ST. PAUL, Minn. — Just like that, Joe Marciano’s career goals total tripled.
The sophomore defenseman scored two second-period goals, the second a game-winner as Colorado College beat Alaska-Anchorage in the WCHA Final Five quarterfinals Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Marciano was soft-spoken about his night.
“It felt pretty good,” Marciano said.
The Tigers advance to the semifinals and will face No. 1 North Dakota at 7 p.m. CST Friday.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game because Anchorage is playing as well as anyone in the country right now,” said CC coach Scott Owens. “We saw them five times throughout the year so we knew how physical of a team they are.”
CC went into the locker room after the first period with a 2-0 lead on goals by William Rapuzzi and Tim Hall. Marciano struck first, 4:39 into the second period, on a floater from the top of the right circle.
UAA got one back 10 minutes later but Marciano had the answer with just 17.7 seconds left in the period.
“The first one I just got to the front of the net and it happened to go off one of their guys,” Marciano said. “Second one, we had guys working hard down low and they got the puck out to me. I wound up again and that went in, too.”
Marciano didn’t score in the 2009-10 season and had just one goal through 41 games this season. He has eight assists playing right defense on CC’s second defensive pair.
Meanwhile, the Seawolves missed a pair of chances to score while down two goals.
Jade Portwood had CC goaltender Joe Howe completely beat but missed on the backhand attempt. Craig Parkinson had an opportunity to score on a centering pass redirect attempt but it hit the side of the net. Sean Wiles sent a shot in from the halfboards on a rush, catching the outside of the post because Howe was so far out of position.
“The difference was early when we didn’t capitalize on scoring chances,” Shyiak said. “They got some puck-luck goals early and that’s the nature of the game. I thought we played well enough to win but we could not find a way to score early.”
Mickey Spencer finally put UAA on the board with 5:03 left in the second period on a shot from the point, and Luka Vidmar brought the Seawolves within two again with 1:01 left in the game on another long-distance shot that got past Howe.
The Seawolves finished their season 16-18-3.
“It was a great season,” said Parkinson, a senior for the Seawolves. “There’s a lot of good guys in the locker room and I wish I was coming back. It’s a good stepping stone for this program.”
UAA starter Chris Kamal was pulled from the crease 4:39 into the second period after Marciano’s first goal. He allowed three goals on four shots but his coach and teammates didn’t put the blame on him.
“Chris has been great, stringing five wins together,” Shyiak said. “Three of the goals were in off skates. It wasn’t at all his fault and it was really nobody’s fault.”
Added Parkinson: “We told [Kamal] to keep his head up. It wasn’t his fault. I had two goals go off me, basically. He’s done so much for us and he deserved better.”
Rob Gunderson came in and gave up a goal on nine shots.
Notes: Tyler Currier received a five-minute major and a game misconduct when he was called for checking from behind on CC’s Dakota Eveland with less than five minutes remaining in the game. … Attendance for Thursday’s two-game session was 13,131, the lowest single-session turnout since 2003.
Video: Alaska-Anchorage coach Dave Shyiak:
Video: Colorado College defenseman Joe Marciano: