Jan 15, 2011 2:31 AM
Special-teams play, typically a forte for Colorado College this season, really let the Tigers down on Friday.
Able to capitalize on just one of five power-play opportunities for the night, CC allowed the University of Alaska Anchorage to cash in on all three of its chances plus strike for a shorthanded goal, resulting in a 4-1 Seawolves victory in the opener of their two-game WCHA series at Sullivan Arena.
Senior left wing Tommy Grant scored twice and added an assist, while freshman goaltender Rob Gunderson made 21 saves in the triumph. Senior center Craig Parkinson added a goal and an assist.
In suffering their second consecutive loss and third in their last four outings, the Tigers fell to 12-10-1 overall and 8-7 in league play. They head into Saturday's rematch tied with the University of Minnesota for fifth place in the WCHA standings, just four points ahead of eighth-place Alaska Anchorage, which improved to 6-10-3 overall and 5-8-2 in the conference.
Grant's first tally came on a one-timer from the slot during UAA's first power play of the contest. He beat freshman netminder Josh Thorimbert with a shot just under the crossbar after taking a perfect feed from the left boards by Daniel Naslund. Parkinson also drew an assist.
Less than four minutes later, with the Tigers holding a manpower advantage, Grant broke out of his own zone and skated up the right wing before centering the puck in front of the CC cage. His pass hit the skate of a back-checking Stephen Schultz and slid inside the far post past Thorimbert, putting the Seawolves up 2-0 at 13:38 of the opening frame.
Parkinson made it 3-0 at the 6:10 mark of the second period, finishing another nice passing play from Jordan Kwas and Grant during a second Alaska Anchorage power play.
Colorado College's Tyler Johnson and UAA's Mitch Bruijsten traded power-play goals in the third stanza. Johnson's red lighter, giving him a career-high 15 overall so far in 2010-11, was his nation-leading 10th PPG of the season.
Thorimbert, who made his fourth start of the season, also finished with 21 saves in the loss.