October 27, 2010
That is the question Head Coach Kelly Newton poses to the men's hockey team before every game. All will need to play exceptionally well when they take on CU in the Rocky Mountain Center Ice Showdown.
With 14 freshman on the roster and eight games into the season, Kelly Newton, head coach of the Men's Hockey Team already likes what he sees. After coming off a series at Oklahoma University though, he saw the level of pace the team needs to play at to be extremely successful.
"(We are) guilty of playing down to other teams' level at times," said Newton. "When we pick up the pace, skate hard and play physical, other teams really can't hang with us."
This level of play will be needed as the Rams prepare to face CU in the Rocky Mountain Center Ice Showdown at the Pepsi Center, Friday Oct. 29.
Captain and Forward Nik Burge, a senior construction management major, said this is a must win game as it is the last game before Western American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings are made. He says CU and CSU are always fighting for the top spot.
"It would be nice to knock off CU and be first in the west," said Burge.
Assitant coach Tim Stiller, who played with the team the previous five years, knows the way of college sports.
"The way of college sports is, it is how good you do against your rival. Anytime we play CU it's a must win."
While this game is important, Stiller is excited to watch the new talent grow over the next few seasons. He also says he sees this team going Division 1 in a few years down the road as Northern Colorado really loves its hockey.
"We need the support from our fans though. The more fans we have, the more momentum we gain, the better we do."
"This team has a lot they are building on," said Athletic Assitant Jesse Adams. "CU is a respectable team but we come out with our game faces on. We will see who shows up on Friday."
While Burge chose his words carefully, he confidently said the team that CSU puts out on the ice will be the winning team.