The defeat spoiled CSU’s 9-0 start to the season and a huge on-campus crowd, not to mention marking the Rams’ first home loss since April 11, 2010.
After CSU raced out to a 5-1 halftime lead, Cal Poly scratched their way back in the game in the third quarter, scoring four straight goals to set up an epic fourth quarter and overtime session. The Rams scored two goals in under 10 seconds to jump back out to a 7-5 lead with 10:22 remaining, but another key run by Poly put the Mustangs in front 8-7 with 4:36 remaining. CSU’s Greyson Konkel (Regis Jesuit HS / Aurora, CO) tied the game with only :36 left to send the game to overtime to set up Chiang’s theatrics.
Colorado State won the opening face-off of the overtime period and had a terrific chance on the ensuing break, but Cal Poly’s Bo Dunnaho-Kirsch was up to the task and turned the shot aside. CSU was unable to capitalize on the ensuing opportunity but held serve on the defensive end to regain possession. After a frantic couple of minutes, CSU eventually turned the ball over on a clear and Chiang took advantage by beating his man down the right alley and ending the game with a snappy shot on the run.
Ultimately, the Rams were undone by 19 turnovers, including three in the overtime period alone and three in Cal Poly’s key third quarter comeback. While the Rams won all statistical categories, including face-offs, shots and groundballs, they were unable to capitalize down the stretch and Poly gained momentum as the second half wore on. The Mustangs relied on a relentless offensive attack and spread scoring, not to mention a very solid second-half defensive performance to secure the victory.