Friday, March 10, 2006

Huskies Take Game One

Colorado College tried desperately to solve Bobby Goepfert but came up empty in the end Friday night at the World Arena. The Tigers struck first courtesy of Jimmy Kilpatrick, but couldn't hold the lead as St. Cloud State quickly tied it and then jumped out to a lead of their own in the second period. Sloppy play on the power play and in general doomed the Tigers as they gave St. Cloud State breakaway after breakaway. While Matt Zaba made some nice stops, all it took was one ugly play to give the Huskies a permanent lead. CC squandered quite a few oppurtunities on the power play, going 0 for 4 and failing to capitalize on a five minute major in the third.

Bobby Goepfert had to stand on his head at the end of the third period as the Tigers bombarded his net with shot after shot. The seventh best goalie in the country lived up to his billing, making some unbelievable saves and robbing the Tigers on several occasions. Brett Sterling played in the game, but clearly was not at full health. He seemed to be playing limited shifts, and did not quite look to be at full speed. Likewise, Marty Sertich had a lackluster performance, missing a number of chances and at times making careless mistakes with the puck.

The World Arena came alive in the third period when Michael Olson of St. Cloud State was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down by Jack Hillen. With thunderous noise and chants of "Zaba - Zaba - Zaba" coming from the stands, Olson skated in on Zaba and shot it wide to the left. While Goepfert played an exceptional game in net, Matt Zaba deserves mention as well for making several breakaway stops and saves in close. The Huskies goals were scored by Konrad Reeder and Michael Olson, with assists from Dan Kronick, Brock Hooton, and Nate Raduns. Kilpatrick's goal for CC was unnassisted.

The loss hurts the Tigers in the Pairwise Rankings in a big way. CC only drops one spot, to 7th, but five teams move into a tie for 8th with only one pairwise "point" seperating them from the Tigers.

It seemed to be the night of upsets around college hockey, with three lower seeds winning in the WCHA and some notable CCHA favorites losing as well. In the CCHA, Alaska-Fairbanks defeated Michigan State and Northern Michigan beat Nebraska-Omaha 4-1. In the WCHA, in addition to St. Cloud State's win, Minnesota State-Mankato beat North Dakota in overtime, and Minnesota Duluth stunned Denver, breaking a six game losing streak with a 3-2 overtime win. Wisconsin and Minnesota beat Michigan Tech and Alaska-Anchorage respectively.


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