Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Men's Hockey Opens Preseason Versus T-Birds

BOULDER (9/17/10) – The Colorado Buffaloes hockey team and the Colorado Thunderbirds Midget Minor U18 AAA team played to a 2-2 tie on Friday night at the CU Ice Arena in the first of three preseason games for the Buffs as they prepare for the 2010-11 campaign.

With the game tied at one, Jordan Lockner scored with under two minute left to give CU the late lead, but the Thunderbirds found the back of the Buffs cage with 13 second remaining to end the game in a draw.

“I thought we played fairly well considering this is our first time out this year,” said CU head coach Ken Fikis. “I wasn’t real happy with some of the penalties. We tried to tell our kids that we played a very young team and there is no reason why we should be going into the box.”

Mike Nunley also scored for the Buffs with Andrew Gillis, Mark Viau and Alex Lencioni picking up assists.

The Thunderbirds took an early lead in the game with them beating CU goaltender Kevin Litinsky 5:58 into the first period on a goal from Landon Smith.

Nunley evened the game at one after he scored with 3:03 left in the second.

With 1:46 remaining in regulation it looked like CU was going to come away with the 2-1 victory after Lockner picked up the loose puck in the crease and shot it into the open area of the net while the T-Bird goalie was out of position.

However the Thunderbirds forced the draw in the contest after Christian Heil tied the game with 13.4 seconds left before the final buzzer. The game ended after the third period with no overtime being played.

Both teams struggled on the power play with Colorado going 1-for-9 with the man advantage and the Thunderbirds going 1-for-12.

The Buffs and the Thunderbirds squared off again on Saturday afternoon at Big Bear Ice Arena in Aurora with the T-Birds getting the 9-2 win over CU. Most of Colorado’s veteran players did not play in the game.

Colorado has one more preseason game left before their season opener with them taking on the CU D-III team in an inter squad matchup on Saturday Sept. 25 at the CU Ice Arena.

CU opens the 2010-11 campaign on Oct. 1 against the University of Denver at Joy Burns Ice Arena at 9:15 p.m. The Buffs will have their home opener the next night versus the Utah State Aggies at the CU Ice Arena.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
5:58 T-Birds Landon Smith, assisted from Austin Ortega and Dylan Bozeman
2nd Period
16:30 CU Mike Nunley, assisted from Andrew Gillis
3rd Period
18:14 CU Jordan Lockner, assisted from Mark Viau and Alex Lencioni – PP
19:47 T-Birds Christian Heil, assisted from Jerad Tafoya – PP