DENVER • Colorado College wasn’t ready for its season to end and it certainly didn’t want to fall in a sweep at rival Denver.
CC senior goalie Joe Howe made sure of it during the 2-1 road win before 4,851 at Magness Arena.
Howe, who moved into third all-time in career saves at CC with 3,068, recorded 41 saves Saturday night to frustrate the fifth-seeded Pioneers (20-12-5).
Denver recorded 42 shots on goal to only 22 for CC (15-18-5).
“I thought Joe Howe was fiery and competitive and that sent a message to the team,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “We bent a little bit but we did not break. The seniors did not want it to end, especially not in two in Denver.
“You have to give Denver credit. They are short-handed with injuries and they still just keep coming at you.”
The CC win forces a decisive Game 3 at 7:07 p.m. Sunday at Magness Arena. Tickets remain available at denverpioneers.com/tickets or at the door. The series winner advances to a Thursday quarterfinal at the WCHA Final Five tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
“When you outshoot an opponent like that you expect a better result,” Denver coach George Gwozdecky said. “But I don’t think anyone is surprised this didn’t end in a sweep in this kind of rivalry.”
The game-winner came only 5:58 into the second period.
Scott Winkler collected the puck behind the DU net as Archie Skalbeck was knocked off his skates. Winkler later fired a shot on net. Andrew Hamburg collected and passed the rebound over to Skalbeck, who was left alone in front for the tap-in score. CC is 7-0-3 this season when Hamburg records a point.
“Burg made a great pass and I just guided it in,” Skalbeck said. “Denver likes to score in bunches so it was good we were able to put some water on those flames.”
Howe then doused them, making 25 saves the rest of the way, including a huge one with 16.7 seconds left on a hard shot by Denver’s Joey LaLeggia. DU pulled goalie Sam Brittain (20 saves) with 2:07 left but managed only three shots.
Skalbeck’s goal came after Denver tied the game at 1-1 off a breakaway converted by freshman Quentin Shore only 33 seconds into the second period.
Colorado College attacked the Denver net and it paid off when Rylan Schwartz scored midway through the first period on the second time he knocked it off its moorings. It indicated the Tigers were determined to go down battling.
“They don’t want it to end just yet,” Owens said. “We are happy to be playing Sunday. We’ll see what happens.”