Friday night was an upset special in the World Arena, and once again, it came in dramatic fashion. The Tigers first line scored three third-period goals, two of which came from the blade of Charlie Taft’s stick. Meanwhile, Joe Howe stood on his head in the third period, stopping 18 of the 19 shots he faced. Just to make things exciting, however, Howe allowed St. Cloud to light the lamp with just over one minute remaining, making it a one-goal game. Howe played one of his best games of the season – bailing out the CC defense – making 40 saves to improve to 4-1-3 in his last eight starts.
Our Colorado College Tigers are hot right now, and maybe, just maybe, with two weeks left in the regular season, it’s time to start actually believing in this hockey team.
As we have recently witnessed in just about every single professional sport, the team that is streaking towards the end of the regular season often goes on to have remarkable postseason success. Think about the #4 seed Baltimore Ravens, the #8 seed Los Angeles Kings, and the #3 seed San Francisco Giants – the last three real champions in their respective sports (the Miami Heat don’t count). If you had claimed that any of these teams were going to win the championship three-quarters of the way through the regular season, people would have laughed at you. Any college hockey analyst would give you the same response if you were to claim that the Colorado College Tigers are going to win the National Championship. Fortunately, our Tigers have something in common with past champions – they’re on a streak. Before Saturday night’s loss to the best team in the WCHA, Colorado College was on a six-game unbeaten streak.
If the Tigers can continue winning in the four remaining regular season contests, I wouldn’t count them out of going on a run in the WCHA playoffs. This weekend, the Tigers face off in a huge series against Minnesota State. It is imperative that our Tigers skate off with two wins. Currently in the WCHA, the Tigers sit only one measly point ahead of Minnesota-Duluth. If the Tigers fall behind Duluth in the standings they will most likely play North Dakota in the opening round of the WCHA playoffs. If the standings remain, however, we could be witnessing a preview of the first round – Colorado College vs. Minnesota State.