Leclerc blanks No. 2 Denver on the ice as CC claims huge win

By Colorado College | Posted: Sat 11:02 PM, Feb 17, 2018

DENVER (Colorado College Athletics) – Behind a 40-save shutout from Alex Leclerc, Nick Halloran’s team-leading 18th goal and a great defensive effort, Colorado College upset No. 2-ranked Denver, 1-0, Saturday at Magness Arena.

The Tigers (13-13-4, 7-9-3-2 NCHC) snapped a 17-game winless streak against the Pioneers, dating back to Feb. 22, 2014, and collected five of a possible six points against the defending national champions in Denver this season, combining tonight’s win with a 4-4 tie and goal in the 2nd overtime for the extra point back in December.

"Everybody did the little detail things to win this hockey game," head coach Mike Haviland said. "Tonight really showed our resiliency and never-say-die attitude."

With the Tigers on the power play late in the first period, Halloran fired a wrist shot from the high slot that slipped past DU goalie Tanner Jalliet with 28.1 seconds remaining in the frame. Westin Michaud won a faceoff in the Denver zone and Halloran collected the puck, moved to the middle and scored his fourth game-winner of the season.

"It looked like the goalie was screened a bit, so I just sent it to the net," Halloran said.

Leclerc stopped 13 shots in the first period, then was spectacular in the second, when Denver outshot the Tigers, 18-7.

"This was a great team performance tonight," Leclerc said. "We disappointed ourselves and our fans last night and needed to come back and get points tonight."

The sophomore goalie, who topped the 40-save mark for the fifth time this season, was helped immensely by the Tiger defense, which limited the Pioneers (17-7-6, 11-5-4-3 NCHC) to nine shots in the third period and only four shots on four power-play opportunities.

"Our guys were sacrificing their bodies, especially on the penalty kill," Leclerc said. "This was a collective effort and our team showed a lot of character."

The Tigers moved back into sixth place in the NCHC with Saturday night’s victory, and are just two points behind fifth-place Western Michigan heading into next weekend’s final regular-season road series at Omaha.

"Tonight really helped us put ourselves in position to get home ice," Haviland said.

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