COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado College earned yet another series sweep this weekend courtesy of a 5-2 victory over the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves on Saturday.
With Denver losing to Wisconsin, the Tigers hold a six point lead over the Pioneers and sit atop the WCHA standings with a conference record of 15-3-0.
Chad Rau scored two goals for CC, while Jimmy Kilpatrick added a goal and two assists. Peter Cartwright and Brad McCabe tallied for the Seawolves.
Twenty minutes into the contest, Anchorage had put fives shots on Tigers’ goaltender Richard Bachman and failed to score on the only man advantage in the opening period. Overall, CC had the better of the chances in the first, but each of its seven shots was stopped by Jon Olthuis.
“I thought both first periods both nights he kept our team in it,” said Seawolves’ coach Dave Shyiak.
Rau continued his career year when he gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead six minutes into the second frame. Scott Thauwald sent a cross-ice pass to Kilpatrick, who directed the puck to Rau, who scored on a second effort glove side past Olthuis.
The two teams each had moments of difficulty breaking through the opposition’s forecheck. However, despite some sloppy play in the neutral zone, CC managed to score just past the midway point of the second period. Scott McCulloch skated on the left wing and fired a snap shot that was turned away by Olthuis, but Brian McMillin trailed the puck and sent a shot into the net from deep inside the right faceoff circle.
The bleeding continued for Anchorage following a penalty to Kane LaFranchise. Kilpatrick dragged a feed from Eric Walsky, waited a split second and fired home a goal to the right of the Anchorage goaltender. CC’s third goal of the night came at 13:07 of the second stanza.
“The second period the first 12 games we were just awful in the second,” said Kilpatrick. “Now we’re finding ways to get through it and have good jump.”
Going into the third period, Anchorage knew it had to stay disciplined and play to its strengths. Evidently, that message was not well-received, as CC scored a power-play goal a minute and half into the frame.
“We just wanted to have a real good first eight or nine minutes so they don’t get any confidence, so they don’t give a sniff,” said Tigers’ coach Scott Owens. “The next goal was real important in that situation.”
Following a checking from behind penalty to Sean Wiles, Bill Sweatt corralled a Mike Testwuide attempt on goal and tucked the puck away to the left of Olthuis, making it 4-0 Tigers.
“He’s still learning how to be a No. 1 goaltender in this league and has a ways to go,” Shyiak said of his starting netminder.
Soon after surrendering the fourth tally of the contest, the Seawolves collected themselves a bit on the penalty kill and scored their first goal on the night on a perfect shot from the right wing by Peter Cartwright. Mat Robinson assisted on the short-handed goal, which came at 4:07 of the third period.
Alaska closed the gap further on a put back goal by Brad McCabe at 18:16 of the third. The Seawolves could not climb any closer, though, and gave up an empty-net goal to Rau with less than a minute to go.
“Our team is still learning how to win against very good teams,” Shyiak said. “We’re not there yet, and CC was definitely the better team tonight.”
“They were 3-0-2 in their last five road games, so I’m proud of the way we played and competed,” Owens said. “For us, it was a good weekend.”