After a bit of a slow start, Colorado College generated plenty of scoring opportunities on Saturday.
But Frank Slubowski was equal to the task.
Junior netminder Slubowski made 28 saves, while five of his teammates scored goals, leading Western Michigan University to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Tigers and a sweep of the teams' National Collegiate Hockey Conference series at Lawson Arena.
Despite out-shooting the Broncos for the second night in a row, CC fell to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in league play with its fifth consecutive defeat.
"It puts so much pressure on you when you're not scoring," head coach Scott Owens said. "We've got a lot of work to do. We've got to find a way to get this thing righted, and it's mostly on the offensive end … Getting back home, playing Denver, is a good way to get that rolling."
The Tigers meet arch-rival DU in a home-and-away set next week, starting with Friday's series opener at the World Arena.
Slubowski needed to make only one save, on a partial breakaway by Charlie Taft five and a half minutes into Saturday's contest – in the opening period, when Western Michigan tested Josh Thorimbert with 11. The only one to elude CC's senior goaltender came at the 13:15 mark, when defenseman Dennis Brown's blast deflected off a defender to put the Broncos up 1-0.
The Tigers came out with some fire as the second frame began, applying pressure in the WMU end and forcing Slubowksi to make a couple big stops before a turnover in the defensive zone resulted in another goal for the home team. This time it was senior center Chase Balisy who cashed in, at 1:45. Sophomore Josh Pitt upped the count to 3-0 at 4:57.
Colorado College got on the board at 14:02 when Scott Wamsganz redirected a pass from freshman Sam Rothstein and the puck slid into the Broncos net off the skate of a WMU player. Freshman blue-line specialist Jaccob Slavin, the team's leading scorer with four points through six games, also assisted on the goal.
Slubowski steered away 19 other attempts by CC in that middle frame alone.
Just 21 seconds after Wamsganz' first career tally made it 3-1, Justin Kovacs shelved a wrister from deep in the right faceoff circle to restore the three-goal cushion for Western Michigan at 14:23. When sophomore Colton Hargrove found the back of the net to bump the count to 5-1 with 87 seconds elapsed in the third period, junior Courtney Lockwood took over between the pipes for CC.
Lockwood stopped all five shots he faced in the final 18:43 of play.
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