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Hot start has Colorado College hockey confident as No. 17 New Hampshire looms

October 19, 2017 Updated: October 20, 2017 at 8:38 am
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Colorado College Tigers goalie Alex Leclerc (1) saves a shot on goal by the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Colorado College won the game 3-2 with forward Mason Bergh (15) scoring a hat trick. (The Gazette, Nadav Soroker)

Nothing like the only 4-0 team in Division I hockey to bring you back down to earth.

Fresh off their first series sweep since December 2015, the Colorado College Tigers head east to face No. 17 New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday.

The Wildcats swept then-No.5 UMass-Lowell to open the season, then outscored Colgate 10-3 last weekend. Senior goaltender Danny Tirone has backstopped the team with a 1.75 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in every game so far.

The Whittemore Center features the Olympic-sized sheet of ice the Tigers are used to. That’s about it as far as comfort, according to Mike Haviland.

“What jumps out at you is their speed,” Haviland said. “It’s a tough place to go into and play and it’s a team that’s playing really well right now.”

Colorado College beat the Wildcats in New Hampshire, 4-3, last October. The Tigers experienced an offensive surge last weekend against Alaska-Anchorage, scoring eight goals in improving to 3-1 for the first time in five seasons.

“(New Hampshire’s) got great confidence, and we do too,” Haviland said. “Our confidence is high. They believe they can compete with anyone in the country, but they’re still learning that it’s hard work.”

The Tigers’ spirits were further lifted Tuesday when the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll came out and Colorado College received four votes.

colorado college hockey
Colorado College Tigers forward Mason Bergh (15) scores against Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves goalie Olivier Mantha (33) at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Bergh scored a hat trick in the 3-2 win. (The Gazette, Nadav Soroker) 

“It was exciting, especially because this is my third year here, and the first two years obviously we didn’t get any of those,” forward Trevor Gooch said. “We’re only a couple of spots behind (New Hampshire.)

“We get two more wins under our belt and we’ll see where our chips lie after that.”

Captain Mason Bergh was named the NCAA’s third star of the week and the Bauer NCHC offensive player of the week after a four-goal, one-assist performance over the weekend. As a team, Colorado College is 10th in Division I scoring.

“All the lines are clicking,” Gooch said. “Hopefully they can keep the momentum up, and my line can put a few in the back of the net.”

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