Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Three things to watch for the CC/Denver matchup

By Joe Paisley Updated: November 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm 0

Prevail in the special teams battle

The Denver power play versus the CC penalty kill promises to be strength against strength in this weekend's National Collegiate Hockey Conference series.

The Pioneers' power play is clicking at a 25.5-percent clip (12 for 47), ninth in the country, and accounts for 12 of the team's 19 goals. The CC penalty kill is performing very well with three scoreless games in a row and a 23-for-25 mark good for 92 percent, seventh in Division I hockey.

"Their special teams will be a challenge for us," Tigers coach Scott Owens said.

Denver (3-5, 0-2 NCHC) looks to have the advantage when CC is on the power play. The DU penalty kill is humming along at 90 percent (36 for 40), ninth in the nation, while the Tigers power play is struggling at 3.6 percent (1 for 28), 58th out of 59 teams.

"Their PK is good but we have shown signs of life (on the power play)," Owens said. "Until we start converting we will be one of the bottom teams."

Continue improving on offense

The results may not have been there, but the Tigers' offense performed considerably better when comparing the Clarkson road sweep to the two losses at Western Michigan.

"Our overall offensive output, our scoring chances, time of possession and shots on net were all better," CC assistant Eric Rud said. "They weren't good enough but when you look at it in the big picture, progress was made. The key this weekend is we need to get those Grade A chances and score."

Energize partisan crowd and take advantage of home ice

After four road games in a row, Colorado College (1-5, 1-3) needs to play

well from the start to get a large World Arena crowd into the game.

"We need to take advantage of it," Owens said.

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