COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sejna, McElhinney Pace Tigers In Rout
By Seth Cole USCHO Arena Reporter
Peter Sejna ended the suspense quickly.
The nation’s leading scorer rifled a slapshot just 3:05 into the contest to set the Colorado College record by tallying a point in 27 straight games, as the Tigers cruised past Wisconsin, 5-0, on Saturday night before 7,153 fans at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
Unbeaten in its last eight contests, Colorado College stretched its conference lead to four points over North Dakota, which visits the Tigers in a crucial two-game series next weekend. Colorado College is now 19-2-5 and 12-1-5 in the WCHA, while the Badgers slip to 8-15-3 overall, 2-11-3 in league play.
“It’s certainly nice to get the sweep,” said Tigers’ head coach Scott Owens. “We have a stretch of games coming up against top-division teams, so this is good.”
Sejna, who finished the game with a season-high four points, eclipsed the record set by Mark Cullen in the 2000-01 campaign. The junior from Slovakia has tallied 18 multiple-point games this year, and in 11 career games against Wisconsin has notched nine goals and 11 assists.
“It’s nice to be in the (record) books for who knows how long,” said Sejna. “I would be lying if I said I don’t care about (the record), but no one will care years from now. Championships are all that matter.”
Colorado College opened the scoring with a pair of even-strength goals 40 seconds apart early in the first period. Sejna began the attack, as he received a long pass from senior Tom Preissing and beat Wisconsin netminder Scott Kabotoff top-shelf.
Freshman Aaron Slattengren doubled the Tigers’ lead. He gathered the puck in the corner, faked a couple of passes while charging to the net, and stuffed the puck past Kabotoff, knocking the senior out of the game with just three saves on five shots.
Kabotoff’s replacement, sophomore Bernd Bruckler, kept the Tigers at bay for the remainder of the period, but surrendered three goals in the first 8:06 of the second stanza before being pulled in turn. Marty Sertich increased the lead to three 1:07 into the frame, as the freshman crashed the net after a pass from Sejna.
“We had a couple of ugly goals tonight, and a couple of beautiful goals,” said Owens. “(Wisconsin) is a tough team to penetrate.”
Another freshman, Brett Sterling, notched the fourth goal for Colorado College on the power play, as he took a cross-ice feed from Sejna and connected on the slapshot. Preissing added another goal with the man-advantage moments later, his 13th tally with the extra skater this season, with Sterling earning an assist.
“I wasn’t 100 percent (coming back from the World Junior Championship),” said Sterling. “I feel like I’m working my way back up and getting my legs back.”
Tigers’ goaltender Curtis McElhinney, meanwhile, was solid in logging his third shutout of the year. The sophomore faced the bulk of his 22 shots in the opening period, as he stopped 16 Badgers’ attempts in the first 20 minutes.
“We came together in the second and third periods and really tightened up defensively,” said McElhinney.
Wisconsin continued to struggle on the power play. The Badgers have now gone 10 straight contests without a man-advantage tally, and have failed to record such a goal on the road in league play this season.
Bruckler finished with 21 saves on 24 shots, while Kabotoff stopped eight of 10 shots for the loss.