COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The No. 2 ranked University of Denver men's hockey team outlasted the No. 14 ranked Colorado College Tigers 6-5 on Friday evening in front of a standing-room only crowd of 7,725 fans at World Arena. The win improves the Pioneers to 8-1-0 on the season 6-1-0 in WCHA play and gives DU the leg-up in the Gold Pan series. The loss drops the Tigers to 7-4-0 and 5-2-0 in the WCHA.
Sophomore Joey LaLeggia (Burnaby, British Columbia), junior David Makowski (Wildwood, Mo.) and senior Paul Phillips (Darien, Ill.) all finished the night with two points each while nine other Pioneers registered a point.
Sophomore Juho Olkinuora (Helsinki, Finland) finished the night with 38 saves, while the Pioneers finished with 33 shots on goal. CC finished with 43 shots, while Josh Thorimbert and Joe Howe posted 13 and 14 saves, respectively.
"Every time you win a game, no matter how you win it, it's a good thing, especially in this league," said head coach George Gwozdecky. "Obviously, against our arch rival, in a building we haven't had much success in over the years, it's a good thing. I'm sure both teams have a lot of things that they are going to look back on and say 'Boy did we mess that up.' The Pioneers fought tonight and it was a heck of a battle."
The Pioneers got on the board first as Makowski scored his fifth goal of the season (13 of his career) just 1:25 into the game off a pass from junior Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.). LaLeggia was also credited with an assist.
Scoring his first goal of the season, fourth of his career, sophomore Scott Mayfield (St. Louis, Mo.) made it 2-0 in the 13th minute of action off a passes from freshman Grant Arnold (Centennial, Colo.) and Phillips.
Both teams had 23 shots in the first period as Olkinuora made 14 saves to Thorimbert's 12.
The Tigers cut into the deficit just 3:04 into the second period as Rylan Schwartz scored three seconds after CC's power play ended. William Rapuzzi was credited with the assists.
With 12:30 left in the second period, CC went on the power play as Denver was called for tripping. Moments later Schwartz netted the equalizer off passes from Eamonn McDermott and William Rapuzzi.
Denver then answered 1:22 later as sophomore Matt Tabrum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored his second goal of his career to give DU the 3-2 lead. Makowski and freshman Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo.) registered the assist.
Forty seconds later, the Pioneers made it 4-2 as senior Chris Knowlton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored his sixth goal of the season, 25th of his career. Freshman Gabe Levin (Marina del Rey, Calif.) and Phillips were both credited with assists.
The Tigers made the switch from Thorimbert to Howe in net and then 33 seconds later LaLeggia scored his fifth goal of the season, 16th of his career. Sophomore Daniel Doremus (Aspen, Colo.) and sophomore Josiah Didier (Littleton, Colo.) were credited with the assists.
The Pioneers scored three unanswered goals over a 1:15 in the second period to take a 5-2 lead heading into the break. Denver had 22 shots in the second period to CC's 20, while Olkinuora made 11 saves.
Just 1:22 into the third period, the Pioneers took a 6-2 advantage as senior Shawn Ostrow (Calgary, Alberta) netted an unassisted goal, his third of the season, 18th of his career.
CC answer with 15:11 left in the game as McDermott scored off a pass from Rapuzzi. The Tigers scored once more with 10:35 left as Mike Boivin netted a shot off a pass from Peter Stoykewych to cut into the Pioneers' lead 6-4.
With 1:26 left, CC scored as Boivin netted his second of the game, while the Tigers had the extra-man advantage after pulling their goalie. Both teams battled to the final seconds and with key saves from Olkinuora down the stretch, the Pioneers were able to seal their fourth straight win.
Action continues tomorrow as CC travels to Magness Arena for a 7:07 p.m. MT puck drop. Fans can catch the game live on ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain and on 102.3 ESPN Radio.
Visit DenverPioneers.com for complete coverage of all 17 of DU's NCAA Division I sports.
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