Feb 232006
Authors: Aaron Schoonmaker

This Weekend:

Tonight: 7 p.m. vs. Wyoming at Cheyenne IKON Center

Saturday: 7:30 p.m. vs. Wyoming at EPIC

Tickets: $3 w/ student ID

$5 w/out

With the National Tournament on the minds of many puck followers, the CSU hockey team (19-3-2) must first battle the boys from the northern border.

Tonight, the Rams travel to Laramie to face the Division-III Cowboys from Wyoming (8-8-0) for the second time this season. The first meeting back in December saw the Rams skate to a 5-1 victory. Saturday will feature senior night, as handful of Rams will skate their final game at Edora Pool and Ice Center dawning the green and gold.

Now that the National Tournament is set, this weekend could be considered a full speed practice for CSU before taking on the nations best at the Division-II level. The tournament will be held in Rochester N.Y., March 8-11. But it's first-thing's-first for the Rams.

"We can't look past any team," said head coach Joe Sharrock. "We will look at Wyoming first this weekend; then think about Wagner (CSU's first opponent in the tournament) next week."

The neighbors to the north have had their struggles this season while the Rams are in the midst of their best ice-play of the season and coming out of a week off after taking down the rest of the top five in the West in consecutive weekends.

"We haven't missed a week since Christmas," Sharrock said. "I think we're ready to start again and settle into our normal routine."

The net-minders for the Rams will be something to watch for this weekend. Freshman goaltender Doug Lesch is expected to get his first start of the season.

"He's paid the same dues as everyone else," Sharrock said. "He has a little less experience than the other two (junior Jeff Ronkoske and sophomore Brian Minor) but the only way to get it is to play."

Once again questionable for the weekend is sophomore defenseman Jimmy Welte (knee) and junior center Garret Hanson (pectoral). Otherwise expect to see a full cast of Rams in a tune-up for the big show.

"Everybody's focused," Sharrock said. "We don't need to sit anybody."


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