MILWAUKEE — Once Wisconsin and Colorado College settled things with a tie in the third- place game of the Bank One Badger Hockey Showdown at the Bradley Center on Friday, they could get down to really settling things.
Peter Sejna tied the game on a deflection with 4 minutes, 11 seconds to go, pulling CC into a 3-3 tie with the Badgers.
The game goes in the books as a tie, but with an extremely entertaining footnote. Rene Bourque scored in the second extra round of a shootout to break a 1-1 tie, and Wisconsin took third place with the extra-session victory.
Wisconsin goaltender Scott Kabotoff made a career-high 56 saves, taking deep breaths in the final moments of regulation and overtime to stay in the game. He then made six more stops in the shootout.
“It’s no big deal for me,” Kabotoff said. “In a shootout, all you have to do is make one save. That’s a lot easier than three or four in a row. It took the weight off my shoulders.”
Said Kabotoff’s counterpart, CC goaltender Curtis McElhinney, of the shootout: “It’s a nice way to end the game, but it’s a tough way to end the game, too.”
CC outshot the Badgers 59-30, making it 100 shots in the tournament for the Tigers. With five goals in two games (they lost to New Hampshire 6-2 on Thursday), that figures to 5 percent in shooting efficiency.
The hard part for CC (9-7-2) is that such a rough scoring weekend hasn’t been uncommon. It’s not that the shots aren’t there; they just aren’t finding the open spots.
On this night, the Tigers were fighting not only Kabotoff and the Badgers, but the posts as well. They hit the iron three times through 65 minutes, and one of Noah Clarke’s two shootout attempts hit the left post and went out.
“I don’t know if it was a curse or something, but we just kept hitting those posts,” said Sejna, who scored the equalizer on CC’s 51st shot of the game.
Matt Hussey scored a pair of goals in the first period to stake the Badgers (8-8-2) to a 2-0 lead. The first one may have caught McElhinney off guard. Just 33 seconds into the game, Hussey flipped in a one-timer off a pass from behind the net.
CC’s Richard Petiot scored 1:12 into the second period to cut into the lead, but the Tigers toiled away the rest of the period without much success. They outshot UW 21-8 in the middle period but didn’t get anything where it counted.
CC coach Scott Owens decided in the second intermission to shuffle lines, replacing Clarke with Sejna on the top line. It paid off twice, with Cullen scoring 11 seconds in to tie the game at 2, then with Sejna’s equalizer late.
“The success we’ve had this year has been when we’ve adapted and adjusted to what we need to get done,” Owens said. “That line hasn’t done much in 3 1/2 games, even though they play well. We just thought it might give them a little bit of a boost.”
Said Cullen: “Change is good sometimes. Peter’s a great player, and it just happened that we got some chances and Peter made a great tip on that goal.”
A scuffle in the overtime session resulted in Petiot and UW’s Kent Davyduke receiving five-minute majors and game disqualifications. The penalties were originally announced as fighting majors for both, which would have been Davyduke’s second of the season.
That would result in a three-game suspension. The call was changed, however, after Wisconsin coach Jeff Sauer appealed to WCHA supervisor of officials Greg Shepherd, who was in attendance. Davyduke’s penalty was amended to a roughing major.
He and Petiot will still have to sit out one game.