Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

David Ramsey: Colorado College's hockey team, no longer zombie-like, braces for expectations

December 18, 2017 Updated: December 19, 2017 at 9:42 am
0
photo - Colorado College defender Andrew Farny (39) takes control of the puck at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Colorado College won 3-2 with a hat trick from Mason Bergh (15).

(The Gazette, Nadav Soroker)
Colorado College defender Andrew Farny (39) takes control of the puck at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Colorado College won 3-2 with a hat trick from Mason Bergh (15). (The Gazette, Nadav Soroker) 

Expectations are back.

After a four-season vacation, a genuine college hockey team plays on the south end of Colorado Springs. For too long, Colorado College skated along at World Arena as a zombie team.

Alive, but only kind of.

Those nights are gone. The Tigers are, finally,  living and breathing and making promises. A win over North Dakota and ties with powerful and despised rival Denver multiplied hope and created an entirely new vibe. Fans can drive to World Arena with a reasonable belief they might watch the home team win.

Now,  the Tigers must make good on those promises.

If the Tigers collapse in the second half, reverting to their lose-every-night ways of 2013-2016, they will fumble their chance to make peace with fans still reluctant to make the drive to World Arena.

In many ways, being part of a program that won only 27 of 144 games lightened the load on the current Tigers. They were expected to remain zombies on ice.

Then they came to life. Now, they are expected to win.

Coach Mike Haviland shrugged when asked about expectations.

“Expectations?” he asked. “I don’t know if there are expectations on this team yet. Maybe the press and the fans are thinking expectations.”

Ah, Mike, come on.  Your players are thinking expectations, too.

Defenseman Andrew Farny embraces the increase in belief.

“With expectations,” Farny said, “comes pressure to perform every weekend. That’s where we want to be. We want to be a team that people expect to win and people expect to be in the top 10.

“With expectations, we have to own that and use that for our confidence and use that as courage to go into the weekend and know that we do deserve to be there and to prove the people who don’t believe in us wrong.”

On Sunday, the Tigers took a strange route to a 4-4 tie with Arizona State. The Tigers fell behind 2-0 and roared to a 4-2 lead before settling for the tie.

Old Colorado City Santa
. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette) 

But after the game, the blessing of expectation came into view. Haviland was aching and so were his players.

Let’s stop here for a moment.

A year ago, the Tigers resided in the dungeon of college hockey. They could have remained there, and a logical observer might have expected them to remain there.

Sunday, they were angry about a tie that came a day after a dominating victory, and one of the Tigers was talking about someday again residing in the nation’s top 10.

That’s a massive journey.

Remember, the days of CC as a national power are not ancient history. In 2011, the Tigers won 23 games, bombarded defending champ Boston College in the NCAA  Tournament and traveled to the final eight.

The Tigers are led by a gnarled group of juniors who have endured serious hockey suffering. These juniors spent two seasons skating on ice where they didn’t belong. These juniors were roughed up, time after time, by DU’s Pioneers.

“They’ve been through a lot,” Haviland said. “They’ve seen a lot. They’re not satisfied with being average, with winning one and losing one.”

The hunger is there for sustained success. So is the goaltender, Alex Leclerc.   

Expectations are back, and the Tigers welcome the burden.

Promises? They want to make good on all of them.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.