Grand Junction, CO – The #3 Colorado State Rams backed up their double overtime victory over #9 Colorado two weeks ago with a solid 8-5 effort in the semifinals of the RMLC tournament on Friday night. Colorado State jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the half and withstood a third quarter rally by the Buffaloes to reach the RMLC title game for the third consecutive year.
Both teams held strong defensively in the first quarter as the two squads combined for only 10 shots. But the Rams owned the second frame, outshooting the Buffs 12-5 and dumping home three goals to CU’s one.
Kacy Carter (Rock Canyon HS / Castle Rock, CO) scored both of his goals during the second quarter and senior attackman Taylor Peper (Smoky Hill HS / Aurora, CO) notched an important tally with just over two minutes left in the half to give the Rams a 4-1 lead.
Colorado didn’t fade away, however, going on a three-goal run coming out of the break to make it a one point game headed to the fourth quarter. But CSU dominated the Buffs in the fourth again, including a two-goal burst in less than :20 with 7:20 remaining to put the game away.
CSU was led by Carter’s two goals and one assist and an identical three-point performance from junior attackman Austin Fisher (Rock Canyon HS / Highlands Ranch, CO). Four other players added a single goal for the Rams. Junior Dan Warfield (Smoky Hill HS / Aurora, CO) was outstanding at the face-off ‘x’ with an 11 of 14 performance and a team-high four groundballs. Riley Seidel led the Buffaloes with two goals.
Colorado State outshot Colorado 35-20 and picked up 23 groundballs to CU’s 20. Both teams cleared relatively well, but CSU’s three-goal outburst on man-up and Warfield’s dominating face-off performance ended up being a big difference in the game.
Colorado goaltender Bradley MacNee was solid, making seven saves on the evening while CSU’s duo of Jack Regan (Sunset HS / Beaverton, OR) and Koltin Fatzinger (Wheat Ridge HS / Thornton, CO) combined for nine.
CSU (14-2 overall) moves to the RMLC championship game for a rematch with #2 Brigham Young, who defeated the University of Utah 13—7 earlier in the evening. BYU took an 8-6 win over CSU a month ago in Denver and the Rams will be looking for a measure of revenge against their rivals from Provo. Game time at Colorado Mesa University will be 5pm MST.