COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On a night alumni from the 70 years of Colorado College hockey wore throwback jerseys to celebrate Tigers’ hockey, the Tigers put on a show of yore, scoring six goals to defeat the Clarkson University Golden Knights 6-1 Saturday night at World Arena.
“It feels real good to [win] at home, and alumni weekend, with the special occasion jerseys, you always want to come out and put on a good show when you got former players in the stands,” said CC coach Scott Owens.
“It was [exciting],” said sophomore forward Mike Testwuide. “Those jerseys, they look really snazzy, I mean, we look really good, I’m not going to lie, and having all them here, the tradition they put forth for Colorado College, we wanted to show them a good time and we did that.”
The Tigers started off the scoring good times 11 minutes into the first period when Brian Connelly caused a Clarkson turnover, skated down the right side boards, cut in towards the net and flipped a wrist shot over David Leggio’s (9 saves) right shoulder.
CC went up 2-0 three minutes later on their first power play of the game. Mike Testwuide tipped in a Jack Hillen blast from the top of the ice after a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play.
“[Testwuide] was fluid, moving, he had confidence,” said Owens. “He’s a big rig and once he gets going, he can move pretty well.”
4:45 into the middle frame, Testwuide scored again to get his second goal of the game and put his Tigers up 3-0.
“[It was] a weird bounce as they tried to clear the zone,” he said. “[Chad] Rau picked it up, went wide, and Billy [Sweatt] was driving to the net, he took the ‘D’ with him and Rau gave me a really nice pass in the slot and I shot it five-hole.”
“They’re opportunistic,” said Clarkson coach George Roll. “The third goal; we got an odd-man rush going one way, it hits the glass funny and goes in our net. But they earned it; they were certainly the better team this weekend.”
About four minutes later, Testwuide fed Sweatt, who walked through three Knights en route to the front of the crease and deked Leggio for the 4-0 lead. Scott McCulloch added another goal to the lead on a power play two and half minutes later, chasing Leggio from the net in favor of back-up goaltender Tim Potter [18 saves].
“David wasn’t on his game tonight,” said Roll. “At that point, Timmys worked hard and deserved the opportunity.”
The Golden Knights managed to get on the board less than a minute into the third when the Tigers’ Nate Prosser deflected a Tyrell Mason dump past Richard Bachman [21 saves].
CC got the goal back eight minutes later as Tyler Johnson knocked in a rebound past Potter, padding the Tigers’ lead.
Both teams suffered a rash of penalties starting eight minutes into the third, but neither team converted on any of the man-advantages.
With about five and half to play, Colorado College put in their third-string goaltender, freshman Tyler O’Brien, for his first game action all year [4 saves].
“It’s kind of a reward for him,” said Owens. “He works hard in practice and it’s tough being the role that he’s at and it was a good situation there to get him six minutes. Even though it’s six minutes, it’s still a nice situation for him as a reward. You saw the way the team kind of rallied around him and he had to make two or three saves, so that was kind of nice too.”
Despite the sound defeat, Roll was still relatively optimistic after the contest.
“I actually thought we played better tonight than last night,” he said. “I thought we did a better job of limiting their grade A’s.
“I thought they got bounces tonight, but I’m proud of our effort tonight. I thought we competed for 60 minutes against a very good team.”
As for the Tigers, the weekend gives them confidence going into the WCHA home stretch.
“We got off the schneid in scoring, so we got other people involved and we’ve gone through those three straight games where we only scored two goals and we were able to get other people involved in the scoring so I think it helps us a little bit,” said Owens. “It was a positive.”
The Tigers host St. Cloud State next weekend for a pair of games, while the Golden Knights head home for a pair of games against Cornell University.