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CC Leaning on Its Strengths : College Hockey News

Not Enough : College Hockey News

March 16, 2023

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Tigers Snapped a Winless Streak to Upset WMU by Riding Defense, Goaltending

by Avash Kalra/Senior Writer (@AvashKalra)

“I’ll be honest, I felt like I was taking crazy pills the last couple of weeks.”

Colorado College head coach Kris Mayotte knew that the Tigers were better than their 10-win record and No. 7 seed heading into last weekend’s road playoff series at Western Michigan. But CC just couldn’t find results during a trying 13-game winless streak that began on Jan. 14. In those 13 games, CC scored only 13 goals. 

“When you go 13 games without winning a regulation or overtime game, it’s hard,” Mayotte said. “It’s hard to continue to come to the rink, it’s hard to continue to be motivated to continue to work to get better.”

With seven minutes to play at Lawson Arena in the opening game of the NCHC quarterfinals, CC was in familiar territory — scoreless, trailing the Broncos, 1-0. It wouldn’t have been an embarrassing result, by any means, losing by a goal in a playoff game and keeping one of the top offenses in the nation at bay. If anything, it would have been respectable, and no one could have reasonably faulted CC if it had bowed out of the playoffs after playing a hard-fought road series.

Of course, that’s not what happened at all. In easily the most remarkable moment of the Tigers’ season, they scored three times in 59 seconds with less than seven minutes to go in the final period and ultimately held on for a 3-1 win. The next night, CC toppled the Broncos in overtime to advance to this weekend’s NCHC Frozen Faceoff and a Friday afternoon date with rival Denver in the semifinals.

On the surface, it was a stunning outcome — “If you asked me before, ‘Hey you’ve got to put a ton of money on if you’ll sweep Western,’ no chance,” Mayotte said this week — but how exactly was this possible?

To start, CC had played well, actually, despite not winning in 13 games — playing tight games on the road at Omaha and Western Michigan, playing to a 0-0 tie at home against North Dakota, and even turning heads with a performance at Ball Arena in Denver against the Pioneers, who won 2-0 despite CC controlling the play for large stretches in the game.

“I’ll be honest, I felt like I was taking crazy pills the last couple weeks,” Mayotte said. “We sat there at the end of the season and asked, ‘How are we only a 10 win team?’ I’ve been very…

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