Written by  in HockeySports on Nov 6, 2011 3:38 / comments

On Saturday, the CU hockey teams will look for victory at the home of the Avalanche.

The men’s Division II and Division III hockey teams and the women’s club team will face the Colorado State Rams this weekend in the Rocky Mountain Center Ice Showdown at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Saturday’s showdown marks the third year of the CU-CSU hockey rivalry, and for the men’s varsity team, the series is split. The Buffs came out on top in the 2009 inaugural game, but the Rams grabbed last year’s victory.

CU’s varsity team’s record fell to 5-3-0-1 last weekend after losing to the University of Denver, 7-6, in the final 10 seconds of the game. Senior team captain Alex Lencioni said his team is now more motivated than ever to pull out a win.

“If we play our game, it’s gonna be hard to touch us,” Lencioni said.

Men’s varsity head coach John Pfieff said that with enough effort, his team should be able to overtake the Rams.

“It’ll be a very tough, physical game, but I think we have a shot at it,” Pfieff said. “We have a very talented and fast team this year.”

Pfieff said that while the team doesn’t have many freshman newcomers, several players are competing on the varsity level for the first time this season after having moved up from the JV squad.

Alex Gresh, one of the few freshmen on varsity, said he has looked forward to playing at the Pepsi Center for the first time since he was a little kid. While Gresh has never played against the Rams, he said his team should be prepared for its rival both offensively and defensively.

“Our forwards have a lot of speed, and on the defense, we have size,” Gresh said. “We have a lot of talent—we just have to work hard.”

According to Lencioni, though, CU’s opponent is a tough one.

“CSU kept a lot of guys from last year,” Lencioni said. “They’ve been there before, so they know what it takes to win games… they are a highly offensive team.”

The JV men’s team, whose record stands at 6-1 on the season, will also take to the ice on Saturday. The Division III squad achieved an 8-1 victory against the Wyoming Cowboys last weekend and is looking to continue its streak with a win over the Rams.

The CU women have a better idea of what to expect from their in-state opponents this weekend, having played them twice already this season. On Sep. 23 in Boulder, the teams tied 2-2; on the following day, the Buffs took a 4-1 victory.

The DII squad will start the event with a game at 3 p.m., and the women will play at at 5. The men’s DII game will kick off last at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets can be bought for $20 at the CU hockey table at the University Memorial Center on Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., online at www.csuvscu.com, or at the Pepsi Center Box Office on the day of the game. All ticket purchases include a voucher for admission to one of five Colorado Avalanche games this season.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Caryn Maconi at Caryn.maconi@colorado.edu

Photo credit: CU Independent/Andrew Kaczmarerk