Published: November 2, 2013
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- A few positives were not enough to keep Colorado College hockey from suffering its fifth straight defeat Saturday night.
After an opening period that saw the Tigers outshot by an 11-1 margin but trailing only 1-0, CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert's hot streak came to an end.
Host Western Michigan scored on its first two shots of the second period to pull away for an eventual 5-1 win in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play. Thorimbert entered Saturday's game having stopped 165 of 177 shots faced, a very good .932 saves percentage, for an average of 33 saves. He was off his game Saturday.
"Josh has played so well for us," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "He may have been tired tonight. Losing two overtime games is physically and mentally tiring. It puts so much pressure on a goalie when the offense isn't producing."
CC looked to get the lucky break it so desperately needed when a shot by wing Scott Wamsganz bounced in off a Bronco's skate with 5:58 left in the second period. It was the junior's first goal as a Tiger.
But that upswing lasted for only 21 seconds when Justin Kovacs scored to make it 4-1 and re-energized a crowd of 3,284 at Lawson Ice Arena.
Thorimbert's night ended when WMU scored on its first shot of the third period on a 2-on-1 breakaway.
While a fourth consecutive road defeat may be hard to swallow, there were some positives to be gleaned from the weekend.
"Our compete level was better but we can still improve there," senior center Jeff Collett said. "We got more shots on goal and our penalty kill has been hot. Our power play had better puck movement. We just need to keep getting better every game."
The Tigers (1-5, 1-3 NCHC) picked it up on offense in the second period, outshooting the Broncos (3-2-1, 2-0) by a 20-7 margin in the second period and 28-13 over the final 40 minutes.
"They had us on our heels the whole second period," WMU coach Andy Murray said. "They worked hard in that period and finally got their reward. If they keep working that hard they will get their wins."
The Tigers had a chance to go ahead early, but Western Michigan junior goalie Frank Slubowski (28 saves) made the stop on a breakaway for CC's Charlie Taft with 14:33 left in the opening period. That was CC's only shot of the period.
Now, it is a matter of getting ready for the resumption of the Gold Pan rivalry series against Denver next weekend.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us and most of it is on the offensive end," Owens said. "We played better than we did last weekend with about 4? good periods this weekend. So there are some positives. Maybe heading home will help."