Western Michigan blows past Tigers to drop CC down to seventh playoff seed

cc vs wmu2Western Michigan scored six goals in less than nine minutes during the second period to stifle Colorado College’s home playoff ice hopes and instead send the Tigers into the league postseason as the No. 7 seed.

The Broncos pulled ahead with two goals in 44 seconds at the midway point of the second  and things did not get any better for the hosts after a penalty on Trey Bradley eventually led to an even-strength tally with 7:01 left that made it 5-2 and ended CC goalie Alex Leclerc’s night.

Three more goals, including a shorthanded tally with 1:58 remaining,  against backup Alec Calvaruso made it 8-2 WMU by second intermission and assured the Tigers of a first-round playoff series at National Collegiate Hockey Conference runner-up Denver next weekend. The Tigers went 1-1-2 against the defending NCAA champions. 

“You just have to move on,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. “We haven’t seen that all year. They got ahead by two and we never recovered.”

Five of the six goals, recording in 8:50, came within a few feet of the CC net as the Broncos bulled their way through the Tigers defense to end a 1-8-1 downturn dating back to an OT home win over CC on Jan. 20.

The lopsided loss was reminiscent of previous seasons for 14-15-5 CC. But a team that always battled back during this turnaround season did not on Saturday night.

“That is the first game where we gave up all season,” co-captain Tanner Ockey said. “You have got to give a crap. You look at our record and in some of those losses we were down 5-1 going into the third and we were still working hard and trying to score. But after the second period tonight. the whole rink could tell it was game over. They (WMU) cared and we did not.”

North Dakota won in 2OT over St. Cloud State to grab fourth by a single point ahead of Omaha, CC and Western, who all tied for fifth. Due to tiebreakers, CC ended up as the seventh seed.

NCHC quarterfinals

Best-of-three series, Friday-Sunday (if necessary)

No. 8 Miami at No. 1 St. Cloud State

No. 7 Colorado College at No. 2 Denver

No. 6 Western Michigan at No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth

No. 5 Omaha at No. 4 North Dakota

About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with about 25 years of professional experience.

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