October 28, 2022 | SPORTS | By Michael Braithwaite | Photo by Anil Jergens
The Colorado College hockey program has been playing hard throughout the first three weeks of the regular season, but with mixed results. While the first series of the season produced two victories for the Tigers, they have lost four consecutive matchups since, putting their current record at 2-4.
CC’s first two games of the season came on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8, when the Tigers faced off against the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Homecoming Weekend series, although headlined by an on-ice protest during Friday night’s game, was a great two-game matchup for the Tigers, as they beat the Seawolves by a combined score of 10-3.
Rookie forwards Noah Laba ‘26 and Gleb Veremyev ‘26 stole the show, with Laba notching his first two collegiate scores and Veremyev tallying one of his own. Forward Hunter McKown ‘24 also began the season on a good note, capitalizing on three of his offensive opportunities.
“Just trying to stick to my game,” said Laba, a fourth-round draft selection by the New York Rangers in the 2022 NHL Draft. “I can’t do it without the coaches and teammates helping me, and definitely gaining confidence game after game.”
Head coach Kris Mayotte praised the play of the team after the Oct. 8 victory. “We put pressure on right away,” said Mayotte. “I thought we were committed to doing the little things: managing pucks, wearing them down in their [defensive] zone.”
However, Mayotte also noted that there were still significant areas of improvement.
“We gotta find a way to stay out of the [penalty] box, we’re still taking a few too many penalties at bad times,” said Mayotte. “We gotta find better ways to manage it and not put ourselves in those spots.”
The following weekend, CC traveled to Canton, N.Y. to take on the St. Lawrence University Saints in a two-game series on Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15. It was a tough weekend for the Tigers, who lost both games by a combined score of 9-2.
Forwards Ryan Beck ‘26 and Tyler Coffey ‘24 notched the only two scores of the weekend for the Tigers, while goalies Matt Vernon ‘23 and Kaidan Mbereko ‘26 struggled to keep up with the Saints’ offense.
Last weekend, the Tigers hit the road again, traveling south to face the Arizona State University Sun Devils. It was another rough weekend for CC, who failed a comeback attempt in their game on Friday, Oct. 21, ultimately losing 5-3, and were then blown out 6-1 in the game on Saturday, Oct. 22.
At this point in the season, McKown is leading the Tigers in goals with three, and defenseman Bryan Yoon ‘22 is leading the team in assists with five. Vernon is leading the goalies with a 0.889 save percentage, although Mbereko is not too far behind with his own tally of 0.871.
The Tigers will next take on the United States Air Force Academy in the annual Pike’s Peak Trophy series. The first game will take place on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Ed Robson Arena and the second will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Cadet Ice Arena.