November 5, 2021 | SPORTS | By Michael Braithwaite | Photo by Anil Jergens

On Saturday evening, the Colorado College hockey team faced the Air Force Falcons for the second half of their weekend doubleheader.

The previous night at Cadet Ice Arena, the Tigers lost in heartbreaking fashion. Just 55 seconds into the overtime period, Falcon forward Will Gavin netted his third goal of the game, ensuring a 5-4 victory for the Cadets. 

Saturday’s game marked the first time the Tigers had played at home since Oct. 9. 

During their road trip to the east coast, the Tigers notched their first win of the season, upsetting the #10 ranked Boston College Eagles 5-3 in Chestnut Hill.

The spirit of Halloween was alive in Ed Robson Arena before Saturday’s game. The arena sound system played occasion-inspired music as fans filed in and the CC student section showed off their best-dressed spooky attire.

This spirit seemed alive within the CC hockey team as well, ultimately fueling a dominant Tiger victory, one that not only came against a cross-town rival, but also marked their first in the brand-new Ed Robson Arena.

The Tigers got on the board early, with forward Logan Will ’24 fielding a pass from defenseman Nicklas Andrews ’24 on the right side of the Air Force net and slinging a shot into the top left corner.

The goal came as a result of a quick attack by the Tigers. It was so quick that it seemed as if Falcon goalie Alex Schilling didn’t even realize the shot had occurred until it was too late to stop.

As good as their performance was in the first period, the second period is what truly cemented the game for the Tigers.

Just 1:12 into the second period and six seconds into a CC power play, forward Hunter McKown ’24 fielded a pass from teammate Matthew Gleason ’24, sending a shot past Schilling to make it 2-0 Tigers.

Then, halfway through the period, an Air Force five-minute major penalty for misconduct opened up the game for the Tigers.

During the five-minute-long power play, CC scored three goals: one by forward Jordan Biro ’24 which deflected off a Falcon defenseman, one by Gleason which came off a rebound from Schilling, and one by forward Brett Chorske ’25 upon receiving a pass from teammate Jackson Jutting ’24.

Although they let in an Air Force goal at the start of the third period, the Tigers kept the pressure on the Falcons for the rest of the game, scoring three more goals before the final buzzer.

These goals came courtesy of defenseman Nate Schweitzer ’25, defenseman Nicklas Andrews ’24, and forward Tyler Coffey ’24, bringing the final result to an 8-1 Tiger victory.

“I’m really proud of our intensity, our [ability to] compete, and how we responded to last night,” said head coach Kris Mayotte postgame. 

CC’s intensity certainly seemed too much for Air Force to handle, as the Falcons had to use all three goalies on their roster over the course of the game. Backup goalie Maiszon Balboa replaced Schilling after the fourth CC goal and third string goalie Guy Blessing replaced Balboa after the seventh.

The Tigers seemed to do everything perfectly on Saturday night. All eight goals were scored by a different player, displaying a complete team effort from start to finish.

Six of the eight CC goals came on the power play, tying a National Collegiate Hockey Conference record and showing the aggressiveness and effectiveness of the Tigers’ offensive.

“I don’t think we could play much better [than how we played tonight],” said Mayotte. “That’s how you draw it up. That’s how you dream about it.”

The excellent play of the Tigers, especially coming against the cross-town rival Falcons, helped to fuel a roaring crowd all night long, with the fans cheering just as loud for the eighth CC goal as they did for the first.

“Our fans were unbelievable tonight,” said forward Matthew Gleason ’24 postgame. “It was a really fun atmosphere.”

Although the game was already pretty much out of reach for the Falcons by the end of the second period, most fans stayed in their seats for the duration of the game, likely excited to see quality CC hockey after more than half a decade of subpar play.

“I [remarked] to Coach Menino during the middle of the third period ‘Wow, this crowd stays. I’m not used to that.’ [The atmosphere] was incredible,” said Mayotte.

The Tigers will look to keep their positive momentum going when they host #1 St. Cloud State on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

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