Missed chances prove costly as Colorado College falls short in bid for home sweep of No. 20 Miami

cc full rinkColorado College missed out on its opportunities to complete a home sweep and No. 20 Miami took advantage when Casey Gilling scored with 2:42 left in overtime to give the RedHawks a 3-2 victory.

The power-play goal was the first allowed this weekend by the Tigers (5-6-1, 1-5 NCHC). It spoiled a strong final 40 minutes of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference game for CC following a poor first period that saw Miami pull ahead 2-0.

The Tigers squandered their best chance to win it when they drew a power play with 1:50 left in regulation. But CC was unable to find openings in the RedHawks penalty kill, led by junior Ryan Larkin’s 34 saves, and the game went to OT, where Miami converted on its chance.

“I don’t know if (the CC power play) was tentative,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. “We should have shot more to loosen it up a bit. We did a good job most of the game with that. But we had a chance to win the game in the last two minutes there. We had our chance and we didn’t capitalize.”

CC got the spark it so desperately needed when senior captain Mason Bergh batted in a loose puck for a shorthanded goal early in the second period.

The play developed when defenseman Cole McCaskill and Bergh entered the Miami zone after a RedHawks turnover and found themselves with a surprising amount of time and space in which to work. A shot was deflected and the puck skipped along the ice toward Larkin, who was unable to cover the rubber. The puck slid to Larkin’s left and Bergh stepped forward for his second goal of the season and second in as many nights.

Bergh’s roll continued when he scored on a hard shot that rattled around the top of the cage for a power-play goal that tied the game at 2-2 with 3:49 remaining in the second. Bergh recorded three of CC’s four goals this weekend.

“He was outstanding,” Haviland said. “Hopefully he is back to where he was and that gives him the confidence. I thought he could have had a couple more goals as well. That is a great sign for us.”

The tying goal came during a 5-on-3 when two Miami players were sent to the penalty box at the same time. Even with the goal, CC was unable to pull ahead with the remaining time or during another power play only 19 seconds later.

Miami dominated the first period and struck first when defenseman River Rymsha ripped a hard slap shot from the left point that found its way between Tigers goalie Alex Leclerc’s pads with 5:25 left. It started a strong finish to the opening period by the visitors (9-5, 3-3 NCHC).

MU defenseman Derek Daschke backhanded in a rebound as the RedHawks surrounded the CC net for a 2-0 lead with 1:04 remaining.

Fortunately for CC, the second period started in about 20 minutes. Unfortunately for the Tigers and most of the 3,244 fans at The Broadmoor World Arena, OT was about an hour later as well.

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

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