CC Wins For the First Time On Saturday Night
Heading to Denver with a head of steam often is a good omen for Colorado College.
And that's exactly what CC will be doing next week after Saturday's impressive 3-0 victory over Western Michigan University at the World Arena.
The Tigers, who will try to wrestle back the Gold Pan from archrival DU in a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday, put together their most complete game of the season while dominating the weekend finale with WMU.
Fueled by third-line wingers and , who assisted on each other's tallies early in the third period, they out-shot the visiting Broncos by a 27-17 margin and helped senior goaltender to post the fourth shutout of his collegiate career.
CC, now 4-18-6 overall and 4-9-5-1 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, also opened up a four-point cushion over eighth-place Miami University in the league standings with six games remaining in the regular season.
Despite Colorado College's 21-9 advantage in shots on goal through 40 minutes of play, Saturday's contest remained scoreless until Gerdes was able to spring Taft for a breakaway tally just 21 seconds into the third stanza and ignite the partisan crowd of 6,560.
The assist was Gerdes' first point as a Tiger, and he celebrated just over three minutes later with his first career goal at 3:24 of the final frame.
Afterward, the freshman winger from Eden Prairie, Minn., gave credit where it was due.
"That was something special," he said of setting up junior right wing Taft's game winner and following up with a big tally of his own. "You don't want to ever forget that."
"[But] it was a good team defensive effort and Josh was a brick wall as he has been all season. He deserved a shutout the way he has played this season and it's great that he got one."
Thorimbert made eight of his 17 saves in the third period, and freshman scored a power-play goal at 16:53 to seal the triumph.
Freshman defenseman also picked up an assist on the goal by Taft, after sophomore center won the opening faceoff of that fateful final 20 minutes.
"We hung in there and it was just kind of a chess game for awhile," said head coach . "When you score on the opening faceoff on a play like that, it kind of gets the building going and your bench going. That's a huge deal."
Western Michigan, which won the post-overtime shootout a night earlier when the teams skated to a 4-4 tie, dropped to 14-11-5 overall and 8-8-2-2 in the NCHC.
Colorado College now has strung together four solid performances and is 2-2-2 in its last six games heading into next Friday's nationally televised series opener against the Pioneers at Magness Arena. The teams meet in a rematch Saturday at the World Arena.