RIT's Chris Tanev scored the first goal of the game at 5:02 of the first period and Cameron Burt tallied the eventual game-winner on the power play at 12:36 of the third period.
Joe Colborne (Calgary, Alberta) cut the lead to 2-1 with a power-play tally from Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood) and Patrick Wiercioch (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) at 14:34 of the final stanza. DU pulled Marc Cheverie (23 saves) for the final 1:45, but couldn't score the equalizer. DU outshot RIT, 40-25 in the game, but lost its third consecutive game overall and third straight in the NCAA tournament since claiming the national title in 2005.
"I want to congratulate RIT for playing a very good hockey game," DU head coach George Gwozdecky said. "We created a lot of scoring chances during the game, but DeMichiel was the difference today. You tip your hat to coach Wayne Wilson and RIT. I'm proud of our effort, but we're obviously disappointed with the result."
Tanev scooped up a clearing attempt by Denver's Cody Brookwell (Calgary) and beat Cheverie unassisted with a blast from the right circle to give RIT a 1-0 lead. Burt then buried a pass from Andrew Favot into an open net for a 2-0 lead.
Colborne finally solved DeMichiel with his 22nd goal of the season, but DU's season ends after winning the WCHA regular-season title, Gold Pan Trophy and Wells Fargo Denver Cup.
DU outshot RIT, 11-9, and went 0-for-1 on its lone power-play attempt in the period. The Pioneers created numerous scoring chances in the middle stanza, but still couldn't solve DeMichiel. The Pioneers launched 15 shots to just nine for the Tigers. RIT went 0-for-1 on its lone man-advantage. DU peppered DeMichiel with 14 shots in the third, but capitalized on just one.Notes: The Pioneers allowed the first goal in their last three games. The Pioneers finished 10-8-1 when allowing the first goal. Chris Nutini (Centennial) returned to the DU lineup, but didn't return after playing one shift.