Colorado College shocks No. 3 Minnesota Duluth in upset win

Posted at 10:35 PM, Dec 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 00:35:57-05

OMAHA, Neb. — Grant Cruikshank scored twice and added an assist and Dominic Basse had 30 saves in his first career start to lead Colorado College to a 4-1 victory over 3rd-ranked and previously undefeated Minnesota Duluth Sunday at Baxter Arena.

"The good teams can come back and do it again and that's what good teams do," said Tiger head coach Mike Haviland. "You can't just rest on what you did today. Yes, huge win for the team. We are certainly going to enjoy it, but we're going to go back and do it in a consistent effort again knowing that we can."

Josiah Slavin added a goal and a helper as the Tigers posted their first victory over a top-three nationally-ranked team, also a 4-1 win over No. 3 Minnesota Duluth, since Feb. 1, 2019 in Colorado Springs.

"Minnesota Duluth is one of the best teams in the conference, one of the best teams in the country," said Cruikshank. "We show that we can play their style of game and we can play hard and compete for 60 minutes."

CC (1-2-1) turned the tables in the special teams area on Sunday as Cruikshank scored a shorthanded goal and a power-play goal within a span of 1:23 late in the first period to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes. Cruikshank’s PPG was the only power play the Tigers had in the game, and they wiped out both of UMD’s man-advantage opportunities.

The junior captain opened the scoring at the 16:00 mark when he stole the puck at the UMD blue line, skated in alone on Bulldog goalie Ryan Fanti and beat him with a wrister from the top of the right circle.

Following a tripping call to UMD’s Nick Swaney, CC’s Jack Millar fired a shot from the left point that Fanti stopped, but the puck went right to Cruikshank on the right side and he buried a shot into the open net to double the Tiger lead at 17:23 of the opening frame.

Josiah Slavin made it 3-0 just 1:16 into the second period as he knocked in a rebound after Cruikshank’s breakaway attempt was stopped by Fanti, and Troy Conzo notched his first of the season at the 10:13 mark of the third period for a 4-0 lead off assists from Ben Copeland and Slavin.

Basse was outstanding throughout the game and came within 1:56 of posting CC’s first shutout since late in the 2018-19 campaign when UMD’s Luke Loheit scored to put the Bulldogs on the board. The freshman from Alexandria, Va., relieved Matt Vernon in Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to Omaha, but this one belonged all to himself.

The Bulldogs (5-1-1) outshot CC, 31-27, and Fanti finished with 23 saves.

The Tigers return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 15, against Miami University, beginning at 7:35 p.m. (CT).