Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tigers to Host Huskies in First Round

Colorado College will play host to St. Cloud State in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Tigers finish the WCHA regular season with a record of 15-11-2 for a total of 32 points, good for fifth place in the league. North Dakota's win tonight over Michigan Tech gives them 32 points as well, but they are awarded fourth place through a tiebreaker. The Sioux will host Minnesota State-Mankato in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Tigers matchup in the first round could give them a PWR advantage over other WCHA foes, as St. Cloud State is considered a team under consideration by the pairwise rankings. Two wins could give the Tigers a nice boost in the PWR.

The status of CC's leading scorer, Brett Sterling (28-23-51), remains unclear although the Tigers' trainer says that he is "probable" for next week's series. Sterling had trouble getting off the ice on Friday against Denver after being leveled by 220 pound center Geoff Paukovich, and it was later said that he had a groin injury. He had already scored two goals in the game when he had to leave, about halfway through the second period - his first goals against DU in the last eight games between the two teams.

CC has done fairly well this year against St. Cloud State. In November, the Tigers swept the Huskies by scores of 4-2 and 3-2, at the Colorado Springs World Arena. On the road against St. Cloud State, CC won 6-3 and lost 2-1. Chad Rau, the hero for CC on Saturday night, has five points in four games against St. Cloud State. Marty Sertich, Derek Patrosso and Brett Sterling each have three. St. Cloud State has allowed only 62 goals in WCHA play this year, second lowest in the league to Wisconsin (60), but they have scored only 79.

The other series taking place next weekend will be: No. 10 Alaska-Anchorage at No. 1 Minnesota, No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth at No. 2 Denver, No. 8 Michigan Tech at No. 3 Wisconsin, and No. 7 Minnesota State-Mankato at No. 4 North Dakota. CC remains sixth in the Pairwise Rankings, thanks in large part to out of conference wins against Boston University, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Maine.


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