Yet again, Colorado College hockey had a chance to end its winless streak thanks a strong goaltending performance by senior Josh Thorimbert.
Instead, the Tigers fell short in the third period, falling 3-0 to visiting New Hampshire Saturday night after the Wildcats tallied two insurance goals in the final minutes..
“Josh gave us a chance to win the game,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “Tonight was more frustrating than anything because I felt we had a chance to win a 2-1 game or get a low-scoring tie.”
Instead, the opening goal proved to be the game winner against a Tigers team (1-10-2) looking for answers on offense and hungry for a breakthrough. Regardless, Wildcats coach Dick Umile was impressed by how the Tigers played.
“They did a good job getting the puck into the zone and pitting pressure on us,” he said.
New Hampshire senior Nick Sorkin made it three goals in two games when he knocked in a power-play rebound off a hard shot by linemate Kevin Goumas to open the scoring with 7:32 left in the second period.
“That line had a very good weekend,” Umile said.
The Tigers drew two penalties early in the third period but could not capitalize against the 20th-ranked Wildcats (9-7-1). New Hampshire survived a good flurry generated by the line of Jordan DiGiando, Christian Heil and Matt Hansen late in the third period before salting away the win.
“The effort was there but we couldn’t finish,” Owens said. “We need to stay together and keep working so we can be a better team in the second half (of the season).”
Goumas rang an insurance goal in off the crossbar, ripping a hard shot past Thorimbert’s glove attempt with 2:34 remaining for a 2-0 lead.
The score sucked the life out of the World Arena crowd and the announced 5,642 fans. Goumas added an empty-netter with 40.1 seconds remaining.
“That second goal by him was a relief,” Umile said. “It’s very difficult to get a road sweep.”
During the opening period, the Tigers out shot the Wildcats 12-9 but CC fired away from long range in hopes of getting to the rebounds off UNH goalie Casey DeSmith (32 saves).
“We were looking to generate shots and hoping we would get rebounds,” Owens said. “But he (junior goalie Casey DeSmith) did a good job smothering the puck.”
It almost worked when freshman right wing Matt Hansen shot from just inside the left faceoff circle, sending the puck off the opposite post with 1:32 left.
Thorimbert made 32 saves, including two big ones in five seconds late in the first period to set the tone.
The Tigers started slowly before junior Ian Young got the first CC shot on goal with 12:26 remaining in the first period.
Power play stumbles in third
Thanks to three power-play goals in the past three contests (3 for 8), the Colorado College power play production had more than doubled, going from 4.9 percent and last out of 59 Division I teams two weekends ago, to 55th at 10.2 percent entering Saturday’s game.
Unfortunately for the CC fans, that trend did not continue. The Tigers went 0 for 4 in the nonconference series finale on Saturday.
The three goals were a long-awaited payoff for improving play over the previous month with better puck movement from both power-play units. The second group capitalized on a good pass from junior defenseman Ian Young to senior Archie Skalbeck in the Tigers’ only man advantage on Friday.
“Our first power-play unit had good puck movement too,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said after Friday’s 6-2 home loss. “I was hoping we would get some more chances since New Hampshire has five games in eight days.”
The CC penalty kill continued to perform well, going 43 for 51 through two periods Saturday, including a power-play goal with 7:32 left in the middle frame. Denver, which was idle this weekend, leads Division I at 91.4 percent (64 of 70).
Annual Teddy Bear Toss next Saturday
CC fans are asked to bring a stuffed animal to next Saturday’s home game to be thrown onto the ice for the annual Teddy Bear Toss during first intermission.
The toys will go to the Bob Telmosse Foundation for its 31st annual Christmas Giveaway from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 21 at The Freedom Financial Expo Center, 3650 N. Nevada Ave. in Colorado Springs. For more information, go to santa-bob.org.
CC sophomore Cody Bradley suffered an upper-body injury recently and was unavailable this weekend. He will be re-evaluated next week. … Freshman Luc Gerdes played in his first college game Saturday night. All but injured rookie goalie Tyler Marble (season-ending shoulder surgery) have played. … CC has recorded 31 shots or more over the past eight outings. … Next week’s home foe, National Collegiate Hockey Conference leader and No. 17 Nebraska-Omaha (8-6, 5-1) was idle Thanksgiving weekend. … All eight NCHC teams will play in league series next weekend. … The monthly Scott Owens radio show is 6 p.m. Tuesday at Tony’s Bar on Tejon Street. It can be heard on 105.5 FM and 1240 AM KRDO.
No. 20 New Hampshire 3, Colorado College 0
New Hampshire 0 1 2 — 3
Colorado College 0 0 0 — 0
First period – None. Penalties – CC, Harstad, hooking, 3:21; UNH, Knodel, boarding, 5:56; UNH, Correale, hooking, 10:51.
Second period – 1. UNH, Sorkin (Goumas, Agosta) 12:28 (PP). Penalties – CC, Krushelnyski, hooking, 7:51; CC, Harstad, hooking, 11:51; CC, Collett, interference, 16:48.
Third period – 2. UNH, Goumas (Sorkin, van Riemsdyk) 17:26; 3. UNH, Goumas (Sorkin) 19:19 (EN). Penalties – UNH, Gaudreault, hooking, 3:23; UNH, bench, too many men, 6:18.
Power play – UNH 1-4, CC 0-4. Shots on goals – UNH 9-16-10 – 35; CC 12-12-8 – 32. Saves-minutes – UNH, DeSmith 12-12-8 – 60:00; CC, Thorimbert 9-15-8 – 59:36. Referees – Patafie, Thul. Linesmen – Mousseau, Pedigo. Attendance – 5,642 (7,380 capacity).