Tigers' offense unable to catch fire against Wisconsin

December 13, 2013 Updated: December 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm
photo - Alexander Krushelnyski scored Colorado College's lone goal Friday.    (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Alexander Krushelnyski scored Colorado College's lone goal Friday. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

MADISON, Wis. - Friday's 4-1 loss to No. 15 Wisconsin must have looked familiar to the Colorado College hockey fans watching on the NBC Sports Network.

The Tigers had their chances on offense at key moments, but could not cash in, allowing the Badgers to cruise to a nonconference victory.

Three power plays that included about two minutes of 5-on-3 advantage during the third period were not cashed in.

"It's been like that all year," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "There's good goaltending, solid defense but we are not getting the offensive production at key moments. It was 3-1, but we could have made it interesting with the power play."

The Tigers nearly scored twice 74 seconds apart with one rebound lying in front as players from both teams fell to the ice with 5:57 left.

"Jefferson (Dahl) somehow got the puck out of there," Badgers senior Frankie Simonelli said. "It came down to heart."

The second chance came when freshman Alex Roos fired a shot off the crossbar. By then the Kohl Center crowd of 7,847 fans was too loud for the clang to be heard beyond the ice.

That carom proved to be the Tigers' last gasp.

"There should have been more hunger, more bite from all of us, including myself," CC senior Alexander Krushelnyski said. "We need more second efforts."

Earlier, Wisconsin took control with 14:15 left when senior Michael Mersch scored for a 3-1 lead.

The Badgers (7-5-1) controlled much of the second period, but a shorthanded goal by Krushelnyski kept the game close.

He intercepted a soft pass from Wisconsin sophomore Nic Kerdiles near center ice for a breakaway.

"I made a bonehead play there," Kerdiles said. "After that, you owe one to the team."

Krushelnyski skated in and fired a low shot under Badgers junior netminder Joel Rumpel's blocker with 4:15 left in the middle frame for a 1-1 tie and the first shorty of the year for the Tigers (2-11-3) of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Kerdiles atoned for that mistake by tallying a power-play goal with only 1.1 seconds left in the second.

"Me and Mo (Mersch) dug in there and got it in," Kerdiles said.

Wisconsin junior Joseph LaBate fired the puck and it deflected in under the crossbar off a CC defender's stick for the opening goal, a power-play score with only a second remaining on the man advantage midway through the second.

Wisconsin drew four CC penalties during that period and converted twice. Colorado College must avoid handing the Badgers more power plays on Saturday; the finale for both teams before the holiday break.

"We need to move our feet and not give the referee the opportunity to make the call," Tigers senior defenseman Eamonn McDermott said.

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