DENVER -- Evan Cowley turned in one of the most memorable performances of his collegiate career on Friday night, making 29 saves on 30 shots in backstopping No. 11 Denver to a 4-1 victory against No. 1 North Dakota at Magness Arena.
Cowley was quick to share credit for the win with his teammates after the game.
"Everyone played unbelievably well in front of me tonight," Cowley said. "They did a great job of making sure I saw the puck all night long and did a really good job of clearing it out of the zone whenever there was a scramble. It feels great to beat the top team in the country and this was definitely a big team win for us."
Senior defenseman Josiah Didier opened the scoring, beating UND goalie Zane McIntyre on a long-range wrist shot to register the first goal of his season and the second of his career. Gabe Levin and Evan Janssen both picked up assists on Didier's even-strength marker, which came in the 19th minute.
Cowley came up with a big stop for Denver (10-4-0, 4-2-0-0 NCHC) early in the second period, robbing Gage Ausmus on a bullet of a snap shot with a save off the right pad. Cowley then denied Michael Parks on a breakaway a few minutes later to keep Denver's one-goal lead intact.
Quentin Shore put Denver up 2-0 at the 12:49 mark of the middle frame, charging hard to the North Dakota (12-4-2, 5-3-1-0 NCHC) net and burying a cross-ice pass from linemate Ty Loney on his backhand to improve his 2014-15 goal total to six. North Dakota's Bryn Chyzyk then cut North Dakota's deficit in half 4:05 into the third period, netting his third goal of the season to end Cowley's shutout bid.
Senior blueliner Joey LaLeggia restored the Pios' two-goal advantage 7:51 into the third stanza, taking a feed from Levin and ripping a wrist shot over McIntyre's right shoulder. Will Butcher added an empty-netter late in regulation for the fourth and final tally.