CC rallies for first road sweep in almost seven years, first in NCHC play

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Colorado College rallied for its first road sweep since late 2012 with a 3-2 come-from-behind win at Miami on Saturday night in Oxford, Ohio.

Senior defenseman Cole McCaskill scored his second goal of the season only 86 seconds into the third period to tie the National Collegiate Hockey Conference contest at 2-2. The game-winner came off blue-liner Kristian Blumenschein’s stick with 3:22 left during a 5-on-3 power play for the Tigers (10-12-3, 4-7-2 NCHC, 14 points). It was the junior’s first goal this campaign.

“What a cannon that was at the end,” coach Mike Haviland said of Blumenschein’s goal during a radio interview. “Our defensemen aren’t known for our goals but that was big for us tonight. You don’t see (a road sweep) often in this conference. Guys have really stuck with it. It’s nice to see them rewarded for their hard work tonight.”

Thanks to the two third-period goals, it was the first time CC rallied for a win after trailing entering the final period this season. The sweep moved the Tigers into sixth place ahead of Omaha (12 standings points) and Miami (11).

“This gives us a lot of confidence knowing we can do that,” McCaskill said. “(Competing for 120 minutes) is something we have to do. We can skate with anyone in the conference when we do that.”

“We have been looking to chip in for a while now,” McCaskill added. “Blumenschein’s shot was a beautiful one.”

CC had only four goals from their defensemen this season entering Saturday’s game. It was the first time CC had three blue-liners score in the same game in recent memory.

The Tigers swept Wisconsin on Nov. 2-3, 2012 (5-3, 3-0). The Tigers advanced to the WCHA Final Five title game that season before losing to the Badgers under former coach Scott Owens.

Tigers senior Ben Israel scored CC’s opening goal early in the first period before Miami scored twice to give the RedHawks (9-13-4, 3-9-2-1) their first lead in two weekends. Miami will likely be CC’s final unranked foe this regular season.

The Tigers host fifth-ranked and defending NCAA champion Minnesota-Duluth next weekend for CC’s first home games in a program record nine games. That stretch was extended by last Friday’s rescheduled home game against rival and fifth-place Denver, which was swept on the road by Western Michigan earlier Saturday.

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

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