Nick Halloran and Mason Bergh each had a goal and an assist and Alex Leclerc made a one-goal lead stand through 20 minutes as Colorado College edged No. 4 North Dakota 2-1 on Friday night at The Broadmoor World Arena.
The Tigers (5-2-0), opening play in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference they were picked to finish last in, continued to surprise, defeating a ranked opponent for the second time in two weeks.
“I think it was one of our best performances in two years,” Leclerc, who made 26 saves, said. “Even though they have very skilled players, it didn’t bother us. We kept them out of the danger areas.
“We played Tiger hockey and I believe we caused frustration on the other bench.”
On the power play, Halloran came off the boards and put a shot on net from an odd angle that found its way past UND goaltender Cam Johnson 9:01 into the second period. His third goal of the season turned out to be the game winner.
The Fighting Hawks (4-2-1) put 13 shots on Leclerc in the third period, but took the only penalty of the stanza with 1:57 remaining in the game. Johnson went to the bench immediately to put it back at even strength, but the Tigers held on.
“You knew they were going to come, and they certainly did, but I was really proud of the way we played tonight,” CC coach Mike Haviland said. “A huge win for a young team.”
Halloran fed a trailing Bergh for the first goal 4:45 into the game. It was Bergh’s conference-leading sixth goal of the season, five of which have come at home.
Shane Gersich picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated in on Leclerc alone, getting North Dakota on the board with 30 seconds remaining in the second period.
The Fighting Hawks didn’t find the back of the net again.
The Tigers had won one game of their past 15 against North Dakota - their most recent matchup at the World Arena.
“I think we’re earning respect around the country,” Leclerc said. “When you’re with the team, you know we have great spirit, great work ethic and dedication, and there are some good things that will happen the rest of the year as well.”