COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a much closer battle than the final score indicated, the Colorado College Tigers took game one of the best-of-three series against the University of Alaska Anchorage, 4-1.
We stole one? Yeah, you could probably say that, said CC head coach Scott Owens. We got outshot by eight and we werent real sharp, but I think they were good. They played very well.
They came out playing hard and determined and they never quit the whole entire game, agreed Tiger goaltender Richard Bachman (27 saves). The scoreboards a little off from what the game really was.
The Tigers started off the scoring quickly. Just 37 seconds into the opening frame, Mike Testwuide hanging out back door slammed home a Bill Sweatt pass past Seawolf netminder Jon Olthius (16 saves).
The rest of the first period was back and forth between the two teams, with the Seawolves getting the majority of the chances.
UAA finally broke through on one of those chances 2:15 into the second period on the power play. With Kris Fredheim in the box for high-sticking, Brad McCabe tapped in a pass from Josh Lunden past Bachman.
I thought they played a great game, said Owens. They dont look like a team thats won one game in 2008.
We came out quick [with] that first goal and then just slowed down, said CC forward Tyler Johnson. I think we had it wrapped after that first goal but we realized that theyre out-playing [us], theyre a good team and so we just had to realize that and came out strong after the second period there.
With just under two minutes to play in the second, the Tigers regained the lead when Johnson wristed a shot from the high slot that went high over Olthiuss glove.
I thought it was a good quality shot; I thought he made a good shot on it, said Owens. Its hard to know. I thought all three goals were pretty good efforts – all three of the goals we scored.
The Tigers kept their momentum going into the third period, going up 3-1 2:47 into the frame when Scott Thauwald floated in a shot past Olthius off a face-off.
Alaska Anchorage had perhaps their best chance of the game about nine minutes later when they had a shot seemingly ring off the corner junction of the crossbar and the post.
I think I might have got a little bit of it then it went back real fast and then popped right back out front so I dont know what it hit, said Bachman. I was a little more nervous not knowing when they went to review it.
We did a lot of good things, created a lot of good, quality shots, said Seawolf head coach Dave Shyiak. We havent had a lot of puck support meaning we havent scored goals.
In an effort to tie it up, Shyiak pulled Olthius with about 1:40 to go for the extra attacker, but Scott McCulloch sealed the fate of game one by getting an empty-net goal with 20.2 seconds remaining.
We found a way as a good team to win the game, said Owens. Tonight it was pretty much our third line that did it and Richard and we did it without any power play goals and, for the first time in a long, long time, we got out-special teamed and we still found a way to win.
We bent a ton, but we didnt completely break and we got better and we found a way to win.
Were not going to change anything, said Shyiak. We just have to score goals, plain and simple. Youre doing a lot of good things when youre out-shooting teams, out-chancing teams ” what more can you ask for other than we need to create a little more puck luck?
We cant hang our heads. I thought we played a good game; we just didnt score enough.
The two teams face off again tomorrow night at the Colorado Springs World Arena. Puck drop is at 7:05 MDT.