COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. — Colorado College improved to .500 with a 7-1 win over visiting UMass-Amherst Saturday night at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
The Tigers jumped out early, scoring twice in the first period, giving freshman goalie Curtis McElhinney all the support he needed to pick up his first career win.
“I was really pleased with tonight’s game,” said Colorado College head coach Scott Owens. “Actually I was happy with all 120 minutes this weekend. We played two entirely different games and handled them well. Yesterday, they trapped and frustrated us. Today, they came out flying and played a much more physical game. I was happy to see how we responded to each game.”
Just as in Friday’s game, Tiger forward Alex Kim opened up the scoring. On an early power play, he beat UMass goalie Tim Warner with a shot from just outside the crease. The play developed as Mark Cullen threw the puck on net from the point. Warner made the initial save and Tiger Chris Hartsburg picked up the rebound and fired another shot on goal. Warner saved it and Kim collected the rebound and put it in for his second goal of the season.
Just over 12 minutes later, again on the power play, Kim found the back of the net again, sending off a quick wrister through the legs of Warner from the top of the right circle.
The Tiger power play came alive as they went 4-for-9 after failing to convert an opportunity in the previous three games.
“It was nice to see the PP finally come together,” said Owens. “We had been working at it and tonight it finally clicked.”
CC extended the lead three minutes into second period when Colin Stuart picked up his first goal of the season. The Tigers would add three more as they went on to a 7-1 victory.
In the end, three Tigers had four-point games: Tom Preissing and Peter Sejna each scored once and added three assists, while Mark Cullen collected four assists.
“I was happy with the play of Mark Cullen, Sejna, Kim and Preissing,” said Owens. “They are our leaders and we need to get production from them. They did a great job.”
Unlike Friday’s game, the Minutemen came out firing and had several strong scoring opportunities, but had trouble beating McElhinney. Their only goal came from Matt Walsh who scored on a breakaway midway through the second period.
“I’m really happy to get a win under my belt,” said McElhinney. “Last night they did not have a lot of opportunities so I didn’t know what to expect today. They actually came out and came after us. They got some good opportunities and I did my best to stop what I could.”
CC has next weekend off before a home-and-home series with Denver Nov. 1-2. UMass-Amherst plays at Providence next Sunday, Oct. 28, at 4:00 p.m.