COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sophomore forward Tyler Liebel scored the lone goal as Colorado College topped the University of Alberta 1-0 in an exhibition game played Saturday night at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
“This was a valuable game for us,” Colorado College Head Coach Scott Owens said. “It was much more useful than an 8-1 game. It is good to battle with older, more experienced teams because they make us work.”
Liebel’s goal came 2:03 into the second period and turned out to be the game’s winning goal. Sophomore forward Reid Goolsby carried the puck through the neutral zone and shuffled a pass to a streaking Liebel before getting nailed in a collision just over the blueline. Liebel unleashed a quick slapshot from the high slot that found its way just inside the far post to beat Alberta goalie Dustin Schwartz. Junior defenseman Jason Jozsa also had an assist on the goal.
“Reid came over the line and just left the puck off for me before he got hit,” Liebel said. “I just tried to get off a quick shot and I think it caught him [Schwartz] a little off guard as he was coming across the crease.”
Alberta, the two-time defending Canadian Intercollegiate Champions, came to Colorado Springs after a disappointing 6-2 loss Friday night at Denver.
“Tonight we knew we needed to have a much stronger effort than we had against Denver,” Alberta Head Coach Rob Daum said. “We got great goaltending and had some great opportunities, but we could not finish.”
The rest of the game could be characterized by missed opportunities. Both Colorado College and Alberta had numerous chances, but both teams had trouble finishing.
“I was not jumping for joy about the game,” Owens said. “But it was pretty good for an exhibition game. The execution was better than I expected, and I was pleased with the play of our freshmen. We just needed to finish and score a few more. But the guys who could not put them away tonight will be able to in the future.”
“We had our chances,” Tiger sophomore forward Peter Sejna said.” But the finishing just was not there,”
Much of those missed chances can be attributed to the play of the goaltenders. Schwartz made 33 saves in a losing effort, while Tiger goalies, senior Jeff Sanger and freshman Curtis McElhinney combined for 26 saves in the shared shutout. McElhinney was making his collegiate debut.
Colorado College returns to action next weekend when they travel to North Dakota for a pair of WCHA games against the 0-1-0 Fighting Sioux.