Men’s hockey splits with Colorado College, remains atop WCHA

Dane Mizutani

No. 4 Minnesota is back on top âÄî at least for the time being.

The Gophers (17-9-1, 13-5-0 WCHA) escaped with a 2-1 victory Saturday against Colorado College to move back into first place in the WCHA.

Minnesota-Duluth could not move up or down as they faced an out of conference opponent in Alabama-Huntsville.

No. 11 Colorado College (14-9-1, 11-7-0 WCHA) now trails the Gophers by four points in the standings.

Minnesota did a sufficient job bottling up the brother tandem of Rylan and Jaden Schwartz, in a losing effort Friday night, but could not keep them off the board Saturday.

Jaden Schwartz put Colorado College in the lead 15:02 into the first period with a snap shot from just outside the crease that beat Kent Patterson glove side.

Neither team generated many scoring opportunities in the first period âÄî combining for 12 shots total.

The Gophers used a penalty kill to spark their best offensive looks of the period.

MinnesotaâÄôs penalty kill unit had done a good job limiting the Tigers potent attack all weekend, but simply keeping them off the board was not good enough for Nate Condon.

Still on the penalty kill, Condon took a feed from Taylor Matson and rocketed his ninth goal of the season past Josh Thorimbert to make it 1-1. It was also his fourth shorthanded goal of the season.

MinnesotaâÄôs worst fear almost came to fruition three minutes into the second period.

David Civitarese charged Patterson attempting to play on the puck and Patterson went down in obvious pain.

Luckily for the Gophers, Patterson was able to stay in the game and Civitarese was called for goaltender interference. Patterson has played every minute this season.

Minnesota could not capitalize with the man advantage, but just seconds after the power play expired Nico Sacchetti made it 2-1 with his first goal of the season.

Condon found the back of the net again midway through the period, but his goal was waived off after a lengthy review and the score remained tied at 1-1.

In the third period, Erik Haula had two hacks at a separation goal, but Thorimbert continued to stand on his head. Thorimbert finished with 73 saves on the weekend.

The Tigers had one last rush after pulling their goalie, but Patterson made his most important save of the weekend to preserve the 2-1 victory.

Minnesota will take on St. Cloud State next weekend in a home and home series.