Colorado College kept true to form on Saturday. And, as modest as the reward was, nobody was complaining afterward.
Ignited by junior left winger Alexander Krushelnyski, who struck for a pair of third-period tallies before setting up CC's biggest of the night with 24.6 seconds left in regulation, the Tigers overcame a pair of three-goal deficits to forge a 4-4 tie with the No. 4-ranked University of Minnesota in the finale of their two-game WCHA series at the World Arena.
Krushelnyski's seventh and eighth red lighters of the season, the first on a shorthanded rush and the second on a rebound of Mike Boivin's rocket from the high slot just 1:47 later, turned a 4-1 Gophers lead into a 4-3 cliffhanger heading into the final 14 minutes.
It then was Krushelnyski who found Rylan Schwartz open in the far faceoff circle for Schwartz's second goal of the game that sent the contest into overtime with goaltender Josh Thorimbert on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker.
"There are good ties and there are bad ties,” said head coach Scott Owens. “This was a good tie. I'm actually very proud of the sixth period our guys put together against a very good team with size and speed. That took a lot of energy to get even, and we just couldn't get any rhythm going in overtime.”
Minnesota, which won 4-2 on Friday, looked to be on its way to a series sweep when Mike Reilly converted from the left circle on a two-on-one counterattack at 15:41 of the middle frame. The goal answered Schwartz's first of the contest, a power-play effort at 8:30 of the period, and restored the visitors' comfortable cushion at 4-1. Tom Serratore, Erik Haula and Seth Ambroz all scored in the opening stanza to put Colorado College down 3-0.
But, with freshman Cody Bradley in the sin bin early in the third period, Krushelnyski clicked for the third shortie of his career to give the Tigers new life at 4:14. On his next shift, he charged down the middle of the slot to beat a pair of defenders and fire Boivin's rebound past UM netminder Adam Wilcox to pull his team to within a goal.
CC, 8-8-2 overall and 5-4-1 in league play, battled back from four goals down to tie the University of New Hamphire earlier during a six-game home stand that ended on Saturday. The Tigers went 1-3-2 during the stretch and ended up 3-4-2 on home ice during the recent span that saw them play nine of their last 10 games at the World Arena. They faced opponents ranked among the nation's top seven on four consecutive weekends, salvaging just three of a possible 12 points in WCHA play but remaining only five behind first-place Denver.
The Gophers returned home with an overall record of 11-3-3 and WCHA mark of 6-3-3, just four points ahead of seventh-place Colorado College in the conference standings.