COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado College returned home Friday after playing its last nine games on the road where it went 6-3-0, including a sweep of Wisconsin in Madison. Alaska-Anchorage was back in action in the WCHA after two weeks off following its three points at the Alaska Governor’s Cup (4-2, 2-2).
Despite the rest, Anchorage was no match for CC as the Tigers throttled the Seawolves 6-1 before 6,986 fans at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
Eric Walsky scored two goals against his former team, while senior forward Jimmy Kilpatrick tallied a goal and three assists. Chad Rau scored his career-high 15th goal of the season. Josh Lunden scored the lone goal for Anchorage.
“It was good to be home,” said CC coach Scott Owens. “It was a good home win. It was good for our fans to see six goals — to see some action.”
Early on, the conservative play by Anchorage led to some puck possession down low and in the neutral zone, but it could generate only two shots that were easily saved by Richard Bachman.
The Tigers then grabbed control of the first period with a rapid three minute string of puck possession along with a persistent attack in the Seawolves’ zone. Yet, only two of CC’s 10 first-period shots came down low — everything else was on the perimeter.
In the second stanza, Anchorage has the initial shot on goal when Bachman kept the game at 0-0 with a great stick save on Merit Waldrop who found himself alone down low shot. He shot high but was denied.
Jon Olthuis also kept the opposition scoreless when Ryan Lowery streaked in the right faceoff circle and unloaded a hard wrist shot but couldn’t get the rubber past the Anchorage goaltender.
Six minutes into the second frame, CC center Eric Walsky gave the Tigers a second period lead on a delayed penalty. With both teams down to four skaters, Walsky gathered a diagonal pass from Chad Rau and swept the puck past Olthuis to give his team a 1-0 lead over his former team.
“Tonight I had the bounces go my way,” Walsky said. “It definitely feels really good against my ex-team. It’s a bit of a pride issue.”
Walsky continued to haunt Anchorage midway through the second stanza. CC gained control in the offensive zone where Walsky took a Jimmy Kilpatrick feed, skated around a defender and slid the puck low stick-side as he began to fall to the ice.
“Walsky set the tone with a couple beautiful goals,” Owens said.
In less time than you could write out your full name, Kilpatrick took the subsequent faceoff after it bounced off Scott Thauwald, skated into the Anchorage zone alone and fired a quick shot past the visiting goaltender.
Kilpatrick’s 10th goal of the season from Thauwald and Rau made it 3-0 at 12:41 of the second period.
After feeling deflated from allowing two quick goals, the Seawolves took a timeout and tried to collect their composure. The 30 second timeout must have worked because Anchorage narrowed the Tigers lead to two on a goal by Lunden at 14:02 of the middle frame.
The Seawolves pressured low the right of Bachman and managed to get CC out of possession. Shane Lovdahl dragged a feed from Winston Daychief, fed Lunden who skated behind Bachman and fired a partial wraparound past the Tiger goaltender to make 3-1.
“It (the timeout) might have taken a little bit of the flow away from the other team,” said Anchorage captain Luke Beaverson. “Our guys had to get it going.”
“They made a good effort to get their goal to keep it going.” Owens said. “They didn’t quit, but we just happened to make some good plays.”
Whatever mishap CC may have had late in the second period didn’t show early in the third. After drawing a penalty on Sean Wiles, the Tigers converted their first power play on a goal by Scott McCulloch. Kilpatrick parked himself in the far corner and found the senior winger in the slot where he buried a wrist shot high glove side past Olthuis. McCulloch’s fifth of the year made it 4-1 CC.
The Tiger attack kept coming with shots ringing left and right, but credit Olthuis ” he kept the lead at three and didn’t show any signs of fatigue. Chad Rau took it upon himself to put the game away with a goal at 13:48 of final period. Rau grabbed a Kilpatrick pass, skated in near the left faceoff circle and fired a blistering shot high above Olthuis to make 5-1.
Tyler Johnson added a last-minute tally for CC from Brian Connelly and Stephen Schultz at 19:07 to finish off the scoring and defeat Anchorage 6-1.
CC and Anchorage continue their series Saturday at the Colorado Springs World Arena.