What's better than closing a regular season among the best of the best? How about doing it after sealing the deal against your rivals?
That's exactly what the Rams plan to do starting with tonight's game against CU.
"We're friends after the game but on the ice it's a battle," said junior winger Jared Hillier earlier in the season about the rivalry. "There are some personal battles."
The No. 2 Rams (17-3-2) come into the game tonight looking to add to a five-game winning streak and eight straight at home. That streak includes knocking off all the other top five teams.
The No. 4 Buffaloes (12-8-1) are coming off a loss to Utah State last Saturday and are looking to find some momentum before playoff time. They are winners of just three of their last six.
But come on, the teams could be winless and the game would still feature more emotion than some playoff games.
"Their record is not a factor," said head coach Joe Sharrock. "They are Boulder, and we're Fort Collins, that's always a rivalry."
CSU enters the weekend a little beat up. Junior center Garrett Hanson will sit with a torn pectoral muscle and sophomore defenseman Jimmy Welte is done for the season with torn ligaments in his knee, Sharrock said.
On a brighter note, CSU has played their way into the national tournament, barring an unspeakable injustice, by claiming one of the top two spots in the Western region. The Buffs earned themselves a regional tournament bid that they must maneuver through in order to reach the upper tier where the Rams reside.
"Colorado is no slouch of a team," Sharrock said. "They've played the tough teams."
After tonight, the Rams go to Boulder on Saturday night before finishing the season in a home-and-home series with Wyoming (9-6-0). The Rams are unbeaten against Wyoming and Colorado on the year – notching a 2-0-1 record with the tie coming in Boulder as the two skated to a 4-4 contest back on Nov. 7.
Catch the Games:
Fri. vs. CU Buffs, 7:30 p.m. EPIC
Sat. @ CU Buffs, 7:30 CU p.m. Rec Center