Post-goal letdowns drop Colorado College into 3-3 home tie against New Hampshire

blumenscheinThose looking for a high-octane offensive battle got their wish in the third period.

Those hoping for a third-straight Colorado College win? Well, they left the Broadmoor World Arena disappointed albeit entertained after New Hampshire battled back twice to forge a 3-3 tie Friday night.

After a tight 1-1 battle through the first two periods, the third was characterized by end-to-end action and sudden bursts of scoring. And to the frustration of the majority of 3,312 fans and the Tigers, UNH had an answer each time CC went ahead.

The Wildcats scored 16 seconds after Alex Berardinelli’s team-high fifth goal put CC ahead 2-1 with 13:52 left. Later, Chris Wilkie gave the hosts a 3-2 lead that lasted only 93 seconds.

Those momentum killers are something the Tigers must avoid, coach Mike Haviland said.

“We need to learn that when we have a goal we have momentum and we can’t give it right back,” he said. “We did that twice tonight.”

The teams combined for 40 shots in the third and 5-on-5 overtime with CC goalie Alex Leclerc (39 saves) making some huge stops after the game was tied at 3-3 midway through the third.

He stopped Angus Crookshank, who scored the third UNH goal, with a leg-pad save with 6:57 left and later got a piece of a rising shot with his glove with 2:57 remaining. He recorded 36 saves in regulation, one more than he needed in last weekend’s wins combined. He made five saves early in OT as well.

UNH goalie Mike Robinson (34 saves) shined early and late, making two big stops in the final six seconds of overtime to secure the nonconference tie for the Wildcats (0-2-1). Robinson made 13 saves, including five stops on shots from within eight feet, in the first period.

“Their guy made some unbelievable saves,” Haviland said. “(Leclerc) was good and then so was (Robinson). We had a breakaway with six seconds left. That’s how wild the game was.”

UNH survived a good first period by the Tigers (3-1-1) and then outplayed Colorado College to tie the game at 1-1 in the second on a score by Max Gildon (1 goal, 2 assists Friday).

During the second frame, the Wildcats avoided the penalty box, allowing them to out shoot the hosts by a 13-4 margin to offset a 14-8 deficit through the first 20 minutes. UNH out shot CC by a 42-37 margin.

“Give them credit,” Haviland said. “We were standing around and watching (during the second). In the third we woke up and it becomes a wild game in the third. We need to tighten up to be sure. I don’t like the backdoor goals that were scored on us tonight. That’s some missed assignments there.”

Saturday’s video session will likely focus on the Tigers closing off the shooting lanes against UNH, which got 42 shots on goal despite 30 blocked shots by CC.

“They are a team that shoots it from everywhere,” Haviland said. “They have some really good D that can make some moves and get it to the net. We have to really do a better job in the lanes. We hurt ourselves turning it over at their blue line. Instead of chipping it in instead we tried to make a (1-on-1) play and that doesn’t work at this level.”

CC opened the scoring after Bryan Yoon sent a pass out to fellow rookie Grant Cruikshank, who ripped a rising shot on net. The shot blew past Robinson’s glove attempt and made it 1-0 only four seconds into the man advantage late in the first.

About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with about 25 years of professional experience.

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