It took all six periods, but in the end CSU came away with the weekend edge in their rivalry with CU.
Friday night in Boulder, the two teams skated to a 4-4 tie. CU got off to an early 2-0 lead, scoring two goals in the first two minutes. The Rams settled in and scored the next four, including two by senior captain and winger Tommy Owens. The two-goal lead wasn't enough to beat the Buffs at home however, as they were able to tie it during the waning minutes of the second period.
A scoreless third sent the game to overtime where the two teams still could not find the back of the net.
"I don't think we played as well as we hoped," said Jeff Ronkoske, the junior goaltender for Friday's game. "We should have won, but it's hard with a ton of penalties."
Saturday night brought the unfinished business back to Ft. Collins. A packed house at EPIC brought the noise, and fans were treated to some of the best hockey anywhere. Tied after the first two periods, the entire weekend ended up coming down to a grand finale in the third.
"We love having the crowd rowdy and loud," said junior Jared Hiller. "The bigger the crowd, the bigger the goals and the bigger the hits."
Senior winger Ryan Lewis broke the tie a little over three minutes into the third, giving the Rams a 4-3 advantage. Just a minute-and-a-half later, CU tied the game at four on a deflected shot from the point by Kevin Alpert. CSU's Owens scored his second goal of the night, fourth of the weekend, with just thirteen minutes remaining making the score 5-4 in the Rams' favor.
"Those two goals Saturday night show why he's wearing the 'C'," said Hiller. "He proved why he's the Capitan and basically won it for us."
Controversy later ensued as a play in front of the net appeared to yield a hat-trick goal for Owens but was disallowed following a meeting by the officials. What looked to be a no question tally for CSU, was waived off causing some tempers to flare resulting in a penalty on Owens.
CSU sophomore Dane Cella scored an insurance goal with 3:41 remaining to go up 6-4, and sophomore Adam Havens added a full-ice empty net goal with just :50 showing on the clock to seal the 7-4 victory.
"We take pride playing at home," said Ronkoske. "We never want to lose at home. I don't think we even have in two seasons."
In net, sophomore Brian Minor put together a solid effort making multiple key saves to keep the game close. But the star of the weekend was Owens who compiled four goals to go along with an assist. Sophomore center Tim Stiller also pulled down the third-star on Saturday for his two assists and all-around ice play.
Friday 7:30 @ EPIC vs. New Mexico
Saturday 7:30 @ EPIC vs. Weber St.