Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tigers Lose First of Season

CC Athletics

North Dakota wins series opener with CC
Tigers suffer first setback of season
Tyler Johnson
Colorado College will have to wait at least another day to snap out of its offensive slump.

Not even Richard Bachman could rescue punchless CC in Friday’s series opener with the University of North Dakota, as the Fighting Sioux woke up from their early-season doldrums to claim a 3-1 victory at the World Arena.

The final stats say that the No. 1-ranked Tigers finished with a 30-29 edge in shots on goal. But the real story is that 37 more of their attempts sailed harmlessly wide or were blocked by the UND defense in front of freshman goaltender Brad Eidsness, who needed to make only a handful of quality saves.

Eidsness lost his shutout with 1:27 left to play, when Tyler Johnson’s wrist shot from the high slot changed direction after glancing off the arm of Bill Sweatt as the speedy Sweatt streaked toward the net.

North Dakota, meanwhile, got goals from Brent Davidson and Brett Hextall just 14 seconds apart midway through the second period to take command in a game that never seemed in doubt for the visitors.

Darcy Zajac’s tally at 9:53 of opening period staked the Sioux to an early lead, and CC just never found the groove while suffering its first defeat of the season.

The Tigers went 0-for-8 on the power play, including four straight chances early in the third period. They even had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:24 when Zajac and Hextall were whistled for infractions within 36 seconds of each other.

A bright spot? Colorado College, now 5-1-3 overall and 3-1-1 in WCHA play, continued its shorthanded success by killing all four UND power plays in the game.

North Dakota, 3-4 overall, improved to 3-2 in league play heading into Saturday’s rematch.