Posted: Mar 5, 2011 9:44 PM by Jordan Mason
There was no comeback in the cards for Colorado College on Saturday.
After giving up their ninth shorthanded goal of the season early in the second period, the Tigers tried in vain to play catch-up while suffering a 3-1 loss to the University of Wisconsin in their regular-season finale at the Kohl Center.
The loss meant nothing for them in the final WCHA standings, as the University of Minnesota claimed a 3-2 overtime victory at Bemidji State that clinched fifth place for the Gophers.
It only stalled CC's momentum a bit heading into next week's opening-round, best-of-three playoff series against the same Badgers at the World Arena.
Wisconsin, which snapped a seven-game winless skid despite being out-shot by a 34-25 margin, finished seventh in the WCHA thanks to St. Cloud State's 3-2 loss at Denver, while improving to 20-14-4 overall and 12-13-3 in league play.
Colorado College, 19-16-3 overall, wound up 13-13-2 in conference play, one point ahead of UW.
Freshman center Archie Skalbeck struck for CC's only tally at 11:39 of the third period, giving the Tigers some life after the Badgers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the middle frame. But sophomore Justin Schultz, the top scoring defenseman in the WCHA, restored the two-goal cushion during a Wisconsin power play with 4:25 left to play, and the visitors were toast.
As in Friday's series opener, the teams skated to a scoreless deadlock after 20 minutes of action. With Colorado College on the power play early in the second period, UW's Craig Smith broke up a play inside his own blue line and led a two-on-one rush up the ice. Freshman goaltender Josh Thorimbert got a piece of Smith's shot from deep inside the right faceoff circle, but the puck slid through his pads to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead at 1:57.
Patrick Johnson made it 2-0 less than five minutes later when he converted at 6:46 on another odd-man rush with Tyler Barnes.
Thorimbert finished with 22 saves for CC, while senior Scott Gudmandson made 33 stops between the pipes for the Badgers.
A pair of rookies - left wing Dakota Eveland and defenseman Eamonn McDermott - earned assists on Skalbeck's red lighter.