College Hockey:
Cullen, Polaski Spark Tigers

Hot CC Cruises Past Wisconsin

— Colorado College linemates Mark Cullen and Scott Polaski each scored a goal and added three assists to lead CC to a resounding 6-0 win over Wisconsin, Saturday night at the Colorado Springs World Arena. With the win, the Tigers’ record improved to 19-8-3 (12-7-3 WCHA), while the Badgers fell to 12-14-4 (10-9-3 WCHA).

“This was a big win for us,” said CC captain Mark Cullen. “It was big in terms of positioning and big in terms of rebounding from last night. Yesterday, we just didn’t finish. We probably should have one that game but we couldn’t put it away. In our two games before tonight we’ve outshot Wisconsin two-to-one, and tied both games, tonight we wanted to put one away.”

After a lackluster first period last evening, CC looked to rebound early on Saturday night. They did just that, scoring 3:00 into the game to take a lead they would never give up. The Tigers first goal came as Scott Polaski fed a streaking Joe Cullen, who had just gotten onto the ice, in the right faceoff circle. Cullen one-timed the shot and beat Wisconsin goaltender Bernd Bruckler low on the glove side.

Despite taking the early lead, CC again took a while to get going and Wisconsin outplayed them for the remainder of the first period, outshooting the Tigers 9-6 in the period. CC goaltender Jeff Sanger came up huge a couple of times, including once on Rene Bourque to keep CC up one at the end of the first period.

“It took us awhile to get going tonight,” said CC Head Coach Scott Owens. “Yesterday was the same but we got in a hole and couldn’t climb out of it. Sanger kept us in it in the first and then we really started playing well in the second. I think we wore them down a bit. They seemed to get tired out there, while we got stronger.”

Like last night CC came out of the first intermission ready to play and began to take the play to the Badgers. Just about midway through the period, Mark Cullen beat Bruckler to make it a 2-0 game. Polaski passed the puck across to Cullen who quickly fired the puck on net. As Bruckler came across the crease he slid into the net, so when Cullen shot, Bruckler actually stopped the puck, but because his pads were behind the goal line, a goal was scored.

Peter Sejna scored with just under 2:30 remaining in the period to make it a 3-0 Tiger lead at the end of two. Sejna took a pass from Mark Cullen and roofed it over the outstretched pass of Bruckler.

CC continued the pressure in the third, scoring three times, twice on the power play. Colin Stuart scored at 6:39 when he picked up a loose puck in front and beat Bruckler. Scott Polaski added his fourth of the season midway through the period when Mark Cullen fed him on a breakaway pass as he caught the Badgers on a line change. Polaski skated the length of the ice and beat Bruckler with a wrist shot.

Chris Hartsburg capped the scoring for CC at 13:08 of the period. Hartsburg set up in the slot and when Noah Clarke fed him the puck, all he had to do was fire, as he tallied his ninth of the season.

“Last night took a lot out of us,” said Wisconsin Head Coach Jeff Sauer. “It was a tough and grinding game and it just wore us out. Bernd played great tonight, but I think he got tired too. They really took it to us tonight, but looking at the series, I think we stole a point on the road, and we’ll take that back to Madison with us and get ready for next week.”

Jeff Sanger made 19 saves to earn his fourth shutout of the season. Bruckler and Mark Barancyzk combined for 32 saves in a losing effort.

Both teams return to action next weekend with WCHA games. CC travels to Minnesota for a pair, while Wisconsin hosts Denver in Madison.

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