COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a game where the penalty box was seldom empty, Colorado College pulled out the 8-3 win over Alaska-Fairbanks in the final meeting of the two-game series at the World Arena. The Tigers were up a game in the nonconference series after Friday night’s 6-2 win.
CC’s first line of Brett Sterling, Marty Sertich and Tyler Liebel combined for six points through the first period, registering one goal and five assists. The line recorded 1-8–9 by the end of the game.
Sophomore winger Sterling said the addition of Sertich to the existing combination of he and Liebel has been a welcome change. “We have big energy and he’s a big passer and has been able to get the puck on our sticks,” he said.
The Tigers’ Richard Petiot started the scoring with a tally 1:01 into the first period on the first shot of the game. The goal came on passes from wingers Liebel and Sterling.
UAF answered the call at 9:14, when freshman centerman Curtis Fraser put the puck past CC goaltender Curtis McElhinney on a pass from defenseman Cramer Hickey.
The Nanooks, seeking vengeance for Friday’s loss, went to the net again on a CC penalty at 9:53 for a power-play tally. UAF cycled the puck from Felipe Larranaga at the point to Ryan Campbell in the corner. Campbell sent the puck to senior Ryan Lang, who put the puck past McElhinney from the crease, for the 2-1 lead.
The Nanooks then took a series of penalties which resulted in a :50 five-on-three opportunity for the Tigers, but they were unable to convert on the chance. The Tigers did even the score on a delayed penalty when Aaron Slattengren put the puck past UAF goalie Ryan Comeau. Sterling and Sertich got the helpers.
With less than one minute remaining in the second, the Tigers crashed the net. The Nanooks tried to clear the puck from the corner, but Westin Tardy was at the point to keep the zone for the Tigers. Tardy moved the puck to Liebel on the near side, who got the puck to Sterling on the left side of the net for the open shot and the 3-2 lead.
Though the Nanooks had three power-play opportunities they were unable to score through the second period. CC, however, got a power-play goal on the first of two opportunities. Sertich passed to Sterling from the top of the circle to the right side of the net. Sterling tossed the puck in front of the net to Slattengren, who fumbled, collected and scored his second tally of the game, to make the score 4-2.
Senior forward Reid Goolsby collected the puck in the corner and skated behind the net and into the left faceoff circle at 2:12 of the final stanza to record the Tigers’ fifth goal. Linemate John Brunkhorst had the helper.
A turnover in the neutral zone put Scott Thauwald in the right place as he beat the defender from the circle and pulled the puck first left then right to slip the puck past a stricken Comeau. Thauwald’s tally at 9:15 put the Tigers up 6-2.
Slattengren got his hat trick shorthanded in the third period, scoring the seventh Tiger tally. The final Tiger goal came when Liebel snatched the puck behind the net and shuffled it to Colin Stuart, who sent it to Lee Sweatt, who beat Comeau from the slot.
The Tigers outscored the Nanooks 14-5 on the weekend. “Basically these were one- or two-goal games, the score was not indicative of the play over the series,” said Colorado College coach Scott Owens.
“I am not at all proud of the result. We certainly had higher expectations. There were some good things over the weekend that we saw but as a whole we have to do a much better job. But you know what, we faced a great opponent,” said UAF coach Guy Gadowsky. “They’re fast and they finish so well. It seems you give them an opportunity and they make you pay. You’ve gotta give them a lot of credit.”
Saturday’s victory brought the Tigers to an overall record of 2-0-0, while the Nanooks now stand at 1-3-0.