But the usual problem – a lull in intensity – resulted in much the same. A letdown in the second period proved too much to overcome in a 5-3 loss at North Dakota Friday night.
“I thought it was another case of not getting a consistent 60 minutes,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “In the third period we play well and got it close but we couldn’t get the (tying) goal.”
Jaccob Slavin scored twice to spark a third-period rally, including a power-play goal for a suddenly a revitalized Colorado College man advantage; three for six last two games.
But a late penalty on freshman Sam Rothstein sealed the visitors’ fate.
The rookie was called for a checking from behind penalty on Derek Rodwell with 4:58 left, putting the Tigers a man down for the rest of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference game, and stifling their comeback.
UND (10-7-2, 6-5 NCHC) put it away when Michael Parks tapped in a rebound during the subsequent power play for the final margin.
“We almost blew a three-goal lead but fortunately we got one back,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said.
North Dakota scored three goals in the second period to take control of the game to the delight of the 10,387 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Their joy only lasted about five minutes into the third period after Slavin scored with 17:39 left and 15:08 remaining – a span of 151 seconds – to make it 4-3 and put the result in doubt until late.
“If we can play like we did in the third period for a full 60 minutes we will be a scary hockey team to play,” Slavin said.
UND took advantage of the poor second period when sophomore Bryn Chyzyk recorded an assist on the first goal by Parks and 46 seconds later scored to make it 3-1 over the Tigers (2-14-3, 2-6-3-1).
North Dakota went ahead by three when defenseman Dillon Simpson fired a shot past CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (23 saves) with only six ticks left.
“You cannot afford to give up those kinds of goals on the road,” Owens said.
CC freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson scored on his first shot of his first game back from the world junior championships to tie it at 1-1 with 12:24 left in the first period.
“It was nice to have Jaccob and Gustav back,” Owens said. “Their presence, ranginess and ability to move the puck really helped. But we need to get more push from our forwards. If you don’t get production up front it is tough to win.”
World juniors experience ‘unbelievable’ for freshmen
Forgive Colorado College freshmen Gustav Olofsson (Sweden) and Jaccob Slavin (USA) if they are still a little excited about their time at the 2014 world junior championship in Malmo, Sweden, where Olofsson’s team fell one win short of a title.
The experience was a great for both.
“Playing at that level and at that speed when you have to make fast decisions was a great experience,” Slavin said. “It helps your development playing with those guys.”
For Olofsson, the sting of silver instead of gold is being replaced by the benefit of the experience.
“More confidence is the big thing,” he said.
Olofsson’s return gives Tigers a boost
Olofsson was encouraged to leave CC and head to Portland of the Western Hockey League by the Minnesota Wild, which drafted him 46th overall in 2013, after a strong performance for Sweden. His NHL stock rose after he finished with five points (four assists) in seven games and played well defensively.
“Olofsson really impressed me when they lined up to play the Russians,” said college TV analyst Dave Starman, who called the games for the NHL Network. “His pairing against (Russian leading scorer Mikhail) Grigorenko spoke volumes about what he was worth to Sweden.”
But the rookie decided he wanted to stay at CC citing good coaching and the team.
“That (WHL) will always be there because they have my (major junior) rights,” Olofsson said. “This is where I want to be and that is why I am here.”
The Tigers are glad he chose to stay.
“Having Jaccob back is a big help and seeing Gustav decide to come back was a boost for team morale,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said.
CC’s Slavin is the younger brother of Jordan Slavin, who once held the single-season defenseman points record for the North Dakota women. … The fathers of CC senior Alexander Krushelnyski (Mike) and UND captain Dillon Simpson won a Stanley Cup together in 1988 with Edmonton. His father Craig is the lead analyst on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
North Dakota 5, Colorado College 3
Colorado College 1 0 2 –3
North Dakota 1 3 1 –5
First period – 1. UND, MacMillan (Schmaltz, Simpson) 7:36; 2. CC, Olofsson (Stoykewych, Taft) 11:45. Penalties – CC, Wamsganz, roughing, 14:13; CC, Stoykewych, cross-checking, 17:28.
Second period – 3, UND, Parks (Chyzyk) 4:49; 4. UND, Chyzyk (Murphy, Gaarder) 5:35; 5, UND, Simpson (Johnson, Grimaldi), 19:54. Penalties – none.
Third period – 6. CC, Slavin (Harstad, Bradley) 2:21; 7. CC, Slavin (Stoykewych, Harstad) 4:52 (PP); 8, UND, Parks (Mattson, Stecher) 17:43 (PP). Penalties – UND, MacMillan, tripping, 3:09; UND, LaDue, hooking, 9:27; CC, Rothstein, five-minute checking from behind, 10-minute game misconduct, 15:02.
Power play – CC 1-2, UND 1-4. Shots on goal – CC 4-10-9 – 23; UND 7-15-6 – 28. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 6-12-5 – 59:43; UND, Gothberg 3-10-7 – 59:58. Referees – Krebsbach, B. Shepherd. Linesmen – Hills, Schmitt. Attendance – 10,387 (11,634 capacity).