|Colby College||SUNY Geneseo|
GENESEO, N.Y. — Colby College’s Justin Grillo scored with 1.6 seconds remaining in regulation to break a 1-1 tie and give the Mules a stunning 2-1 victory over third-ranked SUNY Geneseo in an NCAA Division III national quarterfinal on Saturday.
Colby is headed to the Frozen Four of the NCAA Division III Tournament at Lake Placid, New York, next weekend. Colby will play either Augsburg or St. Norbert in a national semifinal.
Colby, in its fifth straight weekend on the road, earned its second straight NCAA victory and a fifth straight playoff win over the Knights, who had been unbeaten (12-0-1) at home this season.
Colby’s Thomas Stahlhuth had the opening goal of the game from Grillo and Michael Rudolf. Grillo’s game-winning score came from Stahlhuth and Cam MacDonald.
Arguably the biggest goal in Colby men’s hockey history almost did not happen. Geneseo had possession in Colby’s end and it appeared that the Mules would not get another offensive chance
A Geneseo defenseman on the blue line gave away a puck in the middle of the ice and the Mules quickly went to work. MacDonald pushed a short pass to a streaking Stahlhuth, who ripped a shot that was blocked. Grillo was coming in hard behind and his one-timer wrist shot found the back of the net.
Geneseo’s lone goal came on a two-man advantage when Colby took penalties at 7:40 and 8:04. Arthur Gordon scored at 8:18 to tie the game at 1-1.
Colby’s first goal came on more nice transition out of its own zone. Michael Rudolf sent Grillo on his way with a nice pass. Grillo did a good job of creating some space and had the option to shoot or pass. He elected to go across to Stahlhuth, who once again was skating hard and tipped the puck past goalie Devin McDonald.
The Mules improved to 17-10-2 after being 10-10 overall at one point. Colby is now unbeaten in the last nine games at 7-0-2. Geneseo ended its season at 20-6-3.
Colby goalie Sean Lawrence finished with 38 saves in another strong game. He made 17 saves in the third period when the Knights had a 18-4 shot advantage. Lawrence has allowed just six goals in five playoff games and only 11 goals in the current nine-game unbeaten streak.
The other semifinal will pit Salve Regina against Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Salve Regina took a 4-3 win over Nichols, while Stevens Point skated to a 5-2 win against Adrian.