MADISON, Wis. - When Colorado College faced Wisconsin earlier this season, coach Scott Owens expected a goaltender battle.
Instead, the Tigers outscored Wisconsin 10-4 in the two-game sweep at World Arena to extend their winning streak against the Badgers to four games.
In CC's first game at Kohl Center since Nov. 2005, the goaltending duel came to fruition as CC's Richard Bachman and Wisconsin's Shane Connelly each turned in 16 saves to preserve a 0-0 tie through two periods Friday. The third period came down to two too many turnovers for the Badgers, as centers Chad Rau and Tyler Johnson capitalized on Wisconsin blunders to give the fourth-ranked Tigers a 2-0 victory to start the second half of Western Collegiate Hockey Association play. You can read the game story here.
Rau has put together quite a run, extending his point-scoring streak to 12 games Friday, so that's why I focused on him. But Bachman was a "difference-maker" for the Tigers, as he has been all season.
With less than three minutes to go in the second, Connelly made three saves in succession on shots from the Tigers' top line: left wing Scott Thauwald, center Chad Rau and right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick mustered a shot before he went flying across the crease on a check from defenseman Cody Goloubef, but Rau collected the rebound for another opportunity from the slot. Thauwald's shot from the bottom of the right circle was gloved to close the sequence.
Wisconsin's best chances came on shots from Ben Grotting and Sean Dolan while killing the Tigers' second penalty less than five minutes into the period.
In the first 10 minutes, the Badgers dominated CC, outshooting the Tigers 6-1.
Goaltender Richard Bachman has needed to make three point-blank saves to preserve the tie, including back-to-back blocks on shots from right wing Patrick Johnson and left wing Andy Bohmbach. Bachman saved Johnson's shot from the slot with his right leg pad and Bohmbach's rebound attempt hit the freshman goaltender in the stomach as he sprawled in the slot.
Another close call came at 13:06 when right wing Podge Turnbull slipped behind CC defenseman Brian Connelly, who was forced to commit a tripping penalty to thwart the breakaway.
The Tigers smoothed out their shaky start in the final 10 minutes of the period, with left wing Scott McCulloch taking two of CC's four shots.
By the numbers:
Shots: CC 16 (4-12) - UW 16 (8-8)
Power plays: CC 0 of 2 - UW 0 of 2
Saves: CC Bachman 16 - UW Connelly 16
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
26 McCulloch--19 Vlassopoulos--5 DeBoer
28 Schultz--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
18 Overman--9 McMillin--25 Testwuide
8 Hillen--15 Prosser
27 Wysopal--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--24 Lowery
6 Engel--22 Street--10 P. Johnson
11 Bohmbach--15 Gorowsky--8 Turnbull
9 Davies--13 Bendickson--14 Grotting
24 Mitchell--16 Dolan--18 Ford
3 C. Johnson--17 McDonagh
4 Drewiske--27 Goloubef
7 Smith--20 Klubertanz