NCAA HOCKEY
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Colorado College Tigers defenseman Andrew Farny (39) falls to the ice on a check from Denver Pioneers forward Colin Staub (24) in the second period. The Denver Pioneers defeated the Colorado College Tigers 5-1 in men's ice hockey on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at The Broadmoor World Arena. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

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It wasn’t an elusive sweep, but Colorado College left Omaha with the next best thing — a win and a shootout loss, good for four conference points.

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference has been set aside until the new year.

Now comes a chance for the Tigers to improve their national standing.

Pairwise is a statistical tool that tries to mimic the process by which the NCAA selection committee determines who gets the at-large bids to the 16-team NCAA tournament. At the moment, per USCHO.com, Colorado College is 27th.

“Pairwise really counts now, when you play outside your conference,” coach Mike Haviland said. “You’ve gotta take care of that. We’ve got six games before Christmas.

“That’s what we’ve been talking about, stringing some weekends together here.”

First up is Hockey East’s Vermont, 4-7-1 overall and 1-4-1 on the road. The Catamounts are coming off an overtime loss and a tie at home against Maine.

Colorado College, meanwhile, was encouraged by its performance in Omaha. The Tigers were the better team for more than half the series, and Saturday’s game was one of its most dominant efforts yet.

“We wanted to focus on getting our special teams going again, and I think you saw that,” said senior defenseman Andrew Farny, who tied a career high with two assists Saturday.

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