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College Hockey:
Sejna Ties Record, Leads Tigers Past Wisconsin

— Come April, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award may have Peter Sejna’s name on it.

The junior from Slovakia notched a goal and an assist to tie Mark Cullen’s team record by scoring in his 26th straight contest, leading the Tigers to a gritty 4-2 win versus Wisconsin on Friday night in front of 6,894 fans at the Colorado Springs World Arena.

The victory, which extends Colorado College’s unbeaten streak to seven games, moves the Tigers into sole possession of first place in the WCHA standings. Colorado College is now 18-2-5 overall and 11-1-5 in conference play, while the Badgers fall to 8-14-3 overall, 2-10-3 within the league.

“Mark Cullen was a great player,” said Sejna, whom he played with as a freshman. “I don’t think about things like (the record).”

Colorado College dominated play in the first period, outshooting Wisconsin, 19-2, and scoring on the power play with 5:29 remaining in the opening frame. Junior Andrew Canzanello took a pass at the point, skated to the left faceoff circle, and wristed a shot past Badgers’ netminder Bernd Bruckler, with Sejna earning an assist.

“(Wisconsin) is a good defensive team, and we had to work hard to get shots on goal,” said Sejna. “We had a lot of grade A chances, and a real good forecheck.”

Despite playing a man short to begin the second period, Wisconsin tied the score 53 seconds into the stanza with just its second shorthanded tally of the season. Rene Bourque picked off a pass near the red line and, electing to keep the puck in a 2-on-1 break, roofed a shot over the left shoulder of Tigers’ goaltender Kjell Bennemark.

Bourque’s goal, the 35th of the junior’s career, was the ninth he has scored in 10 games against Colorado College.

“We played an awful second period,” said Colorado College head coach Scott Owens. “We knew it was going to be a low-scoring game, but I am disappointed we couldn’t get more (goals) early.”

The Tigers regained the lead with just 47 seconds left in the second period, as Sejna struck again. Freshman Aaron Slattengren skated around the net and slid the puck on goal. Bruckler couldn’t corral the bouncing puck, and Sejna, crashing toward the net, stuffed home the rebound.

Colorado College opened up a two-goal cushion 50 seconds into the final period, as senior Noah Clarke took a pass from freshman Marty Sertich, skated in close, and wristed a shot top-shelf. However, the Badgers cut the Tigers’ lead in half just 29 seconds later, with freshman Ryan MacMurchy converting.

Wisconsin hung close, as the Badgers maintained their one-goal deficit by killing off a 5-on-3 Tiger power play for 1:27. With less than four minutes remaining, Wisconsin nearly tied the contest, as Pete Talafous’ backhand attempt from just outside the crease was gloved by Bennemark.

Colorado College sealed the win with its second power-play tally of the night, taking advantage of Brad Winchester’s holding penalty. Senior Tom Preissing fired a shot that freshman Brett Sterling redirected through Bruckler’s pads.

“It was nice for Brett to get rewarded,” said Owens. “That’s going to help his confidence a ton.”

Bennemark, playing in just his second conference game, stopped 16 shots, including nine in the final period. Bruckler saved 38 shots in defeat.

“It was nice to start the homestand off great,” said sophomore Richard Petiot about the Tigers’ stretch of six consecutive conference games at home. “We can’t let any points slip away.”

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