It took one of Colorado Springs’ own to defeat Colorado College Friday night.
Tom Serratore, the son of Air Force hockey coach Frank Serratore, put home a rebound with 6:37 remaining to break a 2-2 tie and give No. 4 Minnesota a 4-2 victory against No. 19 Colorado College in front of 7,021 at the World Arena.
“It’s always nice to score no matter who you’re playing,” Serratore said. “Especially coming back here it’s a great feeling to score against the Tigers. It was a tight game, and we were working hard there and I went to the net. We had a scramble in front of the net and I just flipped it towards the net and it went in.”
Colorado College (8-8-1, 5-4 WCHA) is now 1-5-1 in its last seven games and is 4-6-1 in one-goal games, not including empty-net goals.
“It’s just we have to find a way to win these close ones,” said Tigers coach Scott Owens. “It’s been numerous games that we have been in the third period tied or up one and haven’t been able to make a play.”
Colorado College failed to score with the extra attacker after pulling goalie Joe Howe with 1:20 left in the game only to have Minnesota’s Zach Budish seal the game 12 seconds later into the empty net.
Minnesota’s Sam Warning had given the Gophers (11-3-2, 6-3-2) a 2-0 lead with 6:48 remaining in the second period with his second goal of the game before CC’s Archie Skalbeck (1 goal, 1 assist) scored on a 2-on-1 with Rylan Schwartz (2 assists) less than two minutes later to make it 2-1.
Then with 3:22 left in the period, CC captain William Rapuzzi (1 goal, 1 assist) buried a rebound following a Skalbeck shot kicked away by Minnesota goaltender Andrew Wilcox with 3:22 to tie the game at 2.
The Tigers had a chance to take a 3-2 lead early in the third period after a Justin Holl tripping penalty gave CC a power play with 13:26 remaining. However, the Tigers could not capitalize on a series of good chances, including a chance in close from Schwartz.
Colorado College finished 0-for-4 on the power play.
“Not to say our power play failed us, but there are four seniors and a junior on that power-play unit,” Rapuzzi said. “That’s a big-time opportunity to put our team ahead. It’s frustrating. We had some chances to get it and it just didn’t go in for us.”
Rapuzzi and some of the other upperclassmen held a meeting following the game to address some of the issues affecting the team.
“We got together and just addressed some things that we need to change quickly,” Rapuzzi said. We are right there in these games. We just need to fix these little mental errors that are costing us some valuable points.”
Tiger goalie Joe Howe finished with 27 saves and kept the Tigers in it with a big save five minutes into the third when he stopped Nate Condon on a breakaway following a CC turnover by Ian Young.