Grand Forks, ND – Looking at the stats this year, there seems to be a reoccurring theme, the Fighting Sioux get scored on first in most of their games and after getting the first goal in Friday night’s game, the Fighting Sioux again added to their streak of having the first goal scored against them; after tonight’s first Tiger goal, the Fighting Sioux have now been scored on first in 10 of 14 games.
This time that stat didn’t matter, as the Fighting Sioux won the game in a gritty team effort, led by Fighting Sioux sophomore forward Brock Nelson (1g-2—3pts). The Fighting Sioux also survived a late surge by the Tigers in the closing seconds of the game, to hold on to win 4-3. Tonight’s win, allowed the Fighting Sioux to get their first sweep of the 2011-12 season.
Much like Friday’s game, the score remained 0-0 for a very short time, this time it was the Colorado College Tigers that got on the scoreboard first as they scored .40 seconds into the game. Tiger junior forward Rylan Schwartz scored on the first shot of the game, as he took a snap shot from the right circle that beat Fighting Sioux goalie Aaron Dell.
That would be the first of three goals on the night for the junior forward from Wilcox, Saskatchewan. Schwartz also had a hat trick in Friday’s game for the Tigers. It’s not very often that a team can have a player that gets a hat trick in back to back games, only to see his team lose both games.
Anyone that has watched the Colorado Tigers play, know that the Schwartz brothers are very good hockey players, dating back to last season, Rylan’s younger brother Jaden Schwartz has scored (9g-22a—31pts) in the last 17 games he has played.
The Sioux would go on the power play at the 05:02 mark of the first period, with Tiger defenseman Aaron Harstad in the penalty box for roughing, the Fighting Sioux wasted little time cashing in on the man advantage; Brock Nelson took a pass from Corbin Knight and scored at the 05:07 mark of the first period, just five seconds into the power play.
The Tigers would get their first shot on the power play, when Dillon Simpson was assessed a minor penalty for delay of game, at the 15:28 mark of the first period. The Tigers not to be outdone by the Fighting Sioux, scored eight seconds into their man advantage as Rylan Schwartz scored at 15:36 mark of the first period to give the Tigers a brief 2-1 lead.
The Sioux would tie the game four minutes and six second later at the 19:42 mark of the first period. Sioux forward Derek Rodwell, who was camped in front of the Tiger net, tipped a Ben Blood blast from the point past Tiger goalie Joe Howe. The Fighting Sioux outshot the Tigers 11-6 in the first period.
Going into the second period of tonight’s game, Tiger forward Rylan Schwartz had scored seven goals in seven periods of hockey against the Fighting Sioux, dating back to last season’s semi final game at the WCHA Final Five. That streak would end during the second period of tonight’s game as Schwartz was held off of the score sheet during the second period.
The Fighting Sioux scored in the waning minutes of the second period, this time with 34.3 seconds remaining in the period. Sioux forward Brock Nelson took the puck, raced into the into the offensive zone, passed the puck to Danny Kristo, who attempted a wrap around shot on the Tiger goal, that shot was saved by Tiger goalie Joe Howe, Knight picked up the rebound and shot the puck into the Tiger net, giving the Fighting Sioux a 3-2 lead. The Fighting Sioux outshot the Tigers 11-4 in the third period.
The Fighting Sioux got into penalty trouble in the early minutes of the third period and started a parade to the penalty box; with Mario Lamoureux already in the box for a hooking, Ben Blood was assess a two minute minor for boarding. The Sioux would kill the two man advantage, that penalty kill seemed to give the Fighting Sioux momentum.
Fighting Sioux goalie Aaron Dell was asked about killing the Tiger two man advantage in the third period, Dell said, “it was huge, we have had a hard time with five on threes this year, and that was the biggest kill of the game, it was a huge momentum swing there.”
The Sioux extended their lead to 4-2 at the 06:09 of the third period with a shorthanded goal from Danny Kristo. The Tigers would close the gap to 4-3 at the 13:25 mark of the third period with “another” goal from Rylan Schwartz.
The Fighting Sioux would survive a frantic finish by the Tigers at the end of the game to hang on for a 4-3 win to sweep the Tigers. After the game Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol said, “that his team took a step forward tonight.” Coach Hakstol said, “that he liked the overall play of his team.”