Colorado Rubber

Colorado’s and Utah’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Tigers get younger with 2016-17 class of new recruits

 

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In some ways, it could get worse before it gets better.

Colorado College is coming of yet another rough season that saw few wins and a growing frustration for fans, players and coaches alike.

But that’s not stopping head coach Mike Haviland from continuing to build a team.

Haviland started his offseason by adding eight freshmen to the roster. The group will ensure that the Tigers will once again be a young team for the 2016-17 season, but he knows that they will have the chance to contribute from Day 1.

“We are looking forward to getting another exciting class to campus,” Haviland said. “We have a good mixture of speed, strength and size, and expect many of these players to make an immediate impact next year.”

The eight that the Tigers brought in join defensemen Cole Josefchak and Alex Pernitsky, who signed with the program in the fall.

A few disappointing seasons under former coach Scott Owens saw the Tigers fall on hard times and the result was Owens’ departure from the program.

Since then, Haviland has been doing exactly what he did in early May. He’s grinding out the recruiting trail and doing his best to rebuild a proud hockey program.

In addition to some big defensemen and quick forwards, Haviland also added depth at the goaltender position. Alex Leclerc stands at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds and brings a 21-10-2 record with him from the Lloydminster Bobcats of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

“Alex is an athletic, mobile goalie that competes hard every minute,” Haviland said. “He is a nice addition to our goaltending group and brings an older presence to our club.”

Sophomore goalie Jacob Nehama was forced to have hip surgery this offseason and his status for the start of next season is already in question.

An older presence is going to be crucial for the Tigers. In order for the program to get better, the young players that Haviland is bringing in are going to be forced to grow up in a hurry.

Photo/Casey B. Gibson

— Dan Mohrmann