Colorado State club hockey faced tough competition over the weekend when they took on No.1 Minot State in a one-game stand before hosting Drexel for a two-game series.
The first game of the weekend pitted the Rams against the No. 1 team in the country and winners of last year’s ACHA tournament, Minot State. CSU started the game by shocking Minot State with a goal from Corey Taylor in the first minute of play. Taylor stole the puck from the Beavers, passed it up ice to teammate Jared Southwell who played it back into the middle where Taylor slotted it past the Beavers’ goalie for the opening goal of the game.
CSU’s fortunes did not continue, though, as Minot State pressured the Rams’ defense and tied the game up 1-1 with under five minutes in the first period.
The second period saw Minot State score two quick goals to take a 3-1 lead. The Beavers added three more goals in the period to take a 6-1 lead over the Rams and erase any hope of a comeback. Minot State tacked on two more goals in the final frame to pull away with an 8-1 victory.
“Minot State is ranked No.1 in the country for a reason,” head coach Jeff Degree said. “They returned virtually all of their players from last year’s team that was ranked No. 1 most of last year. We were able to hang with them for the first part of the game, but their speed and skill got the better of us in the second.”
After their tough loss against Minot State, CSU faced an easier task in N0. 46 Drexel. CSU started the game strong with back-to-back goals from Corey Taylor, taking a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of the game. Alec Orme added another goal before the end of the first to give the Rams a 3-0 lead at the end of the period.
The Rams continued their dominance in the second period with goals from Orme, Kyle Riley and Riley Defazio. Nick Scherbinn and Jared Southwell added two more goals in the final frame to extend the lead to eight goals. Drexel responded with a consolation goal in the final three minutes as the Rams avenged their Thursday night loss with an 8-1 victory.
“Our guys executed very well all night. We were able to score some goals and win the game easily,” said Degree
The final game of the weekend was a much closer battle for the Rams. CSU’s Jared Southwell opened up the scoring, but Drexel tallied two goals of their own to take a 2-1 lead after the first period. The score remained unchanged throughout the second period as the close contest headed for the closing frame.
The Rams started off the third period in an ideal fashion. CSU’s Brien Caseria scored a crucial goal coming off an assist from Austin Ansay. The goal from Caseria tied the game at 2-2 in the beginning of the third. However, Drexel scored again late in the third period to seal the game and walk away with a 3-2 victory over the Rams.
“We came out very flat on Saturday night,” Degree said. “We had a poor first period that we were not able to recover from. I thought we competed hard and carried the play the last two periods but we just weren’t able to beat their goalie. It was a disappointing end to the weekend for sure.”
Following the weekend, CSU sits at 5-6-2-0. The Rame will travel south to face Arizona State and the University of Arizona on Nov. 2-4.
Collegian sports reporter Evan Grant can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @EGrantSports.