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Freshman goalie's debut spoiled by injury as Colorado College hockey swept by Minnesota Duluth

January 13, 2018 Updated: January 13, 2018 at 10:23 pm
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Alec Calvaruso’s first career start ended early, cut short by a lower-body injury. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Colorado College goaltender Alec Calvaruso’s first career start ended early Saturday, cut short by a lower-body injury. At least he didn’t have to see his team come apart in a 5-1 loss to No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth, which sealed a weekend sweep.

“They had more shots in the third period than we had the whole game,” usual starter Alex Leclerc, who relieved Calvaruso, said. “We don’t show up as a group. It’s biting us.”

Calvaruso got the nod over Leclerc after a 6-5 loss Friday. Coach Mike Haviland said the coaching staff wanted to see what the freshman, who has appeared three times in relief, can do.

Westin Michaud opened and closed the Tigers’ scoring 7:27 into the first period. Alone between the faceoff circles, Michaud one-timed a Mason Bergh pass from behind the net. He beat UMD goaltender Hunter Shepard seven seconds into a power play.

Bergh and Nick Halloran picked up assists to extend their point streaks to five and six games, respectively.

After that, the Colorado College (9-10-3, 3-7-2-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) power play sputtered. It chased the puck around for much of the next four opportunities.

Nick Wolff’s power-play shot from the point beat Calvaruso to tie the game with 5:37 left in the first period.

Late in a second period in which the Bulldogs outshot the Tigers 15-4, Haviland called his timeout. Soon afterward, Kobe Roth punched in a rebound and gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.

Calvaruso, working through some apparent discomfort at the bench during the timeout, stayed in the locker room for the third period.

“I thought he played pretty good up to that point,” Haviland said.

Leclerc was sent back into action. He bodied down the first shot he faced, a breakaway, but then the Bulldogs ran away with it.

Minnesota-Duluth’s Parker Mackay was the lucky goal recipient as the Tigers deflected a shot into their own net. Billy Exell poked the puck through during a scrum in the crease and Roth broke loose and backhanded his second of the night past Leclerc.

Leclerc faced 21 shots. The Tigers had 19 the whole game.

The high-scoring, emotional series likely won’t make CC’s personal highlight reel, but Cloquet, Minn., native Michaud, who grew up with many of the Minnesota-Duluth players, didn’t mind all of it.

“Friday night was fun to play in. Lot of stuff after the whistle, lot of altercations,” Michaud said. “But that’s hockey. That’s the way it should be.”

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