The Colorado College men’s hockey team picked up its first conference win of the season last Friday night against No. 7 ranked Nebraska-Omaha. The team delivered another solid performance the following evening at the Broadmoor World Arena, but could not manage a second upset.
The Tigers, now 5-14-1 overall and 1-9-1 in league play, travel to No. 2 ranked North Dakota this weekend, feeling confident coming off of two strong performances. “This coming weekend is big for us,” said sophomore defenseman Jacob Slavin. “We want to come home with two wins, no matter what it takes.”
If the Tigers play like they did in last Friday’s 4-3 upset victory, Slavin’s prayers just might be answered.
In Friday’s game, junior forward Hunter Fejes led the Tigers with two goals, including an unassisted game-winner in the third period. Slavin also added a goal and two assists, posting three points for a second consecutive game, while sophomore goalie Tyler Marble was solid in net.
“This win is huge for us,” said Fejes. “Beating a team that is ranked so highly gives us a lot of confidence and momentum moving forward.”
“From the net out, we played a full team game against a very skilled opponent,” Slavin added. “Guys were blocking shots, throwing hits, taking hits to make plays, and doing all the little things in order to have success.”
On Saturday night, the Tigers fell to the first-place Mavericks (14-6-3 overall, 8-4-1 in the NIHC) 4-1. CC’s Scott Wamsganz opened the scoring by banging home a rebound in the first period. Although CC outshot Nebraska Omaha 28-13, the Mavericks were able to capitalize on their opportunities and put away the next four goals.
“We gave a skilled team opportunities and beat ourselves,” said Slavin. “We had a few mental errors that cost us the game.”
“Winning back-to-back games in our conference is very difficult,” Fejes added. “We weren’t catching the breaks we needed and it shows the fine line between winning and losing in this league.”
The Tigers are approaching the rest of the season with high hopes and a renewed confidence. “This past weekend proved that we can play with the best of the best in our league when we stick to our systems and play within our structure,” said Fejes. “Over the last month, we have identified our team and have been making strides in the right direction by keeping our game simple.”
Slavin concurred, warning, “By the time playoffs roll around, no one will want to play us.”