CC coach Mayotte hopeful for another WJC gold-medal run

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Colorado head coach Kris Mayotte instructs his players against the Union during an NCAA hockey game on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Schenectady, N.Y. The game ended in a 3-3 tie. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — While the Colorado College hockey team continues the break in its schedule, their head coach is hoping to come back to the Tigers with his third gold medal as an assistant coach for Team USA at the World Junior Championships in Canada.

Mayotte, who won a gold medal in 2017 and a bronze medal in 2018, returned to a first-place finish last season in front of no fans due to COVID-19 restrictions. While the tournament this season isn’t as restrictive, there are still plenty of safety guidelines to follow.

“These young men, they’re impressive. They get into a routine and it doesn’t seem to bother them,” Mayotte said. “I think it bothers the adults in this situation more than it bothers them.”

Even though Mayotte has been with Team USA since mid-December, he was still in daily contact with Colorado College acting head coach Peter Mannino and the rest of the Tigers staff and players as they prepared for a weekend series with Arizona State.

Team USA will begin its gold-medal defense Sunday night against Slovakia. If they’re able to stay tournament champions, it’ll be a quick turnaround for Mayotte. Along with his specific on-ice duties coaching the young Americans, he was still involved with the Tigers’ daily process. That will ramp back up after the WJC tournament when Colorado College begins its January schedule at Miami, Ohio.

The gold-medal game is currently scheduled for Wed., Jan. 5. Should Team USA still be in the tournament, Mayotte would fly the following day from Edmonton, Alberta, to Miami, Ohio, where Colorado College (4-11-3) begins the second half of its schedule with a two-game series against the RedHawks Fri., Jan. 7.

“If you win it all, you play seven games in 11 days and it’s gone in the blink of an eye,” Mayotte said. “You’re balancing a lot, but that’s the best part of it. Everybody on this staff is also a college coach. We all have the same things going on.”

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