January 11, 2014 Updated: January 12, 2014 at 11:03 am
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Colorado College put together a good overall performance, but it was not enough against North Dakota.
The hosts struck for two goals in 124 seconds and rallied to down the Tigers 3-2 before 11,147 roaring fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The decisive spurt was the continuation of a recurring problem with 12 of the Tigers' 15 losses often decided, as it was on Saturday, by an opponent scoring twice in less than six minutes.
"It's been a problem all year, giving up goals in spurts," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "I thought we responded well and played hard over the final eight to nine minutes to generate some chances late."
Now, the Tigers are looking to build on some of the positives evident in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference loss.
"If we compete like that consistently then we will begin to put it all together," senior Alexander Krushelnyski said. "This was probably the closest we have come to a full 60-minute game."
It showed late in the second period and early in the third when CC (2-15-3, 2-7-3) went ahead 2-1.
The Tigers forged a 1-1 tie when a hard shot by defenseman Aaron Harstad led to a power-play rebound that Krushelnyski backhanded past UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg's glove with 24 seconds left in the second period.
That power play kept humming with a goal by freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who scored on a cross-ice pass by Krushelnyski to catch Gothberg out of position for a one-timer. The goal made it 2-1 with 18:44 left in the third period.
"It was a pretty gutsy effort when we scored in the final minute of the second period and came out and scored early in third period when we knew they would come out playing hard, especially in their own building," Owens said. "But they are a very deep team and keep coming at you. There was too much time left and then we made a couple mistakes."
North Dakota's Keaton Thompson popped free and scored on a rising rocket through traffic with 13:44 left and Rocco Grimaldi corralled an errant CC pass in front to beat senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (22 saves) with 11:40 remaining.
Thorimbert made 13 saves in the second period and plucked the puck out of the air to stymie a short-handed opportunity with 2:31 left. Two minutes later, Krushelnyski tied it up.
"Josh played well enough for us to win it," CC senior captain Eamonn McDermott said. "We need to build on these positives. It's a process."
It's a long and frustrating one this season.
"We need to figure out how to put this puzzle together," Krushelnyski said.