Colorado College took a big step forward on Friday.
The Tigers, fueled offensively by junior winger Scott Wamsganz and the usual stellar play in net by senior goaltender Josh Thorimbert, earned two huge points in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference standings with a 2-2 tie and shootout victory at No. 2-ranked St. Cloud State University.
Thorimbert was sensational in his 10th consecutive start, officially finishing with 30 saves through 65 minutes before stopping all three SCSU attempts after overtime.
Wamsganz, who pulled CC even for the second time with his second tally of the season at 11:18 of the third period, also scored the only goal of the post-overtime shootout at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
The teams meet again at 7:07 p.m. CT Saturday.
Each team cashed in on its only power play of a fast-paced first period, when the Huskies finished with a 10-7 advantage in shots on goal.
Wide-open Jonny Brodzinski staked St. Cloud State to a 1-0 lead midway through the stanza, tapping in Kalle Kossila's pass after Kossila threaded the needle with a perfect goalmouth feed from the left side at 10:02.
But the Tigers struck back at 13:35 when sophomore center Cody Bradley's wrist shot from the right side deflected off the skate of a Huskies defenseman and whizzed past junior netminder Ryan Faragher. Freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson earned his first career assist on Bradley's initial tally of the season.
CC's only penalty of the second period expired nine seconds before freshman blue-line specialist Niklas Nevalainen put St. Cloud State back on top late in the frame. Nevalainen was able to one-time a shot past Thorimbert after Brodzinski and Joey Benik worked the puck free to him in the slot at 16:10.
The score remained 2-1 until Wamsganz picked up his own rebound after his initial shot was blocked and notched his second goal of the season to tie the contest with 8:42 left in regulation. Senior center Jeff Collett picked up the assist.
Colorado College, 1-7-2 overall, takes a 1-4-2 NCHC record and six conference points into Saturday's rematch. SCSU is 8-1-2 overall and 3-1-1 in league play. The Tigers finished with a 32-31 edge in shots in Friday's deadlock.
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