Duluth - After pretty much owning overtime periods since the middle of last season, the comeback kids from the University of Minnesota Duluth came up a little bit short against the University of Denver Friday night. The No. 1 ranked Bulldogs rallied from a 3-0 deficit with four straight goals only to have the Pioneers score with 1:22 to play in regulation and again 3:02 into overtime en route to a 5-4 victory in the second-to-the last game ever at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
The loss was the Bulldogs' first in their last nine overtime games (6-1-2) and snapped a seven-game home winning streak which stretched back to last March.
After the No. 10 Pioneers had gone up 3-0 early in the second period, junior All-American center Jack Connolly scored once and assisted on two other goals (by sophomore defenseman Wade Bergman and junior left winger Mike Connolly on the power play) to draw UMD even heading into the second intermission. Senior left winger Kyle Schmidt's seventh goal of the season at 15:02 of the gave the Bulldogs (11-2-2 overall and 8-2-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association) their only lead of the night -- a lead which lasted a little over three minutes when Jason Zucker's shot from just behind the left extended goal line found its way into the UMD net, completing the hat trick for the Pioneer freshman winger. Zucker went on to pick up an assist on Drew Shore's overtime game-winner for a four point night.
UMD junior goaltender Kenny Reiter, who suffered his first loss of the season (5-1-2) while making 12 saves on 14 shots, replaced starter Aaron Crandall 1:25 into the second period after the WCHA's goals against average leader had surrendered the third Pioneer goal. Sam Brittain finished with 29 stops for Denver (11-4-2; 8-2-1).
The two clubs will complete their only regular season series of 2010-11 Saturday night. The final game ever to be played at the DECC can be seen live on My 9, coverage beginning at 7pm.
Courtesy: UMD Athletics