Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday notes

Colorado College has scored only two goals in each of its past three games. At Michigan Tech last weekend, the Tigers were limited to four goals in a weekend for the first time this season.

Michigan Tech and Air Force, which the Tigers beat 2-1 Jan. 19, are very defensive-minded, meaning they protect the slot and area in front of the crease above all else. Michigan Tech is also one of the more physical teams CC has played, featuring a little more of an old-school clutch-and-grab style. Because of Michigan Tech's discipline, though, the Huskies managed to avoid penalties. And thanks to scoring first both nights, Michigan Tech could afford to play an extremely defensive style.

CC players are wary of a second-half slide, especially with only a five-point lead over streaking North Dakota and a tenuous seven-point lead over third-place Denver, which has played four fewer games -- so too, it seems, are the coaches. Several drills in Wednesday's practice centered on getting the puck to the net, including 1-on-1s to goal, in which the players had to fight past another player to get a shot on net.

Against Clarkson this weekend, an Eastern College Athletic Conference team which likely will resort to a defensive style to slow CC's fast-paced transition game on the Olympic sheet (the Golden Knights' first game on an Olympic sheet this season), the Tigers will try some brand-new groupings.

From Wednesday's practice:

As you can see, McCulloch is expected to be back in the lineup after a four-game hiatus.

On Clarkson
You might be wondering about Clarkson. Located in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson has an enrollment of 3,000 (as compared with CC's ~1,950). The Golden Knights made the NCAA Tournament last season after winning the ECAC tournament and lead the ECAC standings this season. Clarkson and CC have played eight times and the Tigers own a 7-0-1 record. The most significant meeting between the schools was in 1957, the year of CC's last national championship, when CC defeated Clarkson to advance to the NCAA title game against Michigan. The past four meetings have been in regular-season series, with the most recent in October 2003. The Tigers met Clarkson in the 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments.

Tiger Tracks
At 29 years old, Toby Petersen won the speed skating competition at the 2008 AHL All-Star Game with the fastest time in a decade. Petersen also scored on the first penalty shot in All-Star Game history...Brett Sterling and Brian Salcido also scored for Team USA in the All-Star Game...James Brannigan had a goal for the Augusta Lynx in an 8-6 win over the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)...Recruit Nick Dineen had a goal Tuesday in the USHL All-Star Game...Rookie Colin Stuart got his second call-up this week to the Atlanta Thrashers...Even though he was demoted from the Calgary Flames in favor of goaltender Curtis Joseph, the other Curtis -- Curtis "CuMac" McElhinney -- is the "closest" to being NHL ready, Flames' Western pro scout Ron Sutter said.


gmf1a said...

good report

Tech is just built to beat CC. Missing three 21 year olds did not help.

ckj said...

kate - good stuff. love the alumni updates.

hattrick said...

Tech is old school Canadian style hockey. Totally contrary to the "new" rules of controlling the use of every hit finishing at the chin or higher, hooking on every move to the net when carrying the puck to the arms to slow or knock off stride, obstruction interferance and the like. Both teams eventually revert to this style once the refs "let 'em play". It is reported that the Tech coach doesn't like a 2 man ref system because he states that he believes there currently aren't enough good refs now. Well, isn't that the point? To get them a chance to only have to view 50% less of the issues? There are good refs out there but they really don't promote or reward the potential good ones soon enough due to the good 'ol boys club, and they loose interest and drive to move ahead. If they simply would call the crap early in the year then surely we would be upset cuz there would be a ton of power plays but magically everyone would have to adapt and the game would be far more interesting and less complex to figure out for the fans and create potential new fans to get interested in hockey instead of just throwing up their hands in confusion and disgust over trying to figure out the game and get into it. There is more to be said. Obviously, we need to help the game and that means helping the refs feel comfortable to call it clean to allow offensive scoring for the game to thrive. Going through the growing pains of an adjustment period will eventually make the reffing job perhaps easier.Tech's style is about keeping it dirty cuz a WCHA ref simply won't call 'em all. Of course the way to calm it down is to score when you do get the PP. We probably need to adjust one of our PP lines to a differant style such as a top umbrella to allow back door scoring more down low. We curently have the same style but only set up on the opposite overload side. Why not use 2 different ones? Tech was very succesful with it and they aren't supposedly as "skilled" as us. We, it looks like, had difficulty with defending it using an aggresive box. A diamond would have been a better coverage style. So a top umbrella can work much more to open up the low zone to create a 2 on 1 low with the back door pass. Our forecheck is being beat by ringing the puck around to the weak side wing and we don't pinch our D man making our F3 stay high or they simply pound it off the glass from the strong side. There is no way our F3 can get across fast enough when they reverse the puck to get to the weakside wing. We saw it with Bemidji, AFA and Tech. Did we notice that we struggled against those teams. Please try a differant forecheck from the bench coaches , please.