COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Behind an offensive surge, the Colorado College Tigers crushed the Michigan Tech Huskies, 8-5, in front of 6,064 fans to complete a weekend sweep.
After a back-and-forth start to the game, Colorado College got on the board first with a power-play goal with 8:19 left in the first period. Seconds after Michigan Techs Deron Cousens went off for hooking, the Tigers Addison DeBoer took a pass from Gabe Guentzel and flicked a low wrist shot that found its way past the stick of Tech goalie Josh Robinson (25 saves).
Penalties were the story of the opening period where the teams combined for a total of seven.
This led to both goalies having to scramble and make some acrobatic saves. The Huskies had a chance on the power play when Colorado Colleges goalie Joe Howe (32 saves) left the right side of the net open but was able to save himself by gliding across the crease to make a nice body save. The Tigers, on the other hand, had plenty of opportunities and peppered Robinson with 15 shots.
The Huskies thought they had tied it up with 16.1 seconds remaining in the period when a crowd in front of Tiger goalie Howe led to the puck ending up in the net. However, after taking a look at the replay the referee determined the puck had not crossed the goal line when he had blown his whistle.
Following a period with barely any scoring, the second featured a total of seven goals, six of them coming within six minutes of each other.
Tech tied the game up 6:22 into the period. Colorado College turned the puck over in its own end when an errant pass was picked off by John Kivisto who quickly passed it to Malcolm Gwilliam. Gwilliam snapped a shot just below the left faceoff circle and beat Howe high on the short side.
Gwilliams goal injected some much needed momentum into the Huskies, who controlled play for the following few minutes. The Huskies took the lead at 11:24 left in the second when another pass was picked off at center ice by Steven Siego leading to a 3-on-1. The Huskies quickly turned this into a goal as Siego passed to Anthony Schooley who rifled a shot past Howe.
Tech scored again less than 30 seconds to widen their lead to 3-1 as Gwilliam got his second goal of the game. Alex Macleod set up Gwilliam with a pass high in the slot. Gwilliam fired a wrister past a sprawled out Howe who had been knocked down and was unable to recover.
Colorado College was able to cool the Huskies off with a goal of their own 9:51 into the second. Tyler Johnson picked the puck up low in the Tech corner and skated nearly untouched across the crease and slipped a backhand by Robinson.
The Huskies answered right back with a goal of their own a little over a minute later. Macleod picked up a goal to go along with his assist as he tipped a Kivisto slapshot over the glove of Howe.
Colorado College ended the second period scoring, using its suburb power play to get back into the game. Johnson netted his second goal of the game and cut the deficit to 4-3 by using the same move that got him his first goal. He picked up the puck low in the corner and skated across the crease and this time put the puck between the legs of Robinson.
The third period was owned by the Tigers as they scored four unanswered goals. They started early, just 1:58 into the period Colorado College converted on yet another power play. Guentzel took a shot from the point that fooled Robinson. Robinson went to play a low shot but the puck ended high above his shoulder to tie the game 4-4.
The Tigers took a penalty 3:59 into the third but fought through it as they scored a nice shorthanded goal. DeBoer stole a Tech breakout pass and quickly threw it to Nick Dineen who smacked a backhand into the net to make it 5-4.
The play that broke the game open for the Tigers was not a goal but a penalty.
With 14:06 in the third period Kivisto was charged with a five minute checking from behind penalty. The Tigers took advantage; less than a minute into the power play, Rylan Schwartz carried the puck into the slot and beat Robinson high on his glove side.
The Tigers extended their lead to 7-4 when Tech took another penalty that created a 5-3 advantage. Stephen Schultz stickhandled the puck beautifully and smacked a shot through Robinsons 5-hole. After the seventh goal Huskies Coach Jamie Russell had seen enough and pulled Robinson in favor of Kevin Genoe (three saves).
Tonight you need your goaltender to make some saves, stated Russell. Im certainly not pining everything on Josh Robinson but I think there are three of those that he would like to have back.
The Tigers scored a remarkable eight times with the man advantage in the two game series.
You wont see eight power play goals on the weekend very often, said Tiger coach Scott Owens. We worked on it this week a little bit and tried to get some confidence because we felt we were close. We were getting scoring in different ways. The key was the defensemen were shooting the puck very, very well and when that happens everything opens up.
The Huskies fought back and cut it to 7-5 on a power-play goal from Cousens as his shot from the point got by Howe. It wasnt enough however, as the Tigers ended the scoring with an empty-net goal to make it 8-5.
Colorado College next matchup will be in two weeks on Nov. 6 against UMD. Michigan Tech is back in action next weekend in Houghton as they host St. Cloud State.