COLORADO COLLEGE NOTCHES 3-1 WIN OVER ST. CLOUD STATE
Sophomore forward Alexander Krushelnyski picks up goal and assist for Tigers
Still struggling offensively, Colorado College got the job done inside its own zone on Friday.
Sophomore goaltender Josh Thorimbert steered aside 32 shots and his teammates sacrificed their bodies to block 21 more, as No. 8-ranked CC returned to conference play with a 3-1 victory over St. Cloud State on Friday night at the World Arena.
Thorimbert, who snuffed freshman forward Nick Oliver on a clear-cut breakaway with 8:38 left in game to preserve a precarious 2-1 lead, fashioned 26 of his saves in the final 40 minutes to make first-period goals by Alexander Krushelnyski and Nick Dineen stand up.
Scott Winkler added an empty netter with 5.6 seconds left to seal the win.
The teams meet again at 7:07 p.m. MT Saturday.
With their fourth consecutive WCHA triumph dating back to early December, the Tigers strengthened their hold on third place in the league standings, with a 10-5 record and 20 points. They improved to 13-7-1 overall despite failing to snap out of a scoring slump that has produced only 10 tallies in the last five outings.
"We didn't have that killer instinct," said head coach Scott Owens. "We let a good team hang around and it came down to a couple big penalty kills and our goaltending. We carry 16 forwards (on our roster) and I would like to see them play with more urgency."
Owens had no complaints in the first period, when CC out-shot the Huskies by a 14-6 margin.
Sophomore winger Krushelnyski struck just 8:19 into the contest, beating Huskies netminder Ryan Faragher from the inner edge of the left faceoff circle after defenseman Mike Boivin fed him in stride streaking into the St. Cloud State zone. Faragher, a freshman, got a piece of the shot, but not enough as the puck slid through him and across the goal line.
The play started when junior right wing Winkler, who joined Krushelnyski with a two-point night, forced a turnover near center ice.
Seven minutes later, at 15:20 during a delayed-penalty call against SCSU, Dineen pounded Krushelnyski's rebound past Faragher to make it 2-0. Freshman defenseman Peter Stoykewych also earned an assist on the senior team captain's 12th red lighter and fourth game winner of the season.
The Huskies picked up the tempo after the first intermission, out-gunning Colorado College by a 28-12 count the rest of the way. They cut the early deficit in half when sophomore defenseman Nick Jensen converted with four seconds remaining in a penalty to Boivin, at 14:04 of the middle frame, but were unable to cash in on three third-period power plays.
St. Cloud State, 8-11-4 overall and 5-7-3 in the WCHA, had an apparent tying goal disallowed less than two minutes after Jensen's tally then rang a shot off the post early in the final period. Thorimbert stopped all 14 shots he faced down the stretch, including a breakaway effort by freshman left wing Nick Oliver with 8:38 left to play.
DIneen and Stoykewych finished with four blocked shots apiece for CC.