Last week, I wrote my column about the importance of scoring the first goal in a hockey game. The team who does generally wins.
On Friday night, the no-name University of North Dakota hockey team, which seemed to be wearing a Fighting Sioux on the front of its jersey, entered the World Arena for the first time since January of 2011. North Dakota has beaten the Tigers in their last four games, but Colorado College wasn’t fazed. Despite being outshot in the first period, 16-8, the Tigers netted the all-important first and only goal of the period, and guess what folks? They won the game! That makes our Tigers 4-0 when they score first. That’s good, right? We should probably do that more often…
On Saturday night, however, the team chose to ignore this game plan. Just 34 seconds into the competition, UND found the back of the net in a fluke goal that ricocheted off a CC defensemen’s skate. UND scored first, and went on to win the game.
This one was a heartbreaker.
Sophomore Josh Thorimbert was lights-out, making almost forty saves, and Junior Archie Skalbeck scored what looked to be the game-winner just seven minutes into the third period. However, North Dakota had other plans. With only 13 seconds remaining, their goalie pulled, UND lit the lamp, tied up the game, sent it into overtime, and took all the momentum from an suddenly deflated Colorado College hockey team. The game was over a mere 51 seconds into overtime.
Our Tigers are now 1-3-1 on the season in overtime, and have gone to an extra session in 3 of the previous 4 games. We remain tied for fifth place in the WCHA, but gained a point on the division leader and antichrist Denver University, who tied and lost in consecutive games to a struggling Wisconsin team.
We split the weekend series, we’re still in fifth place, five points behind first place Denver, but only two points behind second place Minnesota, who the Tigers face at the World Arena this weekend.
In this upcoming matchup against the perennial powerhouse, the Minnesota, Gophers I would like to highlightkeep an eye out for the Colorado College second line, including senior Scott Winkler, junior Alexander Krushelnyski, and sophomore Charlie Taft, who continue to impress day in and day out. This line, led by Winkler, scored 4 goals on Friday night, and in even-strength situations, has scored 16 goals in 16 games this season. They continue to look like the GAG line, Goal-A-Game line from the Rangers. Scott Winkler is on fire. He has 14 points in his last 10 games, and is tied for third in all of college hockey with 10 goals. This guy has come a long way, and it hasn’t been easy. He has dealt with injury every year, but has battled through the adversity, and is currently one of the most dominant players in college hockey. Look for this 6’3”, 215-pound bear-of-a-man to light the lamp this weekend.