Men’s hockey loses to Colorado College

Nick Bjugstad scored with 1:13 remaining, but the Gophers allowed a goal 53 seconds later.

by Dane Mizutani

Nick Bjugstad tied the game at 1-1 with 1:13 seconds left on Friday night and it looked like the Gophers and Colorado College were destined for overtime.

Not so fast.

Less than a minute later, Tim Hall netted his second goal of the season on a rebound to put No. 11 Colorado College (14-8-1, 11-6-0 WCHA) on top for good.

The Tigers escaped with a 2-1 victory and pulled within two points of the WCHA lead in the process. 

Neither No. 4 Minnesota (16-9-1, 12-5-0 WCHA) nor Colorado College got on the board in the opening frame, but the final two minutes more than made up for it.

The Gophers âÄî 1-for-7 on the power play last weekend at North Dakota âÄî had five shots on their first power play of the night, but could not bust out of their recent slump with the man advantage.

Colorado College goaltender Josh Thorimbert stood on his head to make save after save in period and continued to dominate throughout the game.

The Tigers got on the board early in the second period after a turnover left Nick Dineen 1-on-1 with Kent Patterson in the Gophers’ zone.

Dineen made one move and beat Patterson five-hole to give Colorado College the 1-0 lead.

With his team down a goal, Kyle Rau did all he could to provide his team with a spark.

Rau, the 5-foot-8 freshman, ignited the crowd with an earth-shattering check that left Archie Skalbeck on his back.

On that same shift, Rau hit the crossbar with a wrist shot from the point.

He wasnâÄôt done.

Minutes later he sacrificed his body when he sprawled out to block of a slap shot from the blue line.

Rau did his best to get his team back into the game, but still the Gophers entered third period trailing by one. 

In the third, Skalbeck tried to exact revenge on Rau from the earlier hit, but did so with RauâÄôs back turned. Rau went flying headfirst into the boards and Skalbeck was ejected for checking from behind.

The Gophers started a five-minute power play with a chance to get back in the game, but could not generate any sort of rhythm.

It was the third weekend in a row that Minnesota has received a five-minute power play, and for the third weekend in a row, it failed to score on the extended man advantage.

Thorimbert stonewalled the Gophers repeatedly Friday, but Bjugstad finally broke through with traffic in front of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

That led way to HallâÄôs game-winning heroics with 36 seconds left in the game, much to the chagrin of the announced crowd of 10,007.

Colorado College can move into a tie for first place in the WCHA with a victory tomorrow. Minnesota will look to earn a split.