Promoted to a spot on Colorado College’s top line for the first time in his career, Brian McMillin rose to the occasion on Saturday.
McMillin chipped a rebound past University of Wisconsin goaltender Shane Connelly with 3:47 left in regulation, lifting CC to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Badgers at the Kohl Center in frigid Madison, Wis.
With the triumph, the Tigers snapped a two-game losing skid and remained in the thick of the WCHA’s upper division with a 9-7-2 record in league play, good for 20 points. Now 13-8-5 overall, they’re still tied for fourth place with North Dakota but pulled to within three of front-running Denver, which leads Wisconsin by one point and Minnesota by two.
Things weren’t looking so great for CC early, as a pair of screen shots by sophomore defenseman Cody Goloubef from the high slot staked the Badgers to a 2-0 lead before the game was 12 minutes old.
But, with the penalty box jammed with players from both teams after a spirited altercation at the end of the first period, Colorado College stormed back with three tallies within a span of 2:12 early in the second frame.
Tyler Johnson ignited the rally at the 3:59 mark, pouncing on a loose puck in the goalmouth while the UW defense tied up Eric Walsky to the left of the cage. Then, at 5:35, Mike Testwuide waltzed in from the left boards to score his first goal of the season after stealing the puck inside the UW zone. Just 36 seconds later, at 6:11, Matt Overman backhanded a rebound of a David Civitarese attempt past a shell-shocked Connelly.
Suddenly, the Tigers found themselves up 3-2.
Their first lead of the weekend was short-lived, however, as Badgers captain Blake Geoffrion tied the contest back up just 47 seconds after Overman’s tally. Wisconsin enjoyed four consecutive power plays later in that middle frame, and another manpower advantage midway through the third period, but failed to capitalize.
Kris Fredhim and Bill Sweatt earned assists on McMillin’s game winner. It was the junior forward’s fifth goal of the season, all in the last six games. He’s scored the GWG in Colorado College’s last two victories.
Richard Bachman finished with 26 saves after making only two in the opening period. Connelly steered away 22 of 26 shots by the Tigers.