He will have one more chance to do so again on Sunday.
The senior made 44 saves Saturday and freshman wing Alex Roos backhanded in a rebound seven minutes into overtime to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 playoff win over No. 10 North Dakota before a stunned crowd of 10,738 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
“We battled like we have all season long,” Thorimbert said. “There is no quit in this team.”
Game 3 of the now tied best-of-three National Collegiate Hockey Conference quarterfinal series is 6:08 p.m. Sunday. A win then would send the No. 7 seed Tigers on to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff semifinals where they would not even be the low seed.
Saturday continued a weekend of upsets. Last-place Miami knocked off regular-season champion St. Cloud State 4-3 to sweep its series while No. 5 seed Western Michigan eliminated host Minnesota-Duluth by the same margin. Sixth-seeded Denver beat host Nebraska-Omaha 2-0 in Game 3 to send three of the bottom four seeds on.
“Josh competed and battled and sent a message with those two early (glove) saves that he was on tonight.” Owens said. “We have a good defensive corps and they held up pretty well against their dangerous forwards. We played like a team that wanted to keep this season going despite our record. I am proud of them.”
The Tigers did a better job clearing the puck out of their zone and keeping it away from the middle where UND’s forwards wreaked havoc in Game 1.
They still weathered a storm of shots when UND out shot CC 20-9 in the second period, including 12-4 over the final 10 minutes. Thorimbert made save after save.
“I felt good,” he said. “When I have my glove going, I feel like I am clicking.”
UND’s barrage eventually broke through. North Dakota (21-12-3) tied the game when sophomore defenseman Jordan Schmaltz scored on a 3-on-2 rush with 3:56 remaining to force overtime.
A shot by CC junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych bounced twice before getting past UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg (26 saves) to stake the Tigers to a 1-0 lead with 3:17 left in the opening period. CC junior Scott Wamsganz had a huge night, scoring early in the second period for a 2-0 Tigers lead and passing to Sam Rothstein for the initial shot in overtime that Roos knocked in to end it.
“Not too many people expected us to give them much of a fight but in our (locker) room we were confident we could beat them,” Roos said. “We’ll see if we can make it to Minneapolis.”
Colorado College 3, No. 10 North Dakota 2 OT
Colorado College 1 1 0 1 –3
North Dakota 0 1 1 0 –2
First period – 1. CC, Stoykewych (unassisted) 16:43. Penalties – CC, Olofsson, checking from behind, 18:48.
Second period – 2. CC, Wamsganz (Stoykewych) 1:17; 3. UND, Caggiula (Mattson) 3:45. Penalties – UND, Rodwell, four-minute roughing, 9:52; CC, Fejes, roughing, 9:52; CC, Heil, roughing, 9:52.
Third period – 4. UND, Schmaltz (Caggiula, Ma. MacMillan) 16:04. Penalties – none.
Overtime – 5. CC, Roos (Rothstein, Wamsganz) 7:00. Penalties – none.
Power play – CC 0-0, UND 0-1. Shots on goal – CC 5-9-10-5 –29; UND 5-20-13-8 –46. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 5-19-12-8 –67:00; UND, Gothberg 4-8-10-4 — 67:00. Referees – Sterns, Walsh. Linesmen – Eslinger, Schmitt. Attendance – 10,738 (11,634 capacity).
CC picks up two forward commits
Two forwards committed to play at Colorado College earlier this week with one likely to join the team this fall.
Meridian, Idaho, native Jordan Berger, 17, is scheduled to bring his considerable speed and quickness to Colorado Springs in 2014. The 5-foot-10 forward has four goals in nine games with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League after 116 games in that program. He recorded 42 points (38 games) for the Triple-A midget squad this season.
Previous CC players from that program include Kris Fredheim, Curtis McElhinney and the Schwartz brothers (Jaden and Rylan). The left-shooting center would be the second Idaho player to join the Tigers. The first was defenseman Cody Lampl of Ketchum.
The other commit is Mason Bergh, 19, who has enjoyed a strong second half of his debut season for the junior U.S. Hockey League’s Chicago Steel (21, 12 assists, 48 games).
The Eden Prairie, Minn., native is scheduled to join the Tigers in 2015, allowing him another year to fill out his 6-foot, 165-pound frame.
“When I arrived on campus, I had the immediate feeling that this was the right place for me,” he said. “To get a good education is very important and CC will provide that for me.”
Coaches cannot comment on players until they sign their NCAA letters of intent. The next signing period is April 16-Aug. 1.
Entering Saturday’s game, the CC rookie have accounted for 41 percent (27) of the team’s 68 goals and almost 40 percent of the Tigers’ 183 points. Freshman Jaccob Slavin, who is a league finalist for Offensive Defenseman of the Year, moved into a tie for the team points lead (23) with senior wing Alexander Krushelnyski. … Seven of UND sophomore Drake Caggiula’s 19 career goals have come in nine games against CC. … The NCHC’s postseason championship trophy does not have a name yet. The trophy may be named at a later date.