Despite bouncing back strongly from a disappointing performance the previous night, Colorado College dropped another heartbreaker on Saturday.
Senior defenseman Michael Young scored 55 seconds into overtime, lifting the University of Nebraska Omaha to a 2-1 sudden-death victory over CC and a sweep of their two-game National Collegiate Hockey Conference series.
The Tigers, who gave up a goal just 11 seconds into Friday's 6-0 loss to UNO at the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha, turned the tables when junior right wing Charlie Taft staked them to a 1-0 lead with only 35 seconds elapsed in Saturday's rematch.
But that was all the visitors could muster against Mavericks netminder and Littleton native Ryan Massa, who slammed the door the rest of the way after posting his first shutout of the season 24 hours earlier.
The Mavericks pulled even on a power-play tally by freshman Jake Guentzel at 11:40 of the opening frame, with Young and Brock Montpetit earning assists. After that, it was a goaltending duel between Massa and CC's Josh Thorimbert, who made two sensational stops in the final minute of regulation to get the game into overtime.
Thorimbert finished with 35 saves, including 14 in the third period when Nebraska Omaha out-shot the Tigers by a 14-5 margin. He stopped Ryan Walters on a breakaway with 1:40 remaining, then robbed NCHC scoring leader Josh Archibald and Dominic Zombo in rapid-fire succession a minute later.
Thorimbert also kicked out 13 attempts in the middle frame when the Tigers successfully killed a pair of extended 5-on-3 power plays for UNO – one for a full two minutes, the other for 57 seconds.
Massa steered aside 26 shots at the opposite end to help the third-place Mavericks improve to 12-8-2-1 in the NCHC and even their overall mark at 15-15-2.
Colorado College, which takes on league co-leader St. Cloud State University to wrap up regular-season play at the World Arena next Friday and Saturday, is 6-20-6 overall and 6-11-5-1 in the conference heading into that series. Regardless of next week's results, the Tigers will finish seventh in the NCHC standings and travel for the first round of the playoffs.
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