I’m always up to talk, debate, maybe even argue about what has caused this recent slump, but sometimes it is easiest to just look at the numbers. Statistics can often tell the whole story. I mean, stats never lie, right? So I’ll provide you with the numbers and some insights to go along with them.
After going 0-3-1 in the last four games, Colorado College has dropped from 14th to 18th in the USCHO rankings. In those last four games, the Tigers were outscored 10-3 in the first period. Now, you might be thinking to yourself: that’s only four games; that’s not a big enough sample! Unfortunately, it is a trend that has been going on since the first game of the season. We were outscored 20-11 in the first period this season. Out of the 14 games the Tigers have played, CC has only scored first in 3 of them! The record in those three games – an undefeated 3-0.
I have previously praised the Tigers for their resiliency, for their ability to come back in games that originally look to be insurmountable. Why, though, does our school hockey team constantly need to be playing from behind? Because they come out slow. The first DU-CC game is a perfect example. Many of you must have attended – there were almost 8,000 people packed into the World Arena. The antichrist Denver Pioneers built a 6-2 lead early in the third period, but, being the resilient tigers we are, CC scored three unanswered to make it 6-5. The Tigers simply ran out of time. If that game had continued for another five minutes, we would have walked away with a W. We didn’t, however, because our hockey team consistently hand teams the lead early on.
A week later, the Tigers hosted the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. What we witnessed was the same story, different day. The Tigers went down 4-0 midway through the second period, only to climb all the way back to a tie of 4-4 with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Talk about resiliency. Talk about coming out slow.
Now, let’s give this team some credit. The past four games have all been against teams ranked among the top 15 in the country. Denver, at the time we played them, was ranked #2 in the country, according to the USCHO poll, and UNH is currently ranked #2. We also lost to #14 ranked Yale in overtime.
Our Colorado College hockey team is on the bubble, trying to return to our rightful place amongst the top-tier teams. We are incredibly close, but we continuously shoot ourselves in the foot by getting off to such terrible starts.