COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Thanks to killing a late 6-on-3 power play, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs beat the Colorado College Tigers 4-3 Friday night, winning their fifth straight game at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
We might not have gotten a lot of chances early, but we stayed patient and got a couple of goals and our guys did a hell of a job at the end, said UMD coach Scott Sandelin.
Its disappointing, said his Tiger counterpart, Scott Owens. I thought they played well and they did what they had to do and as good as our power plays been, youre kind of thinking that youre going to get one there at the end, but they did a good job killing, we didnt have much puck luck and we didnt bury the chances we had.
Despite Sandelins claims of not getting chances early, Duluth was the first team on the board, scoring a power-play goal 3:41 into the opening frame. Rob Bordson fed the puck to Jack Connolly low in the zone who passed it across the front of the net to Brady Lamb who snapped the puck past Colorado College goaltender Joe Howe for the 1-0 lead.
Midway through the first, the game took a turn for the physical, with the teams dishing out hit after hit. CC started to get some better chances, but the Bulldogs scored next to take a 2-0 lead. Drew Olson one-timed a shot from the point that got tipped past Howe by Mike Seidel.
However, the Tigers got on the board with 36 seconds remaining in the first period when Stephen Schultz fed Mike Testwuide who walked across the low slot and tapped the puck past Duluth goaltender Kenny Reiter to make it a 2-1 game.
CC tied the game at two 9:10 into the second period while on the power play. The puck popped out in front of Reiter, got picked up by Kris Fredheim who blasted a shot from the top of the zone.
A mere 19 seconds later, the Tigers took a 3-2 lead. Bill Sweatt took the initial shot that was stopped by Reiter, but snuck through his pads and behind him in the crease where William Rapuzzi swept in and poked the puck into the net.
The Tigers had the chance to go up 4-2 three minutes later when Schultz was awarded a penalty shot, but the junior was stopped by Reiter (30 saves).
Obviously the penalty shot was huge, said Sandelin. You look for turning points and that could have put them up by two goals and that would have been a big hurdle to climb but [Reiter] made that save.
The building was kind of alive at that point and we had good momentum, said Owens. Obviously that was a big play but it was still early enough in the game and we still managed to make it 3-2 but after that with the TV timeout and the shot, the building kind of quieted down again.
Testwuide almost gave the Tigers a two goal lead to energize the building again when he made a nice move to beat and walk around a Bulldog defenseman, but his resulting shot went high.
I think we had opportunities in the third period to get to fours and Im as disappointed with that as I am with the fact that we didnt convert in the last two minutes, said Owens.
Instead, Travis Oleksuk tied the game at three at just about the midpoint of the third when he one-timed a pass from Mike Montgomery five-hole past Howe (17 saves).
The Bulldogs took a 4-3 lead with 4:52 remaining in the game when Rob Bordson came into the zone and passed the puck across the crease to Kyle Schmidt who tapped it past Howe.
The Tigers got the opportunity to tie it up on a late power play with a shot that rang off the post behind Reiter as well as 61 seconds of 5-on-3 and about 30 seconds of 6-on-3 with Howe out of the nets. However, the Tigers could not get the equalizer.
Its tough to be three versus six at the end, but I thought Mike Montgomery and Mike Connolly and Cody Danberg and Kenny were great, said Sandelin. They did what they had to do and got a little luck.
If you would have said we were going to give up one power play goal and limit them to 20 shots and some of their big name guys were going to stay off the score sheet, I would have thought we would have won, said Owens, but it didnt work out that way and they had a lot of guys step up and play well.
The two teams play again Saturday night at World Arena. Game time is 7:07 p.m.