ST. PAUL, Minn. – Colorado College senior goalie Joe Howe made 35 saves and the Tigers continued their strong defensive play to record a 2-0 win over No. 1 Minnesota in the late semifinal of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five tournament.
The Tigers penalty kill continued its strong performance; none bigger than killing off a five-minute major for cross-checking on senior Joe Marciano with 15:10 left in the third period. CC’s penalty killers kept the puck along the outside and continually disrupted passes, sending the puck into the Minnesota zone to milk the clock.
Minnesota fans began to boo midway through and momentum was on the Tigers’ side when it ended midway through the frame.
CC took a 2-0 lead on goals by Rylan Schwartz and Charlie Taft that came only 3:25 apart early in the second period. The scores were sparked by turnovers by Minnesota (26-8-5) before a sellout crowd of 18,949 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Minnesota pulled freshman goalie Adam Wilcox (18 saves) with 3:12 remaining but could only muster one shot.
The win sends the Tigers (18-18-5) onto the championship against Wisconsin (21-12-7) with both teams needed to win the automatic NCAA berth to qualify for the national tournament.
Here is the postgame press conference for Howe, Schwartz and Taft.
Colorado College 2, No. 1 Minnesota 0
Colorado College 0 2 0 — 2
Minnesota 0 0 0 –0
First period – No scoring. Penalties – CC, Stoykewych, holding, 16:37.
Second period – 1. CC, Schwartz (Stoykewych, McDermott) :59; 2. CC, Taft (Krushelnyski) 4:24. Penalties – UM, Helgeson, cross-checking, 5:00; CC, McDermott, interference, 9:43; UM, Isackson, interference, 19:01.
Third period – No scoring. Penalties – CC, Marciano, 5-minute cross-checking, 4:50;
Power play – CC 0-2, UM 0-3. Shots on goal – CC 6-8-6 – 20; UM 12-14-9 – 35. Saves-minutes – CC, Howe 12-14-9 – 60:00 UM, Wilcox, 6-6-6 –56:53. Referees – D. Shepherd, Hunt. Linesmen – Swaider, Keltie. Attendance – 18,949 (sellout).
Goalies– Howe, Thorimbert, Lockwood
Goalies – Wilcox, Shibrowski-Coyne