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April 13, 2014 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

Finding His Game

Stevens Recovers to Guide Union to Title

by Jashvina Shah/Staff Writer

See all of CHN's Tournament coverage: articles, brackets, history and more.

PHILADELPHIA — Colin Stevens sat in Union's locker room, his garnet jersey and goalie pads still stuck his body. Stevens, wearing his black national championship hat, wasn’t saying much.

The junior just made 36 saves in a 7-4 win over Minnesota.

“He’s been the backbone of our team, and he’s just so humble about it, so calm about it,” Union forward Sam Coatta said. “It’s pretty special and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Stevens, turning in his first season as Union’s starter, allowed four goals to Minnesota. It marked the first time all season Stevens had allowed four or more goals in back-to-back games after he surrendered four to Boston College in Thursday's national semifinal.

“Obviously, there’s going to be nerves in the game like that, but I felt good,” Stevens said. “I felt good the whole game.”

It took Minnesota 2:37 into the game to score. Stevens made the initial save but couldn’t hold onto the puck, and Justin Kloos found the rebound to give the Gophers the first lead.

Stevens said he thought he had the puck.

“Colin’s been great all year. If he lets in one quickly like that, we have the offense to get it right back so we’re never worried,” assistant captain Cole Ikkala said. “We always know he’ll be there for us the entire game so we just kept playing.”

But in the first, when Stevens allowed two goals, that was difficult to say.

“I don’t know if I’d use the term shaky,” Bodie said. “A couple bounces, a couple weird goals, but he was fantastic for us all year.

After the first period, when Stevens made 13 saves, he responded with an even better second and third period. The only goal Stevens allowed in the second period was a tally from Taylor Cammarata.

After the win, his 28th of the season and 11th in a row, Stevens said he didn’t make any adjustments after the first.

“[I] just tried to stay mentally tough in there, don’t get rattled,” Stevens said. “And the guys did a great job in front of me so hats off to them.”

Stevens faced several quality looks in the second period, including one from Mike Reilly who threw a Cammarata pass on net. Stevens made the save.

“I don’t know how many draft picks [the Gophers] have, I don’t know how many guys they have that are going to play in the NHL one day, but for him to only let in four goals on I think he had 39 shots, that’s just tremendous,” Kevin Sullivan said.

“They had a lot of Grade A chances and he just closed the door on them all day.”

After the entire team had returned to the locker room, Bodie stood a few feet away from his goaltender’s stall.

“He’s a national championship goalie,” Bodie said. “You can never take that away from him.

“I’m just so proud of the steps he’s taken since he came here as a freshman. Now he’s a terrific goalie. He always has been and I’m really glad we were able to pull it out for him.”

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©2014 Jashvina Shah. All Rights Reserved.