Colorado College got production from new line combinations, stinginess from different goaltenders and a win in a game it couldn’t afford to lose.
Seven goals in the first two periods gave Drew O’Connell a big cushion, as No. 10 CC headed into a three-week holiday break Saturday by beating Sacred Heart 7-0 before an announced crowd of 6,029 at World Arena.
Kris Fredheim, Tim Hall and Chad Rau scored in the first, then Andreas Vlassopoulos, Bill Sweatt, Stephen Schultz and Brian McMillin tallied in the second, when Stefan Drew was pulled with 10:09 left.
O’Connell stopped 18 shots, including four on the power play, in two-plus periods in place of Richard Bachman, who rested for the first time in nine games. Tyler O’Brien made six saves in 13 minutes in his second career game, his first of the season.
It was the most lopsided victory for CC (11-6-5) since an 8-1 triumph over Alabama-Huntsville on Oct. 7, 2006. Unable to carry momentum from Friday’s tie, Sacred Heart (4-10-3) fell to 0-6-3 against Colorado’s three teams.
“Some of the offensive struggles that we’ve had were kind of reversed,” said coach Scott Owens, whose team held a 47-24 shot advantage in improving to 9-1-1 in the second games of weekends. “We had a lot of different people contribute. Seven different guys scoring? You don’t see that very much anymore.”
With only 14 Western Collegiate Hockey Association games the second half of the season, CC jumped one spot to 19th in the College Hockey News PairWise rankings used to predict the 16-team NCAA Tournament field.
Its top line (Sweatt, Rau and Mike Testwuide) produced two goals and five points, its second line (Hall, Vlassopoulos and Eric Walsky) was good for two goals and four points and its third and fourth lines combined for two goals and six points.
Entering Saturday, Hall was scoreless, Vlassopoulos hadn’t tallied in 14 games, Testwuide hadn’t registered a point the previous five games and Walsky had gone three games without a point.
“We got all four lines going,” said Rau, whose 27 points are tops in the country. “We knew there would be some kind of change after our performance on Friday night. It worked out well, and each line played well together.”
“I thought the lines were pretty good,” Owens added. “We came out and established ourselves right away, and I think Sacred Heart noted that. It was just what we needed.”
COLORADO COLLEGE 7, SACRED HEART 0
Sacred Heart 0 0 0 – 0
Colorado College 3 4 0 – 7
First period – 1. CC, Fredheim 2 (Dineen), 4:51. 2. CC, Hall 1 (Walsky, Vlassopoulos), 7:08. 3. CC, Rau 11 (Sweatt, Testwuide), 14:45. Penalties – Schultz, CC (interference), 16:26. Gordon, Sacred Heart (roughing), 17:34. Prosser, CC (roughing), 17:34.
Second period – 4. CC, Vlassopoulos 2 (Guentzel, Fredheim), 0:19. 5. CC, Sweatt 9 (Connelly, Rau), 4:35. 6. CC, Schultz 6 (Johnson, Civitarese), 9:51. 7. CC, McMillin 2 (Fredheim, Dineen), 12:26. Penalties – Walsky, CC (roughing), 6:57.
Third period – None. Penalties – Fredheim, CC (tripping), 2:52. Berube, Sacred Heart (tripping), 9:42. Berube, Sacred Heart (elbowing), 19:01.
Shots on goal – Sacred Heart 5-10-9-24. CC 16-16-15-47. Power-play Opportunities – Sacred Heart 0 of 3. CC 0 of 2. Goalies – Sacred Heart, Drew 13-7-0 (26 shots-20 saves), St. Onge 0-5-15 (21 shots-20 saves). CC, O’Connell 5-10-3 (18 shots-18 saves), O’Brien 0-0-6 (6 shots-6 saves). A – 6,029. T – 1:58. Referees – Pete Friesema, Tim Walsh. Linesmen – Greg Rockenback, Stephen Stankevich.