CC vs. Denver Hockey

Colorado College forward Christiano Versich skates after Denver defenseman Justin Lee during the third period Saturday at The Broadmoor World Arena.

Colorado College has dropped six of its past eight games and in only one of those losses were they within two goals.

Urgency was on players' and their coach's minds at The Broadmoor World Arena during a week that brought welcome news of an outdoor game. There’s a trajectory to straighten and ground to make up between now and then.

“We know this is a make-or-break type weekend,” junior forward Christiano Versich said. “What way is our season going to go? A couple of wins this weekend could go a long way for our last 14, 15, whatever, games.

“We need to win, simple as that. I know we’ll respond. We have a good group of guys in there.”

In meetings, coach Mike Haviland said there was an assumed understanding: “There’s a certain way this team needs to play and (it) has to do it now.”

Outside of a sweep of St. Cloud State in mid-November, the Tigers have only won one conference game. In spite of this, Miami and this weekend’s opponent, Omaha, are only two points ahead of last-place CC.

There have been a lot of conversations — “soul-searching,” per Haviland — in the wake of a thorough sweep at Western Michigan. Several of the Broncos’ 11 goals were strange, but even so, the Tigers inflicted more than enough of their own damage.

Outside of Friday’s two-goal effort from Chris Wilkie, who is in a four-way tie for the national lead with 17, CC (8-11-1, 3-8-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) barely threatened.

“It’s not anything special Western did or anything like that. It’s on us,” sophomore forward Ben Copeland said.

But count Copeland among the optimistic.

“For us, I think it’s just a matter of time before we figure it out,” he said. “Everything will work out.”

The Tigers’ start, so many months ago, was promising. As Omaha (9-10-5, 3-6-3 NCHC) visits, they can take steps to course-correct.

Taylor Ward, the defending NCHC Rookie of the Year, leads the Mavericks in goals and points (13 goals, 7 assists). Freshman Isaiah Saville has capably taken over in net for Omaha.

They’re not the ones Haviland is concerned with.

“This is about us right now, and we need to figure out ourselves and move forward,” he said.

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