After a long day of mentally preparing for the CC-DU game at Yampa and watching the thrilling victory at World Arena, I retired to my bedside; however, my roommate and the rest of campus continued the party all night. Die-hard fans and much deserving players even took victory sips from the Gold Pan itself.
Take that Denver- Your desired victory gulps of greatness will have to wait until next season. After Friday night’s thrilling victory, the Tigers were in a position to win the ol’ pan back the next evening. Saturday night couldn’t have gone any better for our Tigers; CC battled in a highly competitive matchup, skating hard for a full 60 minutes of hockey against our arch-rival.
The Tigers were able to strike first with a goal by junior Aaron Harstad, assisted by freshman Jacob Slavin and senior Jeff Collett. Battling through a tough second period and riding the momentum generated by the tremendous saves of senior goaltender Josh Thorimbert, the Tigers were able to respond to Denver’s second-period equalizer by taking a 2-1 lead 13:54 into the third period.
Freshman Alex Roos put away the game-changing goal, assisted by senior Eamonn McDermott and sophomore Cody Bradley. Senior Alex Krushelnyski’s miraculous, nearly full-ice open-netter with just 46 seconds remaining in the third period, was the icing on the victory cake.
The soon-to-be infamous open-netter that safely secured the Gold Pan’s return to Colorado Springs also made Krushelnyski the newest member of CC’s prestigious Century Club (for players who have achieved 100 career points) after notching 41 goals and 59 assists so far on the ice.
However, what makes this victory extremely special is that team was playing in memory and in honor of former teammate Scott Winkler, who tragically passed away shortly after graduating last spring.
“It was an incredible team win this weekend,” Krushelnyski told the CC Tigers Athletics website. “The guys played phenomenally. It was Winks’ birthday today, which makes this even sweeter. It’s just all smiles right now. It’s all smiles.”
Besides wins’ five and six being enough to make up for what has been a tough season for the Tigers up until that point, more importantly, they were able to find focus on a difficult day and honor a former teammate with a trophy and victory.that will never be forgotten