COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It was a cat and mouse game; or, if you prefer, a Tiger and Husky game, as Colorado College and St. Cloud State played a back-and-forth game Friday night, with the Huskies coming out on top, 5-4.
There was some really good play out there tonight, and some really sloppy times and it seemed like any time either team got a little sloppy, it was in the back of the net, said SCSU head coach Bob Motzko. All the errors were going to end up in the back of the net.
St. Cloud got on the board first just nine minutes into the first period. Ryan Lasch, off behind CC goaltender Joe Howes left side, tossed the puck in front banking it off his back and in.
Just over three minutes later, the Tigers tied it up with a fluky power play goal.
Huskies goaltender Dan Dunn tripped in the crease just after a rush, causing him to lose position in the crease. As he was getting back into his net, CC won a puck battle behind the net, brought it up front and Tyler Johnson poked it past a backward-facing Dunn (21 saves).
With three and a half seconds remaining in the opening frame, the Tigers lost Stephen Schultz to a right leg injury after he collided knee-on-knee with Husky defenseman Chris Hepp.
About nine and a half minutes into the second period, the Huskies took a 2-1 lead on a play that started back in their own zone. Taylor Johnson sent CC forward Mike Testwuide end over end, giving the Huskies the puck and a rush back the other way. Johnson continued what he started, wristing the puck just inside the top right corner of the net past Howe (22 saves).
He makes a great play, a physical play along the boards, they both end up on the ice, and pretty competitive kid, he jumps up into the play and finishes it off, said Motzko.
However, CC tied it up with 4:45 left in the second when Tim Hall forced a Husky giveaway in the zone, came down and deked Dunn down to the ice before sliding the puck into the net.
We made a really bad mistake when we gave up the second goal, said Motzko. We were really having a good road game and the second goal in the second period we gave up with a 2-1 lead; we just cant make that. That was a glaring mistake.
The Tigers carried the momentum over to the third period, scoring just 19 seconds in. Bill Sweatt streaked into the Husky zone, shot the puck off the end boards just to the left of Dunn, snuck around the defender, picked the puck back up and shot it low past Dunn to give CC its first lead of the game.
I thought it was a little bit of a cat and mouse game for two periods, both teams were kind of feeling each other out, both teams were playing okay, not great, said CC coach Scott Owens.
We got up 3-2 with a minute into the period and we just didnt handle the third period well. We made too many mistakes we couldnt get out on top of them — we didnt play well enough to get out on top of them.
Twenty-six seconds later, however, the Huskies David Eddy came right back down the ice and beat Howe far side to knot the game up at three.
St. Cloud went up 4-3 with 12:21 remaining in the period when Eddy scored his second goal of the game right off a face-off.
The Tigers made it 4-4 about four minutes later when Sweatt scored his second of the game, tipping in a Rylan Schwartz shot in front of the net.
The Huskies refused to be out-scored, however, as Jared Festler put the Huskies up for good 20 seconds later.
They played a pretty smart road game, said Owens. They hung around, hung around, made plays and made the last play.
Owens pulled Howe for the extra attacker late in the period, and the gamble almost cost him when Travis Novak clanked a shot off the crossbar on an empty net attempt with 45 seconds remaining. However, neither team would score again.
The teams face off again tomorrow night, with the puck dropping at 7:07 p.m. MST.