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Colorado College hockey rallies to tie Miami, secures extra point

January 27, 2018 Updated: January 27, 2018 at 8:46 pm
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photo - DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 8: Colorado College Tigers forward Christiano Versich (29) celebrates his game winning goal over the Denver Pioneers in the second overtime on December 8, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Colorado College Tigers defeated the Denver Pioneers 5-4. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 8: Colorado College Tigers forward Christiano Versich (29) celebrates his game winning goal over the Denver Pioneers in the second overtime on December 8, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Colorado College Tigers defeated the Denver Pioneers 5-4. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post) 

Trevor Gooch is not a fan of heavy metal, especially when it costs Colorado College a conference victory.

Gooch had one of two open-net chances late in the third period that clanged off the goalpost. It was unfortunate, but it didn’t shake his confidence.

“I think we were supposed to win that game,” Gooch said.

All’s well that ends well, as the Tigers came back from a 4-2 deficit against Miami to finish with an official National Collegiate Hockey Conference tie, 4-4. Christiano Versich secured an extra point with a goal in extra time, as he did Dec. 8 at Denver.

Nick Halloran made it appear the Tigers would roll through the series with the Redhawks, staking his team to a 2-0 lead three minutes in. First he beat Miami’s Ryan Larkin between the legs off a rush 29 seconds into the game.

Soon afterward, Trey Bradley beat the RedHawks back to their own end and nudged the puck to Halloran as he fell, taking an opponent with him and giving Halloran the time he needed to score his second.

Then the Tigers (11-11-4, 5-8-3) went back on their heels and the RedHawks scored four unanswered goals. Carson Meyer started and finished the run, sandwiching power-play goals from Phil Knies and Louie Belpedio.

Belpedio, a Minnesota Wild prospect and the RedHawks’ captain, took a penalty shot after a pileup in the crease, during which a Tiger other than Alex Leclerc covered the puck. His shot hit the goalpost with 4:25 left in the second period and the momentum shifted in CC’s favor.

“It gives us life,” coach Mike Haviland said. “If that goes the other way, who knows where it could have gone.”

On the next shift, Gooch started hitting every RedHawk he could find.

“I was a little frustrated, so I thought I’d take it out on them,” Gooch said. “It got everyone going and got the arena into it.”

With 2:04 left in the second, Mason Bergh took a pass from Bradley and sent the puck into an open net for his third power-play goal of the weekend, which made the score 4-3. Bradley finished the night with three assists and five on the weekend.

Nearly halfway through the third period, Gooch pushed through the RedHawks (9-12-3, 4-8-2) defense with his linemates and tied the score.

“We took our foot off the pedal there,” Gooch said. “It was definitely a great response to come back.”

The Tigers found nothing but goalposts until Versich beat Larkin with 58 seconds left in 3-on-3 overtime.

“Every point in this conference, it helps,” Haviland said. “I know it goes down as a tie, but it feels like a win.”

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