Feb. 8, 2009

Courtesy Denver

DULUTH, Minn. - No. 17 Minnesota Duluth jumped to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 4-2 win over No. 6/8 Denver in WCHA action tonight before a sellout crowd of 5,323 fans at the DECC. Duluth earns the series split and improves to 15-9-6 and 9-8-5 in the WCHA. Denver falls to 17-9-3, 13-7-2.

With the loss and Wisconsin win at Minnesota, DU shares first place in the WCHA with the Badgers at 28 points each.

Minnesota started fast by scoring three unanswered goals in the first 14 minutes of action. MacGregor Sharp ripped a shot past Marc Cheverie (Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia) at 8:25, Evan Oberg scored on the power play at 12:28 and Drew Akins lit the lamp at 13:54.

DU finally scored when Kyle Ostrow (Calgary, Alberta) wristed a shot past Alex Stalock (22 saves) from the right circle at 17:26. Dustin Jackson (Omaha, Neb.) and Brian Gifford (Moorhead, Minn.) earned assists on DU's first goal.

"Our slow start proved to be costly," DU head coach George Gwozdecky said. "We didn't match their intensity and they capitalized with a strong first period."

DU kept it a two-goal game until Michael Gergen surprised Cheverie (35 saves) with an easy goal from the top of the right circle with just 39 seconds remaining in the second period.

"That goal was a back-breaker," Gwozdecky said. "I thought we played fairly well in the third, but give Duluth credit for earning the sweep."

Rhett Rakhshani (Huntington Beach, Calif.) scored on the power play for the lone goal in the third period. Earning assists were Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo.) and Anthony Maiani (Shelby Township, Mich.).

Minnesota Duluth outshot the Pioneers, 39-24, and went 1-for-8 on the power play. DU finished 1-for-7 with the man-advantage.

DU continues its five-game road swing at in-state rival Colorado College on Friday, Feb. 13.

Notes: DU is tied for eighth with Miami in the latest PairWise Rankings. DU wins the season series with Minnesota Duluth, 3-1. Rakhshani has 8-7--15 in 12 career games against Minnesota Duluth.

Game #29
#17 Minnesota Duluth 4, #6/8 Denver 2
Saturday, February 7, 2009
DECC (5,323)

Scoring: 1-2-3--F
#6/8 Denver 1-0-1--2
#17 Minn. Duluth 3-1-0--4

1st Period
1. UMD - MacGregor Sharp 12 (Josh Meyers 13, Mike Connolly 14) 8:25
2. UMD - Evan Oberg 6 (Justin Fontaine 25, Meyers 14) PPG, 12:28
3. UMD - Drew Akins 5 (Trent Palm 5, Matt Greer 1) 13:54
4. DU - Kyle Ostrow 9 (Dustin Jackson 8, Brian Gifford 6) 17:26

2nd Period
5. UMD - Michael Gergen 7 (Meyers 15, Mike Montgomery 7) 19:21

3rd Period
6. DU - Rhett Rakhshani 13 (Tyler Ruegsegger 9, Anthony Maiani 26) PPG, 4:5
Shots on Goal: DU (9-6-9--24), UMD (13-12-14--39)
Saves: DU - Marc Cheverie (10-11-14--35) 58:50; UMD - Alex Stalock (8-6-8--22) 59:49
Penalties: DU 14-39, UMD 11-22
Power Plays: DU 1-7, UMD 1-8
Referees: Brad Shepherd, C.J. Beaurline; Assistants: Jarod Moen, Matt Ulwelling.