Scotty Owens Breaks Down CC's Epic Collapse

(above) Play this video while reading article below

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by David Ramsey

Colorado College hockey coach Scott Owens is resting in a booth at Wooglin’s Deli. He chowing down on a ginormuos artery clogging pastrami sandwich on Rye and sipping a Diet Coke and staring straight ahead as he tries to explain the 2011-2012 CC hockey season.

One problem:

It’s difficult to explain the inexplicable.

The abrupt conclusion to the Tigers season has left CC fans puzzled and hurting. The season-ending sweep to Michigan Tech has left Owens down, too.

“It’s been constant,” Owens says. “I’m still not over it. It’s still tough to sort through it. Why were we not better that last weekend?

“It still eats away like this pastrami sandwich. There’s no doubt. I’m preoccupied with it and I’m using it as a motivation.”

It was a strange season. On Nov. 25, the Tigers were roaring with nine wins, two losses and the nation’s No. 4 ranking. They had scored four or more goals eight times. The SchwartzSticker brothers, Jaden and Rylan, led what appeared a fully loaded team.

Then it all fell apart. On Nov. 26 at North Dakota, the Tigers rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a 6-5 lead. It was all so dramatic.

But North Dakota sneaked its way to a 7-6 victory, and the Tigers were on their way to another patented collapse.

CC won only nine of its final 25 games, and the season that started with such promise ended with a shocking elimination by Michigan Tech at World Arena. Tech’s two-game sweep ranks among the worst moments in Owens’ 13 seasons.

That’s why he’s sitting here, eating a huge sandwich, trying to understand what went wrong.

“We had a great first half, but the schedule got tough and we became inconsistent,” Owens says. “We had good goaltending but couldn’t score. We had good scoring but not good goaltending. We had untimely injuries and we lost momentum.”

Recovering from the late-season tumble will not be easy. A year ago, the Tigers were roaring. They had demolished No. 1 seed Boston College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and were blessed with the versatile presence of Jaden SchwartzSticker, one of the nation’s top college players.

Now, Jaden has skated away to St. Louis, where far away from the "CC Curse" he's scoring goals  in bunches for the Blues. Rylan might join him in jumping to the pros.

If you’re one of the half dozen CC fans who is reading this, don’t get too depressed. If there was a bright spot in the often miserable 2011-2012 season, it was sophomore goaltender Josh Thorimbert. He was often brilliant.

The most destructive moment in the Tigers’ season came Feb. 4 against the University of Denver when a violent collision in front of the net left Thorimbert crying like a baby.

The collision doomed CC’s season. Thorimbert never was as crisp and stingy after he returned.

“He lost momentum,” Owens said. “He came back, and he was not quite the same.”

Here’s the hope for 2012-2013. Thorimbert will lead a more defensive-oriented team that will seek to win games 2-1 instead of 5-4. The Tigers will seek to will their way to another 20-win season. As usual they won’t overwhelm anyone with talent.

Owens hopes to soon step away from his blues and focus fully on the ahead. Right now, he seeks to understand the season that just ended. He’ll fail in this attempt. The season was, is and always will be baffling.

“It just didn’t come together,” Owens says. “There are a number of reasons for that last weekend but nobody cares. It just didn’t work out.”

Owens makes it clear that he’s down, but he remains sensible.

“The season and the finish are just something that eats away at me,” he says. “But I’m not one to, you know, throw a TV through a window at home or kick the dog.”

Do you have a dog, Scott?

“No,” Owens answers, a slight smile coming to his face.


miller said...

Did the CC Freshman class finally score a goal? It is going to be a tough couple of years for Scotty and the boys. I believe 1957 will remain their last championship.

dggoddard said...

0 goals and 14 assists for the 7 CC Freshmen in 104 games.

Congrats on tying the NCAA record for fewest goals by a Freshman class.

achsdu17 said...

I say CC will be at the lower half of the WCHA next season with a 1 and done playoff appearance.

Oh and before CC mentions the pan... let me remind them that the last time they won a trophy that actually meant anything, they had to share it with us.

dggoddard said...

Say what you will about CC, they are still one of the top two programs in Colorado Springs.

Randy May said...

The pastrami at Wooglin's isn't even that good. I usually get the garden burger and a cup of "veg head" chili.

Anonymous said...

achsdu17 they won the regular season WCHA in 08 they shared that with you too? Hope your boys have their golf games in gear with some nice practice weather this week.

Anonymous said...

It will take time for the DU players' golf games to become anywhere near as effective as those of the CC players, nice weather and all.

After all, the CC players have had almost two more weeks of practice...

timt89 said...

I for one, take little solace in the sad results of Scotty 'the Walrus' Owens teams. It should come as no surprise that the Tigers program got hit by another train – it happens every year so what is so new about this year? Perhaps they need to take a page out of the Metro playbook and become University South of Denver at Colorado Springs. They might trick some of the less intelligent players from Minnesota and North Dakota to actually think that they are enrolling at DU.