College roundup: Utes produce hits, just not enough runs, against Bruins
WESTMINSTER LACROSSE: At Salt Lake City, the third-ranked Griffins (10-2) suffered a 12-8 loss to No. 1 St. Thomas (Minn.) in the 2012 Griffin Invitational.
Westminster suffered its first home loss of the season as St. Thomas snapped the Griffins' six-game winning streak.
It appeared early that St. Thomas (7-0) was going to run away with the game as it raced out to a 3-0 lead with 6:16 to play in the first quarter. The Griffins responded however, scoring the next five goals of the contest to take a 5-3 lead with 4:34 to play in the half. The experience of St. Thomas showed in the final moments of the half as the Tommies scored twice in the final 1:21 to even the game at 5-5 at the break.
Jake Arthur scored less than two minutes into the second half to put Westminster ahead, 6-5. St. Thomas responded with four straight goals to close out the quarter and take control of the contest. After Kevin Gee got the Griffins within 9-7 at the 11:53 mark of the fourth quarter, St. Thomas responded with the next two goals to lead 11-7 with 10:53 to play. After Gian Sexsmith scored for the Griffins with 10:02 to play, neither team scored until just 20 seconds left when Nikolas Colpitts sealed the win with a goal for the Tommies.
Both teams recorded 38 shots in the game with Westminster putting 21 on cage while St. Thomas had 30 on target. St. Thomas won the ground ball battle 34-33 while the Griffins won 16-of-25 faceoffs. The Griffins went 21-of-28 in clear attempts and scored once on three extra-man opportunities.
Arthur, Sexsmith and Kyle Poster each finished with two goals to lead the Griffins. Arthur and Sexsmith added an assist each for three points. Marshall Serzen won 16 faceoffs and tied with Arthur and Jeff Peters for the team lead with four ground balls. Chris Burckle made a career-high 18 saves protecting the Westminster cage.
Will Hersman and David Burke scored three goals apiece to lead St. Thomas. Kevin Gause picked up a team-high six ground balls while Joe Palermo won 8-of-21 faceoff attempts. Ryan Zellinger earned the win while making 13 saves in the Tommies' net.
The final day of the Griffin Invitational will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday with a game between St. Thomas and Concordia. The Griffins play Northern Colorado in the finale at noon. The game will be the final home game for the Westminster senior class and they will be recognized prior to the opening faceoff.
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