Colorado Springs, CO – “Hockey is cruel – you continually dominate them and one shot and they are ahead.” tweeted hockey fan Keith Mueller. As unfair as it seemed to the SCSU fans watching this game on Friday, November 2nd, that was indeed the case. Albeit for a portion of the first period, the #2 ranked Huskies put forth a dominating effort but it took a four-goal third period to finally dispose of the Colorado College Tigers at the Broadmoor World Arena Friday. SCSU fell behind 2-0 in the first period and it was beginning to look like the Tigers would get their first win vs the Huskies on home ice since 2013. But a rally in the third period erased the Tigers thoughts of an upset as the Huskies prevailed 5-3 for their first conference win.
The vastly improved Tigers stunned the Huskies early scoring the first goal of the contest at 9:03 of the period just as a bench penalty for too many men expired. A pass from behind the goal by Trevor Gooch was wristed past David Hrenak for a 1-0 CC lead. The Tigers capitalized again to the delight of their home crowd after a penalty to Luke Jaycox for slashing. A shot from the left point by Kristian Blumenschein rebounded to Nick Halloran who finished it off for a 2-0 Colorado College lead. With the Huskies whistled twice in the period the Tigers outshot the visitors 8-6.
The Huskies came out hard in period two and exerted a great deal of offensive pressure on the Tigers and finally beat Alex Leclerc with a goal at 11:18 by Ryan Poehling, his second of the season. But, it was freshman, Nolan Walker that made it all happen as he did a half circle to the front of the net where he found Poehling all alone to Leclerc’s right one-timing the pass from Walker for a 2-1 game. In a period totally dominated by the Huskies, they outshot Colorado College 18-1 yet were still down by a goal.
The continued attack by the Huskies finally wore the Tigers down in the final period as they exploded for four goals to salt the game away. Behind 2-1, the Huskies finally tied the game on the power play at 8:51 after an exhibition of outstanding puck movement. Some great passing between Robby Jackson and Jimmy Schuldt led to Schuldt dishing the puck to Newell who one-timed a shot into a wide open right side of the net. However, the Tigers made things interesting responding 32 seconds later with a goal by Cole McCaskill. McCaskill took a shot from the left point that may have deflected off the blade of Nick Poehling’s stick and then deflected off a player who was in front of the net and over the shoulder of Hrenak. This once again gave the Tigers a one-goal advantage and set the Huskies back to work. Robby Jackson again made a nice passing play sliding the puck diagonally across the front of the net to Easton Brodzinski who had an easy tap-in to tie the game at 3-3 at 12:53. The Huskies finally fashioned their first lead of the game at 16:34 on Patrick Newell’s second goal of the game. Kevin Fitzgerald fed Newell from below the goal line and Newell controlled the pass in traffic and got a shot off beating Leclerc stick side for a 4-3 lead. SCSU then salted the game away with a short-handed goal by Ryan Poehling, his second of the game. With CC on the power play and their goalie pulled, the Huskies won the battle of puck possession along the wall and it ended up on Poehlings stick who launched a 125 foot shot into an empty net at 18:36 for the 5-3 final.
“We played great in the first period,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “They came out ready to go in the second but we still had a 2-1 lead. We have to find a way to win that game. There’s games where you’re not going to be at your best, but you have a chance to win — you’ve gotta figure out how to win them,”
SCSU outshot the Tigers badly by a 41-16 margin allowing only 7 shots in the final two periods. Alex Leclerc was called on to stop 36 of 40 SCSU shots on goal while David Hrenak stopped 12 of 15. SCSU was 2 for 3 on the man-advantage while the Tigers were 1 for 4. The Huskies had a 42 to 21 advantage in faceoffs and the Tigers blocked 14 shots while SCSU blocked 8.
The Huskies had a number of players with multiple points including Robby Jackson (0-2-2), Jimmy Schuldt (0-2-2), Jack Ahcan (0-2-2), Ryan Poehling (2-0-2), Nolan Walker (0-2-2) and Patrick Newell (2-0-2).
The two teams complete the weekend series on Saturday with the drop of the puck at 7:00 PM CT.
Stars of the Game: #1 Patrick Newell (SCSU), #2 Alex Leclerc (CC), #3 Ryan Poehling (SCSU)