COLORADO SPRINGS — Going into their game Friday night against the Air Force Academy Fighting Falcons, the Colorado College Tigers wanted to redeem their loss from two years ago at Cadet Ice Arena.
Call it mission accomplished, as the Tigers got four power-play goals to beat the Falcons, 6-4.
“It’s redemption; any time you play them, it’s a close game,” said Tigers coach Scott Owens. “I’m pleased we came out on top and it took a lot of energy, quite honestly, but I’m glad we came out on top.”
“Obviously, the game got down to special teams and goaltending and they took advantage of what I thought were bad penalties on our part,” said Air Force coach Frank Serratore. “You’ve got to be sharp on your special teams and goaltending and tonight, that was the difference in the game.”
The Falcons came out flying, but it was the Tigers who ended up on the scoreboard by the end of the first period, thanks to a power-play goal with just under two minutes to play in the frame. Stephen Schultz fed Jaden Schwartz low who, with some fancy stick work, deked around Air Force netminder Stephen Caple and slid the puck in the net.
Air Force took a quick lead at the beginning of the second period, scoring two goals 32 seconds apart. Tony Thomas deked around his defenseman and wristed a shot past CC goaltender Joe Howe to tie it up 1:41 in. Then, George Michalke fed Paul Weisberger from behind the net, who beat Howe stick side to take the lead.
However, the Tigers wouldn’t be beaten down. About five minutes later, Alexander Krushelnyski skated down the far side boards short-handed and sent a wrist shot flying under Caple’s right shoulder to tie it up.
Then, with 3:45 left in the frame, Nick Dineen redirected a Joe Marciano shot from the point five-hole past Caple (27 saves).
Six minutes into the third, the Tigers got their second power-play tally of the night when Tyler Johnson sent a quick wrister from the high slot past Caple.
Air Force narrowed the gap about six minutes later on Thomas’s second of the night, when he redirected a shot from Scott Mathis past Howe (35 saves). However, 34 seconds later, Schultz came right back on the power play to beat Caple and make it 5-3 Tigers.
Just under a minute later, Rylan Schwartz made it 6-3 when he tapped in a Gabe Guentzel shot, scoring the Tigers’ fourth goal on the man advantage.
“I thought our power play wasn’t very good early and then the Schwartzes and Schultz got along pretty well later on,” said Owens.
The Falcons kept pushing and got a power-play goal of their own with just under five minutes to play thanks, to a Stephen Carew shot from the point that beat Howe stick side.
“They were beatable tonight; that’s the sad thing. When we look at the film tomorrow, we’re going to get sick to our stomachs,” said Serratore. “To be honest with you, in all due respect, I thought we beat ourselves more than Colorado College beat us tonight.”
The two teams both play Yale over the next two days, CC on Saturday and Air Force on Sunday.