Fejes scores late in OT to send Colorado College past No. 8 Denver
Freshman winger Hunter Fejes' second goal of the contest, with 10.5 seconds left in overtime, gave the Tigers a wild 6-5 victory versus No. 8-ranked Denver at a jam-packed World Arena on Saturday that extended CC's undefeated streak to a season-best five games.
After three consecutive ties on the road, in a season filled with frustration, this one was long overdue.
Fejes notched the second of four unanswered CC goals in the second period that wiped out an early 2-0 Denver lead, only to see the pesky Pioneers rally from a 5-2 deficit in the third to force the extra session. His unassisted game winner came less than 12 ticks after DU goaltender Juho Olinuora squeezed the pads to rob him on a tip-in attempt from the low slot.
“After I just missed putting it through his legs, I looked up at the clock and saw that there were 22.6 seconds left,” Fejes said. “I thought to myself, 'We can't let this happen again – we can't lose this game.' I saw them rip the puck around the boards behind the net, and when it got to their guy I lifted his stick and took it away. I moved to my backhand, turned into an opening in the slot and took a shot that went in off the post. I just got lucky.”
The Tigers, 2-0-3 during their current streak, improved to 11-14-5 overall and 8-10-4 in WCHA play. They leap-frogged past Minnesota Duluth into eighth place in the league standings, five points behind three teams – including Denver – that are tied for fifth with six games remaining in the regular season. The Pioneers dropped to 15-9-5 overall and 10-7-5 in the WCHA.
Fejes also assisted on senior defenseman Joe Marciano's go-ahead tally at 13:43 of the middle stanza for a three-point night. Junior left wing Alexander Krushelnyski, whose red lighter at 13:55 of the third put Colorado College up 5-2, and senior defenseman Mike Boivin each contributed a goal and an assist in the triumph. Senior right wing and team captain William Rapuzzi set up the first goal by Fejes, as well as Marciano's just 3:59 later.
For the 20th time in 30 games, CC saw its opponent score first. Junior center Nick Shore, the team's leading scorer, staked the visitors to a 1-0 lead at 4:54 of the opening period, beating senior netminder Joe Howe on the glove side from high in the left faceoff circle after Olkinuora made a big stop on Charlie Taft at the other end.
Ty Loney added a power-play goal at 11:16 and DU went to the locker room at the first intermission up 2-0.
Archie Skalbeck ignited the comeback at 3:32 into the middle stanza, cutting across the slot after picking up a feed from Boivin along the right boards and firing a rising wrist shot against the grain that found the far corner of the net just under the crossbar.
Fejes tied it up at 9:44 when he one-timed Rapuzzi's pass out of the corner while charging past a Denver defender toward the goalmouth. Sophomore defenseman Ian Young also collected an assist on the tally as a member of Colorado College's injury-riddled blue-line factored in on each of the team's first five goals.
Defensemen Joey LaLeggia (1g,1a) and David Makowski (2a) each recorded a pair of points for DU.