Here are three things Colorado College hockey will focus on headed into its season-opening home series against No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth at 7:37 p.m. Friday (CBS-SN); 7:07 p.m. Saturday:
Continue to play with the speed and energy displayed during two exhibition games
That jump led to 13 goals in two games, including five against a defensively-sound New Brunswick squad. The energy will only be amplified by a TV game on CBS Sports Network Friday and what is expected to be an emotional pregame ceremony honoring the late Scott Winkler on Saturday.
“Everyone is full speed now,” CC junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych said. “It’s exciting.”
Win the special teams battle
Minnesota-Duluth promises to be a challenge on special teams with scoring potential on the power play and a strong penalty kill. The Bulldogs generated 41 of their 99 goals last season while on the man advantage (seven each by Tony Cameranesi and Austin Farley) en route to a 14-19-5 record.
UMD held Michigan Tech scoreless on all its 11 power-play chances last weekend.
“Minnesota-Duluth has traditionally been strong on special teams,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “They are a good team, a skilled team and one we have had trouble with in the past.”
Contain a dangerous Minnesota-Duluth offense
The Bulldogs may have started off slow with three goals against a solid Michigan Tech team for a 1-0-1 start but return a number of sophomores and juniors, including Cameranesi and Farley, who combined for 50 goals.
UMD’s seven sophomore forwards and defensemen recorded 37 goals and 61 assists for 98 points last season. A year older and wiser makes that group all the more potent.
“They are a good offensive team,” Stoykewych said. “We are more focused on ourselves and playing the way we need to in order to be successful this weekend.”