The Tigers capped off their season at the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff last weekend after upsetting Western Michigan University in the third game of a best out of three series. The victory against Western Michigan marked the first Colorado College appearance in the Frozen Faceoff in its short six-year history.
The only non-ranked team in the Frozen Faceoff, the Tigers embraced their role as underdogs and put up a valiant fight against St. Cloud State University, the No. 1 seed in the tournament and the country.
The Tigers shot out into the lead early in the first period thanks to a power play goal scored by forward Westin Michaud ’19. Their lead didn’t last long, however, with the Huskies equalizer coming just three minutes after Michaud’s opener. Just 24 seconds after they tied it, the Huskies found the back of the net again, completely erasing the Tiger advantage and putting them down 2–1 at the end of the first period.
The Tigers lost all momentum against the Huskies during the second period, as forward Trevor Gooch ’19 earned a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty. With Gooch out of the game, the Tigers managed to successfully kill all five minutes of the penalty before finding a third Husky goal only a few minutes later. Despite solid pressure from the Tiger offense, the team couldn’t muster their way past St. Cloud goalkeeper David Hrenak.
The third period offered promise for the Tigers, as Michaud snuck his second goal of the game past Hrenak. But again, all hopes of a Tiger comeback were foiled when the Huskies put their fifth goal of the game past Alex Leclerc ’20.
In a rematch of the final regular season game, the Tigers faced the University of Denver Pioneers in the third-place game. The Pioneers lost to the Bulldogs of the University of Minnesota Duluth the night prior. The Tigers again started strong; forward Trey Bradley ’19 scored a power play equalizer after Denver forward Jarid Lukosevicius scored just five minutes into the first period. Bradley’s goal ended up being the Tiger’s only one. The Pioneers pounded goals on the Tigers over the final two periods, resulting in a final score of 6–1, Denver.
The loss capped off a monumental season for the Tigers, who seemed poised from the start to prove doubters wrong. Two trophies and an appearance in the Frozen Faceoff later, the Tigers did exactly that.
Even after losing their top scorer, Nick Halloran ’20, to a hip injury, the team prevailed and young players stepped into huge roles and thrived. The end of the season bids farewell to the dynamic Class of 2019, who joined the team in disarray just four years ago. They now exit as champions, leaving big shoes to fill. The future of Tiger Hockey looks to be up to the challenge.