• NCAA West Regional: CC 1, Michigan State 3 (final)

    Sat, March 29, 2008 by admin with 1 comment

    Objective version:
    It was an ending no one expected, especially not the 25 players in Colorado College’s locker room.
    After a scoreless first period, Michigan State’s second-period scoring came swiftly: three goals — two power-play goals and a quick strike off of a faceoff — in a span of 10:24.
    But the Tigers had their chances, too, racking up a 42-23 advantage in shots for the game.
    Left wing Derek Patrosso, CC’s only player from Michigan, spoiled Michigan State goaltender Jeff Lerg’s shutout bid with 8:53 left in the game, but the Tigers couldn’t inch any closer, even with goaltender Richard Bachman pulled for the final two minutes.

    Subjective version:
    It’s the kind of loss that sucks the breath out of you.
    I wasn’t sure what to expect as I walked into the locker room for the first time ever — reporters are only allowed in locker rooms after NCAA Tournament games — but the scene is one I will never forget.
    The Tigers’ faces were tear-stained and pained. Some hugged. Some sat, their heads cradled in their hands, while others’ stares were so intent, they seemed ready to play 60 more minutes.
    At that moment, it was hard to remember the trophy-hoisting of early March and the whoops and hollers that accompanied many a cutthroat three-on-three game at practice.
    But the Tigers’ silence spoke volumes about how much they cared for one another and for the shared dream of winning a national title, which slipped from their grasp tonight.
    And captain Scott Thauwald and senior Jack Hillen explained the meaning behind that silence in the press conference next door. It was less about the loss itself and more that the loss cut short the experience of a lifetime.
    Said Thauwald: “In the last five years, I have developed unbelievable friendships with these guys that I will have for the rest of my life. This team is a special team and the friendships and relationships are something I will take with me. You will never have a close group like a college hockey team.”
    Added Hillen: “It’s tough right now. The only thing I can say is that I have played with some incredible hockey players that came through here in my four years. I will never forget the players I played with… . I’ve made some unbelievable friendships and it’s just tough because I will never sit in the locker room again with those guys and those friendships, it will never be the same.”

  • NCAA West Regional: No. 2 seed CC vs. No. 3 seed Michigan State

    Sat, March 29, 2008 by admin with no comments

    The winner of the CC-Michigan State game will meet Notre Dame, which trounced New Hampshire 7-3 (with two empty-net goals) in the first game. The Wildcats’ NCAA swoon continued as they haven’t won a tournament game since 2005 and coach Dick Umile has never won a championship.

    Lines:
    Colorado College
    21 Bill Sweatt — 14 Chad Rau — 25 Mike Testwuide
    16 Derek Patrosso — 19 Andreas Vlassopoulos — 23 Jimmy Kilpatrick
    10 Scott Thauwald –17 Tyler Johnson –22 Eric Walsky
    26 Scott McCulloch — 9 Brian McMillin –18 Matt Overman

    8 Jack Hillen — 15 Nate Prosser
    7 Kris Fredheim — 4 Jake Gannon
    11 Brian Connelly — 24 Ryan Lowery

    30 Richard Bachman
    31 Drew O’Connell
    1 Tyler O’Brien

    Michigan State
    10 Tim Kennedy — 9 Justin Abdelkader –19 Chris Mueller
    24 Matt Schepke — 11 Bryan Lerg — 40 Tim Crowder
    25 Corey Tropp — 22 Nick Sucharski — 21 Dustin Gazley
    26 Kurt Kivisto — 14 Zak McClelllan — 13 Ryan Turek

    8 Brandon Gentile — 2 Jeff Petry
    16 Justin Johnston — 28 Danie Vukovic
    44 Micahel Ratchuk — 15 Jeff Dunne

    1 Jeff Lerg
    35 Bobby Jarosz
    30 Steve Mnich

  • NCAA Regionals Kick Off Today

    Fri, March 28, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Here’s a bunch of links to get you in the NCAA playoff spirit:

    New Hampshire goaltender Kevin Regan, a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial award, received the Walter Brown Award, given to the best player in New England, continuing to bolster the collective credentials of the four goaltenders in the NCAA West Regional at World Arena. Michigan State’s Jeff Lerg is also a Hobey finalist and, as most reading this blog know, Colorado College’s Richard Bachman was WCHA player and rookie of the year.

    Here’s a West Regional preview.

    ESPN.com’s general thoughts on the NCAA Tournament, with the assertion that, indeed, the West Regional is the toughest draw.

    Even though all of the teams at the West Regional expressed excitement about playing in Colorado and at CC’s home arena, this one blogger isn’t too happy about Michigan State’s placement there.

    This blog highlights Air Force, which will play in the NCAA Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass., starting Saturday against Miami (Ohio). The biggest news is that Eric Ehn will play.

    USCHO.com’s Dave Starman looks at breakout freshmen in this column. Of course, Bachman is featured prominently.

  • Day passes available as of 10 a.m. today

    Fri, March 28, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Individual day tickets for the NCAA West Regional at World Arena went on sale at 10 a.m. today (Friday).
    Tickets for both games tonight — New Hampshire vs. Notre Dame at 4:30 p.m. or Colorado College vs. Michigan State at 8 p.m. — or for the championship game on Saturday are $47 for the upper bowl and $54.50 for the lower bowl, although I’m pretty sure only a handful of lower-bowl tickets remain for tonight’s games and the lower bowl is definitely sold out for Saturday’s championship game.
    Tickets can be purchased at the World Arena box office, www.cctigers.com, or by calling TicketsWest at 576.2626.
  • NCAA Tournament on TV

    Sun, March 23, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Mark your calendars:

    – Sunday, March 23:
    9:30 a.m. MT: NCAA Hockey Selection Show (ESPN2)

    – Friday, March 28:
    East Regional (Albany) Semifinal, 2:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
    East Regional (Albany) Semifinal, 5:30 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
    West Regional (World Arena) Semifinal, 8:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
    West Regional (World Arena) Semifinal, 11:00 p.m. MT (tape-delay, ESPNU)

    – Saturday, March 29:
    Northeast Regional (Worcester, Mass.) Semifinal, 2:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
    East Regional (Albany) Final, 5:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
    West Regional (World Arena) Final, 8:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
    Northeast Regional (Worcester, Mass.) Semifinal, 11:00 p.m. MT (tape-delay, ESPNU)

    – Sunday, March 30:
    Midwest Regional (Madison, Wisc.) Semifinal, 10:30 a.m. MT (tape-delay, ESPNU)
    Midwest Regional (Madison, Wisc.) Semifinal, 12:30 p.m. MT (tape-delay, ESPNU)
    Northeast Regional (Worchester, Mass.) Final, 2:30 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
    Midwest Regional (Madison, Wisc.) Final, 5:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)

    – Thursday, April 10:
    NCAA Frozen Four semifinal games, 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT (ESPN2)

    – Friday, April 11:
    Hobey Baker Award presentation, live from Pepsi Center, 5:30 p.m. MT
    NCAA Hockey Skills Challenge, live from Pepsi Center, 7:00 p.m. MT

    – Saturday, April 12:
    NCAA national championship game, 5:00 p.m. MT (ESPN)

    Notes:
    Jim Paradise, who played from CC from 1990-94, and Damion DiGuilian will be ESPN analysts at the NCAA West Regional at World Arena.

  • Time to Regroup

    Sat, March 22, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Colorado College will leave St. Paul, Minn., Sunday empty-handed.
    The last time the Tigers went home without a trophy was in December after they lost the Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla.
    CC reeled off six consecutive wins in response and won the MacNaughton Cup and the Gold Pan two months later.
    Granted, the Final Five is a way bigger deal than the LCHC and CC was way more disappointed this weekend.
    But this weekend’s losses beg the question: How will the Tigers respond this time, especially with the NCAA West Regional starting Friday at World Arena?
    As captain Scott Thauwald said: “We can feel sorry for ourselves tonight and tomorrow, but come Monday, we’re in the national tournament. Two wins and we’ll be in the Pepsi Center.”

    The facts:
    –CC’s offense needs a jumpstart. The Tigers had their lowest scoring weekend of the season with just three goals in two games. Two of those goals were on the power play.
    “There were a lot of times when we could have slammed it home in front of the net,” Thauwald said. “I don’t think we battled hard enough in front.”
    –The Tigers’ defense needs to clamp down. CC allowed 35 shots against both Minnesota and North Dakota. Their opponents, on the other hand, kept the Tigers out of the middle and limited them to mostly outside shots.
    –CC needs to make its home-ice advantage — the Tigers have an 18-2 record at World Arena — an advantage by using its speed. The Tigers looked a step slow against North Dakota, perhaps in part because their transition game was undermined by turnovers during long stretches of the game. But when the Tigers are clicking — read: the way they played against Clarkson, Minnesota-Duluth and the first game against Denver — they’re tough to stop.

  • Game day: No. 2 Colorado College vs. No. 4 North Dakota (Final Five third-place game)

    Sat, March 22, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Colorado College, which was held to a single goal in Friday’s overtime loss to Minnesota, has a lot riding on today’s game against North Dakota. CC is ranked fourth in the PairWise rankings, while the Fighting Sioux are ranked fifth. The winner of today’s game is projected to be the top seed in the NCAA West Regional at World Arena, while the other is expected to be the second seed.

    Coach Scott Owens said after Friday’s game that he and his staff would have a lengthy discussion about whether to play starting goaltender Richard Bachman. It seems the CC coaches decided playing for that top seed was worth it because Bachman is listed as the starter.

    As I mentioned above, CC was held to a single goal Friday–that’s the first time the Tigers haven’t scored at least two goals in a game. Owens made the first significant change to the top three lines since January, moving left wing Scott McCulloch to the fourth line and shifting Derek Patrosso, who typically plays right wing, to the second-line left wing spot. This is similar to the lineup CC went with in November’s split with North Dakota (here).

    A few comments:
    –Minnesota goaltender Alex Kangas was as good as advertised. The 20-year-old freshman (a couple months older than Richard Bachman) is on a hot streak. How will CC do against North Dakota’s Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, who took his second loss in three games after leading the Sioux to an 18-game unbeaten streak? Should be another goaltending battle.
    –Minnesota’s defense was much improved over October. The Gophers kept CC’s shots to the outside and did not allow the Tigers to get rebounds. To get prime scoring opportunities against North Dakota, CC has no choice but to be gritty.

    Lines:
    Colorado College
    21 Bill Sweatt — 14 Chad Rau — 25 Mike Testwuide
    16 Derek Patrosso — 19 Andreas Vlassopoulos — 23 Jimmy Kilpatrick
    10 Scott Thauwald — 17 Tyler Johnson — 22 Eric Walsky
    26 Scott McCulloch — 9 Brian McMilllin — 5 Addison DeBoer

    8 Jack Hillen — 15 Nate Prosser
    7 Kris Fredheim — 4 Jake Gannon
    11 Brian Connelly –24 Ryan Lowery

    30 Richard Bachman
    31 Drew O’Connell
    1 Tyler O’Brien

    North Dakota
    16 Ryan Duncan — 7 T.J. Oshie — 14 Brad Miller
    20 Matt Watkins — 29 Chris VandeVelde — 17 Rylan Kaip
    10 Andrew Kozek — 8 Ryan Martens — 22 Brad Malone
    26 Kyle Radke — 11 Darcy Zajac — 21 Matt Frattin

    4 Taylor Chorney — 28 Robbie Bina
    2 Joe Finley — 5 Chay Genoway
    6 Zach Jones — 25 Jake Marto

    1 Jean-Philippe Lamoureux
    30 Aaron Walski

  • Tigers Clean Up At WCHA Awards Ceremony

    Fri, March 21, 2008 by admin with no comments

    (Above) Colorado College goaltender Richard Bachman accepts player of the year honors from the WCHA, becoming only the second player in league history to be named player and rookie of the year in the same season. NHL goaltender Curtis Joseph, a former Wisconsin player, is the other. It was Bachman’s second speech of the day.

    (Above) Named WCHA defensive player of the year, Tigers defenseman Jack Hillen credited his teammates with the award and said he was honored to be named top defensive player with the likes of North Dakota’s Taylor Chorney and Wisconsin’s Jamie McBain in the league.

    (Above) Bachman’s rookie of the year speech.

  • Game day: No. 2 CC vs. No. 12 Minnesota

    Fri, March 21, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Denver beat North Dakota 3-1 in the first semifinal game today, setting up a potential rivalry rematch in the Broadmoor Trophy game.

    Earlier this week, Colorado College players secretly wished they’d get to face Minnesota in the Final Five. Their wish was granted when Gophers forward Mike Howe scored with 12.7 seconds left in regulation. It should be a packed house at the Xcel Energy Center tonight.

    Things to watch:
    –Even though CC goaltender Richard Bachman was unquestionably the WCHA’s best goaltender this season — he captured 77 of 78 rookie of the year votes and player of the year honors Thursday — Minnesota’s Alex Kangas has put together a solid campaign after taking the reins midway through the season. In 28 games, Kangas has a 1.95 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. Coach Don Lucia said Monday Kangas was the reason for the Gophers’ about-face.
    –CC and Denver are the bitterest of rivals, but Minnesota is up there on the Tigers’ list. A gopher hangs in effigy in the bowels of CC’s locker room.
    –Minnesota played three overtime games last weekend and the play-in game last night. How will the Gophers’ legs hold up?
    –CC’s forwards exposed all sorts of weaknesses in Minnesota’s defensive corps in October. I’ll be interested to see how the Gophers’ defense has improved since the beginning of the season. Remember, Minnesota lost its three top defensemen off of last season’s team — Mike Vannelli, who graduated, and early departures Alex Goligoski and Erik Johnson.

    Here are the lines for tonight’s game:

    Colorado College
    21 Bill Sweatt — 14 Chad Rau — 25 Mike Testwuide
    26 Scott McCulloch — 19 Andreas Vlassopoulos — 23 Jimmy Kilpatrick
    10 Scott Thauwald — 17 Tyler Johnson — 22 Eric Walsky
    18 Matt Overman — 9 Brian McMillin — 16 Derek Patrosso

    8 Jack Hillen –15 Nate Prosser
    7 Kris Fredheim — 4 Jake Gannon
    11 Brian Connelly — 24 Ryan Lowery

    30 Richard Bachman
    31 Drew O’Connell
    1 Tyler O’Brien

    Minnesota
    13 Ben Gordon — 17 Blake Wheeler — 7 Patrick White
    11 Mike Hoeffel — 16 Mike Carman — 26 Jay Barriball
    12 Tony Lucia — 19 Evan Kaufmann — 22 Ryan Flynn
    24 Mike Howe — 25 Drew Fisher –14 Justin Bostrom

    5 Derek Peltier — 20 David Fischer
    28 Cade Fairchild — 4 Stu Bickel
    2 Kevin Wehrs — 6 R.J. Anderson

    33 Alex Kangas
    1 Jeff Frazee
    35 Brent Solei

  • Bachman Named Player, Rookie of the Year

    Thu, March 20, 2008 by admin with 2 comments

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Colorado College goaltender Richard Bachman became only the second player in league history to be named player and rookie of the year by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association at its awards banquet Thursday.
    Tigers defenseman Jack Hillen was named WCHA defensive player of the year.
    Curtis Joseph, who played for Wisconsin, also won both honors in the 1988-89 season.