Colorado College honored some it best-ever athletes, including the 1995-96 Tigers hockey team that lost to Michigan in the 1996 NCAA championship game, at its 14thHall of Fame banquet Saturday night at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
“Sixteen years have passed and when we saw each other last night we picked up right where we left off,” captain Eric Rud said. “The reason we had such success because we were CC Tigers. We had a will and goal and we played like proud Tigers that season, we still are proud Tigers and we always will be.”
They were inducted along with Colorado all-time winningest preps basketball coach Guy Gibbs, All-American and academic All-American football player Ryan Haygood, now a prominent civil rights attorney, men’s lacrosse all-time leading scorer Ted Nusbaum, women’s lacrosse and basketball pioneer Michelle Giarrantano Secor and Cheddy Thompson, coach of the 1950 NCAA championship hockey team. Click for more on Haygood and the other inductees here.
“To be included among these athletes as a team is such an honor,” goalie Ryan Bach said.
Coach Don Lucia, now with Minnesota, credited the players for saving the program. There was talk of dissolving the team after the old Broadmoor World Arena was torn down. The team played the next three seasons, including 1995-96, at the Air Force Academy.
“Without them, the World Arena would never have been built,” Lucia said. “My best move was talking coach Scott Owens into staying on for a couple years. In a few years he will be up here being inducted.”
The mood was festive as the Tigers watched the videotape of the loss to Michigan in overtime.
“It’s such an honor to say I played in that game,” said defenseman Paul Johnson, who scored the first goal at the current World Arena. “This night is such a special moment for me and for all of us.”
The 15th Hall of Fame class will be inducted in April 2015.