A wide-open, seven-goal second period was what No. 4 North Dakota needed to leave with a series split as the Fighting Hawks downed Colorado College 6-4 on Saturday night at The Broadmoor World Arena.
The Tigers (5-3-0, 1-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) led 2-1 for 52 seconds before the Fighting Hawks took over, scoring three unanswered goals in a span of 2:01.
“We weren’t prepared to play,” coach Mike Haviland said. “Every time we thought we felt like we climbed back and got the momentum, they got it from us.”
Grant Mismash put the Fighting Hawks (5-2-1, 1-1 NCHC) on the board four seconds into a penalty against Zach Berzolla 6:41 into the first period.
Both goaltenders were tested, as the Tigers’ Alex Leclerc was peppered on the power play and the Fighting Hawks’ Cam Johnson turned aside a breakaway from Alex Berardinelli as he bounded out of the penalty box.
Halloran tied the game 6:25 into the second period, taking the puck over the blue line and unleashing a shot from the same spot Berardinelli did. That one beat Johnson cleanly glove side. Mason Bergh then joined linemate Halloran in scoring his second of the weekend series.
North Dakota’s Nick Jones, Austin Poganski and Gabe Bast scored in succession, then CC’s Berardinelli netted his first of the season on another breakaway 14:46 in. North Dakota’s Jordan Kawaguchi closed out the busy second period, sending his team into the intermission with a 5-3 lead.
The home team made mistakes with the puck and allowed the Fighting Hawks to walk in repeatedly. The Tigers played with five defensemen after Cole McCaskill was injured in the first period.
“The guys are exhausted,” Haviland said.
Mismash netted his second of the game early in the third period, and Trevor Gooch closed the scoring with 6:10 left in the game. Leclerc finished with 27 saves.
One night after losing 2-1, North Dakota allowed more than two goals for the first time this season. But the Tigers were sucked into a style of play that didn’t benefit them.
“I don’t think we played the system the way we wanted to,” Berardinelli said. “We gave them a lot of odd-man rushes, and we can’t play that kind of run-and-gun game with them.”
Though a split with a top-5 conference rival is something the Tigers are proud of, the loss left a sour taste in Berardinelli’s mouth.
“It was not the outcome we wanted,” he said. “We have to come back hungrier and convert next weekend.”