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Season Preview: Colorado College

And we're back to actual content with my pick for 7th place in the WCHA; Colorado College.

LW Jimmy Kilpatrick C Chad Rau RW Derek Patrosso

LW James Brannigan C Billy Sweatt RW Braydon Cox
LW Scott McCulloch C Brandon Polich RW Andreas Vlassapoulos
LW Brian McMillin C Addison DeBoer RW Dan Quilico
LD Lee Sweatt RD Jack Hillen G Matt Zaba
LD Kris Fredheim RD Brandon Straub G Chris Kawano
LD Jake Gannon RD Nate Prosser G Drew O’Connell


Strengths:


Matt Zaba is an experienced WCHA goalie. Their defense is filled with smooth-skating defenseman.

Weaknesses:

You know things are bad when your own coach says this is going to be a rebuilding year. CC lost top scorers Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling, and Joey Crabb, and it’s probably going to take time to replace those guys. Billy Sweatt looks like one heir apparent, but nobody is going to step in and produce the way those three did overnight.

Overall:

CC is one of the best teams in the country in terms of turning sleepers into superstars. They took some interesting prospects out of Minnesota HS hockey in Brian McMillin and Addison DeBoer over the summer, but I don’t think they’ll be able to contribute a lot right away. This will definitely qualify as a rebuilding year for the Tigers as they get some of their younger players a little experience so that they can be a powerhouse again in a couple of years.

Question Marks

How quickly will Billy Sweatt develop into a superstar? Can Kris Fredheim be a top 2 defenseman for CC this year as a freshmen? Will CC change their style to play a more defensive style now that they don't have the scoring they once did?

Key Player: Derek Patrosso. Patrosso got off to a fast start last season, but then didn’t do much in the second half of the season. Now that Sertich and Sterling are gone, Patrosso is one of the players that will be expected to pick up some of the scoring slack.

Breakout Player: Chad Rau. When I tell people I think Chad Rau will be an All-WCHA player this season, the two responses I get are 1. "Who? or 2. "Cracka Please!" Rau looks like a player that is destined for stardom in college hockey. He’s a small, speedy player that had a very good freshmen season last year. Now that he’ll likely be Colorado College’s number one scoring option, his ice time, and scoring totals should increase dramatically.

Bellwether:
Losing two of the best scorers in college hockey means CC will have to be a more balanced team this season. The number of goals CC gets from their third and fourth line this season will be critical to their success.

Did You Know

Colorado College follows a "block plan" where students only take one class at a time for three and a half week periods.

The rendering of Sacajawea on the US dollar coin was made by a Colorado College graduate. So if you’re ever at a New York City subway station ticket booth, you know who to curse for giving you those damn funny money coins as change.

Women’s soccer is the only other NCAA Division I sport at Colorado College, along with hockey

If You Go There

You Have to Eat At:
Nothing has really jumped out at me to be honest, so if any locals want to leave a comment, I’d be thankful. If you’re into something pricier, The Craftwood Inn serves a bunch of crazy stuff like elk, caribou, boar, American kobe beef, ostrich.

You Have to Stop At:
The Broadmoor Hotel. Arguably no other place is more steeped in college hockey tradition than the Broadmoor. Entrepreneur Spencer Penrose(for whom college hockey’s coach of the year award is named), hosted the first 10 Frozen Fours at the Broadmoor ice rink. The rink is no longer standing, but the hotel is still beautiful.