In the end, the Division II hockey game between the Colorado Buffaloes versus the Weber State Wildcats came down to one glaring statistic on the stat sheet: 15-5.
No, this was not the score of the game nor was it hits, shots or saves.
It was penalties.
Over the course of 60 minutes, CU was handed 15 power plays to try to attain a goal with an extra man up. Even though the boys in gold only managed to convert on one power play, it was enough as CU skated away with a 5-3 victory Friday at the CU Recreation Center.
The game started out with a bang. About three minutes into the first period, Weber State was already down a player after he suffered an injury on a huge hit at center ice. He was down for several minutes. It was at this point that the situation started to get ugly for the visitors.
About four minutes later, Weber State was charged with two consecutive penalties as they tried to shake things up with the Buffs.
The first period was up-and-down for both teams as defense and goaltending were the name of the game. The game was scoreless when the buzzer sounded.
CU found its legs and started to take control in the second period. Shortly after the period began, junior defenseman Scott Cooley found a pass in the high slot and hammered it home glove-side to give the Buffs a 1-0 lead.
But Weber State quickly found momentum after an unlucky play led to Cooley skating in and deflecting a rebound into his own net. Weber State took control for much of the period afterwards, culminating in a breakaway goal to take the lead.
However, the Buffs took back control with the clock winding down in the second after captain Mark Viau fed a beautiful pass to Matt Ullrich to tie the game at 2-2.
In the third period, Weber State shot itself in the foot. Players took careless penalties in handing CU the momentum, and practically the game. The hockey was high tempo as both teams battled for the next goal to give their team the edge. With about seven minutes left, the Buffs scored on a power play after Conor Williams put a shot on net from the left faceoff circle through the five-hole.
Weber managed to tie it up shortly after, but Viau hammered an ugly one home for the game-winner soon after.
Penalties took their toll on the tired visiting squad as any chance they had to send the game into overtime dissipated when they took a careless penalty to send a player into the penalty box. However, they still opted to pull their goalie in the last minute, which allowed CU to clinch the game with a goal into the open net.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Adam Alberti at Adam.Alberti@colorado.edu.