COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It was two seemingly similar goals that lifted Colorado College past the University of Wisconsin in overtime Friday night, putting Badger Coach Mike Eaves’ 100th career victory on hold.
After going 0-for-5 on the power play in regulation, the Tigers were given a golden opportunity just 1:19 in the overtime period when Wisconsin freshman Ben Grotting was called for charging.
Less than a minute into the power play, freshman Bill Sweatt put the puck into the slot from the corner. Fellow freshman Mike Testwuide got a stick on the loose puck in front of the Wisconsin net, sliding it under Badger goalie Brian Elliot’s left pad.
Colorado College needed to get the power play going, and the game-winner came from a guy who hasn’t seen much time on the man-advantage.
“I just tried to take away the goalie’s eyes with my big body and get the loose puck in front of the net,” Testwuide said. “A Wisconsin guy tried clearing it and I was able to get a stick on it and push it to the net.”
The Tigers’ offense has been sparked as of late by the freshmen duo of Testwuide and Sweatt. Testwuide’s game-winner gives him five goals in his last eight games, while Sweat’s two assists on the evening brings him to 13 points in his last 11 games.
A back-and-forth game through three periods, CC center Andreas Vlassopoulos sparked the Tigers’ run with a re-directed goal at the 13:06 mark in the third period.
Vlassopoulos put the puck in front from the side of the net. The puck was re-directed toward Elliot, who seemed to have it covered, but then came loose and slowly rolled past the goal line.
Less than two minutes following the equalizer, CC center Chad Rau blasted a slap shot from the left face-off circle on a 2-on-1 that beat Elliot glove side and appeared to hit the inside of the goal post, but was called no-goal.
Despite only a 1-0 lead going into the third period, the Badgers ran a conservative offense in the third period, dumping the puck and running a 1-2-2 attack.
Colorado College gained several opportunities early in the third by rushing players to the net, but had trouble connecting on passes in the slot and around the corners. It wasn’t until Vlassopoulos’ tally that the momentum shifted for the Tigers.
Friday’s win was redemption for CC, who were swept at home by Wisconsin last season and had only two wins in their past 10 meetings.
“We had everybody going tonight,” said Bill Sweatt. “We executed our game plan by having guys going to the net and battling in front . . . it was a gutsy win.”
There was plenty of physical play in the game with multiple scoring opportunities and odd-man rushes at both ends of the ice.
Colorado College out-shot Wisconsin 28 to 26 and both teams converted on the power play.
A too-many-men call in the first period proved costly for CC. At the 12:44 mark, Wisconsin forward Ben Street scored his seventh goal of the season on a wrist shot that beat Tiger goalie Matt Zaba over his left shoulder for the game’s first goal.
Badger defenseman Josh Engel set the play up from the point, hitting Matthew Ford in the corner, who hit a wide-open Street in the slot on a perfect tic-tac-toe play.
The man-advantage goal snapped a scoreless slump for Wisconsin, who went 0-for-16 on power play opportunities spanning over their last three games.
Friday’s win puts CC six points ahead of Wisconsin in the WCHA. The teams face-off tomorrow night at 7:07 MST at the World Arena.