not make your conference better. There's a reason that Wisconsin, CC, Denver, North Dakota, and Minnesota went 12-4-2 against CCHA teams this year (with an awful lot of those games against top CCHA teams like Miami, Michigan, and Michigan State). How does the Pairwise ranking system get fooled by stuff like this? Was there a CCHA scheduling conspiracy where they planned out how they would schedule games against WCHA bottom feeders to trick the computers into thinking they have the best conference? Anyway, the CCHA team that came the closest to the Frozen Four was Michigan State, who beat New Hampshire 1-0 in their first game but couldn't get by Maine in game two.

It's nice to see some Hockey East teams in the Frozen Four - brings me back to the 1990's when the balance of power throughout the country was a lot different. Boston College making it was the big surprise for me - at the end of the season it looked like they were ready to pack it in, and then they beat Miami and Boston University with ease? What's going on here? Did they sneak Brian Gionta back onto their team for the playoffs? While it was also surprising to see Maine make it as a three seed, the Black Bears were a very hot team in the second half of the season, and they've also got tournament experience. The older players on the team were there for the championship against Denver two years ago, and coach Tim Whitehead has done well in the playoffs. Maine is looking really good if you ask me: they have a balanced attack, they hit hard, they play tight defense, and they have a good goalie. Don't be surprised if they upset Wisconsin. If Brian Elliott can keep up his stellar play, however, Wisconsin will be very tough to beat.

While I think that Maine is looking good going into the FF weekend, the hottest team in the country has to be North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux walked through the WCHA tournament, manhandled Michigan, and then beat Holy Cross (that sounds funny) to advance to their second straight Frozen Four. Their star freshmen are looking spectacular, and the experience of last year's tournament has to help. I would have expected the Sioux to beat Boston College easily, but with BC's impressive run through their regional, it's tough to call. I'd still pick North Dakota, but I'm sure BC will make it interesting.

Stastny Announces Transfer to CC

Denver forward Paul Stastny announced today that he has decided to transfer to Colorado College. Last season, Stastny was tied with Matt Carle for sixth in the nation with 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists). When asked for a reason for the change of heart, Stastny reportedly said, "I want the chance to play for a NCAA tournament team, and this last season Denver just didn't give me that oppurtunity." Tigers coach Scott Owens said he was thrilled with the addition; "With three of our top guns (Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling, Joey Crabb) leaving this season, we could really use some new firepower for our top lines. Paul has shown steady improvement and should be one of the top players in the country next year. We look forward to welcoming him to the CC community." Denver head coach George Gwozdecky was disapointed to learn of the news, saying that Stastny had made too hasty a decision. "Listen, I know our team choked in the WCHA playoffs this season," he said, "but CC really didn't do much better. This is a huge loss for our team and it's a shame that (Paul) didn't put more time into this decision."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

CC Picks Up Another Recruit

Chris Heisenberg's Recruiting Page reports that the Tigers have signed another recruit for either the 2007 or 2008 season. The addition is Nick Dineen of the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. Last season Dineen, a right wing, had six goals and eleven assists in 53 games. At 5'10", 175 pounds, Dineen should bring some good size to CC's offense, especially with a year or two to develop. I'll add some more to this update when I find out more about Nick, so stay tuned.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tigers End Season With Loss to Cornell

Despite dominating the first period of play, Colorado College allowed a two goal lead to slip away and saw their season ended by the tenacious Big Red of Cornell. The Tigers scored two goals in the first period, courtesy of Brian Salcido and Jack Hillen, and allowed the Big Red only one shot on net. But Cornell rallied in the final two frames, scoring three unanswered goals and earning the chance to play Wisconsin tonight, with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line.

Marty Sertich had two assists for CC and Brett Sterling and Scott McCulloch each had one. McCulloch also had a shot hit the post in the first period that would have put CC up by three. While the Tigers and their fans are surely disapointed about the loss, it wasn't exactly surprising. CC finished the season 1-4-1 in their final six games. While Cornell could muster no offense in the first period, they did play a solid physical game that eventually wore down on the smaller CC players and allowed Cornell to control the final two periods.

Cornell and Wisconsin will play today, with the winner heading to the Frozen Four along with Boston College, Maine, and North Dakota.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

David Slays Goliath

Holy Cross pulled off probably the biggest upset in tournament history last night, downing the overall No. 2 seed Minnesota 4-3 in overtime. Tyler MacGregor scored only 53 seconds into overtime for the Crusaders, who also received stellar play in goal from Tony Quesada. Some Gopher players looked as though they may have been out at Blarney's before the game, including goalie Kellen Briggs, who allowed one of his four goals against after giving up on the play thinking it had been blown dead. Holy Cross will now have a shot at North Dakota, who downed Michigan 5-1 last night, with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line.

In other games, Boston College surprised many with a 5-0 win over Miami. Enrico Blasi also surprised many in this game by pulling his goalie with almost half a period left to play. The Eagles added two empty net goals. Boston College will move on to play Boston University, who crushed Nebraska-Omaha 9-2. It was not a good night for the CCHA, who's three teams (Michigan, Miami, UNO) went 0-3 against teams from the WCHA and Hockey East. The last surviving team, Michigan State, will play New Hampshire tonight in Albany.

The Tigers make their tournament debut tonight against Cornell of the ECAC. This game should be similar to the games that Colorado College played against St. Cloud State in the WCHA playoffs - Cornell's offense is somewhat lacking, but the defense has kept them in games this year. In net for the Big Red will be David McKee, who had a stellar season last year, but has seemingly fallen off a cliff this year in terms of stats. While his .904 save percentage and 2.16 GAA are not bad numbers, they aren't close to his numbers of last season: a .947 save percentage and 1.24 GAA. CC has yet to play a game since their 3-1 loss to St. Cloud State in the playoffs and few know what to expect from the Tigers. The dynamic duo of Marty Sertich and Brett Sterling, along with the rest of a very strong senior class have their last chance to bring a national championship back to Colorado Springs. The game being in Green Bay will undoubtedly help CC, who should receive support from the hometown Badger fans against Cornell. I'd love to do more analysis of this matchup, but if I've learned anything from watching college hockey, it's that statistics and percentages are all thrown out the window come game time - the game is played on the ice, not on computers. So this game, which should be close, will probably just come down to which team is hot and which team is not. Let's hope the Tigers are hot coming off their two week break.

There are some other notable games worth watching tonight as well. First, the rematch between Maine and Harvard. Maine spoiled Harvard's tournament chances two years ago with a 5-4 comeback win over the Crimson, who had been up 4-1 in the third period. Another interesting game will be between familiar foes Boston University and Boston Cnllege (in Worcester). The Terriers look unstoppable after their 9-2 drubbing of Nebraska-Omaha last night, but the Eagles silenced many doubters with their 5-0 win over a very highly ranked Miami team. I think it will also be very interesting to see what Holy Cross can do against a Fighting Sioux team that has the entire arena behind them. Could get ugly. Hopefully Holy Cross can keep the game close and maybe even steal one (don't hold your breath) - everyone would love to see an AHA team in the Frozen Four.