After the handshakes, Air Force co-captain Kyle Haak skated out of the visitors’ locker room with the Pikes Peak Trophy. For the first time, a handoff took place.
Colorado College shook off years of futility to crush its neighbor to the north, 6-1 on Saturday night at The Broadmoor World Arena. The seniors lifted the coveted hardware into the air and shared with the group.
“We’ve struggled with them,” junior Alex Berardinelli said. “Some demons in that closet, definitely. It felt really good for the seniors to get that trophy and for the rest of us, to see the smiles on their faces, it was great.”
Eleven seconds after an Air Force power play expired, senior Trey Bradley flew up to Air Force goaltender Billy Christopoulos and shoveled a backhand shot glove-side, then went barreling into the goaltender. Bradley picked up a charging minor for the contact, but the goal stood.
That stood up as the game winner.
“I came back to the bench not expecting what the coaches were gonna say, but they were happy with it,” Bradley, who notched the third multi-goal game of his career, said. “I’ll take it.”
Berardinelli’s mirror-image shorthanded goals on the same third-period power play iced the game. His third and team-leading fourth of the year both saw him race up along the boards and burying a long shot below the crossbar. The former ended Christopoulos’ night, and the latter came against backup Zack LaRocque.
“It was really nice to see him step up there,” Haviland said. “Those were two huge goals.”
The crowd was groaning after Nick Halloran’s shot slid just wide of the post when Bradley snatched it and buried it to make it 1-0.
Halloran’s rebound led to the Tigers’ third goal as well, as his power-play shot rocketed off Christopoulos’ pads and to the trailing Westin Michaud, who netted his third goal of the year.
“I’m proud of those seniors. They were on a mission tonight,” Haviland confirmed. “To do that their last year is something special, I think.”
Air Force got on the board when Evan Feno’s power-play rebound bounced to Matt Serratore at the back door, and he beat goaltender Alex Leclerc to tie the game early in the second period.
Leclerc, who made 17 saves, had his time to shine after that, smacking a shot out of midair on an Air Force 3-on-1 and stopping Haak on a short breakaway.
“He’s played awful against us,” Air Force coach Frank Serratore said. “I haven’t seen him play a lot, I’ve only seen him play against us ... but I can see what all the hype is.”
Colorado College’s power play was 2-for-6 and the Tigers scored right after a couple more expired. And later on, it didn’t seem to matter whose man advantage it was.
“We were hemorrhaging on both ends,” Serratore said.
Colorado College swept the weekend’s nonconference slate against Alabama-Huntsville and Air Force, while the Falcons suffered an in-state National Collegiate Hockey Conference sweep after losing to Denver on Friday.