Saturday, March 22, 2008

Time to Regroup

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.

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