COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado College goaltender Jeff Sanger earned his fifth shutout of the season, stopping 14 shots as the Tigers defeated Michigan Tech, 2-0, Friday night at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
With the win, the Tigers’ record improved to 21-11-3 (15-10-2 WCHA), while the Huskies fell to 8-25-2 (4-21-2 WCHA). Based on other results around the WCHA, CC will match up with Alaska-Anchorage in the first round of the playoffs, while Michigan Tech will visit Denver.
“It was a good game for us tonight, but it was not great,” said CC coach Scott Owens. “We outshot them and killed penalties well. We got the lead early and should have put them away but we just couldn’t do it. We had methodical pressure, but we made it easy for [Cam] Ellsworth in net. We had 38 shots, but they were mostly from the perimeter. We need to work on putting traffic in front.”
Colorado College needed only 2:48 to score the eventual winner. While shorthanded, forward Mark Cullen received a lead pass from defenseman Mike Stuart and skated the puck into the Michigan Tech zone. He made a great play to push the puck through the defenders legs and skate around him to pick it back up, then shuffled it off to forward Colin Stuart, who fired into the Husky net.
“It’s nice to get a goal off a nice play like that,” said Cullen. “Getting an early goal helped get us into the game tonight.”
CC defenseman James Laux made it a 2-0 game with just over four minutes remaining in the first period. Forward Jesse Heerema picked up a loose puck behind the net and fed Laux, who was sneaking in from the point. Laux received the pass at the top of the circle and one-timed a shot past Ellsworth.
The rest of the game CC controlled the play, outshooting the Huskies by a 38-14 margin, though they could not beat Ellsworth again as the game finished 2-0.
“We definitely were not at 100 percent tonight,” said CC defenseman Tom Preissing. “But there are some positives. We did get a win, Sanger got another shutout, we limited them to only 14 shots, and we killed off four penalties. We just need to pick it up for tomorrow and the playoffs.”
These same two teams face off again Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at the World Arena.