Tigers thump Minnesota Duluth, 3-1, in inaugural NCHC contest

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A sellout crowd of 7,456 turned out for Colorado College's official season opener at the World Arena on Friday, and the home team delivered a big-time treat.

Led by senior assistant captain Jeff Collett, who set up a pair of goals including the game winner by sophomore winger Peter Maric, CC skated to a 3-1 victory over the University of Minnesota Duluth in the inaugural National Collegiate Hockey Conference outing for both squads.

Senior netminder Josh Thorimbert made 30 saves, including 14 in the third period, as the Tigers posted their first three points ever and earned a share of first place in the NCHC standings heading into Saturday's rematch.

Junior Charlie Taft and freshman Alex Roos, a pair of right wingers, also scored in the nationally televised triumph.

Taft scored from a sharp angle just 5:48 into the game to give Colorado College an early 1-0 lead. Collett, who fed his linemate from the neutral zone as he skated across the UMD blue line on the right side, and junior defenseman Aaron Harstad earned assists on the tally.

Maric shook free in close to make it 2-0 at 13:53 of the middle frame after some nice work in the corner by linemates Collett and Jared Hanson, along with sophomore defenseman Russell Finch.

The visiting Bulldogs, who out-shot CC by a 15-6 margin in the third period, made things interesting less than two minutes in when sophomore left wing Austin Farley completed a nice passing play from Joe Basaraba and Tony Cameranesi at 1:57. But midway through that final stanza, on their fifth power play of the night, the Tigers converted as freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin found Roos open for a quick wrister from the slot at 10:53. Senior left wing Alexander Krushelnyski also assisted on the goal.

UMD, which got 20 saves from sophomore goaltender Matt McNeely, went 0-for-4 on the power play.