COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s not often that an out-of-town opponent comes out stronger in the latter half of the second game in a series in Colorado, but that’s exactly what happened Saturday night at World Arena.
The Rensselaer Engineers scored two third-period goals to force a 2-2 tie against the Colorado College Tigers and salvage a point from the weekend.
The Tigers dominated the first period, outshooting RPI 13-1 and outscoring them, 2-0.
CC first got on the board about 12 minutes in when Rylan Schwartz tipped a shot from his brother, Jaden, past Engineer goaltender Allen York (34 saves).
Seventy-two seconds later, the Tigers struck again on another rebound tally. Ryan Lowery fired a shot from the left point that was kicked out by York. However, David Civitarese was there to backhand the rebound through York’s five-hole.
“I thought we skated great [and] started the way we wanted to play,” said CC coach Scott Owens. “We got ourselves up and we got ourselves a lead.”
While the Tigers won the shot battle in the second period, the tone of the game began to change when the Engineers successfully killed off five consecutive power plays.
“We were very bad in the first,” said RPI coach Seth Appert. “Our forwards didn’t have the kind of energy and edge that we need them to play with, but a lot of that has to go to CC.
“They [CC] were outstanding in the first period. 30 minutes into the game, the only reason we had a chance to be in it was Allen York.”
In the third period, the Engineers earned a string of their own power plays and were able to get on the board three and a half minutes in. Chase Polacek centered a pass from the corner to Tyler Helfrich in the slot and he knocked the power play goal past Tiger netminder Joe Howe (18 saves).
“We found a way to survive [the second] and then we just figured we could find a way to get a goal in the first 10 minutes of the third and get them back on their heels a little bit,” said Appert.
RPI kept chipping away and finally tied the game up with 4:14 remaining when Mike Bergin fired a laser from the point that sniped past Howe.
The Tigers had a golden opportunity at the end of overtime when the Engineers lost arguably their best player in Polacek to a penalty, but couldn’t score the winning goal.
“I think what you do in a family is you stick by your family when they’re struggling and you bail them out of a tough situation,” said Appert. “I thought his teammates bailed him out with how hard they killed and blocking shots and Allen York sprawling to make saves down there those last two minutes.”
“I guess I’m most disappointed with the opportunities we had in the second period and we just didn’t put it away,” said Owens. “There’s good ties and there are bad ties and this was a bad tie.”