Brett Sterling cemented his spot in Colorado College’s record books Friday night as Chris Kawano became more than a backup goalie with an unusual last name. Sterling had a hat trick to give him 102 career goals and Kawano made 25 saves in place of injured Matt Zaba, lifting No. 9 CC to a 6-2 win over Alaska Anchorage before an announced crowd of 7,189 at World Arena. The victory, coupled with St. Cloud State’s 2-1 overtime loss to Minnesota State-Mankato, vaulted CC into a tie for fourth place with St. Cloud State in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Tigers hold a one-point lead over No. 12 North Dakota, which beat Minnesota Duluth. If CC and St. Cloud State are tied at the end of the regular season, the Tigers would win the tiebreaker in determining seeding for the first round of the WCHA playoffs because they won three of four games against the Huskies. CC is 20-12-1, 12-10-1 in the WCHA. Alaska Anchorage is 6-22-3, 4-18-3. The teams finish the series at 7:07 tonight. The hat trick was the third of the season for Sterling, whose 25 goals lead the country. His other hat tricks came Oct. 29 at Minnesota State and Nov. 26 at No. 5 Boston University. Sterling hadn’t scored in seven games — the longest drought of his career. He’s the fifth player in CC history to join the “century club,” and his 102 goals are the third most alltime behind Ron Hartwell (112) and Dave Delich (111). Kawano, a walk-on from Aurora, stood tall — as tall as a 5-foot-9, 160-pound goalie can stand — in his first home start. He stopped nine shots on the power play, including three when Alaska Anchorage had a first-period man-advantage. He also didn’t flinch when the Seawolves had a 5-on-3 advantage for about a minute early in the third period. “I thought it was a good answer for a tough week,” CC coach Scott Owens said, referring to final exams and the dismissal of left wing Aaron Slattengren. Sterling’s 100th goal came on a breakaway less than four minutes into the game. Sterling beat John DeCaro (2-10) low to the stick side. Jack Hillen set up the hat trick by creating space in the right faceoff circle, and Sterling blasted a one-timer past backup goalie Mike Rosett. Fans saluted Sterling by throwing about 15 hats on the ice. “You have no idea how much lighter I feel, just being able to get that first one,” Sterling said. Kawano (1-1) admitted he was nervous starting for Zaba. “I was able to make some good saves early,” Kawano said. “My confidence just grew after that.” TODAY Alaska Anchorage (6-22-3, 4-18-3) at Colorado College (20-12-1, 12-10-1), 7:07 p.m, 1240 AM
Colorado Springs Gazette has disabled the comments for this article.