The defender of Colorado College, Bryan Yoon, grew up outside Denver in Parker, but did not follow college hockey until about 14 years. He has since learned about the CC-DU rivalry.
“I know it’s more than just the players,” Yoon said. “It’s just a big game. “Even bigger for the collapsing tigers. This Gold Pan battle should not look like this.
The tigers finished in the season 2017/18 a 14-minute defeat in the season and prevailed against DU in the general ledger against duels. However, the Gold Pan trophy remained with the pioneers.
Colorado College has a year of improvement behind it and wants to take the next step, as it has not lost anybody through graduation. Denver lost many big names – and a successful head coach – to the pros. The foundation could have been more even for the in-state competitors.
The pioneers, who finished fifth in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference – a place over CC – were immediately reloaded, taking third place in the country. Their newcomers have become strong, and both sub-class goalkeepers are on average among the top 20 goals of the nation, saving percentages. They just won seven.
Meanwhile, CC’s promising start derailed and they go into the first half of the Denver season series after losing six of their last seven. A great player recently lost the season.
No time like the present to get back on track. “These are weekends when the momentum may change,” said coach Mike Haviland.
The pioneers have many achievements that Colorado College can shoot for. They have excelled in tight games. They have seven NCHC highs and are 4-1-2 there.
Colorado College is 3-6 in one-goal games. Two overtime games did not win any conference points against North Dakota last weekend.
“I was proud of how we played there, but there’s nothing to show,” Haviland said. “The message is, it’s not good enough.”
The story sounds the same as it has lately – Denver is climbing, CC is looking for a boost. Against the pioneers, however, there is the possibility.
Yoon said the tigers are ready and excited.
He once attended a CC-DU game in the stands. This will be a very different perspective, and he will have much more to do to help the tigers get back into the win column.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.