For the fourth time this season, a lead heading into the third period against St. Cloud State didn’t hold up. This one hurt most of all.
Colorado College took a 4-2 lead into the final period but surrendered it in the final four minutes and fell 5-4 in the first overtime Saturday against the top-ranked Huskies.
Grant Cruikshank scored a pair of power-play goals, Kristian Blumenschein added a goal and an assist and Alex Leclerc tied a season high with 43 saves as the Tigers came home from Minnesota with one standings point earned Friday.
Coach Mike Haviland told KRDO after the game it was a “heart-wrenching loss.”
“It’s tough to swallow,” he said. “We did everything I thought we could do in the first 40 minutes. We weathered the storm…we just gotta figure out how to finish off games.”
The Huskies scored 1:50 apart in the first period. The second came with an adjoining penalty call against the Tigers, but CC limited the damage with back-to-back timely kills and Cruikshank gave the visitors life with 37 seconds left in the first period.
Colorado College scored three times on four shots during a five-minute stretch of the second period to take a 4-2 lead and chase David Hrenak (9 saves). First, Blumenschein buried a Mason Bergh centering pass. Cruikshank scored his second of the game, then Blumenschein set up Trevor Gooch for his 10th of the season.
Gooch’s goal brought in Jeff Smith, who made 11 saves.
St. Cloud’s first home loss of the season looked imminent. The rarely penalized Tigers (11-14-3, 5-9-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) went down a man six times, but that wasn’t what cost them.
Nick Perbix and Patrick Newell scored 56 seconds apart during a 4-on-4 in the waning minutes of the third period.
Newell potted his second with 1:07 remaining in overtime to seal the win. He finished the night with four points.