Denver earns crucial weekend sweep of Minnesota Duluth

The University of Denver Pioneers (16-6-6, 10-4-4-3) defeated the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (14-13-3, 8-10-0-0), 4-3, to complete the weekend sweep on Saturday at Magness Arena.

Dylan Gambrell finished with one (1) goal and one (1) assist as the Pioneers swept their second consecutive home series and pushed to a seven-game unbeaten streak. The victory kept Denver atop the NCHC standings with a three-point lead.

“It’s awesome,” Pioneers coach Jim Montgomery said. “We needed to sweep in order to stay close to St. Cloud because they have two games in hand.”

The teams traded opportunities early in the first period as the Bulldogs took a penalty only 26 seconds into the frame and the Pioneers followed up with an infraction roughly two (2) minutes later. With 14 seconds remaining in Denver’s penalty, Logan O’Connor stripped the puck from Mikey Anderson, skated down the left-wing boards and fired a shot over the right shoulder of Shephard to make it 1-0.

Minnesota Duluth’s Scott Perunovich responded to O’Connor’s goal at 10:26 of the period, then Bulldogs forward Kobe Roth added another at 18:04 as Tanner Jaillet was standing in his crease without his stick. The Bulldogs carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Denver tied the game at 4:53 of the second period when Ryan Barrow took a pass from Jake Durflinger as he entered the offensive zone and beat Shepard to the glove side. Minnesota Duluth responded five (5) minutes later with a goal from Riley Tufte who received a stretch pass through the neutral zone before beating Tanner Jaillet to the stick side. The teams entered the third period tied, 3-3.

Dylan Gambrell broke the tie at 9:09 of the third period after Adam Plant put a shot wide of the net, the puck bounced off the end boards and Gambrell finished the play make it 4-3.

Jaillet finished with 32 saves. Denver went 0/4 on the power play and 3/3 on the penalty kill.

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