Weekend series preview: Michigan Tech at No. 19 CC

BRIAN GOMEZ Updated: February 29, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: February 29, 2012

When: 7:37 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday

Where: World Arena (7,380 capacity)

Radio: The Alternative 103.9 FM RXP, play-by-play by Ken Landau

Live updates: Visit www.gazette.com/tigersblog for a chat with CC beat writer Brian Gomez

If you go: A sellout isn’t expected either game, as more than 1,000 seats, ranging from $9 to $35, remain for both nights. Tickets are available at the World Arena box office starting at 10 a.m., through TicketsWest or by calling 719-576-2626. Six CC seniors will be honored Saturday during an on-ice ceremony that’s scheduled to begin at 6:50 p.m.

The series: CC holds a 91-71-12 advantage in the series that dates to 1947. The Tigers are 7-0-1 in the past eight games, sweeping Michigan Tech on the road last season and winning a pair when the Huskies last visited Colorado Springs, in 2009. Michigan Tech is 2-21 all-time at World Arena, its only victories in a 2007 Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round playoff series – that was the last time the Huskies beat CC.

CC update: The No. 19 Tigers (16-14-2, 13-12-1 WCHA) are tied for fifth place in the WCHA with one weekend left, coming off a 4-3 overtime defeat and a 5-2 setback at No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth that extended their losing streak to a season-long three games. They need one win to clinch home ice for the March 9-11 best-of-three opening round of the WCHA playoffs. … C Rylan Schwartz leads CC with 37 points, including a team-high 22 goals, 10 of which have come on the power play, and he’s riding a nine-game point streak. LW Jaden Schwartz has 36 points, including a team-high 24 assists, and he has a point in all but three games. D Mike Boivin, C Nick Dineen and D Gabe Guentzel have 24 points apiece, and Guentzel has played in 128 straight games. RW Scott Winkler has 23 points, and LW Alexander Krushelnyski has 19 points, with three goals in the past four games. In goal, Josh Thorimbert (11-6-1 with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage) probably will start over Joe Howe (5-8-1 with a 3.48 GAA and a .882 save percentage) after Howe relinquished five goals Saturday. … D Arthur Bidwill has returned from an upper-body injury that forced him to miss Saturday’s game. … The Tigers are averaging 3.22 goals, and they’re allowing 2.97 goals. They own the country’s ninth-best power play at 22.9 percent, but they’re ninth-worst nationally on the penalty kill at 77.1 percent, having given up eight power-play goals in the past seven games.

Michigan Tech update: The Huskies (14-16-4, 11-11-4) are seventh in the WCHA after a 3-2 victory and a 5-2 loss last weekend against St. Cloud State. They’re 5-5-3 since Jan. 1, and they’re 5-6-3 against ranked opponents, in contention to host a WCHA first-round playoff series for the first time since 1993. … C Brett Olson leads Michigan Tech with 29 points, including a team-high 20 assists, and he has a point in 22 of 34 games. RW Jordan Baker and LW David Johnstone have 26 points apiece. LW Ryan Furne has 23 points, including a team-high 11 goals. LW Blake Pietila scored the game-winning goal Saturday to give him 22 points, and D Steven Seigo has 21 points. RW Alex MacLeod has four points in as many games, including two goals last weekend. G Josh Robinson (13-12-4 with a 2.85 GAA and a .908 save percentage) has started all but three games, with three shutouts. Cheyenne Mountain High School graduate Corson Cramer made his season debut Friday in goal. … The Huskies average 2.94 goals, and they allow three goals. Their power play clicks at 20.1 percent, and they’re at 82.1 percent on the penalty kill. … Mel Pearson is in his first season at Michigan Tech, also his first in the college ranks.

CC coach Scott Owens on Michigan Tech: “They’ve kind of got a fresh outlook on life. They got off to a decent start. They’ve stayed healthy. They can skate better than they have. And they’ve got a little confidence. They’ve won some big games.”

Contact Brian Gomez: 719-636-0256 or brian.gomez@gazette.com. Facebook: Brian Gomez. Twitter: @gazettehockey. Google+: Brian Gomez. YouTube: Colorado College Hockey, Covered by The Gazette. For the CC homepage, visit www.gazette.com/sections/sports/cchockey. For the CC blog, visit http://cchockey.freedomblogging.com.

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