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College Hockey:
CC upends Wisconsin, 4-3

Shorthanded Goal Proves Decisive

— It’s not how many shots you put on net – it’s how many shots you bury.

CC registered just 19 shots on goal, allowed 32 shots on Richard
Bachman, skated the majority of the second and third periods with
Wisconsin down two skaters, but escaped the World Arena with a 4-3
victory.

Chad Rau and Jimmy Kilpatrick each had two goals and an assist. The Badgers’ Blake Geoffrion, John Mitchell and Michael Davies each scored a goal for the visitors. Freshman phenom, Kyle Turris, had one assist to give him 15 points on the year.

Wisconsin grabbed and maintained puck possession on CC’s half of the ice for the first three minutes of the contest. Its second line of Geoffrion, Engel and Patrick Johnson wreaked havoc on Tiger defenders all night, but was unable to score the game’s first goal.

Despite the early push by the Badgers, CC nearly struck first on a Kilpatrick deflection nine minutes in, but his redirect banged off the cross bar. CC had another golden opportunity when freshman Stephen Schultz took on Shane Connelly from his right side. Schultz fired a hard wrist shot from the left wing, but the Wisconsin goaltender covered up the near side and turned the puck away.

Less than two minutes after Schultz’s chance, Kilpatrick put the
Tigers ahead 1-0. The senior right wing fought off a Badger defender,
collected a pass from Rau and buried a shot deep in the left faceoff
circle through heavy traffic to beat Connelly.

CC’s top line has not produced as much as its second line this season,
but that was not the case this time around.

“It was about time we (started) playing better,” said Rau. “I think
the biggest thing was we were moving our feet without the puck and
creating seams. That helped us out big time.”

Physical play was not lacking from either side in this contest — and
neither was goal scoring. Rau put CC ahead 2-0 at 1:43 of the second
stanza on a wrist shot while in a sliding motion across the slot. The
play looked to be in slow motion as Rau bent his stick so much that it
was about to snap, but the junior center had enough mustard on his
shot to beat Connelly. Kilpatrick had the lone assist on the second
tally of the contest.

Wisconsin looked deflated after the Tigers’ second goal, but that
feeling was short-lived. The Badgers rallied with a goal of their own
from their fourth line at 3:26 of the second period. After receiving
a feed from Ben Grotting near the blue line, sophomore left wing
Michael Davies found himself with the puck skating relatively
untouched in the CC zone. Davies charged toward the net and fired a
hard shot high glove side past Bachman to make it 2-1.

The Badgers and CC each had close calls in the middle portion of the
period as there were two funky bounces that could’ve given either side
the lead. CC began playing a bit inconsistent and struggled to put
shots on Shane Connelly (just four of them registering on goal).
Meanwhile, the Badgers put up a staggering 17 second period shots on
Bachman. One of the last Wisconsin shots tied the game at two.

Mitchell scored the equalizer off of a rebound from freshman
defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Bachman stopped the initial point shot, but
Mitchell got loose down low near the right faceoff circle and
backhanded the puck into the back of the net. Jamie McBain added a
helper on Wisconsin’s second goal.

“That second period they had us reeling,” said CC coach Scott Owens.
“We were bad and they were really good. They move better than you
think they do and they’re strong. I didn’t think we competed very
well.”

“The second period and the first four shifts of the game was not what
we wanted,” said CC captain Scott Thauwald. “Our coverage was bad and
we weren’t working hard enough.”

Despite not scoring on any of its three power plays, Wisconsin had its
share of opportunities and made the most out of playing most of
playing with only 16 skaters.

“They got chances tonight,” said Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves of his top
two lines. “I said to them — they’re going to come. Good things are
on the horizon because they’re getting chances. They just need to
continue to do the things that they’re doing.”

Out of the third period gates with game tied at two, Wisconsin
pressured down low and caught CC out of position. Geoffrion followed
up an Engel snap shot and backhanded a shot of his own past Bachman
just 24 shots into the period.

CC rallied in part because of some adjustments made from the second
and enacted a little revenge with one man down. A minute into a
penalty to Cody Lampl, the Badgers failed to maintain possession in
the Tigers’ zone. CC’s Nate Prosser squirted the puck out to Rau who
skated alone on a breakaway and beat Connelly five-hole at 3:21 of the
third.

The bounces didn’t go CC’s way in the second period, but with less
than eight minutes to go in the third, the puck and the game was
turned in favor of the Tigers.

After a mix of physical play along the half boards, Prosser found Kilpatrick who unleashed a laser like shot from the middle slot at 12:11 of the third. The puck went in from a hard angle, but it rattled around the net and across the goal line. That made it 4-3 Tigers.

CC limited Wisconsin to just nine shots in the third period and stayed
out of the box knowing that the opposition had the second best power
play in the country.

“We knew we couldn’t give them too many opportunities,” Thauwald said.
“We had a lot of energy out there on the penalty kill and we really
didn’t let them get set up.”

Colorado College and Wisconsin continue their two-game series Saturday
at the Colorado Springs World Arena. Game time is 7:07 p.m.

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