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Colorado College bursts past SCSU in 3rd

Colorado College junior forward Chritiano Versich1 / 2
St. Cloud State freshman forward Jami Krannila2 / 2

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The final score does not look like a butt kicking.

Colorado College scored an empty net goal with one minute left and beat St. Cloud State 4-2 in an NCHC game on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. It snapped a seven-game winless streak for the Tigers the series against the Huskies.

But the Tigers (1-1-1-0-0 NCHC, 3-3-1 overall) did it by outshooting the Huskies (0-1-0-0-0, 2-3-4) 15-5 in the third period. And here's another startling statistic: St. Cloud State was held to 22 shots in a home game.

While the score may not have indicated the type of game it was for SCSU, the look on head coach Brett Larson's face and his words told a different story.

"This is the first time all year that I've been really disappointed in our team's effort," said Larson, whose team was 17-0-1 at home last season. "(The Huskies) didn't bring it tonight. That starts with me, obviously, because it's my job to get them ready.

"But tonight, we got outworked in our own rink and that's unacceptable."

If it was possible, the Huskies would like to erase what they saw out of themselves in the game.

"It's a tough one to swallow," Huskies junior center Will Hammer said. "When it comes right down to it, they were just better than us tonight. They wanted it a little more than we did.

"We've got to forget about it, gather ourselves and come back (Saturday) and be ready to go."

Larson had a laundry list of areas where he thinks the Huskies can be better in the second game of the series.

"Losing the puck battles, losing the races to pucks and their wingers jumping in and being more physical off of faceoffs and we started every shift chasing," Larson said. "They started every shift on their toes."

Penalty kill struggles

Another couple of statistics to look at that tell the story of the game were in special teams.

Colorado College went into the game at 17.2 percent (5-for-29) on the season on the power play. The Tigers were 3-for-3 with the extra man with seven shots on goal.

"They have a really dangerous power play and we knew that," Larson said. "We worked on (the penalty kill) all week, so unfortunately, we have to look at the tape and figure out if we need to get some different guys out there. We need to win some faceoffs at the start of the penalty kill.

"We might have to go back to the drawing board and start over."

The Huskies gave up a power-play goal for the sixth straight game and are 13-for-24 (54.2 percent) on the penalty kill in their last six games.

Junior forward Chrisiano Versich had two power-play goals and Nick Halloran had the other power-play goal for the Tigers.

Glimmers of light

Were there any positives for St. Cloud State?

For the second time in three games, Hammer scored a goal. He had a shot near the net that bounced around and eventually over goalie Matt Vernon's shoulder at 7:25 of the second period to cut the Tigers' lead to 2-1.

Then Jami Krannila, a freshman from Finland, scored on a breakaway at 13:41 of the second period to tie the game at 2-2. It was the first college goal for Krannila, who won a Clark Cup in junior hockey last season playing for the Sioux Falls Stampede in the United States Hockey League.

Junior goalie David Hrenak stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced for the Huskies.


Colorado College 1-1-2—4

St. Cloud State 0-2-0—2

First period scoring 1. CC, Nick Halloran 2 (Bryan Yoon 6, Alex Berardinelli 2) 6:40 (pp). Penalties CC, Berardinelli (hooking) 3:42; SCSU, Thomas Rocco (hooking) 6:22.

Second period scoring — 2. CC, Christiano Versich 1 (Grant Cruikshank 1) 3:01 (pp); 3. SCSU, Will Hammer 2 (Jake Wahlin 2), 7:25; 4. SCSU, Jami Krannila 1 (Easton Brodzinski 6, Sam Hentges 10), 13:41. Penalties — SCSU, Hentges (tripping) 1:03.

Third period scoring — 5. CC, Versich 2 (Josiah Slavin 2, Cruikshank 2) 10:47 (pp); 6. CC, Slavin 1 (Ben Copeland 2) 19:00 (en). Penalties — CC, Connor Mayer (holding) 6:56; SCSU, Hammer (tripping) 9:36.

Goalie saves — CC: Matt Vernon 8-7-5—20 (2 GA); SCSU: David Hrenak 7-9-13—39 (3 GA).

Penalties-minutes — CC 2-4; SCSU 3-6.

Power plays (shots) — CC 3-3 (7 shots).; SCSU 0-2 (2 shots).

Faceoffs — St. Cloud State 32-22.

Referees — Bobby Lukkason and Scott Bokal.

Linesemen Kevin Cassidy and Brandon Schmitt.

Attendance — 3,601.

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