COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. Ben Copeland scored four goals and Colorado College scored the last six of the game as the Tigers defeated No. 8 Western Michigan, 8-2, Saturday at the Broadmoor World Arena.
Copeland became the first CC player to score four times in a game since Andrew Hamburg against Air Force on Oct. 19, 2012 and the first Tiger with a hat trick since Mason Bergh against Alaska Anchorage on Oct. 14, 2017.
“It was a whirlwind of a night,” Copeland said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
The freshman from Edina, Minn., opened the scoring as the Tigers took advantage of a five-minute checking from behind major and game misconduct call to WMU’s Cam Lee at the 9:07 mark of the first period. Copeland scored at the 11:15 mark after putting in a rebound off a shot by Mason Bergh.
After Jade McMullen was whistled for hooking at 12:02, Westin Michaud took a pass from Trey Bradley and beat WMU goalie Trevor Gorsuch for a 5-on-3 goal and a 2-0 lead at the 12:41 mark.
Austin Rueschhoff cut the deficit in half with a wrister from the top of the right circle with 4:25 remaining in the opening frame, and the Broncos tied it up at the 4:54 mark of the second when Hugh McGing scored his third goal if the weekend, this time on the power play with a one-timer from the slot.
Copeland notched the first multi-goal game of his career and put the Tigers ahead 3-2 with 5:17 remaining in the second. During a scrum in front of the net, Copeland and Michaud each had a shot saved by Gorsuch, but Copeland stuck with it and put it home.
CC’s five goals in the third period were the most in one frame since notching six in the third period of a 9-2 victory over Denver on Nov. 6, 2010.
Grant Cruikshank scored twice in a span 2:47 to give the Tigers a commanding 5-2 advantage, then Copeland notched his third and fourth of the game at the 6:22 and 10:07 mark, respectively. Chris Wilkie finished the scoring with his sixth goal of the season.
“We wanted to stay with it and stay positive,” head coach Mike Haviland said. ““I was telling them that we are playing well. I liked the way we played all the way through. Ben (Copeland) was outstanding.”
Trevor Gooch recorded a career-high four assists, while Bergh and Bryan Yoon each collected a pair of helpers and Alex Leclerc made 26 saves before giving way to Jon Flakne for the final 3:24.
Gorsuch finished with 27 saves, while Ben Blacker had four after relieving Gorsuch after Copeland made it 7-2.
“This was a bounceback win for sure,” Haviland said. “It is huge for the team heading into Tuesday.”
The Tigers don’t have much time to celebrate the victory as they host in-state rival Denver on Tuesday, Feb. 26, beginning at 7 p.m.