Here are three things the Colorado College hockey team will need to keep in mind headed into this weekend's series against No. 7 Providence at 7:37 p.m. Friday and 7:07 Saturday at World Arena:
Keep track of Ross Mauermann at all times
The junior center led the Friars in points - 25 (15 assists) in 2011-12 and 24 (12 goals) last season - and is having a breakout season with 14 goals and 15 assists to easily lead Providence (13-5-4, 6-4-1 Hockey East).
"He is a pure shooter with a big-time release," CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. "He can shoot from anywhere and he usually does. He has worked hard to become a more complete player."
Make life tough for goalie Jon Gillies
Gillies is a large butterfly goalie (6-5, 215 pounds) who takes up a lot of the net and has the quickness to snag second shots.
Those attributes are big reasons why the sophomore started for Team USA at the world junior championship and has a 10-3-3 record with a .937 saves percentage, third in Division I, along with a 2.01 goals-against mark, which is 11th in the NCAA.
"Their defense does a good job clearing players and the puck from out front, which helps him quite a bit," Bonnett said.
Don't take Providence's low-rated power play lightly
For the second time this season (Western Michigan Nov.?1-2), Colorado College enters the weekend with a higher-rated power play (tied for 45th, 11 for 75, 14.7 percent) than its opponent, Providence (13 for 102, 12.7 percent), ranked No. 53 out of 59 Division I teams.
But making too much of that statistical edge would be a mistake for the Tigers. Both Providence power-play units, which use a 1-3-1 formation, have strong finishers in Mauermann, who plays out along the blue line and sometimes in the middle three, and sophomore forward Mark Jankowski (13 points, seven goals), Bonnett warned.
"If things break down they have the players who can get you out of position and create problems," he said. "I saw no reason why they have struggled on film. They may just be snake-bit, so we have to make sure they don't get on track against us this weekend."
JOE PAISLEY, THE GAZETTE