Colorado College right wing Mike Testwuide charged up the left half-wall, beat Anchorage left wing Josh Lunden, slid the puck through defenseman Luka Vidmar's feet, sliced into the slot, and as he left his feet, slung a wrist shot into the upper right corner to give the Tigers a 3-2 overtime victory over Anchorage. CC advances to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five for the first time in three seasons and will take on the winner of the play-in game on Friday at 6:07 p.m.
"I'm still a little shaky," Testwuide said, all smiles and sweat-drenched after the game. "The guy dove. I think. I don't really know what happened after that. I'm just so excited right now."
This is how left wing Bill Sweatt described the final sequence: "We just went back into the d-zone and (Jack Hillen) threw it up the wall to me. It hit my skate and deflected out of the zone. Wuider (Mike Testwuide) just took it. He came across the ice with speed and he just bulldozed those guys and he took his big body to the net and just buried it. That's all I can say. ...All of a sudden, he beats the guy and he's falling down but he gets the shot off. Then I see it just going into the empty net and I just jump in the air."
Testwuide also scored the game-tying goal in the third period.
When asked about it, Testwuide needed a little reminder.
"Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah," he said, nodding with faint recognition. "I got the puck and I waited and waited. The guy went down on his knees--waited. I knew I was going to bury it five-hole. I let it go as hard as I could and it went in the net."
All around, the Tigers admitted it was a shaky start to their playoff run.
Said coach Scott Owens: "It's nice not to have to play a third game this time of the year. Even if you're fortunate enough to win that third game, it takes a toll on your team when you're playing so many meaninigful games right now. I'm proud of our guys. They didn't get panicked. We're 2-1 going into the third period and found a way to win the game."
CC is in a three-way tie for second in the PairWise rankings (USCHO.com, College Hockey News), which are used to simulate the NCAA tournament selection process.
The Tigers will return to the World Arena — where they have an 18-2 record — for the NCAA West Regional on March 28.