The Colorado College hockey team will get in its final full captain’s practice of the preseason this Monday at World Arena after the Tigers took a long weekend off for the school’s block break (Thursday through Sunday).
The break was needed after a challenging turnaround with the players working to get into game shape before this Saturday’s exhibition game against Canadian national champion New Brunswick.
The team practiced hard Wednesday afternoon following their block finals, had an 8:30 a.m. weightlifting session Thursday and, understandably, needed a little encouragement from the coaches during the 10-11 a.m. practice.
To their credit, the tired players responded.
“It was a quick turnaround,” senior forward Jeff Collett said. “There’s a big difference between summer shape, practice shape and game shape.”
On the injury front, things continue to improve. Sophomore defenseman Michael King is about a week ahead of schedule on his recovery from offseason hip surgery, making it likely he could be available for the Western Michigan road trip Nov. 1-2.
Freshman forward Zach Aman (meniscus tear) is also improving, coach Scott Owens added. He will likely be available for the season opening home series against Minnesota-Duluth Oct. 18-19.
The coaches, who are still limited to 120 minutes a week with the players under NCAA rules, will lead 40 minutes of each 90-minute practice Wednesday through Friday. Their limited time has not been a problem, Owens said.
“Eamonn (McDermott), Alex (Krushelnyski), Peter (Stoykewych) and Jeff (Collett) have all done a good job keeping everyone on task in the captains practices,” Owens said.
The UNB exhibition game will be the first official practice of the season. Expect all nine healthy freshmen and all three goalies to get playing time.