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College Hockey:
Dominant First Period Leads Tigers to Shutout

— Michigan Tech can’t wait to get back to Houghton.

Colorado College dominated in all facets Sunday, receiving goals from eight different players and 24 saves from Curtis McElhinney in a penalty-filled 9-0 rout of the Huskies before 5,477 fans at the Colorado Springs World Arena.

The Tigers, unbeaten in their last six contests, improved to 6-1-1, while Michigan Tech fell to 1-4-2.

Noah Clarke, who led the Tigers offensively with a goal and two assists, nevertheless cautioned against the team getting too optimistic.

“Obviously you always want to start out good, which we have, but I don’t think we’ve played our best hockey yet,” said Clarke. “In [the WCHA], if you get too high one week, you’ll lose the next week.”

The home team came out firing, scoring four goals before the game was 10 minutes old. The Tigers scored five first-period goals in all, a feat they failed to accomplish last year in any period.

Freshman Marty Sertich, playing against his uncle (Huskies’ coach Mike Sertich) for the first time, opened the scoring at 2:58. His initial shot from the faceoff circle was blocked by a defender, but caromed right back. His second shot found the back of the net.

“I lucked out a bit when it came right back to me. That happens sometimes,” said Sertich. “When it comes right down to it, every weekend is the same whether I know the [opposing] coach or not.”

Colorado College got production from its fourth line six minutes later, beginning a stretch of three goals in a 1:31 span. Reid Goolsby notched just his fourth goal in 75 career games, and first this season, when his shot from the goal line deflected off Michigan Tech netminder Cam Ellsworth, who was out of position.

Clarke gave the Tigers a three-goal lead at the 8:39 mark, which prompted the Huskies to switch goalies. However, freshman Rick Cazares didn’t fare any better, as the first shot he faced, by Brett Stirling, deflected off his glove and trickled into the net. For Stirling, the goal extended his goal-scoring streak to four games.

Colin Stuart scored Colorado College’s final goal of the first period, a power-play tally, with his younger brother Mark adding an assist. That capped a period that saw the Tigers outshoot the Huskies 19-6.

While the Tigers extended their lead over the next 40 minutes, the final two periods were marked by penalties. The teams combined for 29 penalties in the contest, with 24 coming in the second and third periods.

Tom Preissing continued his torrid start to the season, tallying power-play goals in the second and third periods. The senior captain, who had 15 career goals in 112 games coming in to the season, now has nine in eight games.

McElhinney benefited from the high-octane offense for his third career shutout. The sophomore stopped 18 shots in the final 40 minutes and killed off all seven Michigan Tech power-play opportunities.

The Huskies have 11 days to regroup before continuing their stretch of eight straight games against top-10 teams Nov. 15-16 against Denver, while Colorado College faces Alaska-Anchorage this weekend.

“I think we played real well both nights,” said Clarke. “We’re young, and it’s still early in the season, so it’s important to stay focused and not get too confident.”

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