DENVER — Denver senior Kevin Doell scored the backbreaking goal as the No. 9 Pioneers (14-5-3, 5-4-3 WCHA) shut out fifth-ranked New Hampshire (11-4-2, 6-2-1 Hockey East), 4-0, in the championship game of the Wells Fargo Denver Cup Saturday night (Dec. 28) at Magness Arena.
Doell was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for his three-goal effort on the weekend.
“We’re pleased with the effort and our performance these last two games against two quality opponents,” said Denver head coach George Gwozdecky. “Against a good team like New Hampshire we needed to have all phases playing well: offense, defense and goaltending, and we got that tonight.”
The Denver scoring picked up where it left off on Friday night with two goals in the first period. Junior Greg Keith scored his sixth goal of the season at the 12:21 mark on an assist from junior winger Connor James.
Sophomore Jeff Drummond doubled the DU lead to finish the first, capping off the early scoring with a power-play goal at 19:03 off a Luke Fulgham deflection in front of the goal.
Both teams put up great defensive efforts in the second period with each goalie recording double-digit saves in the frame. Pioneer goalie Adam Berkhoel stopped 13 shots, while UNH counterpart Mike Ayers kept 10 shots from going in the net.
Doell extended the Pioneer lead to 3-0 early in the third period on a shorthanded goal, assisted by Greg Barber. It was his third goal of the tournament.
Keith tallied his second goal of the evening and seventh of the season on an empty-netter at 18:38 in the third period to produce the 4-0 final. James picked up his second assist of the game on the goal.
Berkhoel ended the night with 32 saves, leading the Pioneers to their second consecutive shutout.
Denver returns to action Jan. 10-11, hosting WCHA foe St. Cloud State at Magness Arena, while New Hampshire continues the season at Yale on Jan. 2.