Tigers lose two-goal lead, game at St. Cloud 5-3

DAVID RAMSEY Updated: December 14, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: December 14, 2012

ST. CLOUD, Minn. • Colorado College looked on its way to a convincing road win. A victory here in The Great White North would have provided a badly needed boost. The Tigers are in desperate need of revival.

It didn’t turn out that way. St. Cloud was the team that revived, turning a two-goal deficit into a 5-3 victory over the Tigers.

And so CC’s malaise continues. The Tigers have won once in the past nine games (1-6-2) while surrendering 41 goals.

CC jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by William Rapuzzi and Cody Bradley, leaving the crowd of 3,959 at NHEC Arena stunned and silent.

But St. Cloud’s Huskies seized control of the game and scored the next four goals. A few minutes after the game, players sat quietly in CC’s locker room. It had been a long night.

The loss dropped CC to 8-9-2 overall and 5-5-1 in the WCHA. St. Cloud, ranked No. 17, climbed to 10-7 and 8-5.

“We started out playing a pretty good road game,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “We needed a play to be made. We needed a goal or a big defensive play. And nothing happened for six or seven minutes.

“We’re in a position where we’re close but we need to get over the hump. We’ve just got to get over the hump.”

The Tigers dominated the first 35 minutes. Mike Boivin nearly gave CC the lead at 12:48 of the first period when he sent a rocket over goaltender Ryan Faragher’s shoulder, but the shot clanged loudly off the crossbar.

CC took the lead on a short-handed goal by Rapuzzi. He fooled Faragher with a fake shot and then gently placed the puck in the back of the net.

Bradley pushed the Tigers to a 2-0 lead at 11:47 of the second. At this point, CC’s defense was playing with stinginess and aggressiveness while goaltender Joe Howe repeatedly denied St. Cloud shooters.

But the Huskies quickly turned the game around. The Huskies stormed the net, leaving Howe vulnerable. Twice, St. Cloud scored on rebounds.

Kalle Kossila essentially clinched the win when he sent a shot just inside Howe’s left skate at 12:14 of the third period. The goal gave the Huskies a 4-2 lead.

“I couldn’t see the puck,” Howe said, explaining that a defenseman stood in his way. “That was the poorest goal I let in tonight.”

Owens said he plans to start Josh Thorimbert at goaltender for Saturday’s game, but he made sure to compliment Howe’s performance.

“I thought Joe battled and competed and deserved a little better,” Owens said.

Power plays hurt the Tigers. St. Cloud converted on 2-of-5 of their man-up opportunities while the Tigers failed on all four of theirs.

Owens said: “I’m a little frustrated.”

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