Friday, October 19, 2007

Gameday Final: CC 3, Minnesota 1

Looking back at the Three Keys:
1. Limit neutral-zone turnovers: The Tigers spent all week in practice preparing for the odd-man rushes that Minnesota generates out of the neutral zone. Even though the Gophers had more odd-man rushes than assistant coach Joe Bonnett would have liked, and scored on one, the Tigers' defensemen and backchecking forwards did a good job of funneling the puck to one side so that goaltender Richard Bachman could have a clear shot.

2. Defensive effort/physical play: See above. Also, as he did often last year, right wing Cody Lampl made several back-cracking checks to set the tone for the Tigers. Left wing Billy Sweatt, defenseman Jake Gannon and defenseman Nate Prosser also showed some tenacity.

3. Limit excessive penalties: CC took one fewer penalty than the Gophers (six total, including two roughing penalties). Bachman and the penalty killers were exemplary, holding Minnesota to just five shots on four power plays. Scott McCulloch's near-shorthanded goal in the second period, which hit the left post, was a pure hustle play.

First Period
Colorado College 1, Minnesota 0: Bill Sweatt (Andreas Vlassopoulos, Jack Hillen), 12:28, pp. Vlassopoulos collected the puck off the back wall and sent a pass to Sweatt, who one-timed it past Frazee and inside the right post for the Tigers' first goal of the year.
"For me, it was an amazing feeling, especially coming in a big game like this and against a team like the Gophers," Sweatt said.
Colorado College 1, Minnesota 1: Cade Fairchild (Blake Wheeler, Ben Gordon), 13:07. Just 39 seconds after CC scored, Minnesota's classic odd-man rush came out of the neutral zone and did a nice tic (Gordon) -tac (Wheeler) -toe (Fairchild) around defenseman Jake Gannon and inside the right post.

Second Period
Colorado College 2, Minnesota 1: Eric Walsky (Scott Thauwald), 0:25. Defenseman Nate Prosser created a turnover in the Tigers' defensive corner. Thauwald scooped up the loose puck and fed Walsky who sliced through the Minnesota defense and beat Frazee.
Here's how he described it: "I was really looking for the pass the whole time and then I saw that the goalie was cheating. I kind of shot mid-stride and wasn't planning on it, so...I got a lot of crap from the guys."

Third Period
Colorado College 3, Minnesota 1: Derek Patrosso (Vlassopoulos, Sweatt), 11:04. Sweatt sent a pass along the back wall to Vlassopoulos, who fed Patrosso on the right side of the crease. Frazee covered low so Patrosso went high.
"When you're young, you're taught that when you're in close like that to try to go upstairs," Patrosso said. "It was a natural instinct to wait it out and wait for him to go down and then go upstairs."

Extra Stats:
--CC's penalty kill:
4 for 4
--CC's power play: 1 for 5
--Faceoffs: Minnesota 27, CC 25
CC's top faceoff man: Chad Rau 13/25
Minnesota's top faceoff man: Blake Wheeler 10/15

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