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Three Things: CC at Western Michigan

Published: October 31, 2013, 10:16 am, by Joe Paisley

CC uniforms, Herb Brooks 047Here are three things Colorado College hockey will need to do to be successful this weekend at National Collegiate Hockey Conference foe Western Michigan (1-2-1, 0-0 league); 5:06 p.m. MT Friday-Saturday, Kalamazoo, Mich.:

Make strides in improving offensive play

There are a lot of things that can be improved  – sustaining pressure, battling to the net, producing second-chance shots and more shots on goal — and would bolster a struggling offense (1.25 goals), which is better than only Alabama-Huntsville (one) in Division I hockey, and only 19 shots, tied for 57th with Connecticut out of the 59 teams.

“It’s the whole gambit,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “We need more pucks on net instead of making the extra pass. Then we have to get to the front of the net for second-effort chances.”

Move more quickly into transition

The Tigers have good overall team speed. They must take advantage of that by transitioning from defense to offense more quickly in order to find channels through the neutral zone and enter the Broncos zone before most of the WMU players get back.

Improve a struggling power play

The Tigers need to enter the Western Michigan zone in a more organized fashion than they did in Clarkson, who stopped the puckhandler as he entered their zone and forced him to send the puck into the boards, where the Tigers had trouble winning the 50/50 battles. Avoiding giving up possession would allow CC (1-3, 1-1 NCHC) to set up the power play, rotate the puck and get shots on net. Not doing so has led to a 1-for-18 start with the man advantage (.056 percent), 56th in the nation.