Tigers lose 2018 home finale and backup goalie

blumenscheinColorado College hockey lost its final home game of 2018 and its backup goalie.

Vermont rallied with two goals in the second period to forge a nonconference split against the Tigers thanks in large part to 48 saves by Catamounts goalie Stefanos Lekkas, which match his season high.

The Illinois native was excellent and CC whiffed on the few opportunities he allowed. The loss ended a three-game unbeaten stretch for the Tigers (7-7-2 overall) as they head to Tempe for a nonconference series at No. 19 Arizona State next weekend.

“Give their kid a lot of credit,” CC coach Mike Haviland said. “He played outstanding and he was the difference in the game. We played well enough. We had 28 (Grade) A chances to their nine. We had chances. For the most part, we played pretty well again. It’s the fine line between winning and losing. When you get chances you have to score.”

The 49 shots were the most since 49 on Dec. 4, 2010 in a 5-0 road win at former Western Collegiate Hockey Association foe Michigan Tech. Jaden Schwartz scored the eventual game-winner that snowy night in Houghton, Mich.

Not that Alec Calvaruso was on hand to see either. The Livonia, Mich. sophomore (0-1, two appearances, 3.06 goals against, .862 saves, 78:21) left the program earlier this week. The former Lone Star Brahmas standout played in eight games as a freshman.

“He gave a reason but I would rather keep it between him and I,” Haviland said. Sophomore Jon Flakne remains as the CC backup (0-0, 20 minutes, 3.00 gaa, .857 saves).

The Catamounts pulled ahead  on goals by Jake Massie and Vlad Dzioshvili in the opening 10 minutes of the second period.

The Tigers responded with a better effort over the final 30 minutes but could not find the equalizer, especially after a 5-minute major on Bryan Yoon (contact to the head, game misconduct) with 2:13 remaining. Barring any league suspension, the Parker native will be available next weekend.

Tigers senior forward Trevor Gooch continued his hot streak when he buried his fourth goal in three games. He fired a pass from Ben Copeland between Lekkas’ leg pads. The Illinois native got a piece of the rubber, but Gooch’s shot was too strong and propelled the puck in for the opening tally just 3:51 into the game.

Gooch was not in the mood to talk about his scoring streak following the loss. CC had 60 Grade A chances on the weekend but recorded only four even-strength goals.

“We had pucks on sticks in the slot and it came back to bite us,” Gooch said. “We have to figure that out especially going against a strong team like Arizona (State) next weekend.”

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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.

Leclerc, Middendorf lead Colorado College to league home victory over No. 20 Miami

CC Hockey vs Wisconsin

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

A strong performance by junior goalie Alex Leclerc and an opportunistic goal for Erik Middendorf propelled Colorado College to its first league victory of the season with a 2-1 home win over No. 20 Miami.

Leclerc made 29 saves and pumped his left arm in triumph as the buzzer sounded after the last Miami shot sailed wide before 3,346 fans at the Broadmoor World Arena on Friday.  He led the CC penalty kill that survived an extended 5-on-3 in the first period and another in the third.

“He gives you an honest effort and a chance to win every night,” CC coach Mike Haviland said. “That’s all you can ask of a goalie. He made a lot of big saves for us.”

Both goalies performed well in an entertaining National Collegiate Hockey Conference game loaded with scoring chances.

It was a lucky break that led to the game-winner when Miami center Casey Gilling’s stick snapped while attempting a pass in the RedHawks zone. That allowed CC winger Alex Berardinelli to corral the loose puck and send a crossing pass to Middendorf for the one-timer with 4:09 left in the second period. A frustrated Gilling was left clutching his helmet in regret immediately following the goal.

The score negated a strong performance by the RedHawks (8-5, 2-3 NCHC) in the second period with Miami swarming the CC net early, including a 90-second sequence when Leclerc made three saves (two without any stick, one with Trevor Gooch’s lumber) and Gooch hit the ice for two shot blocks.

Miami’s Karch Bachman ended Leclerc’s shutout bid when he ripped a rising shot that went in under the crossbar with 11:56 left in the second.  It was an even game the rest of the way, decided by that opportunistic Tigers tally for Middendorf’s first college game-winner.

Tigers senior captain Mason Bergh broke through for his first goal this season when he fired a hard-angle shot during a delayed penalty on the RedHawks with 12:15 left in the opening period. The score against junior Ryan Larkin (29 saves) came after three quality scoring chances for the Minnesota native in the opening seven minutes.

“It was great,” Haviland said. “ That was one of (the Bradley-Bergh-Halloran line’s) best games this year. Hopefully it is good things to come if they get going.”

“Going in I was saying that I was going to throw everything on net,” Bergh said. “It’s good to get the monkey off the back but it’s all about the wins. It will be a big game (at 6 p.m. Saturday).

CC survived a scare when two penalties in 22 seconds turned a Tigers man advantage into a 4-on-3 power play for the RedHawks. Leclerc made a stop on a wide-open Derek Daschke with 1:49 left in the period to secure the 1-0 lead heading into first intermission. CC  (5-5-1, 1-4 NCHC) held Miami to only two shots during another RedHawks 5-on-3 in the third.

“The (penalty kill) was huge,” Haviland said. “It starts in the cage but we did a great job getting into lanes. Blocking shots when we needed it. We got the clears — 5 on 3, 4 on 3 sometimes don’t go your way but they did tonight.”

Colorado College hockey climbs in both national polls

IMG_8514The two national polls were released on Monday and idle Colorado College saw its position improve in both rankings.

The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll features the 4-1-1 Tigers at No. 16 (if that poll went past a top 15) and at No. 21 (if the USCHO poll went past a Top 20).

Last week, CC was No. 20 in the USA Hockey poll and tied for No. 21 in the USCHO rankings.

The Tigers will get a chance to improve their rankings when they host No. 2 St. Cloud State (both polls) this weekend nto open National Collegiate Hockey Conference play.

 

Colorado College flirting with Top 20 following 4-1-1 start

Colorado College continued its climb in the U.S. College Hockey Online national poll, moving up from No. 25 into a tie for No. 21 with 0-1 Boston University after a 1-0-1 home series result against Hockey East’s New Hampshire.

The Tigers are now 4-1-1 entering their first bye weekend and host No. 2 St. Cloud State in early November.

CC leads Division 1 with 27 goals, paced by five for junior Alex Berardinelli. That puts the junior in a four-way tie for goals in D1 while his two shorthanded goals lead the nation.

Here is this week’s USCHO poll.

 

uscho poll oct 22

CC freshmen, top line spark Tigers in nonconference victory over New Hampshire

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File photo from 2017-18 season.

Colorado College’s top line and freshmen stepped forward in a big way Saturday night to help the Tigers hold off New Hampshire, 4-3, and extend their unbeaten streak to four nonconference games.

Freshmen Ty Pochipinski and Bryan Yoon both scored their first NCAA goals while Erik Middendorf recorded his first college assist. Pochipinski’s score, assisted by Middendorf, put CC ahead for good and Yoon’s late first-period tally that made it 4-2, proved to be the eventual game-winner after an empty-net goal for the Wildcats late in the third.

“We’re bringing in guys who have played a high level in juniors and been successful,” coach Mike Haviland said. “They have been real good — the whole class. We have a couple good ones who aren’t playing which is a good sign for (the National Collegiate Hockey Conference program).”

Pochipinski’s goal came on his first shot on his second shift. His parents, including former Tigers player Trevor Pochipinski, and grandparents were on hand for the milestone.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Ty said.

The Tigers enter their first bye week with a 4-1-1 record because they shook off the disappointment of sliding into a 3-3 tie Friday night and responded with a fast start on Saturday. That start was sparked by the play of the top line, paced by Trey Bradley (one goal, two assists), Nick Halloran (one goal, one assist) and Mason Bergh (two assists).

CC never trailed thanks to Bradley’s opening goal 103 seconds into the contest.

“It was nice to see them get going a little bit there,” Haviland said. “There’s a lot of pressure on them and they are putting a lot of pressure on themselves. Teams are checking them. They’re not an unknown group now. That’s the key. They are going to have to work even harder now because people are going to go hard against them and check them. They have been pressing a little too hard and worrying about it, so it was nice to see (the production).”

CC played better overall defense on Saturday and avoided the lapses that allowed UNH to answer the Tigers’ goals on Friday.

Instead the 2,984 fans on hand saw Halloran and his familiar quick release stake the hosts to a 3-1 lead midway through the first period. The goal was set up by Bergh winning a battle for a loose puck the boards, from where he passed to Bradley, who set up Halloran.

CC’s penalty kill was sound but struggles on the power play, especially during the second period, helped the Wildcats (0-3-1) stay in the contest.

“(The power play) could have won us the game there but it was a little lackluster,” Haviland said. “That is something we certainly need to work on.”

Post-goal letdowns drop Colorado College into 3-3 home tie against New Hampshire

blumenscheinThose looking for a high-octane offensive battle got their wish in the third period.

Those hoping for a third-straight Colorado College win? Well, they left the Broadmoor World Arena disappointed albeit entertained after New Hampshire battled back twice to forge a 3-3 tie Friday night.

After a tight 1-1 battle through the first two periods, the third was characterized by end-to-end action and sudden bursts of scoring. And to the frustration of the majority of 3,312 fans and the Tigers, UNH had an answer each time CC went ahead.

The Wildcats scored 16 seconds after Alex Berardinelli’s team-high fifth goal put CC ahead 2-1 with 13:52 left. Later, Chris Wilkie gave the hosts a 3-2 lead that lasted only 93 seconds.

Those momentum killers are something the Tigers must avoid, coach Mike Haviland said.

“We need to learn that when we have a goal we have momentum and we can’t give it right back,” he said. “We did that twice tonight.”

The teams combined for 40 shots in the third and 5-on-5 overtime with CC goalie Alex Leclerc (39 saves) making some huge stops after the game was tied at 3-3 midway through the third.

He stopped Angus Crookshank, who scored the third UNH goal, with a leg-pad save with 6:57 left and later got a piece of a rising shot with his glove with 2:57 remaining. He recorded 36 saves in regulation, one more than he needed in last weekend’s wins combined. He made five saves early in OT as well.

UNH goalie Mike Robinson (34 saves) shined early and late, making two big stops in the final six seconds of overtime to secure the nonconference tie for the Wildcats (0-2-1). Robinson made 13 saves, including five stops on shots from within eight feet, in the first period.

“Their guy made some unbelievable saves,” Haviland said. “(Leclerc) was good and then so was (Robinson). We had a breakaway with six seconds left. That’s how wild the game was.”

UNH survived a good first period by the Tigers (3-1-1) and then outplayed Colorado College to tie the game at 1-1 in the second on a score by Max Gildon (1 goal, 2 assists Friday).

During the second frame, the Wildcats avoided the penalty box, allowing them to out shoot the hosts by a 13-4 margin to offset a 14-8 deficit through the first 20 minutes. UNH out shot CC by a 42-37 margin.

“Give them credit,” Haviland said. “We were standing around and watching (during the second). In the third we woke up and it becomes a wild game in the third. We need to tighten up to be sure. I don’t like the backdoor goals that were scored on us tonight. That’s some missed assignments there.”

Saturday’s video session will likely focus on the Tigers closing off the shooting lanes against UNH, which got 42 shots on goal despite 30 blocked shots by CC.

“They are a team that shoots it from everywhere,” Haviland said. “They have some really good D that can make some moves and get it to the net. We have to really do a better job in the lanes. We hurt ourselves turning it over at their blue line. Instead of chipping it in instead we tried to make a (1-on-1) play and that doesn’t work at this level.”

CC opened the scoring after Bryan Yoon sent a pass out to fellow rookie Grant Cruikshank, who ripped a rising shot on net. The shot blew past Robinson’s glove attempt and made it 1-0 only four seconds into the man advantage late in the first.