KALAMAZOO, MICH. - Nick Halloran scored with 54.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give Colorado College a 6-5 victory over No. 11 Western Michigan Saturday night in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Mason Bergh won a faceoff in the WMU end that went right to Halloran at the top of the right circle and he fired a rocket past Bronco goalie Ben Blacker for his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Halloran added two assists for a three-point night, while Bergh and Troy Conzo each had a goal and a helper as the Tigers won for the first time ever in Lawson Ice Arena.
“This was a great team win tonight,” CC head coach Mike Haviland said. “There is a never-say-die attitude in our locker room that really showed in this game.”
Western Michigan (13-10-1, 8-6-0-0 NCHC) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 3:24 into the contest when Neal Goff sent a wrist shot from the left point that snuck past a screened Alex Leclerc. The Tigers roared back and Zach Berzolla notched the first goal of his career at the 4:44 mark after taking a pass from Conzo and scoring from the left point.
The game was tied for just 51 seconds, however, as Josh Passolt gathered the puck at the CC blue line following a Tiger turnover, slammed on the brakes and, after a Tiger defender slid past, fired a wrist shot that found the net just inside the far post.
Cam Lee made it 3-1 at the 16:37 mark of the opening period with a one-timer from the left point.
Colorado College (10-11-3, 4-8-2-1 NCHC) clawed back once again and tied the score with power-play goals 1:38 apart midway through the second period from Trey Bradley and Bergh. Bradley collected a rebound at the side of the net after shots from Halloran and Westin Michaud to cut the WMU lead to 3-2 at the 10:08 mark, then Bergh took a pretty cross ice pass from Halloran and scored his 12th of the season to tie it up at 11:46.
“Our power play really got us going tonight,” Haviland said.
Paul Washe gave the Broncos a 4-3 lead with six minutes left in the second with WMU’s lone power-play goal of the game and the Broncos held a one-goal lead after 40 minutes.
Conzo scored his second goal of the weekend just 33 seconds in to the third period off a nifty flip pass from Christiano Versichto make it a 4-4 game, then Jack Gates notched his third of the season with 7:26 left in the third to give the Tigers their first lead of the game.
The Tigers killed off a too many men on the ice penalty later in the third, but could not overcome a tripping call to Conzo at the 17:02 mark. Western Michigan pulled Blacker with 2:30 remaining for an extra skater and, despite some huge saves by Leclerc, Austin Rueschhoff scored with 1:25 left to even the score once again and send the game to overtime for the second consecutive night.
“There were a lot of ups and downs tonight but we never quit,” CC head coach Mike Haviland said. “Our top guys and our freshmen really came through for us.”
Leclerc finished the game with 33 saves for his 10th victory of the season, while Blacker had 34. After getting outshot 18-7 in the first period, the Tigers held a 33-20 advantage the final 44:03. The Tigers were 2-for-6 on the power play and WMU was 2-for-3.
Colorado College returns home to host Miami University next weekend at The Broadmoor World Arena. The game on Friday, Jan. 26 begins at 7:30 p.m. (MT).