CC lands commit from U.S. National Team Development Program forward

mckown photoColorado College has picked up a commit from the U-17 team of the U.S. National Team Development Program. The news was confirmed by the Team USA website and the U.S. Hockey League list of college commitments.

William “Hunter” McKown is listed at 6-foot-1, 182-pound right-handed forward who has seven assists in 24 games entering this weekend. The San Jose, Calif. native is listed as the third-line right winger in tonight’s line chart vs. the Tri-City Storm.

Here is an April 2019 feature on McKown, who played with the St. Louis AAA Blues before joining the NTDP squad. He was also listed as 4th-6th round pick (C rating) in next June’s draft by NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings in October.

Former CC standout Mason Bergh garners ECHL rookie of the month accolade

l4yj7OTVFormer Colorado College and current Fort Wayne Komets’ forward Mason Bergh was named as the October ECHL Rookie of the Month after recording four goals and four assists  in six games to open the season.

The 24-year-old tallied at least one point in each of his six outings in October, and posted a goal and an assist on Oct. 12 against Kalamazoo and Oct. 25 against Jacksonville, according to a media release.

Bergh is tied for third among ECHL rookies with six goals and is tied for fourth with 10 points.  He remains under contract with  the Ontario (Calif.) Reign of the American Hockey League.

Bergh posted 105 points (62 assists) in 149 career games at Colorado College and had 86 points (54 assists) in 114 junior games in the United States Hockey League with Chicago and Waterloo.

 

Tigers show some bite, but lose late lead in tie, shootout loss vs. WMU

CruickshankCCH_Miami111618_030_webThe Colorado College team fans and coach Mike Haviland wanted eventually showed up on Saturday.

But the margin between victory and defeat in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference remains thin for the Tigers, who lost their first and only lead of the game in the closing seconds of regulation to fall into a 4-4 tie to visiting Western Michigan.

“This is what you get in this conference,” Haviland said. “You have to understand you have to play right to the very end. You’re (23.9) seconds away from going 1-1 and getting your three points. It’s a learning curve.”

Shootout scores by Ethen Frank and Josh Passolt to one by Grant Cruikshank gave WMU the extra NCHC standings point and five out of a possible six road points.

It was a good weekend for the Broncos, but it was a much harder-earned two points on Saturday. CC battled back from down 2-0 and 3-1 to pull ahead on Bailey Conger’s second power-play goal of the night late in the second period.

It wasn’t quite enough against a solid WMU team. But that pushback by CC gave Haviland reason to be both pleased and disappointed after garnering a single standings point.

“Absolutely,” he said. “We were down 2-0 and getting very badly outplayed early on but we found a way to battle back and go ahead there. It was a wild hockey game but I am happy with how we came back after (Friday) night, for sure.”

WMU routed CC with four goals in the third period Friday to pull away for a 6-3 win that didn’t seem that close late.

But Saturday was different. The Tigers battled back again and again only to see Western Michigan force OT with an extra-attacker goal with 23.9 seconds left in regulation.

Ronnie Attard’s blast from the left faceoff circle blew past CC freshman goalie Matt Vernon (1-1-1, 43 saves), who had stood up well for almost the entire third period.

The Tigers dumped and chased the puck to set up a forecheck that made the Broncos turn and then work the puck forward the full 200 feet. It almost worked, but an icing call off a missed empty-net attempt put the puck in the CC zone to set up Attard’s chance.

“I wish we could have put it in and gone up 5-3.” Haviland said. “I don’t know how it didn’t.”

“Nightmares for sure,” Bailey Conger said, referring to that miss and a couple earlier.

CC fell short of a series split and three standings points — a two-point swing that could prove telling by season’s end. But in November, Haviland was pleased to see the Tigers respond.

”It shows the fight is there,” Haviland said. “We had a long meeting Saturday morning and they had a chat amongst themselves too. We weathered the storm and kept at it.”

The hosts went ahead of Western Michigan when Conger one-timed a pass from Alex Berardinelli for his second power-play goal of the night to pull CC ahead 4-3, reversing deficits of 2-0 in the first period and 3-2 during the second. Conger’s goal, his fourth this season, put CC ahead with 54 seconds left in the middle period.

But the Tigers could not get any cushion against Brandon Bussi (30 saves), setting up Attard’s late heroics. It spoiled a strong performance by Vernon, who made a combined 21 saves in the third period and overtime.

“Unfortunate for sure,” Conger said. “We are proud of our guts in the first period there but we are not proud about blowing another lead. We need to tighten that up. It will be a focus this week.”

Vernon’s play helped CC bounce back from a miserable start to the first period that saw WMU go ahead 2-0. It was that response that Haviland hopes gives the Tigers (2-3-1, 0-1-1 NCHC) something to build on heading into a bye weekend.

“You move forward and take the positives from it,” Haviland said. “You get a weekend off and then it’s off to St. Cloud (State).”

Tigers’ mistakes costly in NCHC-opening loss to Western Michigan

WilkieCCH_MNDuluth020219_017_webWestern Michigan took advantage of Colorado College’s mistakes and won the 50-50 puck battles in front to reel off five unanswered goals and pull away for a 6-3 comeback win Friday.

The Broncos tied the National Collegiate Hockey Conference opener for both teams when Dawson DiPietro knocked in his own rebound with 14:27 left in the game.

The goals kept coming for the Broncos (3-3-1, 1-0 NCHC), who dominated the final 25-30 minutes of the contest after falling behind 2-0 and later 3-1.

Paul Washe scored the eventual game-winner with 12:59 remaining by batting in a loose puck in front before Drew Worrad recorded his second power-play goal of the night for a 5-3 margin. Washe’s tally was the Broncos’ first lead of the night.

Josh Passolt accounted for the final margin against goalie Matt Vernon, who came on for starter Ryan Ruck (27 saves) with 4:48 left.

“We take a not-good penalty and them we miss an assignment on the PK (penalty kill) on the back door,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. “We just got outworked in front of the net on two of them. I can’t have that.”

The second period featured a myriad of momentum swings before WMU took control.

Colorado College scored twice in 34 seconds on its first two shots of the second period to take a 2-0 lead only to see Wester Michigan answer with a power-play goal by Drew Worrad 1:21 later.

Tigers senior Chris Wilkie then tipped away a WMU pass in the CC zone, collected himself and the puck in the neutral zone then raced in for a solo breakaway that he converted down low to make it 3-1.

But the Broncos would answer with a strong finish to the period with a pretty goal by Jason Polin, who was left undefended, giving him the space needed to lift the puck in over Ruck’s shoulder on a tough angle down low. His first NCAA goal made it 3-2 with 2:17 left.

The Tigers (2-3, 0-1) would push back, generating a couple late scoring chances only to see Luke Bafia make a big-time shot block on a Alex Berardinelli attempt toward a wide-open net with goalie Brandon Bussi still sprawled on the Broadmoor World Arena ice.

“The late goal in the second for them really gave them momentum,” Haviland said. “That’s a goal that should not have gone in. We were standing next to the guy (Polin). We could have went in (to the third) up 3-1. Instead, they got the momentum and we never got it back.”

Sophomore center Bailey Conger recorded his first assist as a Tiger on Nick Halloran’s first goal of the season. Zach Berzolla scored his first this season and second of his career to stake CC to a 2-0 lead early in the second, just 34 seconds after Halloran ‘s tally.

Ice chips

Freshmen Sam Renlund and Josiah Slavin and sophomore Jackson Ross all recorded their first NCAA points during the Michigan State series.  They were held of the scoresheet Friday (Ross inactive) … With no points on Friday, Bryan Yoon’s three-game points streak ended. … Friday’s loss was the Tigers’ first series-opening setback this season (2-1 Friday, 0-2 Saturdays).