COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Despite blowing third period leads of 4-0 and 5-2, Colorado College scored a late power-play goal to top North Dakota, 6-5, in front of 6,843 fans Friday night at the Colorado Springs World Arena. The win improved the Tigers to 13-8-2 (9-7-1 WCHA) and dropped the Fighting Sioux to 10-12-2 (5-10-2 WCHA).
“This was a good win for us,” said CC coach Scott Owens. “Yeah, they had us on the ropes late, but it was nice to see us persevere and get a win out of this. Our offense came together tonight and got us some goals. They got on a roll, but we did not get too panicked, and we stayed together, and we got the win.”
“We got it back together late,” said CC defenseman Tom Preissing. “They got on a roll there late. We took some bad penalties and let them back in the game. But at the same time we didn’t panic too much, and stuck together and we pulled it out in the end. We need to do a better job of settling down. They scored those goals really quick and got us unsettled.”
CC opened the scoring at 7:06 of the first period when left-wing Peter Sejna tipped a point shot by Preissing past North Dakota goaltender Josh Siembida. The Tigers padded the lead in the first half of the second period when the line of left wing Noah Clarke, center Alex Kim, and right wing Trent Clark accounted for two goals. At 2:16 of the period, Kim scored with an assist from Clarke, and just over five minutes later, Kim scored from Clarke and Clark.
After a relatively calm first two periods that saw CC skate to a 3-0 lead, the third period saw the play go back and forth as North Dakota made a game of it. The Tigers scored the period’s first goal just 34 seconds into the period on a slapshot from the left point by Preissing. Kim and center Mark Cullen assisted Preissing’s power-play goal.
North Dakota scored its first goal of the game at 3:34 of the period when right wing Brandon Bochenski one-timed a pass from left wing Ryan Bayda past CC goaltender Curtis McElhinney. Bochenski and Bayda hooked up again just under two minutes later, when Bochenski won an offensive-zone faceoff and passed the puck to Bayda who beat McElhinney.
CC regained a three-goal lead 1:10 later when center Chris Hartsburg beat Siembida with a wrist shot from the top of the circle. Sejna and Preissing assisted the shorthanded goal.
The Fighting Sioux continued their comeback at 8:08 with their third power-play goal of the period. Bochenski tallied his second goal of the game as he redirected a point shot from defenseman Aaron Schneekloth into the CC net.
North Dakota made it a one-goal game 43 seconds later as left-wing Jason Notermann swiped a puck out of the air and past McElhinney. Defenseman Nick Fuher blasted a slapshot from the point that caught the top of the glass behind the CC net. The puck caromed of the glass and back in front of the CC net, where Notermann batted it in for the goal. North Dakota evened up the score 2:34 later when Bayda netted his second goal of the night on a two-on-one.
The score, however, would not stay tied long, as CC scored the game-winner just 2:19 later. With North Dakota right wing James Massen in the penalty box for a hooking call, CC defenseman James Laux sent a point shot on the North Dakota net through a screen that found a corner and beat Siembida. Defenseman Richard Petiot and center Joe Cullen assisted on the game-winning goal.
“I’ve been getting some power-play time lately,” said Laux. “And today they were giving me some space out there. I got the puck and just wanted to throw it at the net, hoping for a deflection or a good screen, and I guess the screen was really good because their goalie never saw it and it found a corner.”
These same two teams will face off again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. MST at the Colorado Springs World Arena.