On one of those nights when Colorado College desperately needed to make something happen on home ice, its opponent had other ideas.
St. Cloud State stunned CC with four unanswered goals in the first period Saturday, then cruised to a 6-1 victory that earned the Huskies three of four available points in their two-game series at the World Arena.
Freshman Drew LeBlanc, who came into the contest with two tallies in 25 career games, recorded a hat trick and added an assist in the rout. LeBlanc, the center on SCSU’s third line, started and ended the early rampage with red lighters at 4:49 and 15:11 of the opening frame. In between, he set up a goal by freshman defenseman Sam Zabkowicz that came 36 seconds ahead of another by sophomore left wing Tony Mosey.
LeBlanc completed his hat trick at the 11-minute mark of the second period. Jordy Christian, another freshman, struck 3:07 later to cap the visitors’ scoring parade.
Junior goalie Jase Weslosky, who finished with 34 saves, lost his shutout with 10:57 left in the contest when junior forward Matt Overman pounced on a loose puck to Weslosky’s left after Mike Testwuide kept Jake Gannon’s rebound alive in front of the net. The goal was Overman’s third in as many games.
With the loss, the 13th-ranked Tigers dropped to 13-9-6 overall and 9-8-3 in WCHA play. Since starting the season at 5-0-3, they’ve gone 8-9-3 and will play their last eight regular-season games fighting to stay in the WCHA’s upper division. Home ice for the first round of the league playoffs is by no means a given, as sixth-place Minnesota-Duluth now lurks just two points behind with two league games in hand.
St. Cloud State, which vaulted past Minnesota State and into seventh place, trails CC by only four points. The Huskies, 12-12-2 overall and 8-9-1 in league play, also have played two fewer WCHA games.
Garrett Roe collected three assists for SCSU, while Ryan Lasch had two.