Zach Pawa

Guest Writer

The Colorado College Men’s Ice Hockey season has drawn to a close with an overall record of 7-24-6. The team ended their season in a hard-fought 2-1 series loss to ninth ranked University of North Dakota, who will move on to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s inaugural Frozen Faceoff.

 

“Ultimately, I would not define this [season] as successful by any means,” senior and Captain Eamonn McDermott said. “But it was a learning experience for everyone.”

 

North Dakota took the first game of the series 4-2. However, the Tigers stormed back in the second game with an overtime winner scored by freshman winger Alex Roos. “The guys were still optimistic for North Dakota,” McDermott said.

 

This forced a third game in the series, which North Dakota won 4-3. North Dakota struck first, but senior winger Alexander Krushelnyskim responded with a tally of his own. North Dakota pulled ahead with two more goals in the first period, making the score 3-1 entering the second. The Tigers battled back again with a goal by senior winger Michael Morin in the second making it a 3-2 game.

 

The teams both added a tally in the third. Freshmen winger Alex Roos netted the final goal of the Tiger’s season with a final score of 4-3 in favor of University of North Dakota. Freshmen defensemen Jacob Slavin added a pair of assists in the game.

This final loss to North Dakota was consistent with a common theme of the Tiger’s season. “What we took away is that, like the whole season, we were close but not close enough,” McDermott said. The tigers had multiple battles against top-ranked teams throughout the season.

They opened the season with a 3-1 win over highly ranked Minnesota Duluth. Unfortunately, the team struggled throughout the season with a tough schedule.

This year, the Tigers were part of the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). This new league proved one of the nation’s top conferences with formidable opponents such as University of Denver, Minnesota Duluth, and Saint Cloud. The tigers showed that they could compete with all of the teams in the league, but consistency continued to be a problem throughout the season.

 

University of Denver went on to win the NCHC Frozen Faceoff. Clearly, the Tigers have the talent to compete with the top teams in the country. Channeling that talent on a consistent basis will lead to a successful 2014-2015 season.

 

While some have deemed the season as a disappointment, there were a handful of great moments. The Tigers took the coveted Gold Pan with two consecutive wins over rival University of Denver. “The best moment [of the season] was winning the Gold Pan,” McDermott said.

 

Furthermore, both McDermott and Slavin earned NCHC awards. McDermott was named the league’s first Sportsmanship Award recipient. Slavin was named Rookie of the Year. Furthermore, freshmen defensemen Olofsson has chosen to enter into a three-year entry level contract for the Minnesota Wild next season.

 

“I hope the guys learn from this year,” McDermott said. “And don’t repeat the same mistakes.”

 

With a plethora of young talent, the future is bright for the Colorado College Men’s Ice Hockey team. With the 2013-2014 season a wrap, the team can only learn from their mistakes, move forward, and continue to improve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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