Winning twice can be just as nice.
The CU Recreation Center’s ice rink was full of tension, but the Colorado Buffaloes were able to pull off a repeat win against in-state rival Colorado State 4-2 Friday. The night before, the Buffs beat the Rams 5-3 at the Pepsi Center.
The arena was full of fans from both teams who held up banners and waved their flags in support of their respective schools. They also anticipated a physical game, as did senior forward Max Myers.
“Every time we play CSU it’s a rough game, its physical,” Myers said. “We know they’re going to hit us. You got to be ready to take a hit and give a hit, and it definitely adds to the energy.”
The referees broke up several fights throughout the game and anytime two opposing players would crash into the glass, the crowd would go wild, egging them on.
However, both teams were able to keep their penalties relatively low and stay focused on the task at hand.
CU struck first with a goal by sophomore forward Erich Seufert about six minutes into the first period with the assist coming from Myers. Seufert scored again with 30 seconds remaining in the period to bring the score to 2-0 heading into intermission. The assists were credited to junior forward A.J. Koller and Myers, his second on the night.
It took CU just 24 seconds into the second period to find the back of the net again when junior forward Conor Williams scored. Defensemen J.P Park and Andrew Neitenbach picked up the assists on the goal.
The third period brought the Buffs yet another goal just 27 seconds into it as Myers scored on an assist from Koller to extend their lead to four.
Colorado State answered back as they scored their first goal with 15:21 left to play in the game. The goal was scored by defenseman Ian Austiguy and assisted by forwards Casey Schermerhorn and A.J. Hau.
CU held the three-goal lead until there was six seconds left when forward Ben Smoot scored on assists coming from forward Kevin O’Donnell and Hau.
Although CSU managed to score two goals, the player who helped the Buffs win the game was junior goaltender Kevin Litinsky. Litinsky made 42 outstanding saves and kept the Rams scoreless for almost 45 minutes.
“I think Kevin played well in both games,” CU head coach Ken Fikis said. “He had a shaky first period yesterday but since then, he was outstanding. Kevin really stepped up and really wanted these two games to make up for the last couple years.”
With the help of Litinsky, the Buffs have beaten the Rams on back-to-back nights after losing all four meetings to them last season.
Litinsky was especially pleased with these wins.
“We haven’t won against CSU at home since I’ve been here and at least the year before I got here, so it’s unbelievable,” Litinsky said.
Myers said he feels these wins are very important to the team’s performance and their season.
“I think it proves that we can play with anybody,” Myers said. “It gives us confidence and momentum going into these next few weeks.”
Litinsky agrees these games were important and it they proved the team has heart.
“It shows that our team has come really far from the beginning of the season,” Litinsky said. “We had some growing pains, but we came together and this weekend proves a lot. It proves we have heart, we can come from behind, and we gelled as a team and I like where our team is at.”
Fikis said these games and the fans who attended them have helped his team..
“I think we’re playing better hockey and it’s more fun to be here,” Fikis said. “I think the fans have definitely helped the last two nights.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kayla Cornett at Kayla.email@example.com.