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Colorado College falls in overtime 3-2 - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Colorado College falls in overtime 3-2

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Josh Melnick scored at the 2:37 mark of overtime to give Miami University a 3-2 victory over Colorado College Friday night in Oxford, Ohio.

Melnick took a pass from Ben Lown off a 2-on-1 rush and snuck the puck past CC goalie Alex Leclerc to give the RedHawks (4-3, 1-0 NCHC) their third consecutive victory and CC’s first one-goal loss of the season.

The Tigers (5-4, 1-2 NCHC) were shorthanded off the bat, playing the game with only five healthy defensemen due to injuries suffered last weekend to Cole McCaskill and Nate Kwiecinski, and Zach Berzolla missed Friday’s game with flu-like symptoms. Freshman McKay Flanagan stepped into the lineup for his collegiate debut.

“We put together a solid effort tonight and I thought we got better as the game went on,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “It is a hard way to lose but I thought effort was there on the road, especially being shorthanded on the back end.”

Christiano Versich gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead with 4:40 left in the third period with CC’s second power-play goal of the period. Versich took a pass from Kristian Blumenschein and placed a backhander past Miami netminder Ryan Larkin.

After Larkin went to the bench for an extra attacker with just over a minute remaining in the third, Casey Gilling took a centering pass from Gordie Green and sent a wrist shot that best Leclerc stick side to even the score at 2-2 and send the game to overtime.

Each team had a number of chances in the first period, but Leclerc and Larkin were solid as the game was scoreless after 20 minutes. The Tigers had their best chances early as Ben Israel hit the post just one minute into the contest and Larkin robbed Mason Bergh on the rebound.

Miami captain Louie Belpidio gave the RedHawks a 1-0 lead at the 7:26 mark of the second with an unassisted goal. He gathered the puck in his own end, went coast-to-coast and fired a wrist shot that went top shelf past Leclerc.

Bergh had another golden opportunity to even the score with six minutes remaining in the second period, but his rebound into a wide open net after Larkin saved a shot by Trey Bradley glanced off the right post and stayed out. Larkin also kept it a one-goal Miami lead with a spectacular kick save on Nick Halloran’s one-timer early in the final period with CC on the power play.

During the second Tiger power play of the period, Trevor Gooch evened the score when he redirected a shot by Blumenschein past Larkin at the 6:51 mark of the frame. Israel was also credited with an assist on the play and added his second helper of the night on Versich’s tally.

“It would have been nice to get rewarded for how we played for 60 minutes, it just didn’t go our way in overtime,” Haviland said. “I really liked our effort and we get the two goals in the third, but we have to find a way to close it out.”

Larkin finished the game with 28 saves, while Leclerc had 26. The Tigers scored a pair of power-play goals for just the second time this season and finished the game 2-for-6. Miami, which entered the contest with the second-best power play in the nation, was 0-for-2.

“Our penalty kill was really good against one of the hottest power plays in the country,” Haviland said.

The two teams will battle again on Saturday night, beginning at 7:05 p.m. (ET).

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