The Blog was talking over the weekend to Idaho Steelheads defenseman John Ryder, who is a former University of Denver blueliner, and he mentioned, very strongly, how much he dislikes rival Colorado College. And this is a guy who is from Colorado Springs, home of CC.
Over the years, The Blog has heard so much passion from both CC and DU players -- neither can stand the other side. That's a true rivalry.
And that's why CC tonight is in all its glory -- it racked a 4-3 come-from-behind victory at DU that advanced it to the WCHA Final Five. And that's after DU won the opener of the best-of-3 first-round series, 5-3, only to have CC win 2-1 Saturday and force tonight's decisive Game 3.
For CC, an Anchorage kid's fingerprints were all over the win. Rookie winger Hunter Fejes of Anchorage helped the Tigers roar back from a 2-0 deficit after one period, assisting on the Tigers' first goal and scored the game-tying goal.
The Tigers also include senior captain William Rapuzzi of Anchorage, rookie winger Jared Hanson of Palmer and sophomore winger Scott Wansganz of Anchorage. Denver has senior goalie Adam Murray of Anchorage, who did not play.
In any event, CC moves on to the Final Five. Denver must wait to see whether it will get an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament.
The CC-DU game was one of three decisive Game 3s played Sunday in the WCHA.
Minnesota State-Mankato freshman goalie Stephon Williams of Fairbanks helped the Mavericks advance to the Final Five with a 3-1 win over Nebraska-Omaha, which includes freshman defenseman Brian Cooper of Anchorage.
Williams stopped 26 shots. The Mavericks also include senior center Eli Zuck of Anchorage, who is out injured.Williams, the WCHA's Rookie of the Year and first-team all-conference goalie is merely 21-10-2 with a 1.84 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.
Another goaltender from up north, Michigan Tech's Pheonix Copley of North Pole didn't fare as well -- his club got run 6-0 at North Dakota in Game 3. Copley's 29 saves Saturday backstopped a 2-1 Huskies victory that forced Game 3. Copley finished his rookie season 8-15-1 with a 3.22 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
In the CCHA, it was the end of the line for sophomore winger Tanner Sorenson of Anchorage and Michigan State, which fell 4-1 to regular-season champion Miami (Ohio) in a decisive Game 3. Sorenson had an assist on the Spartans' only goal and finished the season with 13-8--21 totals in 42 games that placed him second on the club in goals and tied for second in points. His four power-play strikes also tied for the team lead.
And, out East, No. 1-ranked Quinnipiac needed much of double overtime to knock off Cornell 3-2 in a ECAC Game 3. Massive props to Cornell goalie Andy Iles, who stopped 60 shots, including 28 in 34:08 over overtime play.
Doyle Woody, firstname.lastname@example.org