Rapid reaction: Colorado College battles back to tie No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth

February 18, 2017 Updated: February 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm
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Colorado College's Alex Leclerc makes a save against Air Force in the first period on Saturday, November 26, 2016 at the World Arena. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography.

Rapid reaction

After top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth scored on its first two shots, the Bulldogs must have thought they on their way to an easy series-sweeping victory.

They were wrong.

Colorado College battled back with a last-second goal in the second period and another in the third to force overtime in an eventual 2-2 tie Saturday night before a thrilled Broadmoor World Arena crowd.

The result goes down as a tie with UMD garnering an extra National Collegiate Hockey Conference standings point after senior Alex Iafallo scored in the sudden-death shootout.

Second period report

Colorado College’s struggling power play broke through for a last-second goal in the second period to halve Minnesota-Duluth’s lead to 2-1.

The goal was created when freshman Branden Makara crashed the UMD net, setting up a shot by Wes Michaud he redirected in front. UMD goalie Hunter Miska made the initial save but the rebound bounced out to senior matt Hansen.

He banged in the one-timer with 6.7 seconds left to make ti 2-1 and energize The Broadmoor World Arena crowd.

First period report

Top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth scored on its first two shots and pulled ahead for a 2-0 lead entering first intermission Saturday night to set up a possible weekend series sweep.

Dominic Toninato scored only 58 seconds into the National Collegiate Hockey Conference game after a CC penalty only 14 seconds into the game.

UMD was called 30 seconds later, but UMD senior Alex Iafallo scored on a shorthanded chance to make it 2-0 on two Bulldogs shots.

Pregame report

Tonight’s game against No. 1 Minnesota Duluth is CC’s 35th against the nation’s top-ranked team dating back to the beginning of the national poll prior to the 1997-98 season. Colorado College is 12-18-4 against No. 1s.

The Tigers last defeated a No. 1-ranked team at home on Dec. 3, 2004 -- a 3-1 victory over Minnesota. Later that season, CC swept a weekend series against the top-ranked Gophers in Minneapolis. That is the last time the Tigers won consecutive games against a No. 1.

With Friday’s win, Duluth improved to 13-1 in its last 14 games on Olympic-sized ice.

The only line-up change from Game 1 is the absence of UMD defenseman Brenden Kotyk, who was injured during the first period on Friday.

Nice problem to have for Bulldogs

The Minnesota-Duluth athletic department flies a No. 1 flag outside its building when one of its teams (D2 women’s volleyball, D1 men’s ice hockey this season) are ranked best in the NCAA.

After 15-plus weeks, the gold and maroon flag was shredded by the Lake Superior winds and the athletic department, not coincidentally, announced a $2,500 fundraising goal on Monday.

“That’s a great idea and not a bad problem to have,” CC coach Mike Haviland said.

 

LINES

No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth

LW-C-RW

Iafallo-Toninato-Anderson

Osterberg-Johnson-Mackay

Tufte-Peterson-Kuhlman

Young-Thomas-Exell

LD-RD

Soucy-Raskob

Pionk- Molenaar

Wolff-Hildreman

Goalies – Miska, Deery.

Colorado College

LW-C-RW

Bergh-Gerdes-Hansen

Berardinelli-Rothstein-VanHorn

Gooch-Kehoe-Michaud

Heil-Ockey-Makara

LD-RD

Blumenschein-Farny

McCaskill-Pernitsky

Kivihalme-Israel

Extra – Radke.

Goalies – Leclerc, Shatzer.

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