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Penalty box stays cost Colorado College hockey in loss to Omaha

November 10, 2017 Updated: November 11, 2017 at 9:13 am
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photo - Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks forward Jake Randolph (13), right, attempts a goal past Colorado College Tigers goalie Alex Leclerc (1) as the Tigers took on the Mavericks in hockey action at The Broadmoor World Arena on Friday November 10, 2017 in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).
Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks forward Jake Randolph (13), right, attempts a goal past Colorado College Tigers goalie Alex Leclerc (1) as the Tigers took on the Mavericks in hockey action at The Broadmoor World Arena on Friday November 10, 2017 in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

Turnovers and poor discipline doomed Colorado College, which gave up four power-play goals to Omaha in a 5-3 loss Friday night at The Broadmoor World Arena.

“We took some undisciplined penalties, and they made us pay,” coach Mike Haviland said. “When you don’t manage the puck the right way, next thing you know, you’re chasing.”

The second period began well for the Tigers (6-5-0, 2-3 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) with Trey Bradley taking a lead pass from Mason Bergh and charging up the ice alone. He patiently waited for Omaha goaltender Evan Weninger to commit before switching to his backhand and tucking the puck behind Weninger to make it 2-0.

“I saw that their defenseman was cheating, and I knew Mason would find me,” Bradley said. “It’s been a while since I scored, so that was nice.”

The momentum was short-lived. The Tigers allowed a goal 30 seconds into Omaha’s first power play as David Pope found a back-door rebound and buried it.

Tyler Vesel converted again for the Mavericks (4-2-1, 1-0 NCHC) with the man advantage. Omaha’s Tristan Keck sent a puck over sprawled CC goaltender Alex Leclerc 49 seconds later to make it 3-2, for three goals in a span of 3:21.

Steven Spinner added the Mavericks’ fourth, again on the power play. The penalty kill went 8-for-8 the previous weekend, but fished the puck out of the net repeatedly against Omaha, which was No. 1 in Division I after the game with a 38.7 percent conversion rate.

The Tigers killed off two of six Mavericks tries. The turnovers at all corners of the ice that led to the penalties bothered Haviland.

“Those are the little details you can’t do at this level, at any level,” Haviland said.

Tigers freshman Jack Gates opened the scoring, throwing the puck around with his linemates as they entered the Mavericks’ zone. He wound up in front of the net with his back to Weninger, and batted the puck through the goalie’s five hole. Troy Conzo and Branden Makara each picked up an assist.

Bradley added his second of the game with 5.8 seconds left in the second period, trailing as his teammates fired on Weninger.

Pope then added his second of the night 15 seconds into a power play midway through the third to close the scoring.

“We’ve got to make sure we work harder on the penalty kill, get back to the net,” Bradley said. “There was a couple things we have to clean up, but I think tomorrow will be better.”

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