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Colorado College defenseman Connor Mayer (18) takes a shot on goal against St. Cloud State during the second period at Ed Robson Arena Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Colorado Springs, Colo.(The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Colorado College hockey left the back door hanging open too many times for No. 4 Minnesota Duluth and fell on the road, 5-0 on Friday night at Amsoil Arena.

Minnesota Duluth scored four goals on seven shots in the second period. On the night, CC’s penalty kill surrendered three goals on five chances.

“When you’re not having success on the kill, you can’t take penalties,” Tigers coach Kris Mayotte told KRDO. “We continue to be willing to do that and put ourselves in spots that put pressure on us.

“We’ve given away three games in a row now because we keep taking bad penalties at bad times in bad spots and then we can’t come up with a kill on top of it.”

The Bulldogs chased starting goaltender Dominic Basse (10 saves) midway through the game and junior Matt Vernon made his season debut in relief. Vernon (8 saves) bailed out his team early in the third period, making several good stops while the Tigers were pinned into the defensive zone.

CC then made Ryan Fanti earn his shutout. He sprawled to deny Tommy Middleton with 4:42 left in the third period.

Koby Bender put a power-play goal into a gaping net but the Tigers (2-7-2, 0-3-0 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) trailed just 1-0 at the first intermission.

The second period was heavy on special-teams play, which suited UMD. The Bulldogs passed it around the points before finding captain Noah Cates, again at the back door on the power play.

Casey Gilling scored the first even-strength goal. He came up the side, seemingly undetected, and accepted a pass from Louie Roehl before making it 3-0. Owen Gallatin then scored another with the man advantage.

“I’m not blaming Dom for those,” Mayotte said. “We just let them get where they wanted to get to.”

Vernon took over and allowed the fifth goal. He hit the splits but couldn’t stop Blake Biondi.

The Tigers’ power play went 0-for-5. At the game’s conclusion the penalty kill was tied for 11th-worst in Division I at 74.4%.

The teams meet again Saturday night at 6 p.m.

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