OMAHA, NEB. Colorado College scored four goals in the first period and Trevor Gooch and Christiano Versich collected three points apiece as the Tigers defeated Omaha, 6-3, Saturday night at Baxter Arena.
Gooch scored two goals, his third career multi-goal game, and added an assist, while Versich recorded one goal and two assists for the second three-point contest of his career.
“Right from the drop of the puck, I felt that we controlled the game,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “We had confidence and all four lines made plays tonight.”
The Tigers (6-6-2, 2-5-1-0 NCHC) exploded for four goals in the first period, led off by Ben Copeland just 1:28 into the game. Tiger goalie Alex Leclerc moved the puck around the boards to Zach Berzolla, who rushed up ice and sent the puck off the end boards hard enough to collect himself and get it to Copeland, who scored his third of the season from the slot. Leclerc recorded his second assist of the season and is tied for the national lead among goalies.
Versich doubled the lead at the nine-minute mark when Gooch won a faceoff and got the puck to Versich, who beat Omaha goalie Evan Weninger just inside the left post from the slot.
Copeland earned an assist on CC’s third goal by sending a shot from the end line towards Weninger, but the puck stayed loose and Alex Berardinelli poked it into the net for his team-leading sixth tally of the season at the 14:21 mark. Andrew Farny collected his fourth assist of the season on the play.
Gooch wrapped up the first-period onslaught with 2:44 left in the frame. Versich forced a turnover behind the Omaha net and found Gooch, who scored his third of the season from the bottom of the left circle.
“We are deeper this year and it was nice to see some of those guys like Gooch, Copeland and Versich score,” Haviland said. “If we play like this, we will be very successful.”
Each team scored once in the second period. Mason Morelli scored a power-play goal at the 2:50 mark for the Mavericks’ first goal, then Gooch notched his second of the game at the 4:33 mark. Versich led a 2-on-1 and centered a pass to Bryan Yoon, who got enough of the puck to keep it in the crease and Gooch followed the play and poked it past Omaha’s back-up goaltender Matej Tomek, who relieved Weninger after the first period, to make it 5-1.
The Mavericks (4-8-2, 2-3-1-1 NCHC) cut the lead to 5-2 when Riley Alferd beat Leclerc from the slot at the 4:35 mark of the third period, but Mason Bergh expanded the lead back to four with his fifth goal in the last four games. Farny took a shot from the left point that Bergh deflected past Tomek while skating across the slot. Farny posted the third multi-point game of his career and first since the middle of the 2015-16 campaign.
The Tigers outshot Omaha, 36-24, led by Gooch and Bergh with four apiece. CC has outshot its opponent in each of the last four games and held a 64-36 advantage over the Mavericks after the first period of Friday night’s contest.
Weninger made 12 saves before giving way to Tomek, who had 18 in the final two periods. Leclerc finished with 21 saves for CC. The Mavericks scored on one of their two power plays, while CC was 0-for-3.
Colorado College returns home to face Vermont in a non-conference series, Dec. 7-8, at the Broadmoor World Arena.