Tigers, Sioux battle for WCHA lead

by Tim Nichols

The main event of the WCHA season will take place in the Colorado Springs World Arena when No. 1 North Dakota takes on No. 7 Colorado College.
The rosters for this game read like a college hockey all-star line-up. Eight of the league’s top 12 leading scorers come from these two schools, along with four of the top ten goaltenders.
The series will have an extra significance for Colorado College, considering that three points would leapfrog the Tigers into the top position in the WCHA.
Winning against the No. 1 team in the country is never an easy task. But it might be even more difficult with the current scoring shortage facing the Tigers.
In its last game, Colorado College ran into St. Cloud State freshman goaltender Dean Weasler, who turned away 41 shots in a 1-0 shutout of the Tigers.
Colorado College and North Dakota split the series at Grand Forks with a pair of 5-4 scores on Nov. 20-21. The Tigers are likely to rely even more on forward Brian Swanson, who is currently tied with North Dakota’s Jason Blake for the WCHA scoring lead with 23 points in conference play.
Swanson did not score in the loss to the Sioux on Nov. 21. For Colorado College to be successful in this series, the captain must lead the way.

Seawolves in the hunt
Alaska-Anchorage, heading into this weekend’s home series with Wisconsin, is in a position it hasn’t been used to in a very long time.
They’re contending for a home-ice series in the WCHA tournament.
But coach Dean Talafous won’t even let his players think about it.
“I think that they are miserable right now, worse than before,” Talafous said. “I don’t want them to sit back and be content. We have to struggle for every point, and certainly we won’t win if we don’t continue to work hard. Nobody’s relaxing or taking anything for granted.”
Even when the Seawolves are contending, they aren’t happy. Talafous has brought an aggressive, defensive-oriented system to Anchorage, and he demands that his players buy into this system and execute every night.
“We don’t want to change what we have been doing for the last two- and-a-half years,” Talafous said. “There’s only five to six points separating everyone except the top two teams in the conference. We’re not approaching the Wisconsin series any differently.”