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College Hockey:
Stastny Leads Pioneers To Fifth Straight Denver Cup Title

DU Blanks Northeastern In Final

— Tournament MVP Paul Stastny scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Denver Pioneers to a 4-0 win over Northeastern as the seventh-ranked Pioneers captured their fifth consecutive Wells Fargo Denver Cup championship Sunday before 5,960 fans at Magness Arena.

Goaltender Peter Mannino made 37 saves for his first career shutout and Matt Carle, Gabe Gauthier and Ryan Dingle added goals to help Denver improve its unbeaten streak to nine games.

“Northeastern played well, but the difference was two things: our ability to put the puck in the net, and Peter Mannino’s ability to keep it out,” head coach George Gwozdecky said. “We are pleased with the win and another championship title, which gives us an emotional boost heading into the second half of our season. Paul Stastny had a terrific night. He is a special player for us and definitely deserved the MVP award.”

Carle staked Denver to a 1-0 lead with his eighth goal of the season, just 3:03 into the first period, on a feed from Gauthier.

The Pioneers then took command of the game with a three-goal second period. Stastny scored unassisted after a steal in the NU zone at 4:53, and Gauthier turned a pass from Stastny into a power-play goal at 9:26.

Finally, Dingle made it Denver 4-0 at 18:51 on a tough-luck play for the Huskies. Gibson went to clear a Brett Skinner shot and was dragged behind the net by DU’s Jussi Halme. With the net open, Dingle took a pass from Luke Fulghum and easily netted the goal.

The teams played a scoreless third.

Mannino sparkled in net with 37 saves for the Pioneers. The freshman turned away 10 shots in the first period, 14 in the second and 13 in the third for his first career shutout. Keni Gibson stopped 27 shots for Northeastern.

Despite being outshot 37-31, Denver went 1-for-4 on the power play. The Pioneers also limited Northeastern to an 0-for-4 effort on the power play.

Denver improves its record to 13-5-1 overall, while the Huskies drop to 7-9-2.

Stastny extended his consecutive point streak to 10 games with the three-point effort. He tallied two goals and one assist in Denver’s first-round win over Air Force.

Carle, Jon Foster and Northeastern’s Jason Guerriero and Brian Deeth joined Stastny and Mannino on the all-tournament team.

Denver next hosts Michigan Tech Jan. 7-8 at Magness Arena, while Northeastern takes on Boston University at home Jan. 7.

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