January 10, 2014 Updated: January 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - There is still plenty of life in these Tigers, thanks in part to the play of its freshman defensemen.
But the usual problem - a lull in intensity - resulted in much the same. A letdown in the second period proved too much to overcome Friday in a 5-3 loss at North Dakota.
"I thought it was another case of not getting a consistent 60 minutes," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "In the third period we played well and got it close but we couldn't get the (tying) goal."
Jaccob Slavin scored twice to spark a third-period rally, including a power-play goal for a suddenly a revitalized Colorado College man advantage; which is three for six in the past two games.
But a late penalty on freshman Sam Rothstein sealed the visitors' fate.
The rookie was called for a checking from behind penalty on Derek Rodwell with 4:58 left, putting the Tigers a man down for the rest of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference game, and stifling their comeback.
UND (10-7-2, 6-5) put the game away when Michael Parks tapped in a rebound during the subsequent power play for the final margin.
"We almost blew a three-goal lead but fortunately we got one back," UND coach Dave Hakstol said.
North Dakota scored three goals in the second period to take control to the delight of the 10,387 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Their joy only lasted about five minutes into the third period after Slavin scored with 17:39 left and 15:08 remaining - a span of 151 seconds - to make it 4-3 and put the result in doubt until late.
"If we can play like we did in the third period for a full 60 minutes we will be a scary hockey team to play," Slavin said.
UND took advantage of the poor second period when sophomore Bryn Chyzyk recorded an assist on the first goal by Parks and 46 seconds later scored to make it 3-1 over the Tigers (2-14-3, 2-6-3-1).
North Dakota went ahead by three when defenseman Dillon Simpson fired a shot past CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (23 saves) with only six seconds left.
"You cannot afford to give up those kinds of goals on the road," Owens said.
CC freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson scored on his first shot of his first game back from the world junior championships to tie the score at 1-1 with 12:24 left in the first period.
"It was nice to have Jaccob and Gustav back," Owens said. "Their presence, ranginess and ability to move the puck really helped. But we need to get more push from our forwards. If you don't get production up front it is tough to win."