CC holds on for 3-1 home win over Huskies

COLORADO SPRINGS  –  One too many mistakes, a hot goalie and a disallowed goal handed St. Cloud State a tough loss, 3-1, at No. 8-ranked Colorado College on Friday night

The Huskies dominated the final 40 minutes, but squandered two big scoring opportunities in the third period before CC junior Scott Winkler’s empty netter with 5.6 seconds remaining sealed the Tigers’ win before 6,736 fans at the Colorado Springs World Arena.

CC goalie Josh Thorimbert’s left leg pad save with 8:38 left on SCSU freshman Nick Oliver during a breakaway kept CC ahead 2-1. It was the biggest of his 32 saves.

“You have to credit their goalie,” said Huskies head coach Bob Motzko. “He may have stolen one for them tonight. That was probably the best we’ve played for two straight periods.”

Earlier, David Eddy’s shot clanged off the post 88 seconds into the third during one of the Huskies’ three power plays that period.  Later, the Huskies (8-11-4, 5-7-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) couldn’t capitalize on a 6-on-4 advantage with a late power play and freshman goalie Ryan Faragher (23 saves, 12 in the first period) pulled with 1:31 left.

It was far too close for Tigers head coach Scott Owens’ comfort.

“We didn’t have that killer instinct,” he said. “We let a good team hang around and it came down to a couple big penalty kills and our goaltending.”

The win pushed the third-place Tigers (13-7-1, 10-5-0) within two points of second-place Minnesota, which lost 2-1 at North Dakota earlier.

The Huskies battled back in the second period behind a power-play goal by sophomore defenseman Nick Jensen, his fifth score of the season. Travis Novak helped screen Thorimbert, who was unable to glove the slap shot by Jensen.

SCSU had appeared to tie the game at 2-2 with 3:18 left in the second period when Andrew Prochno’s stick came to rest on the back of Thorimbert’s helmet as a teammate’s shot caromed in off the right post.

“He hooked my helmet and pulled my head down so I told the referee immediately and they reviewed it,” Thorimbert said.

The goal was waved off after 3:27 of video review by the officials, who ruled that Prochno’s stick didn’t amount to goalie interference, but it was enough to negate the score.

“That was a pretty ticky-tack call,”Motzko said.

St. Cloud State was unable to shake off the rust from another weekend off quickly and the Tigers’ second line, centered by captain Nick Dineen, took advantage to stake CC to a 2-0 lead.

A turnover forced by Winkler and controlled by defenseman Mike Boivin led to a breakaway for Alexander Krushelnyski, who scored his sixth of the season when his hard shot trickled between Faragher’s leg pads for a 1-0 lead with 11:31 left in the opening period.

Dineen scored the eventual game-winner when he banged home a rebound off a shot by Krushelnyski with 4:48 left in the period.

“It shows how fragile we are,” Motzko said. “On that second goal, we made a turnover and it cost us. We were unable to battle back for the win. My Lord, we had three power plays, and a goal disallowed with the score 2-1.”

Jaden Schwartz leads stirring CC comeback

There’s more to the Colorado College hockey team than just Jaden Schwartz, but the sophomore left wing made his presence well known.

In his first game back playing for the Tigers in almost a month, he played a role in all three goals as the host Tigers rallied to tie No. 13 Cornell 3-3 Saturday night to conclude the final nonconference series of the season.

Schwartz scored his second of the game with 29.1 seconds left in regulation when he fired a hard-angle shot from the right faceoff circle that went between Cornell goalie Andy Iles’ legs to tie the game. It completed a stirring rally that energized the announced crowd of 7,021 and forced overtime at World Arena.

“I wasn’t sure how much time was left so I just shot, looking for a rebound in front,” Schwartz said. “It just went in. Anytime you score the tie the game late at home you have the crowd excited and you have the momentum.”

The tying goal was one of the few mistakes for Iles, who made 39 saves in a 2-1 win Friday over CC and 23 on Saturday. He lifted his stick slightly as he moved over to face Schwartz and the shot slipped through.

“That’s as good a goalie as we’ll see all year long,” head coach Scott Owens said.

Schwartz missed the previous six games, including Friday’s 2-1 loss to Cornell, while leading Canada to a bronze medal at the world junior championships. He recorded three points (two goals) in his first game back after sitting out Friday to rest.

“We’ve been more than Jaden all season but tonight, Jaden obviously was the show,” Owens said. “He made Rylan better and (William) Rapuzzi played well.”

The Colorado College power play came to life with the return of Jaden Schwartz when he scored his sixth goal of the season during the second period to give the host Tigers a 2-0 lead that later evaporated against No. 13 Cornell.

Jaden Schwartz scored a power-play goal and garnered an assist on an earlier man-advantage goal for Rylan Schwartz.

Cornell’s Joel Lowry scored midway through the second period to trim the Tigers lead and Sean Collins knotted it up with 5:13 left to make it 2-2. Cornell then went ahead with 8:06 left on a score by Greg Miller.

The tie, the first of the season for the sixth-ranked Tigers (12-7-1, 9-5 WCHA), is bittersweet. The Tigers were hoping for more than a single point against the ECAC leaders (9-4-2, 6-1-1).

“Your emotions are all over the map,” Owens said. “After falling behind 3-2 and getting a tie, you feel pretty good. Then you have a power play in overtime and you’re thinking you could win it.”

CC outshot Cornell 3-0 in the extra five minutes with two redirected shots by William Rapuzzi on the power play sailing wide of the net. The Tigers missed the net 19 times to finish with 26 shots to Cornell’s 22.

Junior goalie Joe Howe finished with 19 saves in his first start since Dec. 9. His most memorable save was when he stoned Cornell’s Cole Bardreau on a point-blank one-timer with 1:20 left in the first period that kept CC ahead 1-0 for the time being.

Saturday’s lines: No. 10 Union at No. 5 Colorado College

Union

LW-C-RW

Hatch/Zajac/Simpson

Carr/Welsh/Sullivan

Yanovitch/Bodie/Novak

Ikkala/Bennett/Coatta

LD-RD

Bodie/Stuart

Julseth-White/Vasaturo

Gostisbehere/Coburn

Goalies –– Grosenick/Stevens

 

Colorado College

LW-C-RW

Skalbeck/R. Schwartz/Rapuzzi

Krushelnyski/Dineen/Winkler

Eveland/Civitarese/Collett

Wamsganz/Hall/Taft

LD-RD

Guentzel/McDermott

Harstad/Marciano

Stoykewych/Boivin

Goalies — Thorimbert/Howe/Lockwood