The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs has long been a backer of Colorado College hockey. The resort was the home of the Tigers' arena up until 1994 and CC games were the social place to be in the early days of the program.
In 1982 the hotel commissioned a new trophy to replace the MacNaughton Cup (awarded to the WCHA regular season champion) when Michigan Tech and the Cup left the conference for a 3 year stint in the CCHA. When the Huskies and the MacNaughton came back the Broadmoor Trophy became the reward for winning the playoff tournament.
But despite the long history of the Broadmoor Trophy, its hometown team has never won the trophy. That's a fact Colorado College head coach Scott Owens wants to change in his final chance.
"Between you and me it would mean a lot," Owens said following the Tigers' 2-0 win over Minnesota. "It would mean a lot to me personally, a 22-23 year veteran of the WCHA to capture that Cup."
One of the sadder aspects of the WCHA breaking apart next season is that this weekend is a final chance for 5 of the 6 schools to win the Broadmoor Trophy. Only Minnesota State, who lost to Wisconsin Thursday afternoon, will remain in the new 10 team conference. The Badgers and Minnesota will head to the Big Ten while North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Colorado College are moving to the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
The Tigers will have their chance 7:10 p.m. CT Saturday night when the sixth-seed Tigers square off against Wisconsin at the Xcel Energy Center for the Broadmoor Trophy. The Badgers defeated St. Cloud State 4-1 Friday night.
Also on the line is a NCAA Tournament berth. Colorado College, with an 18-18-5 record, is 25th in the Pairwise and can only get in by winning the WCHA Final Five. So far they are two-thirds of the way there.
"The interesting thing is that the way this team is going we don't even talk about it," Owens said. "We're just going to play tomorrow, we're going to have fun, we're going to compete. At the end of the day, if something happens it happens."
One reason for CC's play has been the play of seniors Joe Howe and Rylan Schwartz. Howe made 35 saves in the shutout win over the Gophers while Schwartz has scored in both games this weekend. As good as they've been, Owens believes it is the entire senior class that has brought forth the changes in the Tigers.
"It's a group of 7 guys from all different backgrounds. Some of them have been good players. Some of them have been average players in their career. Some of them have been up and down a little bit, but they've really pulled together this last couple months," he said.
"(CC captain William) Rapuzzi is the big dog. Everybody is getting involved and taking the team on their shoulders a little bit."
Whether or not their season continues depends on Saturday's game. Regardless, Owens will have one final chance to get the Broadmoor Trophy back to the place where it has so much meaning.
"The Broadmoor Hotel is a huge part of Colorado Springs and Colorado College hockey. Without the Broadmoor hotel there is no Colorado College hockey.
Nathan Wells is a college hockey writer for SB Nation, College Hockey News and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @gopherstate.