Sports - College

Mar 16, 2014 12:40 AM by jordan Mason

CC beats North Dakota in OT to save season

Here comes Colorado College again.

With their backs to the wall in the most hostile of environments, the Tigers worked more of their post-season magic on Saturday and lived to see another day.

Freshman right wing Alex Roos scored on a rebound seven minutes into overtime, lifting CC to a 3-2 sudden-death triumph over the No. 9-ranked University of North Dakota at Englestad Arena and forcing a Game 3 in the teams' National Collegiate Hockey Conference first-round playoff series.

Winner of Sunday's 7:08 p.m. (CT) showdown at Engelstad Arena advances to next week's NCHC's inaugural Frozen Faceoff at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Roos, who has factored in on the game-winning goal in four of Colorado College's seven victories this season, converted from the high slot after UND netminder Zane Gothberg stopped rookie center Sam Rothstein's shot from the left faceoff circle. Junior winger Scott Wamsganz, whose earlier tally gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at 1:17 of the second period, also assisted on the dramatic red lighter.

Junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych matched the performance by Wamsganz with a goal and assist, while senior goaltender Josh Thorimbert made 44 saves for the Tigers, who improved to 7-23-6 overall.

North Dakota dropped to 21-12-3.

"Thorny (Thorimbert) came up big tonight and everyone played their part," Roos said of the victory. "We were making smart hockey plays, keeping the puck along the outside and making sure the pucks went in deep if there wasn't a play."

Stoykewych staked CC to a 1-0 lead at 16:43 of the opening period when his wrist shot into traffic from the left point hit a defender and took a seeing-eye bounce through Gothberg's legs. The unassisted goal, which materialized after a UND turnover inside its own zone, was Stoykewych's first since he scored in overtime against the same opponent at last year's WCHA Final Five.

Wamsganz put the Tigers up 2-0 for the second consecutive night at 1:17 of the middle frame after taking a feed from Stoykewych near center ice, skating from left to right across the North Dakota blue line and reversing direction in the right faceoff circle before unleashing a bullet that beat Gothberg on the stick side.

Sophomore Drake Caggiula converted for UND at 3:45 of that second period, cutting the deficit in half, but Thorimbert steered away 19 of 20 shots in the stanza to preserve Colorado College's one-goal lead heading into intermission.

Thorimbert continued to slam the door until Caggiula set up defenseman Jordan Schmaltz for a backhand from the low slot that knotted the score at 16:04 of the third period. North Dakota launched 13 shots on target in the final 20 minutes of regulation and eight more in overtime to finish with a 46-29 advantage for the game.

"Josh kept us in it early in OT," said CC head coach Scott Owens. "We needed [him] to be our best player and he was."

It was the first overtime contest in NCHC playoff history.

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