ST. CLOUD, MINN. Christiano Versich scored twice and Colorado College was a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play as the Tigers defeated St. Cloud State, 3-2, Friday night at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
Grant Cruikshank added a pair of assists and Matt Vernon stopped 20 shots for the Tigers in their first road game of the season.
Nick Halloran opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 6:40 mark of the first period. After Thomas Rocco was called for hooking, Halloran took a pass from Bryan Yoon, skated into the right circle and put a shot past SCSU goalie David Hrenak just inside the far post for his second goal of the season.
The Tigers (3-3-1, 1-1-1 NCHC) doubled the lead when Versich scored a power-play goal of his own just 3:01 into the second period. Cruikshank collected the puck behind the Tiger net and took it the length of the ice before sending a short pass to Versich, who placed a wrist shot over Hrenak’s right shoulder for his first tally of the season.
Will Hammer put SCSU (2-3-4, 0-1-0 NCHC) on the board at the 7:25 mark of the second when his rebound flipped off Vernon’s and over his shoulder into the net.
SCSU’s Jami Krannila found himself behind everyone and scored on a breakaway at the 13:41 mark of the middle frame to even the score at 2-2.
Versich, from nearby Kelly Lake, Minn., scored the game winner at the 10:47 mark of the third period with his second power-play goal of the night. Josiah Slavin found Versich at the right point and his wrist shot snuck past a screened Hrenak, then Slavin put the game away with an empty netter for his first career goal with one minute remaining.
The Tigers collected three power-play goals in a game for the first time since Jan. 19, 2019 at Denver.
“Special teams wins you games and the penalty kill was great tonight,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “I am really proud of the guys tonight. We played really well the first 30 minutes, then it turned into a bit of a track meet, but we played a great third period. It was one of our best periods we have played all year.”
The two teams will battle again Saturday night, beginning at 5 p.m. (MT).