COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In memory of the late John Matchefts, who served stints as head hockey coach for both teams, Colorado College and Air Force have jointly created The Pikes Peak Trophy to be awarded to whichever of the two in-town rivals prevails in their annual showdown on the ice.
The new hardware will be presented for the first time to the winner of next Tuesday’s contest between the Tigers and Falcons at the World Arena. In the event of a tie, they will settle the issue with a post-overtime shootout.
“We have talked about developing an annual rivalry trophy for years,” said Scott Lowenberg, associate athletics director at CC. “Then, this past summer, both sides decided ‘Let’s do it!’ This will be great for the players, the thousands of fans and the entire greater Colorado Springs community. This trophy will now serve as official bragging rights.”
Matchefts, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 82, compiled a record of 54-88-3 in five seasons (1966-71) at the Colorado College helm before posting a ledger of 154-150-6 in 11 more (1974-85) with Air Force, where the Falcons went 24-5-1 in his first year. He previously enjoyed an outstanding playing career at the University of Michigan under Vic Heyliger in the early 1950s, helping the Wolverines claim three national championships, and skated for silver medalist Team USA at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
Next Tuesday’s game marks the 70th all-time encounter between CC and Air Force in a rivalry that began on Dec. 5, 1969. Although the teams have split the last two decisions, the Tigers hold an overall advantage of 59-8-2 in the previous 69 meetings including a 6-2 victory at the Cadet Ice Arena last season.