Thursday, November 4, 2010

Men's Hockey Falls to Colorado State at the Pepsi Center

DENVER (10/30/10) – Alex Lencioni scored two goals and had one assist for the University of Colorado hockey team but the Colorado State Rams still defeated the Buffaloes 6-3 on Friday night at the Pepsi Center.

“It’s nice to score goals but it’s better to win games,” Lencioni said. “Personally it’s alright, but I would rather come out with the ‘W’.”

The loss drops CU’s record to 5-3-0-1 on the year while CSU improves to 6-3 on the season.

J.P. Park also had a goal and an assist for the Buffs while Bill Haege, Mark Viau and Scott Seale all finished the evening with one assist. Goaltender Kevin Litinsky made 19 saves in net for Colorado.

The Buffs jumped out to an early lead on the power play with Lencioni firing a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Rams goaltender John Miller for his fourth goal of the season at 4:01 in the first period.

CSU answered back with a Ben Smoot goal in which he poked the loose puck into the back of the net with nearly six minutes left in the first stanza.

Nearly eight minutes into the second period, Lencioni gave the Buffs back the lead with another wrist shot over Miller’s left shoulder while he was attacking the net from the right corner.

However CSU scored two goals in the period to take the 3-2 lead going into the locker room and then scored three more in the third before CU found the back of the net again with a power play goal from Park with 52 seconds remaining.

In the Rams five goal run, Kollin Vandersluis scored twice while Parker Harrison picked up three assists. Two of CSU’s goals during that stretch came on the power play while they also scored a shorthanded goal to begin the run by Schermerhorn midway through the second period.

Colorado head coach Ken Fikis said Schermerhorn’s goal in which he grabbed the loose puck at center ice and had a breakaway on the CU net was the turning point in the game.

“We were up 2-1 and we got the power play and we were hoping that we could break the game open with a goal and we gave up a softy,” Fikis said. “All of a sudden it is 2-2, they have momentum and they came right back at us.”

The Rams finished the evening 2-for-7 on the power play while the Buffs went 2-for-6 with the extra attacker on the ice.

CU outshot CSU 33-25 in the contest, including 17-11 in the third period, but they couldn’t find the answer on how to get the puck past Miller. The CSU goalie made 30 saves on the night and played brilliant in the second half of the game with him only allowing Park’s goal in the final minute of regulation.

The Buffs won’t have to wait long to attempt to get their revenge over the Rams as the two schools will meet in the second of four meetings this season on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at EPIC Ice Arena in Fort Collins. CU and CSU will also play on Feb. 4 at the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland and on Feb. 11 in Boulder.

Lencioni said that if the team can clean up some of the mistakes that they made, especially on special teams, that they’ll be able to get the win next weekend against the Rams.

“We need to come out and have a couple of tough practices, stay mentally strong, work on some stuff that we were lacking today,” Lencioni said. “Maybe work on the penalty kill a little bit, work on the power play, we had some power play opportunities that we need to capitalize on. Just keep moving our feet and have some good practices.”

Colorado’s next home game in Boulder will be the front half of a home-and-home series against the University of Northern Colorado on Nov. 12 at 6:15 p.m. at the CU Ice Arena.

Scoring Summary
First Period
4:01 CU Alex Lencioni, assisted by Bill Haege – PP
13:59 CSU Ben Smoot, assisted by Brendan McCarthy and Matt Fulcoly
Second Period
7:49 CU Alex Lencioni, assisted by Mark Viau and J.P. Park
8:36 CSU Casey Schermerhorn, unassisted – SH
17:50 CSU Kollin Vandersluis, assisted by Parker Harrison and Paul Jenkins
Third Period
2:39 CSU Kollin Vandersluis, assisted by Parker Harrison and Paul Jenkins – PP
4:26 CSU Austin Burgh, assisted by Parker Harrison – PP
14:04 CSU Eric Waring, assisted by Tappan Brown and Casey Schermerhorn
19:08 CU J.P. Park, assisted by Alex Lencioni and Scott Seale – PP

CSU – 25
CU – 33

Power plays
CSU – 2-for-7
CU – 2-for-6