For two periods, there was no clear No. 1 among the No. 1s.
CC’s Alex Leclerc and North Dakota’s Peter Thome kept everyone off the board until the third period, but the goaltender in yellow came away with the 3-1 victory Friday night at The Broadmoor World Arena.
Leclerc (34 saves) was 1:03 away from the shutout, but the Fighting Hawks scored on a delayed penalty.
The Tigers’ scoreless streak had reached 70 minutes, 58 seconds before Grant Cruikshank came up the middle, took a feed from Troy Conzo and potted his fifth in five games.
Though it won’t show up in the stats, Cruikshank has shown a knack for tide-turning goals.
“He’s done that a lot in the third there,” coach Mike Haviland said. “Big goal, really got us going.”
Later in the third period, Bryan Yoon’s power-play score doubled the lead. His point shot flew through traffic for the team assist leader’s first goal since Oct. 20.
CC’s freshmen have netted eight goals in the past three games.
“They are guys that have played a lot,” Haviland said. “I think when you go through the wars in this conference, you grow up pretty quick.”
The teams traded a pair of power plays in the first period but neither was able to convert. CC (13-16-4, 7-11-3 NCHC) managed just two shots on Thome with the man advantage.
Leclerc made 20 saves through a scoreless period and a half and got help from underclassmen with some timely shot blocking. Yoon ensured he was a wall and not a screen for a streaking Fighting Hawk and Zach Berzolla absorbed a hard slap shot as a penalty expired.
“I thought (Leclerc) saw the puck and tracked it well, didn’t really give up the rebounds. The guys did a good job in front of him boxing out and not giving them the second and third chances,” Haviland said.
UND (15-15-2, 9-11-1 NCHC) wound up 0-for-7 on the power play. CC was 2-for-4 including Trey Bradley’s empty-netter. Bradley and Yoon finished with a goal and an assist.
Colorado College is in sixth in the conference standings, four points behind fifth-place North Dakota.
CC redshirt junior Chris Wilkie missed the game against the team he transferred from with a lower-body injury. He’s day-to-day.