Last weekend, the men’s hockey team played a two-game series against the Miami University RedHawks. The series began on Friday, as the Tigers started strong with a goal by freshman Alex Roos only 92 seconds into the game. Senior goaltender Josh Thorimbert kept the RedHawks at zero until a RedHawks goal with 46 seconds left in the final period. Unfortunately, the RedHawks came back on Saturday to win the second game, leaving the series split.
A great victory immediately followed by such a tough loss is something that the team is working on preventing in the future. “Our primary goal from this point on is to try to establish consistent play for two full games,” Assistant Coach Eric Rud explains. “We seem to have very good periods followed by poor periods. We need to keep rounding out our overall game to be playing our best hockey at the end of the season to give us a chance to have playoff success.”
During the Saturday game, sophomore Cody Bradley scored the first goal of the game eight minutes into the first period. The Tigers held this lead for a while before Miami also scored, tying the game. Then, the RedHawks scored five more times in the second period, and the game ended 6-1. Unfortuntely, the Tigers’ team scoring leader Krushelnyski had to sit out of Saturday’s game due to an injury sustained in Friday’s action.
The series against Miami left the Tigers with a record of 3-17-4 overall and 3-8-3-1 in NCHC league play. The Tigers just joined the National Collegiate Hockey Conference this season. The league is only in its first year. The new league has brought both new benefits and new challenges to the team.
“Joining the NCHC has been very much a positive for Colorado College hockey, even though our record may not reflect that this year,” Head Coach Scott Owens said.
Coach Owens went on to share, “This is the league we want to be in as it brings some of the best teams in the country to Colorado Springs, and all the schools are committed to providing the best for their student-athletes and the fans. It helps keep the Tigers at the forefront of college hockey nationally. But there’s no doubt that playing in the NCHC is much tougher schedule-wise than previously.”
This year’s team also features a large number of underclassmen. “The core of our team is young, and we need to continue to see those guys develop and improve,” said coach Rud. With the completion of the home series against Miami, the Tiger’s game schedule is clear until another two-game NCHC series at University of Minnesota-Duluth on Feb. 7 and 8, but the team won’t be idle during this break in the season.
“It will be an opportunity for some guys to rest up and get treatment,” senior captain Eamonn McDermott explained. McDermott believes, “As far as the team, it is an opportunity to practice and get a little bit better each day. We all have areas that we can work on as a team and individually.”
And beyond University of Minnesota Duluth, the Tigers will keep improving at every practice and every game. “We are striving to be playing our best hockey down the stretch and at the end of the year,” Coach Owens shared. “We are disappointed in our overall record, no question about it. We are trying to keep improving our play offensively, especially in generating goals and are working to give up one less goal a game.”
“The on-ice practices, meetings, and video sessions are in full gear and the kids’ attitudes continue to be strong,” Coach Owens believes. “We want to be a more complete team, and dangerous to play against the remaining ten league games and into the playoffs.” Hopefully by the end of the season, Tiger fans will be seeing a record that more accurately reflects our dedicated and determined team.