GRAND FORKS, N.D. • Oh, what might have been.
Colorado College lost one-goal leads for the second consecutive night, but instead of rebounding for a win, fell 5-3 to No. 7 North Dakota at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday. Scott Winkler scored a pair of goals for the Tigers (9-13-2, 6-9-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association), but Danny Kristo’s two goals and two assists for North Dakota (13-6-3, 8-3-3) was simply too much.
North Dakota’s Dan Senkbeil, a former walk-on, broke a 3-3 tie 7:45 into the third period on a rebound past Josh Thorimbert, and Kristo added an empty-netter y. Rylan Schwartz scored on the power play 5:13 into the third to tie the game at 3-3, but the Tigers were unable to keep momentum.
“We got off to a great start, and I really liked the way we played,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “We had a chance in the third, and I thought it was a great series.”
Winkler ended an eight-game, goal-scoring drought for the senior, but they didn’t feel great, considering the outcome.
“Rylan and I were both coming in with dry spells, so it was nice to get (some goals),” said Winkler, who is tied for the team lead in goals with William Rapuzzi with 12. “But it doesn’t mean much if you don’t win.”
The second period was all North Dakota, with UND outshooting the Tigers 15-1 and scoring twice to grab a 3-2 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes.
“The second period got away from us,” Owens said. “They got a lot of energy off the power plays. I thought that was the turning point.”
CC nearly took a 3-1 lead midway through the second, but Alexander Krushelynski’s shot from the right wing hit the left post. North Dakota’s Joe Gleason scored a power-play goal seconds later to tie the game at 2-2. Mitch MacMillan then put UND up for the first time this weekend, 3-2, with 6:38 remaining in the second.
“When we look at it in a few weeks, we might say it was a good weekend, but right now it doesn’t feel good at all,” Winkler said. “We just couldn’t pull through.”
CC jumped ahead early for the second consecutive night, taking a 1-0 lead when Winkler redirected an errant UND pass into the net 3:13 into the game. Kristo put a rocket from the left wing past Thorimbert 2:04 later to knot the score.
That was the score until Winkler found the net again, on the power play, at the 13:11 mark.