Home on the road

By BRIAN GOMEZ - THE GAZETTE Updated: December 31, 2005 at 12:00 am • Published: December 31, 2005
DETROIT - Colorado College might want to consider petitioning the NCAA to play its home games in Michigan. Sparked by continued success on special teams and renewed aggressiveness on defense, the No. 7 Tigers blasted Michigan State 6-3 in the Great Lakes Invitational championship game Friday before 15,217 at Joe Louis Arena. It marked CC’s sixth consecutive win in Michigan. The Tigers (17-6-1) topped No. 6 Michigan 6-1 in Thursday’s GLI semifinal; they beat Michigan and Colgate in last year’s NCAA Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and they swept Michigan Tech on the road last season. Defenseman Brian Salcido had two power-play goals Friday, and CC received power-play goals from right wing Joey Crabb and left wing Brett Sterling. Center Trevor Frischmon scored shorthanded in a four-goal first period that put Michigan State (8-8-5) on its heels. Goaltender Matt Zaba (15-5-1) was aided by penalty killers Weston Tardy, Brandon Polich and Marty Sertich as Michigan State went 2 for 11 on the power play. Defenseman Tyler Howells scored two of Michigan State’s goals in the final four minutes of the second period. But CC still held a 6-2 lead and most fans had started making their New Year’s Eve plans. “We were moving (the puck) well, but we were shooting it as well as we’ve shot it all year,” said CC coach Scott Owens, whose team has outscored its opponents 19-9 during a four-game winning streak that started Dec. 16-17 in a sweep of Alaska Anchorage. “We kind of got on a roll, and we played a little bit like a vet- eran team.” Crabb was named the GLI’s Most Valuable Player. The alltournament team included Salcido, who had three goals and two assists in the pair of GLI wins; Sertich, who had five assists; and Zaba, who stopped 62 of 66 shots. Five of Crabb’s nine goals have come in the past six games. Crabb also had an evenstrength goal Friday when he beat goaltender Dominic Vicari (7-6-2) to the stick side from the left faceoff circle. The shot ricocheted off defenseman Corey Potter’s skate and rode up Vicari’s pads. “The guys around me have been playing really well,” said Crabb, whose linemates, Sterling and center Chad Rau, combined for two goals and three assists in the GLI. “If you get chances, you need to capitalize on those chances.” Salcido said Michigan State struggled because of CC’s persistence in front of the net. “We knew these guys were really good down low, deflecting the puck and coming out of the corners,” Salcido said. “We wanted to move our feet and keep our sticks in good position.” Owens admitted his team is finding new ways to win. The Tigers are 15 for 42 on the power play in the past six games, and they have four short-handed goals in as many games — Frischmon has two and Crabb and left wing Aaron Slattengren each have one. “The short-handed goals are something that’s very new to us,” Owens said. “We’ve got some offensive ability and talent, and we were able to establish ourselves with our offensive play.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0256 or brian.gomez@gazette.com
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