Testing its exciting new habit of living on the edge, third-ranked Colorado College survived by the skin of its teeth on Friday. The Tigers scored three times in the third period, roaring back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Bemidji State University, 5-4, in non-conference action at the World Arena.
In winning six of its last seven games, including five in a row, CC has struck for 16 tallies in the final 20 minutes of play. Its unblemished record on home ice, now 10-0, looked to be in serious jeopardy on this snowy night after sophomore forward Chris McKelvie recorded a natural hat trick for the visiting Beavers heading into the second intermission. McKelvie’s third red lighter, off a shorthanded breakaway, put BSU up 4-2 at 19:19 of the middle frame.
But Chad Rau pulled the Tigers back to within a goal, clicking on the same power play just 24 seconds into the third period. It was Rau’s second goal of the game and 19th of the season. Sophomore defenseman Brian Connelly tied things up at 9:42, whistling a low wrist shot through traffic from the left point after Andreas Vlassopoulos, who earlier struck for CC’s first goal, won a faceoff in the Bemidji State zone.
Bill Sweatt netted the game winner at 13:01, finishing a quick rush with Vlassopoulos after defenseman Kris Fredheim broke up a Beavers rush and turned the puck up ice. Junior goalie Drew O’Connell, who set up the first-period goal by Vlassopoulos with a long outlet pass, finished with 28 saves to backstop the triumph. Senior defenseman Jack Hillen also collected pair of assists.