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Improved power play a bright spot for Tigers

January 11, 2014 Updated: January 11, 2014 at 10:35 pm
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The Colorado College power play is on an excellent run over the first three games of the second half, going 5 for 10 in games lost by a combined 12-7.

That improvement has pushed the Tigers up from 58th out of 59 Division I teams to a three-way tie for 45th (14.7 percent, 11 for 75).

"We have some positives to build on and the power play is one of them," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "But we have to get more 5-on-5 scoring."

The power play is relying more on its defensemen to fire the puck on net, which led to the tying goal on Saturday and three from long range on Friday (two by Jaccob Slavin).

The penalty kill has been solid, if not spectacular at 11 for 13. Those stats were hurt by the late power-play goal by North Dakota that came during a five-minute man advantage that salted away the win. Brown also benefited from a 5-minute call as well.

So far this season, 12 of the team's 35 goals (1.75 a game) came while on special teams, including one short-handed score.

Tigers working to get better in third period

The two North Dakota goals in the third period added to a continuing problem for the Tigers, who have been outscored by a 26-10 margin in the final frame this season.

"That's one of our goals in the second half is to get better in the third period," Owens said.

The third-period deficit was established earlier this season and inflated during some lopsided losses, including being outscored 6-0 by New Hampshire over Thanksgiving weekend and 3-0 by Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 19.

The second period is also a problem. Friday's loss was the fifth game in a row Colorado College went through a second-period lull and the opposing team took advantage for a 23-11 edge this season. That letdown streak ended on Saturday with Alexander Krushelnyski's power-play tally.

Foes have outscored CC 11-2 in the second period since a 4-2 home win over Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 6, when the Tigers outscored the Mavericks 2-0.

JOE PAISLEY, THE GAZETTE

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