Irvine, CA – In the last game the Colorado State Rams played at the MCLA national tournament, they held the Colorado Buffaloes to just two goals while winning their sixth national championship in May of 2013. In a 2014 opening round contest against 12th seeded Simon Fraser, the 5th seeded Rams picked up right where they left off, holding the high-powered Clan offense to just three goals in a 5-3 victory on the campus of UC-Irvine.
The Rams got stellar goaltending from seniors Jack Regan (Sunset HS; Portland, OR) and Koltin Fatzinger (Wheat Ridge HS; Thornton, CO) throughout the afternoon and did just enough on offense to get the win. Regan had nine saves and one goal against in his thirty minutes of work while Fatzinger rang up six saves and allowed only two in the second half.
The Rams controlled the first half of action, taking a 4-1 lead into the break. But Simon Fraser clawed their way back into the game, making it 4-3 after three quarters. CSU outshot SFU 14-5 in the final frame and got a key goal from senior attackman Sean Smith (Amherst HS; Amherst, NY) to give the Rams a 5-3 victory.
Face-offs were key for the Rams, who leaned on junior Brian Roach (Wheat Ridge HS; Westminster, CO) to win 12 of 19 draw attempts on the day. The Rams won every statistical category, but Simon Fraser goaltender Darren Zwack made several outstanding stops in a 13 save performance. Smith led all scorers with two goals on the day.
Colorado State advances to the quarterfinals, where they will face the 4th seeded Chapman Panthers at 5 p.m. PST on Tuesday in a rematch of a 6-5 Chapman victory earlier this season. The Rams and Panthers are 4-4 in recent MCLA history, but haven’t met in the tournament since 2009. Chapman got a 7-2 victory over 13th seeded Northeastern to get to the quarters.
Top seeds Arizona State and Colorado also made it through to the second round while 14th seeded Virginia Tech surprised 3rd seeded Brigham Young and knocked the Cougars out of the tournament. All games can be streamed live atwww.mcla.us.