ST. CLOUD - This goes in the records as a tie, but oh my, it felt like so much more to Colorado College on Friday.
Junior forward Scott Wamsganz banged home a rebound in the slot to tie the score at 2 and later went on to record the only score in a best-of-three shootout to give the visiting Tigers a shootout win over No. 2 St. Cloud State.
"This is the kind of night that can turn your season around," CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert said. "We have to come back tomorrow (Saturday) and play the same game."
"It's huge for us," senior captain Eamonn McDermott said. "It feels like a win."
Thanks to a shootout win being worth two points, the Tigers (1-7-2, 1-4-2-1 league) are now tied with No. 8 Miami, No. 19 Minnesota-Duluth and Western Michigan for fifth place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
The shootout win was a step forward for the Tigers with Thorimbert making all three saves, his first stops this season, after CC struggled in the first three shootouts, including the two exhibition games. Wamsganz delivered the first score by CC this season with a nice backhanded move to beat junior SCSU goalie Ryan Faragher.
"It's a move I have been working on in practice but our goalies are used to it," Wamsganz said. 'I asked (backup goalie) Courtney (Lockwood) if I should do it and he said 'Go for it.'"
The Tigers rallied twice, falling behind 1-0 and 2-1 against the potent Huskies offense but battled back each time.
Seven seconds after Wamsganz scored the equalizer in the third, CC sophomore Cody Bradley took a penalty and gave the Huskies (8-1-2, 3-1-1) a chance to retake the lead.
The Tigers penalty kill, led by Thorimbert (30 saves) did not allow it.
They held the Huskies without a shot during that man advantage and in overtime out shot SCSU 1-0 before 4,128 fans at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The Tigers hit the ice for 21 blocks during the game.
"The penalty kill has been our bread and butter all year," Thorimbert said. "That shows a lot of heart and the brotherhood we have as a team willing to sacrifice their bodies for the others. They're willing to block shots, make hits and take hits to make the play."
The tie which did not feel like a tie is an important step for CC.
"The biggest thing is we didn't quit; we competed," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "No one lost sight of what we were trying to do. We had the goaltending and opportunistic scoring you need to play a good road game. We didn't look like a 1-7-1 team and St. Cloud was good."
St. Cloud State goals were recorded by Niklas Nevalainen and Jonny Brodzinski.
The CC power play tallied a rare score when Bradley fired on net and the puck went in off a SCSU defender's skate.