Three things to watch during the CC/New Hampshire matchup

November 27, 2013 Updated: November 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm
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Colorado College left defense Peter Stoykewych passes the puck from his knees while Air Force right wing Cole Gunner defends during the first period Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Contain Wildcats offensive defensemen on both ends

One of the strengths of the Wildcats is a sound defensive corps that also contributes on the offensive end. Junior defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, the younger brother of Toronto's James van Riemsdyk, leads Division I defensemen with 15 points (12 assists) in 15 games. He is tied for the team lead as well.

Seniors Eric Knodel (nine points, five assists) and Justin Agosta (eight, six assists) are also potent offensive defensemen. The Tiger forwards must keep track of them.

"We need to be tougher in front of both nets," junior wing Scott Wamsganz said.


Win the special-teams battle

Two power-play goals last weekend against No. 2 St. Cloud State has Colorado College hopeful it can continue to improve with the man advantage against a UNH penalty kill (42 for 53, 79.2 percent), that is tied for 41st with Ohio State.

More importantly, the Tigers' No. 19 penalty kill (37 for 44, 84.1 percent) will need to slow down a New Hampshire power play that is 15 for 66 (22.2 percent) and 12th in Division I, even after Tuesday's 6-3 home loss to Harvard.

"We need to keep improving on everything, including the power play," Tigers freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson said.


Start off four-game homestand playing strong and fast

The Wildcats like to play a slowdown, defensive style so CC must start both games with high energy and set a quick pace.

If the Tigers, after playing seven of their past nine games on the road, can do that, they can energize the crowd and hope to catch New Hampshire feeling a little road weary after a Tuesday game and a long trip out West.

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