DENVER — Jon Foster scored the game-winning goal and Ryan Caldwell had one goal and two assists as the fifth-ranked Denver Pioneers defeated Wayne State, 4-2, in non-conference action tonight at Magness Arena.
Luke Fulghum added one goal and one assist and Lukas Dora added two assists as Denver improved to 15-6-3 overall with the win, including 10-0-0 in non-league play. Wayne State falls 5-11-2.
“We had a real test on our hands tonight,” Denver head coach George Gwozdecky said. “Tonight was one of the toughest games we’ve had mentally. It was a true character test for our team. When we look back, we will realize how important it was to win this game.”
Foster scored the game winner at 4:58 of the third period. Denver’s Greg Keith dug the puck out of the corner for Foster, who took the puck and beat Wayne State goaltender Matt Kelly with a quick wrist shot. The goal broke a 2-2 tie and gave Denver its first and only lead of the game.
Caldwell sealed the win with an empty-net goal with five seconds remaining in the game.
Denver outshot Wayne State, 34-16, and went 1-of-6 on the power play. Glenn Fisher got the win with 14 saves. Kelly played well for Wayne State with 30 stops.
Wayne State led 1-0 after the first period on a goal from Mark Nebus at 19:21. Wayne State was outshot, 11-4, but held the one-goal advantage.
Fulghum tied it for Denver with a backhanded shot from the slot at 3:21 of the second, but Wayne State regained the lead at 10:58 with a backhanded goal from Jason Baclig on the power play. Denver’s Brett Skinner tied it at 2-2 with a big blast from the point on the power play at 13:12.