Saturday night contained a high and an agonizing low for Colorado College senior Westin Michaud.
The Tigers entered the third period with a one-goal lead for the second straight night. But No. 2 St. Cloud State tied it up, and CC goal scorer Michaud was whistled for high sticking with 3:34 left in regulation.
“Just an undisciplined penalty, offensive zone,” Michaud said. “Penalty or not a penalty, it’s not the right thing to do.”
He argued passionately, but watched from the box as the nation’s No. 7 power play took the gift and ran.
Colorado College got bogged down and was unlucky on a few clearing attempts, giving St. Cloud State time to craft the go-ahead goal. Easton Brodzinski scored his second in two nights to all but secure a 2-1 win for the Huskies at The Broadmoor World Arena.
A few inches below the chin and Michaud doesn’t have a call to argue. An inch to the left or right of the point man’s stick and Tanner Ockey’s clearing attempt was down the ice.
“It doesn’t really matter that we came close, we still lost both games,” Ockey said. “I have the puck ... I don’t clear it, they score. It’s on us. It’s on me. We’re 0-2 in our conference.”
After a severe drop-off in intensity after the first period of Friday night’s 5-3 loss, the Tigers played a much more complete game, starting slow but improving.
Michaud scored his fourth of the season on the power play midway through the second period. Nick Halloran passed to Trey Bradley, who took the initial shot. In a fluid motion, Michaud spotted the puck and tapped it past David Hrenak.
Jack Poehling tied the game with 12:22 left in the third period, collecting a rebound, spinning, firing and surprising Alex Leclerc. His identical twin brother, Nick, earned an assist, after their younger brother Ryan scored twice on the Tigers on Friday night.
Snake-bitten senior Mason Bergh’s frustration may have boiled over when his solo breakaway ran past the whistle and he took a shot anyway. That earned him a penalty and the ire of the Huskies (7-1, 2-0 National Collegiate Hockey Conference).
Leclerc made 28 saves, 64 on the weekend, for Colorado College (4-3-1, 0-2 NCHC).
“We did a better job with possessing the puck tonight, making plays instead of standing around and watching,” CC coach Mike Haviland said.
“I liked our response, but not good enough. We came up a little too short.”