Thursday, August 13, 2009

WCHA Previews: Colorado College

School: Colorado College
Mascot: Tigers
National Championships: So long ago the banners have turned to dust
Head Coach: Ron Jeremy (aka Scott Owens), 239-133-35, 11th season

Last Season: 12-9-7, T-3rd Place WCHA; 16-12-10 Overall

Predicted 09/10 WCHA Finish: 9th

Key Departures:
F Chad Rau, 18-19-37*
F Eric Walsky, 12-25-36
D Brian Connelly, 3-24-27
G Richard Bachman, 14-11-10, 2.63 GAA, .914 save %
F Scott McCulloch, 7-6-13
*All stats listed from 08/09

Key Returnees: (58.5% of scoring returns)
F Bill Sweatt (Sr), 12-11-23
D Gabe Guentzel (So), 3-14-17
F Stephen Schultz (Jr), 10-4-14
D Nate Prosser (Sr), 5-8-13
F Andreas Vlassoploulus (Sr), 3-9-12

Top Sieve:
No goalie has started an NCAA game

Key Additions:
F Rylan Schwartz (SJHL), 39-49-88, League MVP
F William Rapuzzi (USHL), 21-30-51
F Andrew Hamburg (NAHL), 12-48-60
G Hudson Stremmel (USHL), 18-14-1, 3.19 GAA, 0.895 save %
G Joe Howe (USHL), 17-13-2, 3.51 GAA, 0.882 save %

Freshman Scouting Report: This class is filled w/ some more offensive talent to help rebuild. I’ve seen William Rapuzzi play w/ the Gamblers several times and he is a good player. John Moore was suppose to be the prize recruit for their blueline, but instead he ducked and ran to the OHL following the NHL Draft. There wasn’t much left to replace his absence this late in the recruiting process (the Joe Pavelski syndrome). In goal, both Stremmel and Howe are good goalies, but neither had great stats in the USHL last season, and will need to pick rabbits out of their hats to fill the void in net.

When Wisconsin Beats CC: KC 10/16 & 10/17, @CC 1/15 & 1/16

08/09 Recap: After winning the MacNaughton Cup the previous season, CC was many people’s favorite to repeat as WCHA champs, but they were never really in the running. They managed to finish tied for 3rd w/ the Badgers, splitting a lot of series and getting what I think was a record amount of ties in their school history w/ 7. In 07/08, the story for CC was Richard Bachman, his netminding carried them all season, but he could not pull a repeat performance as a sophomore, and the team never got anything going. They allowed more goals in league play than they scored. W/ Kyle Klubertanz gone from UW, Chad Rau’s SH goals as a senior dropped significantly. Duluth visited CC in the 1st round of the playoff and swept them on their way to wining the Final Five. Following the season Bachman and junior dman Brian Connolly both left CC for pro contracts. CC also lost to Air Force mid-season.

Team’s Biggest Strength(es): CC still has some talented forwards, adding a few more, and should score some goals, though the last two seasons when a lot of people hyped CC’s offense I was never impressed.

Team’s Biggest Weakness(es): Goaltending, they don’t have ANY experience (ok junior Tyler O’Brien played 30 minutes last season) at the NCAA level and I think we can all agree for every Richard Bachman who storms the WCHA there are a lot of rookie goalies who get crushed. Mono or player threesomes are always a danger to derail the team as well.

09/10 Thoughts: This is likely the lowest you’ll see CC on any WCHA previews. They haven’t gone on the road in the playoffs in a long, long time, but all streaks need to end, and I don’t think CC has the talent to put 5 other teams behind them this year. Its definitely rebuilding time in the Springs. The biggest reason I have them down so far is goaltending. They don’t have any experience in net, and whoever takes over doesn’t have the pedigree of Bachman. Their offense struggled last season at times, and they really only lost talent there. Their top freshman is no longer coming to school, but instead John Moore signed w/ Columbus and is headed to the OHL. Never getting Moore on campus, losing Connelly weakens the blue line. Things aren’t looking good for the Tigers this season, but they are a storied program (at least in regular season accolades) and will bounce back in the future.

While I picked them 9th, I think they could finish as high as 6th, but when I did the WCHA predictor a few times, their finish was always the same.

Yeah I don’t have UAA 9th, or even 8th.