With a furious blizzard raging outside, Colorado College raised a little ruckus of its own inside Engelstad Arena on Friday.
Feisty CC caused just enough commotion to halt their seven-game winless skid with a 4-3 WCHA triumph over No. 7-ranked University of North Dakota in storm-ridden Grand Forks.
It was the Tigers' first victory in 42 days, since Nov. 30 when they prevailed by a 5-3 count at home over the same UND team, and just their second in more than two months.
Eleven different players contributed a point apiece as the visitors never trailed in a game that saw them sieze the lead on four different occasions before finishing with a 35-31 edge in shots on goal.
Junior forward Jeff Collett struck for the game winner with 7:04 left in the third period, redirecting a centering pass from Scott Wansganz past North Dakota netminder Clarke Saunders after Andrew Hamburg won possession behind the cage.
Jordan DiGiando, Archie Skalbeck and William Rapuzzi also scored for Colorado College, which improved to 9-12-2 overall and 6-8-1 in league play. UND dropped to 12-6-3 overall and 7-3-3 in the conference after going 6-0-1 in its previous seven outings.
DiGiando's tally, his first point as a Tiger, came on the fourth line's first shift of the night as he took a pass from defenseman Peter Stoykewych near center ice, skated diagonally across the North Dakota blue line and unleashed a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Saunders just inside the far post with the contest only 2:54 old.
UND bounced back with a 4-on-3 power-play goal by Danny Kristo at 8:45 of the opening period, but Skalbeck restored the lead 48 seconds later after Scott Winkler won a battle in the corner and sprang him in alone on Saunders from the right side.
CC protected the 2-1 advantage until Nick Mattson pulled the home team even again by poking a rebound past senior goaltender Joe Howe, who finished with 28 saves, at 13:29 of the second frame. Rapuzzi answered with a subtle deflectiion of Rylan Schwartz's shot from the slot during a power play with 37.1 seconds remaining in the period, putting the Tigers up 3-2 after 40 minutes of play.
North Dakota knotted the contest for the third time at 2:54 of the final stanza on a spectacular individual effort by Mark MacMillan before Collett muscled for position in the goalmouth to net his second red lighter of the season 10 minutes later.
Each team lost a player – Colorado College's Mike Boivin and UND's Michael Parks – due to five-minute majors and subsequent game misconducts – during the first half of the game. Both Boivin and Parks are eligible to return to action for Saturday's rematch.
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