COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Some good signs surfaced for Colorado College at the World Arena on Sunday.
The bottom line, a 3-1 exhibition victory over the University of British Columbia, was encouraging in itself a night after the visitors from Western Canada played the University of Denver to a 2-2 tie at the Pepsi Center.
But the workmanlike manner with which CC accomplished the feat in its 2012-13 season opener had to be encouraging for head coach Scott Owens and his staff.
“We've still got a lot of things to figure out,” Owens said. “I'm not jumping for joy, but I thought it was a pretty good start.”
The Tigers got points from six different players representing all four classes, despite none from its No. 1 line, while scoring once each on the power play, at even strength and shorthanded. They out-shot UBC by a 36-21 margin and successfully killed five of six penalties, with new personnel handling most of the PK duties. All three goaltenders turned in solid performances between the pipes.
So, heading into next week's two-game series that actually counts against Clarkson University, there is cause for guarded excitement.
The scoring came from three forwards – freshman Cody Bradley, junior Archie Skalbeck and senior Scott Winkler. A pair of sophomore defensemen – Ian Young and Peter Stoykewych – joined second-year winger Charlie Taft in setting up a goal apiece. Josh Thorimbert, Courtney Lockwood and Joe Howe eached played a period and combined to turn aside 20 Thunderbird shots, with Lockwood's huge glove save on British Columbia's Cole Wilson nicely preserving a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the middle session.
Bradley and Skalbeck, the two smallest players on the ice for either team, gave CC's netminders all the cushion they needed with tallies at 14:14 of the first period and 11:19 of the second.
During the first of only two Colorado College power plays in the game, Bradley crossed the blue line under a head of steam after taking pass from Young, angled toward the slot and unleashed a quick wrist shot from the inside edge of the right faceoff circle to put the Tigers up 1-0.
Skalbeck knocked in his own rebound for what proved to be the game winner, capping a nice rush up ice and goalmouth feed from Taft. Winkler struck with CC a man down at 18:12 of the second period before Scott MacDonald converted for the Thunderbirds on a power-play rebound with 56.1 ticks left in the frame to complete the night's offensive output.
UBC had an apparent goal disallowed in a scoreless third session when officials ruled one of its players interfered with Howe.