Omaha, NE – For a bit, things looked pretty dismal for the Huskies falling behind by three goals to the Colorado College Tigers in the first period on Friday, December 18 at Baxter Arena in Omaha. But, the Huskies kept their cool, chipped away at the Tiger’s lead, and carried the contest to overtime. They then handed things off to Sam Hentges who scored his second goal of the game 3:23 into the overtime to capture an exciting 4-3 win over Colorado College.
“After the dagger in the heart the other night (vs North Dakota) where we lost eight seconds into overtime it feels pretty good to get this one. ” said coach Brett Larson. “Our defense turned a few pucks over early, they forechecked hard and it ended up in the net. I feel terrible for Joey Lamoreaux. We didn’t give him any help. I think the guys felt that and sensed it and wanted to turn things around for him”.
“Getting the power play goal (in the third period) was a huge confidence builder for us. Especially the way we had to work through it, the way we scored by sticking with it and not allowing us to get off the plan and start getting negative was a good test of character for the guys,” said Larson.
On the play of Nick Perbix, who had a three-point game, Larson commented ” I’m seeing a lot of growth, a lot of maturity. A kid that wants to take the game over when he can. I think he’s been really good for us. Shake off that first period, stick with it and find a way to get it done.”
The surging Tigers, who had won two straight including a 4-1 win over league-leading UMD appeared to be on their way to a similar outcome capitalizing on several SCSU mistakes that victimized SCSU starter in goal, Joey Lamoreaux. Logan Will scored for the Tigers 2:19 into the contest after he captured the puck just outside the SCSU blue line and streaked in on Joey Lamoreaux beating him low blocker side from the left circle for a 1-0 Tiger lead.
The teams traded penalties with no consequence before Josiah Slavin scored his second goal of the season at 7:14. A shot by Nick Perbix from the top of the right circle was blocked by CC’s Jack Millar sending the puck to Grant Cruikshank who broke in a two on one with Slavin. Cruikshank fed Slavin who sent a low shot past Lamoreaux for a 2-0 Tiger Lead.
In a period with few shots on goal by either team, the Tigers scored once again on a turnover in the SCSU zone at 12:03, and once again Cruikshank was involved. SCSU defenseman, Brady Ziemer had his pocket picked behind the SCSU goal by Patrick Cozzi who backhanded a pass to Cruikshank parked in front of the SCSU goal and he wristed it past Lamoreaux for a 3-0 Colorado College lead. That goal spelled the end of the night for Lamoreaux who was replaced by Jaxon Castor.
Fortunately for the Huskies, they were able to respond before the end of the period with Sam Hentge’s first goal of the game at 16:44 to draw the Huskies to within two goals. Controlling the puck in the CC zone, Zach Okabe fed Spencer Meier at the blue line who slid a pass to Henges near the blue line and he sent a long shot past Dominic Basse for his third goal of the season.
The teams traded five shots on goal in the period.
Jared Cockrell had a nice opportunity five minutes into the period and Basse had to make a kick save on a shot from the right circle. A tripping penalty to Zach Okabe at 5:35 placed the Tigers on the man-advantage and Castor made an important right pad save to keep the game to within two goals. With the penalty kill doing its job once again, it seemed to kick in a change in momentum and the Huskies began to exert more sustained pressure resulting in a Tiger timeout with 9:30 remaining in the second period.
A boarding call on a hit by Brendan Bushy along the wall on Jackson Jutting resulted in a five-minute major and a game misconduct at 13:48 and could have been disastrous for the Huskies. However, it became the turning point in the game for the Huskies who killed off the penalty and shifted the momentum of the game to the Huskies.
Before the period ended, the teams traded opportunities with Patrick Cozzi having a one-timer saved by Castor and a Hentges shot in the right slot stopped by Basse.
The Huskies survived the period and once again shots were even at five apiece.
Colorado College was whistled for the fourth time in the game three minutes into the period and it was costly for the Tigers. Nick Perbix sent the puck through traffic towards Basse and it bounced out to Veeti Miettinen who lifted it over the goaltender to draw the Huskies to within a goal. This was Miettinen’s third goal of the season.
The Huskies continued to ramp up the pressure on the Tigers and by the 9:49 mark of the period had outshot the Tigers by an 11 to 3 margin. Basse had to make a key save on a hard shot by Brady Ziemer from the point before Castor made a strong save off shot from the left dot off a three on one by the Tigers.
With time winding down and the Huskies clearly applying pressure on the Tigers defense, SCSU took a time out with 1:57 remaining to discuss strategy. With Castor pulled for the extra attacker, the Huskies gained control in the Tiger defensive zone and Miettinen fed Donohue at the right point who slid the puck across to Nick Perbix who one-timed a low shot off the post short side to tie the game at 3-3 with 1:21 remaining and send it to overtime.
Miettinen carried the puck into the Tigers zone and as he was cutting towards the net drew a slashing penalty to Zach Berzolla at 1:22. Fifteen seconds later the puck was in the net after Perbix fed Sam Hentges positioned at the top of the left circle and he beat Basse blocker side with a one-timer. The rally was complete with a 4-3 overtime win and two league points for the Huskies.
A dominating effort in the third period and overtime had the Huskies outshooting the Tigers 15 to 5 in the third period and 2 to 0 for the overtime session. For the game, SCSU outshot Colorado College 27 to 15. After replacing Joey Lamoreaux, Jaxon Castor stopped all 10 shots he faced in capturing his first win of the season. The Huskies starter, Joey Lamoreaux had a rough outing stopping 2 of 5 Colorado College shots. Tiger netminder, Dominic Basse suffered his first loss in three games and his record falls to 2-1-0.
“Give them credit. They came hard as we knew they would,” said CC coach Mike Haviland. ” You take two penalties. They get a power-play goal and they get the momentum and they just kept coming. They are the #9 team in the country for a reason. They are a good hockey team and they kept coming. We’re a young team and we have to learn. We can’t take six penalties in a game – not in this conference. The teams are just too good. That’s the bottom line.”
The Huskies had a successful game in the faceoff circle winning 38 of 49 faceoffs for a winning percentage of 64.4%. The Huskies ended the night 2 for 6 on the power play while Colorado College was 0 for 3.
Veeti Miettinen (1-1-2), Sam Hentges (2-0-2) and Nick Perbix (1-2-3) all had a multi-point game for the Huskies.
Stars of the Game: #1 Sam Hentges (SCSU), #2 Nick Perbix (SCSU), #3 Grant Cruikshank (CC)