Tigers Fall to Top-Ranked St. Cloud State at NCHC Frozen Faceoff

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ST. PAUL, MINN. -- Westin Michaud and Bryan Yoon each had a goal and an assist for Colorado College Friday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough as No. 1-ranked St. Cloud State defeated the Tigers, 5-2, in the first semifinal of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Patrick Newell had a goal and an assist, while Blake Lizotte and Kevin Fitzgerald each added a pair of assists for the Huskies (30-4-3), who advanced to the championship game Saturday evening. The Tigers (17-19-4) will face either Minnesota-Duluth or Denver in the third-place game, beginning at 3:30 p.m. (CT).

Michaud put the Tigers on the board first with a power-play goal at the 9:47 mark of the opening period. He took a pass from Trey Bradley and placed a shot just inside the near post from the left circle past SCSU goalie David Hrenak. Yoon collected his team-high 22nd assist on the play as well.

The Huskies evened the game with a power-play goal by Newell at the 12:27 mark, then Nolan Walker put SCSU ahead, 2-1, just 24 seconds later.

CC’s comeback attempt took a hit with 4:06 remaining in the first period when Trevor Gooch was called for a five-minute major and game misconduct for direct contact to the head along the boards against Jack Poehling.

"Of course we did (miss Gooch), we had to shuffle our lines," Michaud said. "We missed having an energy guy like him on the ice. That hurt us.”

The Tigers killed the penalty, and Tiger goalie Alex Leclerc made several spectacular saves in the middle frame, but he couldn’t stop Robby Jackson, who redirected a Spencer Meier pass out of the air at the 9:38 mark to make it 3-1.

“We had some chances obviously but we passed up on them, especially in the second period,” CC head coach Mike Haviland said. “We had some looks and tried to make an extra play. (The Huskies) are a good hockey team. They can strike with the power-play goal and then again (24) seconds later on their second. It showed the kind of team they are.”

Jack Ahcan made it 4-1 at the 7:21 mark of the third period, when his shot deflected off a CC defender’s stick and went through Leclerc’s legs.

The Tigers were primed to cut into the lead when SCSU’s Nick Perbix was called for hooking at the 10:08 mark and Jon Lizotte whistled for a checking from behind major and game misconduct 36 seconds later.

Haviland pulled Leclerc (22 saves) for a 6-on-3 advantage, but the Huskies killed off Perbix’s penalty.

Yoon cut the lead to 4-2 with 58 seconds left on the major with his fourth goal of the season at the 14:47 mark of the final period, sending a wrist shot from the point through traffic and past Hrenak.

Nick Poehling scored two minutes later from the left circle for the final goal of the game.

The Tigers outshot SCU, 33-27, including an 11-2 advantage on the power play. CC was 2-for-7 with a man advantage, while St. Cloud State was 1-for-4. Hrenak finished the game with 31 saves.