Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Seniors stepping up for Colorado College hockey team

NEAL REID Updated: October 22, 2012 at 12:00 am

Seven players are in the midst of their final seasons, and they have each had an immediate impact on the ice for the No. 19 Tigers. Four of Colorado College’s top five scorers are seniors — Andrew Hamburg, William Rapuzzi, Scott Winkler and Rylan Schwartz. Senior defensemen Joe Marciano and Mike Boivin  anchor the blue line, while goalie Joe Howe (1-0), who has 41 career victories, protects the net.

“It’s been a close, good-sized class from Day 1,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “From the spring on, when Rapuzzi was named captain, they’ve taken off. This year, it’s their time to shine.”

The seniors say they enjoy playing together.

“We’re really close,” said Hamburg, who scored a career-high four goals against Air Force on Friday. “We started out as a class of nine, and as guys dropped out, we’ve become closer. I think we’re a really good group of guys.”

Helping the younger players get acclimated to college life is part of the senior class’ job, a role the players relish.

“It’s kind of a new responsibility, but I’m just trying to have fun with it and do the best I can to lead the younger guys and lead by example,” Marciano said. “I think our leadership with this group has been fantastic so far, and I think we’re doing a good job of leading by example.”

The senior class has posted a 63-53-8 record.

“They bring a lot of different things to the table,” Owens said. “There’s some defense in there, there’s a goaltender, there are some goal scorers and a role player. I think they’ll leave their mark on the program in a very positive way.”

After seeing last year’s seniors close their careers with a 3-7 finish, the 2012-13 leaders are determined to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“You definitely don’t want to end a season like that, whether you’re a senior or not,” Marciano said. “It’s in the back of our heads that we want to do something special this year, and we’re doing everything we can every day to make sure we leave this place with something special.”

Considering the friendships the seniors have formed, one could argue that something special already has been achieved.

“They’re more like brothers than teammates,” Marciano said.

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