Friday night did not start, or end, the way the Rams wanted it to. The CSU Rams travelled to Denver that evening to take on the DU Pioneers in a late-night BMHC
contest. Despite an injury-plagued roster, the Pioneers came out fast and furious, scoring two goals within the first five minutes of the game. The Rams were able to
catch themselves, and found the back of the DU net midway through the first period on a goal from Defenseman Colton Hellman, making it 2-1. The Pioneers
responded with two more goals, taking a 4-1 lead over the Rams to end the first period. CSU swapped goaltenders to begin the second period and began to dictate
the pace of the game. Unfortunately, a momentary lapse halfway into the period allowed the Pioneers to extend their lead to 5-1. However, the Rams continued to
pressure and responded with two quick goals just minutes later, bringing the score to 5-3. CSU continued to press, coming close to scoring numerous times. However,
DU managed to score again with less than 20 seconds left, taking a 6-3 lead into the third period. The Rams battled valiantly in the third period, desperately trying to
erase their three goal deficit. Despite putting 52 shots on net over the course of the game, the final score would stand at 6-3. The Rams would take their emotions and
use them as motivation as they faced DU the following evening at home. On Saturday evening, CSU got back on track at home, scoring first in the opening
five minutes behind a goal from Forward John Kilkenny. Not to be outdone, the Pioneers capitalized on two power plays, taking a 2-1 lead into the second period.
DU capitalized again on the powerplay, scoring on a 5-on-3 advantage to open the second period. From that point on, it was all Rams. CSU roared back, scoring on
goals from Kilkenny and Forward Sean Patten, tying the game up at 3 to end the second period. The Rams picked right back up where they left off, with a goal from
Forward Mario Facinelli and Patten rattling off his second of the night. DU managed to pop one more goal in with just under a minute left to play, but Facinelli buried
his second goal of the night, ending the game 6-4 in favor of the Rams. With the weekend split, the Rams remain tied for 4th place in the BMHC with DU at
8 points. CSU improved marginally to 3-8-1-1 as they head west this weekend to compete in the Beehive Classic tournament in Utah. At a minimum, the Rams will
face-off against CSU - Northridge, Utah Valley, BYU, and Northern Arizona.
WEEKEND PREVIEW -
RAMS vs DU
This weekend, the CSU Rams will take on the University of Denver Pioneers in a home and home series, playing in Denver on Friday night followed by a game in
Fort Collins on Saturday night. This weekend has big conference implications for both teams as they enter the weekend tied for 4th place in the Big Mountain
Hockey Conference. 2 wins by either team would propel them into third place, ahead of CU. Performance this weekend could also shuffle up the first round of
ACHA D2 rankings, which have yet to be released.
The Rams are coming off a split weekend, with a win against CU and a loss against MSU-Denver. After some tough games against UNC and the win against CU, it
appeared as though the Rams had finally managed to overcome their third period woes. Unfortunately, those woes crept right back in as MSU scored three
unanswered goals in the third period to bury CSU, 5-1. The Rams will need to find a way to put together six solid periods of hockey across their two games against DU.
Fortunately, it seems that the Rams will have their top scorers - Forward Reid Goodman and Defenseman Dmitri Smith - back in the lineup this weekend. A point
of emphasis in practice this week for the Rams has been special teams. CSU's penalty kill stands at a respectable 75.0%; however, CSU's power play has been
practically silent, sitting at an astonishingly low 8.9%. The Rams have struggled to capitalize on the power play, which has ultimately cost them a few games this
season. This will be the first meeting between the Rams and the Pioneers this season, so expect a relatively low scoring affair on Friday evening as both teams
feel each other out.
The Pioneers enter the weekend with a 3-8-0-0 record, only marginally better than the Rams 2-7-1-1 record. The Pioneers also have a very short bench, made worse
by multiple injured players. This will be an advantage for the Rams, who have consistent depth on forward and defense. Offensively, DU is led by forwards Chris
Lugg and Christos Koukis with 13 and 11 points, respectively. The Pioneers are allowing over 4.5 goals per game defensively, with all three goaltenders (with starts)
averaging 4.00 goals against or higher. DU sports a decent power play (21.7%) so the Rams will need to avoid taking penalties and giving the Pioneers offensive chances
on the power play.
All in all, both games are winnable for the Rams. Depth will be a huge advantage, so expect CSU to roll all 4 lines and all defensive pairings as much as possible to wear
down the Pioneers. The Rams will need to focus on the things that have brought them success, and avoid costly turnovers at both bluelines to come out of this
weekend with 2 wins and 6 points in the BMHC.
WEEKEND RECAP -
vs CU Nov 2nd
The Rams prevailed Friday night, 4-1, against the visiting CU Buffs. As usual, CSU opened the scoring late in the first period as Freshman Mario Facinelli netted his first ACHA career goal. CU would answer halfway through the second period on a Bradley Huggins goal. But after that, it was all Rams. The Rams jumped ahead 3-1 with goals from Derek Nead and Sebastian Wilson to close out the second period. CSU Forward Nick Scherbinin scored the lone goal of the third period, putting the Rams up 4-1 and
effectively stifling any hope of a CU comeback attempt. Rams goalie Ted Bunton was in top form, turning away 38 of 39 shots, earning him CSU Defensive Player of the Game honors. Forward Derek Nead received CSU Offensive Player of the Game honors in recognition of his goal and multiple scoring opportunities throughout the game.
@ MSU Nov 3rd
CSU got off to a fast start Saturday evening against the Roadrunners. Both teams traded early scoring chances, but the first period ended up scoreless. MSU would open the scoring midway through the second period with a tally by Dylan Van Leuwen Hall. Not to be outdone, CSU’s Adam Anderson answered with a goal of his own less than two minutes later. The Rams would also draw a penalty on that play, but were unable to convert on the powerplay. Unfortunately, the Roadrunners converted on a
late powerplay, taking a 2-1 lead over CSU into the third period. The Rams came out swinging at the start of the third, coming within inches of evening up the score. But that would be as close as the Rams would get as MSU scored 3 unanswered goals to end the game, 5-1. Despite the weekend split, the Rams moved into a tie for 4 th place in the BMHC with DU, whom the Rams will play this upcoming weekend. The Rams also improved to 2-7-1-1 overall in the ACHA, and await the first round of ACHA D2 rankings which should be released this week. Stay tuned for this week’s Game Previews as CSU and DU meet for the first time this season.
WEEKEND PREVIEW -
Weekend Preview: The CSU Rams ACHA D2 Hockey Team heads into this weekend with a 1-6-1-1 record. They will be playing the University of Colorado Friday night on home ice in Fort Collins before heading down to Denver to take on Metro State University Saturday night. The Rams are currently sitting at the bottom of the Big Mountain Hockey Conference standings, and 2 wins this weekend would help them jump past the University of Wyoming and University of Denver.
Offensively, CSU is generating just under 3 goals per game. Aside from their opening win against Colorado School of Mines, the Rams have not scored more than 3 goals in any game so far this season. The Rams typically strike fast and early, but have a tendency to let opposing teams back into the game in the 3rd period. This has been a key talking point for CSU’s coaching staff as the Rams must find ways to sustain consistent offensive pressure in all three periods in order to prevent teams from creeping back late in the game. Forward Sean Patten has been pacing the CSU attack with 8 points; however, the Rams will likely be playing without their next two top point getters, Forward Reid Goodman (5 points) and Defenseman Dmitri Smith (5 points), who were both injured last weekend against the University of Northern Colorado. The Rams will be looking for other offensive threats to step up and help lead the Rams to victory.
On defense the Rams have given up 39 goals, just above 4 goals per game. Defensive and neutral zone turnovers, as well as odd-man rushes have hurt the Rams, especially late in the game. There have been some system adjustments defensively for CSU, which ultimately helped limit the University of Northern Colorado to just 3 goals apiece in 2 games last weekend – a marked improvement. The Rams are hoping to build off last weekend’s defensive efforts and continue to limit mistakes late in the game and maintain solid defense for 60 minutes. The potential absence of Dmitri Smith will cause a shuffle in the CSU defensive pairings, and will likely impact the Rams offense. Smith leads the defensive corps with 5 points, although several other Rams defensemen have chipped in points as well.
The Rams trio of goaltenders have all helped keep the Rams in position to win almost every game this season, although the scoreboard and record haven’t reflected that. All three have posted above .85 save percentages, with Davis Kitagawa leading the charge at .906. The Rams will continue to rely on their solid goaltending this weekend as they seek an elusive second win of the season.
vs CU Buffaloes
The Buffaloes will enter Fort Collins with an unintimidating 4-6-1-1 record. The last meeting between the Rams and Buffs ended with at 3-3 tie in regulation, with CU coming away with a shootout victory. The Buffs are averaging 3 goals per game offensively, but also giving up 4 goals per game. CU’s attack has been fairly balanced with Forwards Brad Kittrell (9 points), Trey Konsella (8 points), and Bradley Huggins (8 Points) leading the way. Only two of CU’s three goalies have seen starts this season, and neither have above .90 save percentage. Charles Goetzke is the closest at .890, but the Rams have to feel confident that if they produce enough shots, they should be able to find the back of the net. In their previous game, the Rams entered the 3rd period with a 3-1 lead. If the Rams can score quickly and consistently, while also maintaining defensive discipline for three full periods, there is no reason Friday night should result in anything other than a Rams victory.
@ MSU-Denver Roadrunners
After playing at home Friday night, CSU will travel down to Denver to take on the Roadrunners. MSU boasts a 7-2-0-0 record – good enough for 2nd place in the BMHC – and are undefeated at home. The Roadrunners are averaging over 6 goals per game, while giving up under 3 goals per game. In their last meeting, MSU prevailed with a 4-3 win at Fort Collins. The Roadrunners high-powered attack is lead by Defenseman Anthony Newsome and Forward Daniel Dvorak, with 12 points and 10 points, respectively. The two MSU goaltenders that have seen starts this season have put up .913 and .889 save percentages. Despite an explosive offense and solid defense, the Roadrunners are an extremely penalty-prone team. In their previous matchup, there were 25 penalties, with MSU accounting for 16 of them. Unfortunately, the Rams were unable to punish the Roadrunners on the powerplay. The Rams should not feel intimidated as they enter their second game against MSU. The Rams have had no trouble scoring goals against any team this season, but they will need to find a way to stymie the Roadrunners attack. If this Saturday starts to bog down with penalties again, the Rams will need to remain disciplined and stay out of the box, but the key will be scoring when they are presented with powerplay opportunities. A win against the 2nd place BMHC team on their home ice would be a huge confidence boost for the Rams as they head into a home and home series against the University of Denver the following weekend.
RAMS TAKE DOWN MINES 7-1
Colorado State started the season off right, earning a 7-1 win over the Colorado School of Mines at the Apex Ice Center on Thursday night. The Rams got offensive production from all 4 lines, and were led by Captain Sebastian Wilson (2 goals) and Ashton Mabry (2 goals). Sean Patten, Nate Morris, and Liam Burns also chipped in with a goal apiece. For the full box score, please click the link below.
The Rams will host the The University of Northern Colorado on Saturday, October 6th at EPIC in their home opener.
STREAM ALL RAMS HOME GAMES LIVE AT BLACK DOG HOCKEY
We are proud to partner with Black Dog Hockey for another exciting season of Rams Hockey! Unfortunately with limited resources, most games will be brought to you without audio commentary. We will do our best to provide a play-by-play commentary when possible. To watch away games, please visit the opposing teams website/social media pages for streaming information.
TRYOUT DATES ANNOUNCED
Where: EPIC at 1801 Riverside Ave, Fort Collins, CO
When: August 27-29th 6:30 PM – 9:45 PM; show early the first day for administrative items. Based on numbers we will likely break the ice slots into two each night and players will be assigned to one of these groups.
Who: Current and full-time CSU students interested in either the Div 1 or 2 men's teams; please check out academic requirements for ACHA participation here. If you are nursing an injury, please communicate with the coaches - we may provide a no-contact red jersey or the like to prevent further injury or provide alternative try-out timelines.)
What: The teams will not be providing any gear and only limited equipment maintenance during tryouts. You need to bring full gear to include a face-shield. Bring the completed health history and waver forms. Bring cash or check as players will not be allowed to step on the ice without having paid. Try-outs will be full-speed and full-contact and we highly recommend that players be prepared.
BATTLE CAMP UPDATE
The Colorado State University Men’s ACHA Division 1 hockey team will conducting a pre-season camp from August 21 - 24, 2018, at the Edora Pool Ice Center (EPIC) in Fort Collins. The camp is intended to allow all Division 1 and 2 CSU players from last year and any prospects for this year's team the opportunity to skate in a competitive environment prior to the start of tryouts and the season. The cost of the camp is $200; contact Brien if you cannot make all of the days for a per session cost. The skates will be run by Div 1 Head Coach Joel Weeks and Assistant Coach Jamison Wicks as well as Div 2 Head Coach Brian Mason.
Space is limited – please confirm with Div 1 Team President Brien Caseria that you will attend and that there is space available. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Players should arrive early Tuesday with payment (cash or check) and to submit the CSU Health History and Global Rec Waiver form. Those forms should be printed, filled out and signed and can be found here.
TUESDAY AUGUST 21st
3:30-4:45pm - Registration
4:45-5:45pm - Team Meeting
6:30-8:00pm - On Ice
RAMS NAME BRIAN MASON HEAD COACH
Coach Brian Mason was born and raised in Menominee, MI. He played AAA hockey for the Green Bay Jr. Gamblers before attending Eastern Michigan University (ACHA D1). After his sophomore season, he transferred to Michigan State University where he earned his degree in Business Management. The last 4 years, Coach Mason has been the General Manager/Assistant Coach of the MSU Denver Hockey Club, leading them to back-to-back National Tournament appearances in his first 2 season. He was instrumental in the programs move to ACHA Division II, the creation of the Big Mountain Hockey Conference, and new rink and locker room. Coach Mason is focused on continuing to grow hockey in Colorado and providing CSU students a NCCA-like hockey experience at the ACHA level.
RAMS ANNOUNCE 2018-19 SCHEDULE
We are excited to announce our 30 game regular season schedule, anchored by our typical Big Mountain Hockey Conference foes. Highlights of the schedule include 3 games against Wyoming, Northern Colorado, Denver University, and Metro State. The Rams will battle main rival CU Buffs 4 times. The team will travel to Utah in November to play in the annual Beehive Showcase against the top teams in ACHA Division 2, and will also travel to North Dakota in February to play Bottineau and Williston State. Full schedule can be found on our Schedule Page.
NATE MORRIS NAME 2nd TEAM ALL CONFERENCE
From the BMHC Commissioner Charlie Marchese:
I am proud to announce the following 2017-2018 conference honorees based on the ballots from the Big Mountain Hockey Conference coaches and GM's:
Big Mountain Hockey Conference Coach of the Year: Dan Sturges - University of Colorado
1st Team All Conference:
Forward: Ryan Gandy - University of Denver
Forward: Greg Dyba - University of Colorado
Forward: Devon Pilkington - University of Colorado
Defense: Brian Brink - University of Northern Colorado
Defense: Anthony Newsome - Metropolitan State University - Denver
Goalie: Ashton Opperman - University of Northern Colorado
2nd Team All Conference:
Forward: Christos Koukis - University of Denver
Forward: Austin Shea - Metropolitan State University - Denver
Forward: Colin Chmelka - University of Northern Colorado
Defense: Nathan Morris - Colorado State University
Defense: Jacob Reiner - Metropolitan State University - Denver
Goalie: Joseph Halick - University of Denver
BMHC Most Valuable Player:
Brian Brink - University of Northern Colorado
Congratulations to all players, coaches, GM's, teams, and Universities on a great year in the Big Mountain Hockey Conference. We continue to get stronger as a dominant force in the West, and we will continue to seek ways for our conference teams to be recognized as a top competitive force on the national stage.