Contrasting styles at play this weekend

Two ranked teams with contrasting styles will square off this weekend at World Arena when No. 13-ranked and ECAC-leading Cornell (8-4-1, 6-1-1 ECAC) takes on host No. 6 Colorado College this Friday and Saturday.

The Big Red live up to their name with a physical style well suited for the NHL sheet the Ithaca, N.Y. school usually skates on.

“We’ll try to take advantage of the width of the sheet because we know they’re not that accustomed to it,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said.

No doubt that was a reason the Big Red arrived in Colorado Springs a day earlier than usual, Wednesday, to acclimate to the altitude and the Olympic ice sheet at World Arena.

Dictating the style of play by making the nonconference series up-and-down games may favor the Tigers (12-6, 9-5 WCHA).

“We’ll try to keep the puck off the boards, make it an open-ice game and make them skate with us,” senior captain Nick Dineen said.

That said, Cornell looks plenty capable of winning a wide-open contest with the skill players it has, especially with the nation’s sixth rated power play (23.9 percent). CC must skate well and move its feet on defense to avoid penalties.

Defenseman Nick D’Agostino has 15 points including six power-play goals, leading the nation’s Division I defensemen, with five game-winners, tying for the national lead. Right wing Brian Ferlin and center Greg Miller are right behind with 15 and 14 points respectively.

For their part, the Tigers look ready to play well after rebounding from a home loss to Air Force with a determined defensive effort in a 2-1 win over Union.

“We’ve had a good week of practice, probably the best three days we’ve had,” Dineen said. “It will be interesting to see this weekend how that translates.”

It is the first series between the schools. Cornell leads all-time with a 3-2 mark including a 4-2 Tigers win at the Florida College Classic in 2009.

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About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with 20-plus years of experience.

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