Tim Stiller scored one goal and assisted on another to lead the Colorado State University club hockey team to a 6-3 win over the University of Colorado before 4,105 rowdy fans at the Budweiser Events Center. The fans were treated to a great game and the atmosphere was electric.
Twenty-one of CSU's 28 players are from Colorado, including 10 from Fort Collins. Proceeds from the game, presented by the Colorado Eagles minor-league hockey team, were shared by three Northern Colorado youth hockey programs and the CSU club team.
The win was CSU's third over CU in as many games this season.
The game at the 5,289-seat Budweiser Events Center is the latest attempt by a cadre of local hockey fans and CSU hockey alumni to push a Division I agenda, despite a tremendous number of obstacles in their way.
The group, which calls itself the Ram Hockey Group, ultimately hopes to convince CSU administrators to add men's hockey to its roster of 16 varsity sports, elevating the already successful club (non-scholarship) program to NCAA Division I status.
Former Ram hockey player Brett Tatman is at the forefront of the movement.
"If we can get the financing there and the money lined up it's highly likely that it will happen," he said last fall. "It really depends on our movement."
Eventually, Ram Hockey Group hopes it can raise enough money (at least $1 million just for start-up costs) to fund the conversion from club to D-1, and to help CSU also fund whatever women's sport might need to be added in order to satisfy Title IX requirements.
Funding aside, it's already clear that CSU students will attend hockey games, even those not against heated rivals like the University of Colorado.
Will Ram Hockey Group be successful? It will take a long time and a lot of money, neither of which seem to be on the University's agenda at this time. But if the students and alumni have a say in it, it could happen eventually.