DENVER – All season long, Colorado College hockey did not have the offensive talent to overcome many defensive mistakes.
It was no different in the 4-0 playoff loss to top-ranked Denver that ended the Tigers’ season Saturday at Magness Arena.
The win sent the NCAA title hopefuls on to the semifinals of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff in Minneapolis and ended the 8-24-4 Tigers’ season.
Second period report
Colorado College will need to score twice – its average this season – and hold Denver scoreless to force overtime and extend its season.
Denver sophomore Logan O’Connor scored twice in the second period to put the top-ranked Pioneers ahead 2-0 and put the Tigers on the brink of elimination.
Both goals were scored down low by O’Connor, who opened the scoring with a redirect on a shot by Tyson McLellan with 15:12 left. The second tally, the fourth-liner’s seventh goal this season, came off a McLellan pass that he took into the slot for a wrist shot from short range little more than five minutes later.
First period report
For the second night in a row, Colorado College (and a net post) kept Denver off the scoreboard during the first period.
Denver sophomore Dylan Gambrell wristed a shot that clanged off the left post and harmlessly away with 3:38 left in the opening period to keep it scoreless.
CC opened the game strong, keeping the puck in the Pioneers zone for much of the opening four minutes before Denver’s swift skaters began to assert themselves. The Tigers went 11 minutes without a shot at one point before evening things up toward the end of the frame.
In what may Colorado College’s last game this season, Tigers coach Mike Haviland juggled the lines and defensive pairings in hopes of finding a spark against No. 1 Denver. Freshman goalie Alex Leclerc gets the start for CC (8-23-4)
The only change for the 27-6-4 Pioneers is senior Evan Cowley getting his sixth start of the season (3-2, 1.38 goals against, .946 saves percentage).
Extra – VanHorn
Goalies – Leclerc, Shatzer.
No. 1 Denver
Goalies – Cowley, Jaillet, Ogard.