Colorado Rubber

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Ockey’s experience at CC mirrors that of his grandfather


It’s hard not to see the similarities between Colorado College freshman Tanner Ockey and his grandfather, Don Stouffer, at least when it comes to their time playing at CC.

Over 50 years before Ockey, a 20-year-old Calgary native, set foot on the ice at the World Arena, Stouffer was suiting up for the Tigers.

At the time, CC was only four years removed from winning a national championship and the lure of the program helped draw the Canadian to the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

“I talked to him a lot about being here,” Ockey said. “He said he loved it. He almost stayed down here for the rest of his life. He loved Pikes Peak being so close, the atmosphere of the games, the rivalry between CC and the University of Denver.

“He loved everything.”

During Stouffer’s time with the Tigers, he never once got to experience the success that the program had enjoyed only a few years earlier.

There were no national titles.

There weren’t any conference championships.

He never even made it to the NCAA tournament.

Today, CC is experiencing a similar lull in success. The Tigers haven’t won their conference since 2008 and haven’t seen an NCAA tournament appearance since 2011.

“We’ve talked about the similarities,” Ockey said. “You just have to keep working hard and doing the right things.”

But Ockey insists that the measure of success for the team doesn’t change the fact that Stouffer is having a blast watching his grandson don the same collegiate uniform that he did.

Regardless of the outcomes of each game, both grandfather and grandson are enjoying the shared experience of putting on the black and gold and representing CC on the ice.

“He came for homecoming weekend and he wore his old sweater,” Ockey said. “He loved every minute of it and I’m loving it, too.”

Photo/Casey B. Gibson

— Dan Mohrmann

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