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The No. 2 DU Pioneers’ 15-game unbeaten streak came to an end on Saturday night as the Crimson & Gold dropped a 3-1 decision to the No. 1 UMD Bulldogs in front of a season-high 6,186 fans at Magness Arena. Denver enters its midseason break at 12-3-3, a record which includes a 6-1-3-2 in-conference mark which is good for second place in theNCHC Standings.

“I really liked the way we played this weekend and our staff is pleased with our first half on the whole,” DU head coach Jim Montgomery said following Saturday’s loss. “Our team was focused and played with great intensity and selflessness during our (12-0-3) run and we’ve put ourselves in good position to have a successful season. We have a lot of things to work on moving forward and we can’t take anything for granted but we’ve got a fantastic group of student-athletes here who are committed to making this program great and we expect to have another strong second half this year as we look to make another run at our eighth national title.”

Minnesota-Duluth scored the lone goal of the first period for the second straight night on Saturday as senior forward Kyle Osterberg registered his ninth marker of the season in the fifth minute of play. The visitors doubled their lead midway through the second period when Billy Exell buried a rebound produced by a Sammy Spurrell shot shortly after a UMD penalty expired.

Senior RW Evan Janssen (Green Bay, Wis.) cut Denver’s deficit in half at the 13:11 mark of the middle frame, banging home a loose puck deep in Bulldogs territory to register his fifth goal of the season. Sophomore LW Logan O’Connor (Calgary, Alta.) drew the lone helper on the play.

Period No. 3 saw the hosts vehemently pursuing the equalizer, firing a game-high 14 shots on net, but UMD goalie Hunter Miska was able to keep the puck out of his team’s net for the entirety of the stanza in laying claim to First Star of the Game honors. A late empty-netter by New Jersey Devils prospect Joey Anderson sealed the victory for the Bulldogs, who overtook Denver for first place in the conference with the road win.

The Pioneers will open their second half on the road with a weekend series against Providence on Dec. 30 & 31.

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