Colorado Rubber

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Confidence proving to be the guiding light for CC’s Hansen

 

CC Hockey vs Mass. Lowell, Broadmoor World Arena, Oct. 15, 2016

The children’s book “The Little Engine That Could” has nothing on Colorado College’s Matt Hansen.

The senior knows he can, and he’s proved it by emerging as a value component on the Tigers’ best line this season, teaming with top scorers Mason Bergh and Luc Gerdes.

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“His compete level has gone up in all three zones,” CC coach Mike Haviland said. “He’s an unbelievable skater with good skills and now he’s competing every shift, playing with the urgency he needs to have, and we’ve reaped the benefits.”

As one of just three seniors who play regularly for the Tigers, Hansen said the key to his emergence is no different than the rest of the squad’s.

“With how young we are, a lot of it is confidence,” the economics major said. “It’s a big thing for me. When I know the coaches believe in me, it helps me relax.

“When I haven’t had success, it’s usually because I’m overthinking things. But when I’ve had confidence – usually late in the season the last few years – it’s usually been too little, too late.”

Instead, he and his linemates have teamed up for 19 points in CC’s first five games out of the holiday break, a stretch in which the Tigers went 3-1-1, and had 34 points of the team’s 121 overall (nearly 30 percent).

“It’s a very good line – they complement each other well,” Haviland said. “All three can make plays. In Matt’s case, he’s using his speed to separate from guys and get openings to shoot and he has a tremendous shot.

“Everyone can do something well and it becomes a question of where do I fit? You become a better player and the team becomes better – Matt’s realized that.”

Hansen and his linemates want to keep their second-half momentum on track, and he knows one way it can.

“A lot of it is confidence,” he said. “You play one good game and it tends to roll to the next. We know we can’t get complacent.”

Photo/Colorado College Athletics

— Chris Bayee