September 3, 2021 | SPORTS | By Quinn Guevara | Photo by Daniel de Koning
On Aug. 24, construction workers installed the first sheet of ice at Ed Robson Arena. This arena has been the center of buzz and excitement from the school and its officials for a long time, and the grand opening should not disappoint.
With the new building on campus, the Colorado College Men’s Hockey program has a chance to start fresh and in style. With the new ice on the rink, it’s only a matter of time until the Tigers can practice.
“I think our first official practice inside the new rink is the 10th. They have some more maintenance to be done and building first then we will be able to ramp it up and get going,” said defenseman Connor Mayer ’23.
Practice can’t come soon enough for the Tigers, as they have a lot of fresh faces in the program. This includes many first years and transfers, headlined by Boston University transfer Hugo Blixt.
Among the myriad of new faces in the dressing room, none compare to the new bench boss, Head Coach Kris Mayotte. Mayotte came from the University of Michigan where he coached three of last year’s top five draft picks in the most recent NHL draft, including number one overall pick, Owen Power.
Forward Patrick Cozzi ’23 spoke more on the new team this year.
“I think with the new staff we can have a fresh start, a reset button to get our culture to where we want it to be,” he said. “We are focusing on a lot of new things off the ice: being more intentional, grateful, and accountable to ourselves and the student body. On the ice we are looking to play a hard, fast game. I think this year will be a big turning point in our program.”
Cozzi elaborated on the turning point of the program, an early first round conference loss to St. Cloud State, who eventually went all the way to the National Championship.
The Tigers, under former Head Coach Mike Haviland, finished seventh out of the eight teams in the NCHC conference, or as Mayer likes to call it, “the best conference in the world for college hockey.”
Along with playing some of the very best college teams in the country within the conference, CC also plays traditional powerhouses, including Union College and Boston College.
Cozzi and the rest of the team, however, are not shying away.
“We plan on not sitting back but instead going for it. We have a lot of new guys who will make an impact on the game,” Cozzi said.
Before the rest of their season starts, the Tigers have one date circled on their calendar: Oct. 8, opening night at Robson Arena.
“On opening night, we will be an extremely hard-working team and fast team … everyone is just super excited to play in front of our fellow classmates in the new arena,” Cozzi said.
Mayer elaborated, saying he wanted “hopefully a win, that would be great, but a very determined hard-working team eager to give the campus and the surrounding community a place to call home, with a winning hockey team to pride themselves on.”