Thome backstops UND to 2-1 road win at CC

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (UND Athletics) -- A two-goal first period put North Dakota in the driver's seat and goalie Peter Thome made it hold up as UND beat Colorado College, 2-1, Saturday evening at Broadmoor World Arena in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play. CC got a loate goal to spoil the shutout then nearly had a game-tying tally in the closing seconds but UND held on.

Colorado College (13-17-4, 7-12-3 NCHC) came out firing, forcing the issue early. North Dakota (16-15-2, 10-11-1 NCHC) responded near the end of the opening period with a pair of goals in the final 2:18.

With just over two minutes left in the first period, Cole Smith put North Dakota in front. The sophomore took the puck from the near corner and circled in on Alex LeClerc, getting off a shot then slicing across in front to find his own rebound, potting it home for the lead. It was his fourth goal of the season.

UND needed just 1:08 to double its lead when Jordan Kawaguchi faked a shot in the slot a found Matt Kiersted charging the net on the left side and he beat LeClerc stick side on the power play.

North Dakota kept its foot on the gas in the second, peppering LeClerc with 15 shots, outshooting the Tigers by a dozen in that frame alone. Despite needing to make just three saves in that period, UND sophomore goaltender was outstanding on a pair of highlight-reel stops. He shut down a point-blank chance with a quick glove save on Christiano Versic, who had found his way alone in at the doorstep to Thome's right. A few minutes later, Thome sent a blocker save into the corner on a breakaway to keep the shutout intact.

He kept it that way until a late flurry produced a goal with just 2:09 to play. Versic, this time, finished on a scramble in front to cut the deficit in half. The Tigers had a couple looks at a game-tying goal but Thome emerged with the win, making 24 saves in the process.

North Dakota will finish its regular season at home this coming weekend hosting Omaha on Friday and Saturday.