Troy Terry sparks Pioneers past Tigers to force decisive Game 3 Sunday night

du vs ccDENVER — A career-high 46 saves for Colorado College goalie Alex Leclerc were not enough as No. 4 Denver star Troy Terry led the Pioneers to a  3-2 come-from-behind win

“He was great again,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. “He gave us a chance and that’s all you ask for your goalie to do. He has been outstanding.”

The victory forced a decisive Game 3 at 6:05 Sunday night at Magness Arena in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference quarterfinals series.

Denver battled back with its biggest star shining for two timely goals. Troy Terry was credited for the tying goal after the referees ruled the puck went in off a CC player’s stick after three-straight short-range shots by 19-9-8 Denver were blocked or turned away.

The goal with 17:43 left knotted the score at 2-2. Terry later scored with 5:31 remaining for his second of the night and the game-winner.

Denver found more open ice as the 15-16-5 Tigers tired. It showed on Terry’s tally with him able to lead a solo rush into the CC zone. He cut between defenders and fired a rising shot that beat Leclerc high stick side for the final margin.

Haviland was not going to use fatigue as an excuse so much as give credit to Terry’s considerable NHL-ready talent.

“The best player in college hockey showed up tonight,” Haviland said. “Simple as that. He makes the play off the rush there. He can do that to you. He is dangerous.”

CC was in position to win its first NCHC playoff series after Tigers defenseman Kristian Blumenschein waited and then fired, beating Denver goalie Tanner Jaillet as traffic crossed in front of the Pioneers senior for the go-ahead goal with 2:20 left in the second period. The power-play tally, CC’s second in the series, put the visitors ahead 2-1.

“There was desperation on both sides,” Haviland said. “There has to be. We need more desperation for me, but it was a good hockey game. There were a lot of ups and downs. It was a tough way (to lose).”

CC struck first when Trey Bradley forced a turnover by Ian Mitchell near the Tigers blue line. Bradley collected the loose puck in neutral ice after Mitchell fell and then cut across the slot, beating Jaillet with a soft backhander behind him after the Pioneers netminder went down to stop a fake on the forehand.

The unassisted shorthanded tally with 3:19 left made it 1-0. It was the Tigers’ second shorty of the season.

Things got more physical with Denver drawing a 5-minute major on Nick Halloran, who cross-checked Adam Plant in the helmet with 2:15 left. A flurry of penalties were called during the ensuing scuffle and set up Denver for  an extended power play to end the first and start the second.

That drew a chorus of boos and got the Magness Arena crowd into the game. They erupted when Henrik Borgstrom scored  2:06 into the second. He rifled a power-play shot into the upper corner against a screened Leclerc to make it 1-1 and end the CC sophomore’s shutout streak vs. DU at 150 minutes, 34 seconds, which included two straight wins.

That Borgstrom goal was a product of a more sustained effort by the Pioneers to get bodies on front of Leclerc, making his life more difficult over the final two periods. Even then, Leclerc was almost enough for CC to pull off a series sweep before Terry took the game over.

“There was a lot of emotion in the game and I liked the way we played,” Denver coach Jim Montgomery said. “We played a team game. I liked how hard we were and how resilient we were.”

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Nick Halloran, Mike Haviland and Alex Leclerc up for annual league awards

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Nick Halloran scored twice in the opening period for his 12th and 13th goals this season.

Colorado College sophomore Nick Halloran is one of three finalists for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Forward of the Year award and one of three for the league Three Stars Award, while coach Mike Haviland received his first nomination as bench boss.

Tigers sophomore goalie Alex Leclerc is also up for the Three Stars award.

The finalists and nominees for 11 league awards were announced on Thursday.

The winners will be announced and honores on March 15 at the annual NCHC Awards Celebration at the Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul on the eve of the fifth annual NCHC Frozen Faceoff, and first at Xcel Energy Center.

For most of the awards, finalists were determined based on voting by the conference’s eight head coaches with the top three vote-getters for each award (plus ties) being finalists. The Senior Scholar-Athlete Award nominees were submitted by and then voted upon by the conference’s Faculty Athletics Representatives (FARs). Athletic Directors at each NCHC institution had a vote on Herb Brooks Coach of the Year, as well, along with the coaches.

Full list of finalists and nominees follows:

CC Hockey vs Wisconsin

Colorado College vs Wisconsin, Broadmoor World Arena, Nov. 25, 2016

Player of the Year Finalists Henrik Borgström, So., F, Denver; David Pope, Sr., F, Omaha; Jimmy Schuldt, Jr., D, SCSU

Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Finalists — Mike Haviland, CC; Bob Motzko, SCSU; Scott Sandelin, UMD

Senior Scholar-Athlete Award Nominees — Scott Moldenhauer, D, WMU; Johnny Simonson, F, UND; Tyler Vesel, F, Omaha

Rookie of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, G, SCSU; Ian Mitchell, D, Denver; Scott Perunovich, D, UMD

Goaltender of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, Fr., SCSU; Tanner Jaillet, Sr., Denver; Hunter Shepard, So., UMD

Forward of the Year Finalists —Henrik Borgström, So., Denver; Nick Halloran, So., CC; David Pope, Sr., Omaha

Defensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists — Will Borgen, Jr., SCSU; Joel Messner, Sr., Omaha; Colton Poolman, So., UND; Nick Wolff, So., UMD

Offensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists —Scott Perunovich, Fr., UMD; Jimmy Schuldt, Jr., SCSU; Christian Wolanin, Jr., UND

Defensive Forward of the Year Finalists — Rhett Gardner, Jr., UND; Karson Kuhlman, Sr., UMD; Tyler Vesel, Sr., Omaha

NCHC Three Stars Award Finalists — Dylan Gambrell, Jr., F, Denver; Nick Halloran, So., F, CC; Alex Leclerc, So., G, CC; David Pope, Sr., F, Omaha

Sportsmanship Award Nominees — Karson Kuhlman, Sr., F, UMD; Judd Peterson, Sr., F, SCSU; Austin Poganski, Sr., F, UND; Tyler Vesel, Sr., F, Omaha

Rookie of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, G, SCSU; Ian Mitchell, D, Denver; Scott Perunovich, D, UMD

Goaltender of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, Fr., SCSU; Tanner Jaillet, Sr., Denver; Hunter Shepard, So., UMD

Forward of the Year Finalists —Henrik Borgström, So., Denver; Nick Halloran, So., CC; David Pope, Sr., Omaha

Defensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists — Will Borgen, Jr., SCSU; Joel Messner, Sr., Omaha; Colton Poolman, So., UND; Nick Wolff, So., UMD

Offensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists —Scott Perunovich, Fr., UMD; Jimmy Schuldt, Jr., SCSU; Christian Wolanin, Jr., UND

Defensive Forward of the Year Finalists — Rhett Gardner, Jr., UND; Karson Kuhlman, Sr., UMD; Tyler Vesel, Sr., Omaha

NCHC Three Stars Award Finalists — Dylan Gambrell, Jr., F, Denver; Nick Halloran, So., F, CC; Alex Leclerc, So., G, CC; David Pope, Sr., F, Omaha

Sportsmanship Award Nominees — Karson Kuhlman, Sr., F, UMD; Judd Peterson, Sr., F, SCSU; Austin Poganski, Sr., F, UND; Tyler Vesel, Sr., F, Omaha

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CC forwards Nick Halloran, Mason Bergh garner all-NCHC accolades

halloran road unisColorado College sophomore Nick Halloran, who finished second in the National Collegiate Hockey scoring race behind unanimous selection Henrik Borgström of Denver, was named to the all-league first team while junior Mason Bergh received honorable mention, aka third team.

Borgström, a Florida Panthers draft pick, captured the NCHC scoring title with 33 points in 24 conference games (1.38 ppg), while tying for second in conference play with 14 goals, including two game-winners, adding 19 assists and a +6 plus/minus. Halloran finished second in the NCHC scoring race with 31 points in 24 games, potting 13 goals and handing out 18 assists, while leading the NCHC with four game-winners.

Voting was conducted by the eight head coaches at each institution. Coaches voted for six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders, awarding first-place votes for six players (three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender) and second-place votes for the other six selections. Three points were awarded for a first-place vote while one point was awarded for a second-place vote. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

All-Conference First Team

F: %Henrik Borgström, So., Denver – 21 points (7 first-place votes) – unanimous

F: Nick Halloran, So., Colorado College – 19 (6)

F: David Pope, Sr., Omaha – 17 (5)

D: $Jimmy Schuldt, Jr., St. Cloud State – 19 (6)

D: Scott Perunovich, Fr., Minnesota Duluth – 16 (5)

G: *Tanner Jaillet, Sr., Denver – 13 (4)

 

All-Conference Second Team

F: $Mikey Eyssimont, Jr., St. Cloud State – 11 (3)

F: $Troy Terry, Jr., Denver – 9 (2)

F: %Dylan Gambrell, Jr., Denver – 5 (1)

D: Christian Wolanin, Jr., North Dakota – 12 (3)

D: +Louie Belpedio, Sr., Miami – 8 (1)

G: Hunter Shepard, So., Minnesota Duluth – 12 (3)

 

Honorable Mention All-Conference

F: Wade Allison, So., Western Michigan – 4 (0)

F: Mason Bergh, Jr., Colorado College – 3 (0)

F: Dawson DiPietro, So., Western Michigan – 2 (0)

F: Robby Jackson, Jr., St. Cloud State – 2 (0)

D: Will Borgen, Jr., St. Cloud State – 4 (1)

D: Colton Poolman, So., North Dakota – 2 (0)

G: Dávid Hrenák, Fr., St. Cloud State – 7 (1)

 

* 2016-17 NCHC First-Team All-Conference

% 2016-17 NCHC Second-Team All-Conference

$ 2016-17 NCHC Honorable Mention All-Conference

+ 2015-16 and 2016-17 NCHC Honorable Mention All-Conference

Tigers knock off No. 2 Denver, end 17-game winless streak against Pioneers

CC Hockey vs WisconsinColorado College bounced back from an embarrassing home loss to end a 17-game winless streak against No. 2 Denver behind a 40-save shutout by sophomore goalie Alex Leclerc at Magness Arena on Saturday.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Leclerc said on 1240 AM. “We felt we let our fans and teammates down (in a 5-1 Friday loss) and we needed to bounce back. Guys were sacrificing their bodies to block shots (19) and make my life easier even though I am the one with the equipment.”

“We told ourselves that we needed to win against them,” he added. “We only had one thing on our minds and that was to come out of here with a win. We need to savor this moment of success and take that into practice and next weekend (against No. 13 Omaha).”

The win in Denver pushed CC (13-13-4, 7-10-3-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) into sixth place ahead of Omaha (15-14-1, 8-12-0) and only two points behind No. 15 and fifth-place Western Michigan (14-14-2, 9-10-1).

Tonight really helped us put ourselves in position to get home ice,” coach Mike Haviland said.

Colorado College played better as the game went on to put further pressure on the Pioneers as the early 1-0 lead held.

“It was a factor of us not being hard enough offensively,” Denver coach Jim Montgomery said in a media release. “Our effort was great. I thought we skated well, we protected pucks well…but I thought they played with more desperation.”

DU pulled goalie Tanner Jaillet with about 80 seconds left but shot blocks by Westin Michaud (:20 left) and Troy Conzo (:08 remaining) helped the Tigers hold for their first win over Denver since Feb. 22, 2014 – a span of 1,424 days —  and the Tigers’ first under Haviland. The victory ended a 17-game winless streak (0-15-2).

“Tonight was a big step for us,” CC junior co-captain Andrew Farny said. “We had guys selling out all game long.”

“These guys don’t like to lose and they take it personal,” Haviland said. “We didn’t play hard enough last night but we certainly did tonight. Going 1-1-2 against the defending national champs shows the progress this program has made.”

Denver kept the puck in the CC end for most of the opening period, but it was the Tigers that entered first intermission with their initial lead of the weekend. Few at the time guessed it would prove to be the game-winner.

Conference-leading scorer Nick Halloran (41 points) scored his 18th goal of the season on the power play with 29 seconds remaining for a 1-0 lead. The power-play tally ended on 0 for 14 skid over three games.

halloran road unisIn other NCHC action, No. 11 Minnesota-Duluth downed last-place Miami 3-0 for its second shutout of the weekend against the reeling RedHawks. It is the first time in program history that Miami has been shut out for three-straight games. The scoring drought is now at 212 minutes, 1 second dating back to the second period on Friday, Feb. 9 (5-2 loss to No. 3 St. Cloud State.

No. 9 North Dakota bounced back for a road split by downing No. 13 Omaha, 3-0, and end the Mavericks’ seven-game home win streak. Cam Johnson returned to action after two games off to make his 11th career shutout (26 saves); second all-time at UND behind 15 for Karl Goehring.

League-leading St. Cloud State, ranked third in the USCHO poll but tops in the Pairwise rankings, defeated No. 15 Western Michigan 4-2 for the road sweep. The Broncos fell into in fifth place.

SCSU, which clinched home playoff ice on Friday, now has 45 standings points to second-place Denver’s 40, setting up a huge weekend series in Minnesota that will determine ownership of the Penrose Cup regular-season championship. UMD and North Dakota are tied for third with 30 points.

Fejes scores with 10.5 seconds left in OT thriller

CC hockey and video 001Colorado College freshman Hunter Fejes scored the “biggest goal of my life” when he scored with 10.5 seconds left to lift the Tigers past rival Denver in a 6-5 overtime thriller Saturday night.

“I looked up and saw 22 seconds and said man we cannot lose this game,” Fejes said. “It’s definitely a career highlight for me there. I saw Jeff (Collett open for a pass) but since it was going down to the wire, I thought I should shoot it and I just got lucky.”

Fejes took two strides to his left, stopped and fired a shot from between the circles that beat Denver goalie Juho Olkinuora inside the near post glove side to make most of the standing-room-only crowd of 7,750 fans at Colorado Springs World Arena jump to their feet in celebration and the Tigers leaping onto the ice in celebration.

“It’s very nice to see the younger kids emerge,” said Tigers coach Scott Owens about Fejes’ two goals and assist. “I am happy for the fans who have stuck with a 10-14 team. They got their money’s worth tonight.”

All in all, this team deserved it tonight. It’s a big two points.”

The win pushes CC up into eighth place, five points behind Denver, No. 11 Minnesota State and No. 19 Wisconsin, who are tied for fifth.

It was fitting that no lead was truly safe in this rivalry series.

The host Tigers took a 5-2 lead with 6:05 left only to see the No. 9 Pioneers score three goals in 3:18 to tie the game at 5-5 after CC junior Alexander Krushelnyski scored on a breakaway with 6:05 left for what looked to be the game-clinching score.

While Krushelnyski’s goal was being announced, DU’s Larkin Jacobson scored an unassisted goal five seconds later to make it 5-3. Denver’s Joey LaLeggia tallied on a slow wrister through traffic 67 ticks later to make it 5-4. Denver (15-9-5, 10-7-5 WCHA) then tied it with 2:42 remaining on a goal by Zac Larraza.

In 198 seconds, a CC rout became a huge Denver comeback and the fourth overtime game (1-0-3) in a row for the Tigers (11-14-5, 8-10-4).

“I am really glad for Joe Howe, because even though he gave up five goals, he ended up with the W,” Owens said.

The DU rally negated a big second period when Colorado College scored four in one period for the first time this season to rally from down 2-0 and take a 4-2 lead into the third.

Three of the four goals came from the point with CC senior captain William Rapuzzi playing a role in the final three.

Rapuzzi assisted the tying and go-ahead goals (Hunter Fejes, Joe Marciano) and then screened Olkinuora on Mike Boivin’s score, his 13th of the season, to stake the Tigers to the two-goal lead.

CC junior wing Archie Skalbeck jumpstarted the Tigers and energized the crowd when he snapped a wrister inside the post as he skated across the point. That made it 2-1 and the added energy led to a Denver penalty 15 seconds later.

The CC power play generated three quality chances but could not convert.

The game settled down for a few minutes until Rapuzzi made a strong crossing pass to freshman Hunter Fejes, who redirected the pass top shelf to beat Olkinuora to tie the game at 2-2 midway through the second period. Rapuzzi pass from the opposite post caught Olkinuora a half-second slow sliding over for Fejes’ shot.

Rapuzzi then set up Marciano’s goal a shot from just inside the blue line that beat Olkinuora glove side to the roar of the crowd. Boivin scored from the same area to make it 4-2.

Denver had seized control early with Nick Shore rifling a shot over CC senior goalie Joe Howe’s left  should less than five minutes into the game.

Colorado College has taken a 1-0 lead only 10 times out of 30 games so far this season.

DU made it 2-0 when Ty Loney redirected a shot by defenseman Joey LaLeggia only moments into a power play with 8:44 left in the opening period.

The Tigers had their chances with three Grade A chances missed, either with a missed redirect or pass through the crease that went through untouched. Olkinuora also made two good saves early in the period to keep the game scoreless for a time.

Colorado College 6, No. 9 Denver 5 OT

Denver                 2              0              3              0              — 5

Colorado College              0              4              1              1              –6

First period – 1. Denver, N. Shore (Zajac, Levin) 4:54; 2, Denver, Loney (LaLeggia, Makowski) 11:16. Penalties – CC, Taft, slashing, 11:04.

Second period – 3. CC, Skalbeck (Boivin), 3:32; 4. CC, Fejes (Rapuzzi, Young) 9:44; 5. CC, Marciano (Rapuzzi, Fejes) 13:43; 6. CC, Boivin (Krushelmyski, Schwartz) 15:38. Penalties –DU, Doremus, hooking, 3:37; DU, Mayfield, holding, 14:31.

Third period – 7. CC, Krushelnyski (Stoykewych) 13:55; 8. DU, Jacobson (unassisted) 14:00; 9. DU, LaLeggia (Makowski, Knowlton) 15:07; 10. DU, Larazza (Didier, Ostrow) 17:18. Penalties – DU, Mayfield, holding, 10:08.

Overtime – CC, Fejes (unassisted) 4:49. Penalties – none.

Power play – Denver 1-1, CC 1-3. Shots on goal – DU 13-7-14-2 – 36; CC 9-16-9-4 –38. Saves-minutes – DU, Olkinuora 9-12-8-3 – 64:49; CC, Howe 11-7-11-2 – 64:49. Referees – Shepherd, Beaurline. Linesmen – Swaider, Pedigo. Attendance – 7,750 (sellout).

CC scores four to take lead into third

CC vs Denver 2 actionColorado College scored four goals in one period for the first time this season to rally from down 2-0 to take a 4-2 lead into the third period.

Three of the four goals came from the point with CC senior captain William Rapuzzi playing a role in the final three.

Rapuzzi assisted the tying and go-ahead goals (Hunter Fejes, Joe Marciano) and then screened Denver goalie Juho Olkinuora on Mike Boivin’s score, his 13th of the season, to stake the Tigers to the two-goal lead.

CC junior wing Archie Skalbeck jumpstarted the Tigers and energized the World Arena crowd when he snapped a wrister inside the post as he skated across the point. That made it 2-1 and the added energy led to a Denver penalty 15 seconds later.

The CC power play generated three quality chances but could not convert.

The game settled down for a few minutes until Rapuzzi made a strong crossing pass to freshman Hunter Fejes, who redirected the pass top shelf to beat DU goalie Juho Olkinuora to tie the game at 2-2 midway through the second period. Rapuzzi pass from the opposite post caught Olkinuora a half-second slow sliding over for Fejes’ shot.

Charlie Taft nearly put CC ahead less than two minutes later, but Olkinuora made the save on the breakaway and the puck landed on top of the Denver net. A DU defenseman knocked the net from its moorings to stop play.

Rapuzzi then set up Marciano’s goal a shot from just inside the blue line that beat Olkinuora glove side to the roar of the crowd. Boivin scored from the same area to make it 4-2.

Denver had seized control early with Nick Shore rifling a shot over CC senior goalie Joe Howe’s left  should less than five minutes into the game.

Colorado College has taken a 1-0 lead only 10 times out of 30 games so far this season.

DU made it 2-0 when Ty Loney redirected a shot by defenseman Joey LaLeggia only moments into a power play with 8:44 left in the opening period.

The Tigers had their chances with three Grade A chances missed, either with a missed redirect or pass through the crease that went through untouched. Olkinuora also made two good saves early in the period to keep the game scoreless for a time.

Notes

Associate athletic director Scott Lowenberg said before the game that Saturday’s contest may be the “most sold-out ever” with people showing up during the day being turned away. The game was officially sold out on Tuesday.

More Monday reading: Stolarz quits school, polls, UConn coach

UNO celebration 2Apparently Nebraska Omaha freshman goalie Anthony Stolarz, who did not start Saturday as usual, was already headed out the door to the OHL.

From UNO sports information …

OMAHA, Neb. – University of Nebraska Omaha head hockey coach Dean Blais announced today that freshman goaltender Anthony Stolarz has chosen to leave the program and is expected to sign with the London (Ontario) Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

“I’m obviously disappointed by Anthony’s decision,” said Blais.  “He has been making a very challenging transition from the North American Hockey League to the WCHA, and we, as coaches, saw good progress from him in the first half of the season.  But ultimately, it’s his decision where he wants to play, and we wish him the best in the next chapter of his career.”

Stolarz, a 6-6, 220-pound native of Jackson, N.J., appeared in eight games for UNO, starting seven.  He had a record of 2-5-0 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage.  He earned his first career win with 20 saves in an 8-0 shutout of Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 24, UNO’s only shutout so far this season.  He also made 27 saves while backstopping the Mavericks to a 5-1 win over Minnesota State on Dec. 15.

In other news …

Six WCHA teams were ranked or received votes in this week’s USCHO.com and USA Today/ USA Hockey Magazine Division I men’s ice hockey polls. Minnesota remained atop both rankings.

Western Collegiate Hockey Association member North Dakota, tied for third in the league with Denver, remains at No. 7 in both while the Pioneers moved up two spots to No. 9.

Minnesota State moved up three spots to No. 11 in both polls.

WCHA leader Nebraska Omaha moved up two spots No. 13 in both polls.  Second-place St. Cloud State dropped to No. 18 on the USCHO list and received votes in the USA Hockey rankings.

The all-time winningest coach in UConn history, who has been on medical leave since November, has resigned his position immediately.