OXFORD, OHIO - Colorado College rallied from a 1-0 deficit with a pair of second-period goals to defeat Miami, 2-1, and earn a split in the weekend series in Oxford, Ohio.
Despite attempting a season-low 14 shots, the Tigers (6-4, 2-2 NCHC) won for the first time ever in Oxford and remain at the top of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference standings with six points, tied with St. Cloud State and Western Michigan.
Playing shorthanded for the second straight night, Colorado College won a one-goal decision for the fifth time this season, equaling the team’s total from last year. The Tigers played with just five regular defensemen for the second consecutive night as Cole McCaskill and Nate Kwiecinski did not make the trip due to injuries and Zach Berzolla was still feeling the effects of the flu.
Conor Lemirande opened the scoring at the 15:51 mark of the first period to give Miami a 1-0 lead. Lemirande took a pass from Ryan Sirocky and fired a wrist shot from the right circle that snuck inside the far post behind Tiger goalie Alex Leclerc.
Co-captain Tanner Ockey evened things up with his first goal of the season at the 2:05 mark of the second period. Christiano Versich gathered the puck in the Miami end after a RedHawk turnover and found Ockey, who blasted a one-timer from the slot past Miami goalie Ryan Larkin. Versich posted a two-point weekend after scoring on Friday.
“I had just stepped on to the ice and was yelling at Christiano,” Ockey said. “He gave me a great pass and I had a pretty good look at the net.”
Late in the second period, as late as it can get, Westin Michaud fired a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Larkin with one-tenth of a second remaining in the frame. Nick Halloran collected his team-high ninth assist and Trey Bradley his eighth on Michaud’s power-play goal.
The Tigers thought they opened up a two-goal margin when Mason Bergh put the puck in the net at the 6:32 mark of the third period, but the officials waved off the goal after determining CC interfered with Larkin.
The RedHawks (4-4, 1-1 NCHC) outshot CC, 11-3, in the final 20 minutes, and hit the post twice in the final 10 minutes. Gordie Green had a good look from the slot midway through the period, then Grant Hutton piped one in the final minute after Versich took a penalty with 1:01 remaining and Miami pulled Larkin for a two-man advantage. Ockey made a great defensive play as well in the final minute to preserve the victory.
“Tanner does all the little things right for us,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “He takes a lot of pride in wearing the ‘C’ for us and it was nice to see him rewarded with a goal tonight.”
Leclerc came up huge for the Tigers once again with 26 saves, while Larkin had 12. Colorado College once again held one of the country’s best power play units scoreless, killing all six penalties. The Tigers were 1-for-7 on the power play.
“This was another huge team win for us,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “We had some regulars that didn’t even make the trip this weekend and guys stepped up to fill in. It really feels good to get the split this weekend.”
The Tigers host Omaha next weekend, Nov. 10-11, at The Broadmoor World Arena.