Tigers 'battle tested' entering postseason
Colorado College finished the regular season with a record 12 consecutive games against teams ranked in the USCHO Top 20 poll - the first time that has happened since the poll began prior to the 1997-98 season. As a result, CC's strength of schedule is the second toughest in Division 1 (behind No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth), according to RPI rankings, and No. 1 under the KRACH system.
It's the main reason 8-22-4 CC (.294 win percentage) entered this weekend ranked 36th out of the 60 teams in the Pairwise rankings, despite only eight wins.
That may also explain why the Tigers believe they were ready for the postseason after going 1-3-2 in the final six regular-season games.
"We play a game that is structured toward playoff hockey, which is good for us," senior Luc Gerdes said.
Mixed playoff history for CC
Colorado College entered Friday's Game 1 with a 58-80 record in conference postseason play, including 1-6 in National Collegiate Hockey Conference postseason games - all held at North Dakota until now.
UND's 15-year home playoff series streak leads Division 1. CC has not hosted a postseason game since March 2012. The Tigers last won a home playoff series in 2011 - the last time CC reached the NCAAs.
The Tigers were 41-51-2 during Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round play (a two-game, total-goal series until the 1997-98 season). That includes a 2-1 series win at Denver in March 2013 - the last time the Tigers won a series.
Tough home finales the rule
Only one NCHC team, Denver, won its Senior Night (regular-season finale) this season. Last Saturday's 2-1 road win for CC spoiled St. Cloud State's finale. It was the first time the Tigers came back from trailing 1-0 to win this season.