Colorado Mesa squared off against Westminster on Saturday in what ended up being an offensive shootout as well as an overtime thriller.
The Mavericks went into Salt Lake looking to capitalize on their recently gained momentum heading into conference play. With the two most recent wins against CSU-Pueblo and Adams State, the team knew they couldn’t overlook Westminster.
The first two quarters were even all the way through; the Mavericks went on a 4-1 run after Westminster struck first. The Griffins would soon respond with another goal of their own to end the first quarter down 4-2.
Senior Steve Brandenburg scored two of his three goals in the first quarter to bring his season total to 43.
Colorado Mesa won 12 out of 18 faceoffs in the first half alone which was won of the main deciding in the overtime victory.
Sophomore Jack Griffin continued his hat trick streak by getting three goals on Saturday making it the third game in a row with three goals or more. Griffin scored twice in the second quarter to help the Mavericks head into halftime with a 9-8 lead.
The second half was just as intense as the first. Brandon Wilson scored the only goal of the third quarter for the Mavericks. Wilson would score another goal in the fourth and he would lead the team in assists on the day with four.
Westminster scored two goals of their own in the third which would tie the score heading into the last quarter of regulated play.
The Mavericks and Griffins would trade goals scored by Brandon Wilson and Steve Brandenburg. Colorado Mesa was down by one with less than three minutes remaining until Connor Larrick tied the game up 13-13 with 2:56 left on the game clock.
The game would go into overtime in which neither team could score for over ten minutes. With about three and a half minutes remaining in OT, Jack Griffin silenced the Griffin’s defense with the game winning goal.
Griffin’s goal completed his hat trick on the day and was his 10 goal over the last three games.
Colorado Mesa is alone at the top of the RMAC with the win in which brought their overall record to 11-2 and 6-1 in conference play.
The close game in Salt Lake portrays the season is never safe at this point in time. The remainder of conference play could make or break the Mavericks season
“We feel confident that if we play as well as we know we can we’ll have no problem winning out […] but at the same time we can’t looking past any opponents like Pueblo or Westminster,” Steve Brandenburg said, who ended the game with three goals.
Colorado Mesa has won three in a row after losing to the University of Tampa but the momentum switch in the past two weeks will be essential for the remainder of the regular season.
The Mavericks will travel back to Grand Junction for their first home game since March 7 where they will face CSU-Pueblo for the second time in three games.