Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Tigers stun North Dakota, force Game 3 in playoff series

By Joe Paisley Updated: March 16, 2014 at 12:25 pm

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert has kept the Tigers in most every game all season long.

He will have one more chance to do so again on Sunday.

The senior made 44 saves Saturday and freshman wing Alex Roos backhanded in a rebound seven minutes into overtime to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 playoff win over No. 10 North Dakota before a stunned crowd of 10,738 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"We battled like we have all season long," Thorimbert said. "There is no quit in this team."

Game 3 of the now tied best-of-three National Collegiate Hockey Conference quarterfinal series is 6:08 p.m. Sunday. A win then would send the No. 7 seed Tigers on to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff semifinals where they would not even be the low seed.

Saturday continued a weekend of upsets. Last-place Miami knocked off regular-season champion St. Cloud State 4-3 to sweep its series while No. 5 seed Western Michigan eliminated host Minnesota-Duluth by the same margin. Sixth-seeded Denver beat host Nebraska-Omaha 2-0 in Game 3 to send three of the bottom four seeds on.

"Josh competed and battled and sent a message with those two early (glove) saves that he was on tonight." coach Scott Owens said. "We have a good defensive corps and they held up pretty well against their dangerous forwards. We played like a team that wanted to keep this season going despite our record. I am proud of them."

The Tigers did a better job clearing the puck out of their zone and keeping it away from the middle where UND's forwards wreaked havoc in Game 1.

They still weathered a storm of shots when UND outshot CC 20-9 in the second period, including 12-4 over the final 10 minutes. Thorimbert made save after save.

"I felt good," he said. "When I have my glove going, I feel like I am clicking."

UND's barrage eventually broke through. North Dakota (21-12-3) tied the game when sophomore defenseman Jordan Schmaltz scored on a 3-on-2 rush with 3:56 remaining to force overtime.

A shot by CC junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych bounced twice before getting past UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg (26 saves) to stake the Tigers (7-23-6) to a 1-0 lead with 3:17 left in the opening period. CC junior Scott Wamsganz had a huge night, scoring early in the second period for a 2-0 Tigers lead and passing to Sam Rothstein for the initial shot in overtime that Roos knocked in to end it.

"Not too many people expected us to give them much of a fight but in our (locker) room we were confident we could beat them," Roos said. "We'll see if we can make it to Minneapolis."

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