When Colorado College won the 1995-96 WCHA regular season championships, they became the first team in WCHA history to win three consecutive championships. These three championships followed a long dry spell for Tiger hockey.
Colorado College last NCAA championship was in 1957. Since this time, CC managed to finish above .500 in conference only 6 times. This includes the current streak of three first place finishes.
Colorado Colleges yearly WCHA finishes
1958 3 1971 8 1984 6
1959* - 1972 9 1985 6
1960 4 1973 9 1986 7
1961 7 1974 9 1987 6
1962 7 1975 3 1988 8
1963 5 1976 6 1989 8
1964 6 1977 8 1990 7
1965 7 1978 5 1991 8
1966 7 1979 8 1992 4
1967 7 1980 3 1993 9
1968 7 1981 7 1994 1
1969 7 1982 6 1995 1
1970 9 1983 6 1996 1
* WIHL dissolves
After finishing in last place in 1992-93, the Tigers hired Don Lucia as their new Head Coach. In 1993-94 the Tigers were again expected to reside in the basement of the WCHA. Led by senior defenseman Shawn Reid and a young talented sophomore class, CC shocked the league going from last to first.
Their dream season was cut short by first team All-American goalie Jamie Ram and the Michigan Tech Huskies in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. Following these losses came a bigger loss. Despite finishing first in the WCHA, CC was not invited to the 1994 NCAA Hockey Tournament.
In 1994-95, CC again won the WCHA regular season championship. The Tigers featured a high powered offense, capable of scoring in bunches. Leading this offensive surge was Peter Geronozzo (29-28-57), Colin Schmidt (26-31-57), Jay McNeil (33-18-51) and Chad Ramackel (17-31-48) all of which were Juniors. The Tigers made a strong post-season run.
Winning a dramatic come from behind overtime game 5-4 versus host Minnesota, to put the Tigers in the championship game against Wisconsin. CC fortunes stopped here. The Badgers won another dramatic overtime game 4-3, capping off a fantastic WCHA Final 5. For their first place conference finish and second place playoff finish the Tigers were awarded a bye in 1995 NCAA Hockey Tournament.
As fortunes and NCAA seedings would have it, CC faced long time rival Minnesota for the sixth time of the season in their first game of the NCAA playoffs. The playoff experienced Gophers got their revenge for the OT loss in the WCHA Final 5, ending the Tigers season with a convincing 5-2 victory.
Despite this loss, things looked upbeat for Colorado. They were losing three key defensive players, but their top guns were all returning. Further, CC incoming freshman class was loaded (Brian Swanson, Scott Swanson, Jason Clark and Jon Austin). They also returned two solid netminders in Judd Lambert and Ryan Bach. The only team that stood in their way was the Gophers.
In a classic match up, Feb 9-10, CC came into Minnesota and split a pair of hard fought games. These games solidified CC’s hold on the WCHA regular season title for a record third straight year.
Now CC is posed to make a run at the next level. They have the talent, the depth, and after last year the playoff experience. The Tigers are going to be a very difficult opponent to beat in the postseason.