MADISON, Wis. • What a difference a week has made for Colorado College’s hockey team.
The weekend after being swept by top-10 Cornell, the Tigers skated to a 3-0 shutout win of Wisconsin at the Kohl Arena on Saturday to complete a two-game sweep of the Badgers in their opening Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. Senior goalie Joe Howe was sharp in making 33 saves, and Colorado College (5-3, 2-0 WCHA) used goals from three players to earn its first road sweep since Minnesota State in December.
The four-point weekend was just what the Tigers needed after suffering through a three-game skid against top-10 foes. Saturday’s shutout was the team’s first since March 3, when CC beat Michigan Tech 2-0.
“I’m proud of our guys, and I thought we played a very good road game,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “Joe Howe obviously stood very, very tall and gave us a chance. I thought it was a good team win for us, and it’s nice to start the WCHA (schedule) this way.”
Howe, who has 42 career victories, improved to 2-0 on the season and earned his first shutout since a 3-0 triumph over St. Cloud State on Dec. 10, 2010.
“What feels good is getting a sweep here on the road and getting two more points in the WCHA,” Howe said. “Whenever you can do that on the road, it’s huge. Besides just playing strong in the D zone and limiting their chances to the outside, (the defensemen) were there for me all night.”
The Tigers are 16-4-1 against Wisconsin (1-4-1, 1-2-1) in the past 21 games dating back to the 2006-07 season. It was another frustrating night for the Badgers.
“We couldn’t put that thing in tonight,” Wisconsin senior forward Ryan Little said. “Sometimes teams just have your number. We’ve struggled with (CC) ever since I came here.”
Archie Skalbeck broke the scoreless tie 1:58 into the second period thanks to an Andrew Hamburg pass. CC went up 2-0 with 4:10 left in the period after Alexander Krushelnyski’s shot from the left boards got past Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel.
Just 12 seconds later, the Badgers appeared to have cut the Tigers’ lead to 2-1, but the goal was called off by officials, who said the Badgers had pushed a defenseman into Howe. It was the second goal Wisconsin had called off in as many days.
Senior defenseman Joe Marciano made a key diving save of a shot that appeared destined for the CC net midway through the second to preserve the 2-0 lead.
Mike Boivin, another CC senior defenseman, scored for the second consecutive night, smashing an Eamonn McDermott pass into the net with 2:12 remaining in the game on a power play to put it away. McDermott had four assists on the trip and leads the team with eight points.