The Tigers are not after a 4-3 road loss in overtime to No. 15 Wisconsin.
“I think everyone is getting pretty sick of losing,” said Tigers senior Archie Skalbeck, who scored the tying goal with 1:03 left by tipping in a rebound on a shot by defenseman Ian Young. “We need to stop feeling good about coming close.”
The winning goal on Saturday came only 1:41 into overtime after Badgers senior Tyler Barnes fired a hard-angle backhander that found its way between CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert’s legs, ending the nonconference game at the Kohl Center.
“I just threw it toward the net because I saw Brad (Navin) was going to the net,” Wisconsin senior Tyler Barnes said. “I couldn’t see what happened after that and I heard a cheer.”
“To lose a game that way is cruel,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said.
Unfortunately, the Tigers can only look to themselves after a poor second period which saw the hosts dominate the middle frame play for the second night in a row.
It took only 7:39 for the host Badgers to erase a 2-0 Tigers lead and take a 3-2 lead.
Navin flipped a backhander in only 2:10 into the period, followed by Jefferson Dahl firing a forehanded shot around a screen to send the puck between Thorimbert’s legs.
Senior Michael Mersch scored Wisconsin’s third goal, as he did on Friday, by camping out in front and tipping in a crossing pass from Nic Kerdiles.
“We put the onus on the team,” Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. “We told the upperclassmen that they know what to do and they went out and did it.”
Colorado College got a huge break early when senior center Jeff Collett fired a crossing pass to the front of the net and Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Kevin Schulze inadvertently knocked the puck in past Wisconsin junior goalie Joel Rumpel for a 1-0 lead only 54 seconds into both teams final game before the holiday break.
“It’s tough for a team that needs a couple breaks or two to get one and not get the win,” Owens said. “I am happy with how we played at the beginning and the end.”
The Tigers, who played well in the first period, took a 2-0 lead after freshman Sam Rothstein lifted in a rebound just as he was knocked to the ice with 7:51 left in the first period. The scoring play was set up by freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin who took the feed from senior Alexander Krushelnyski and cut across the faceoff circles to find an opening for the initial shot.
Unusual game for both programs
For perhaps the first time in program history, Colorado College played in a game with neither team drawing a penalty.
“Not at the college level but in juniors,” CC coach Scott Owens replied when asked. “It was a pretty clean game. There were a lot of good non-calls.”
The referees were C.J. Beaurline and Brad Hunt of the Big Ten.
Wisconsin last played a penalty-free game in 1967.
“There were a couple calls could have been made but the referees were consistent,” Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. “When you talk to the supervisor of officials, the goal is always consistency and that is what they were this weekend.”
Tigers juggle lines against veteran Badgers
Colorado College decided it needed to play more of its older players against No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday after dressing six of an available seven rookies in Friday’s 4-1 nonconference series-opening loss.
“I have been real happy with the play of (freshmen Christian) Heil and (Matt) Hansen,” Owens said. “But with Wisconsin having nine seniors we decided we wanted to go a little older.”
That experience is one of the reasons the Badgers were the preseason pick to win the inaugural Big Ten hockey title.
Friday’s setback was only the third game that the freshmen were held without a point; including the 1-0 loss at Clarkson and the 3-0 home defeat at the hands of New Hampshire.
With Heil and Hansen out as healthy scratches, CC went with four freshmen – Zach Aman, Alex Roos, Sam Rothstein and Jaccob Slavin – in the lineup, down from the seven that played last Saturday against Nebraska-Omaha. One rookie, Gustav Olofsson, was en route to Sweden for World Junior Championship training camp.
Both teams scored on the first shots of the first (CC) and second (Wisconsin) periods. .. UW now leads the series 111-66-9 but has won only seven of the last 24 games dating back to the 2006-07 season. … Friday’s shorthanded goal for Tigers senior Alexander Krushelnyski was his seventh of his career. … Both first periods were penalty free this weekend. … Wisconsin has won three games in a row against CC only three times since 1993.
No. 15 Wisconsin 4, Colorado College 3 OT
Colorado College 2 0 1 0 –3
Wisconsin 0 3 0 1 –4
First period – 1, CC, Collett (Wamsganz) :54; 2. CC, Rothstein (Slavin, Krushelnyski) 12:43. Penalties – none.
Second period – 3. UW, Navin (Dahl, Wittchow) 2:01; 4, UW, Dahl (Schulze, Navin) 5:49; 5. UW, Mersch (Kerdiles, Besse) 7:39. Penalties – None.
Third period – 6. CC, Skalbeck (Young) 18:57 (EX). Penalties – none.
Overtime – 7. UW, Barnes (Navin, Zengerle) 1:41. Penalties – none.
Power play – CC 0-0, UW 0-0. Shots on goal – CC 11-9-9-0 – 29; UW 9-11-5-3 – 28. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 9-8-5-2 – 61:26; UW, Rumpel 9-9-8-0 – 61:41. Referees – Beaurline, Hunt. Linesmen – Shikowsky, Moberg. Attendance – 10,031 (13,310 capacity).