DENVER — Freshman Brock Trotter scored two power-play goals and Matt Carle ended a three-game pointless streak with one goal and three assists as the No. 9 Denver Pioneers defeated Notre Dame, 6-3, in nonconference action tonight before a sellout crowd at Magness Arena.
Gabe Gauthier added one goal and two assists in the win, while Paul Stastny added one goal and one assist. Ryan Dingle’s shorthanded goal in the third period extended his consecutive goal streak to three games and goaltender Peter Mannino stopped 16 shots to earn his first win of the season.
“There was a night and day difference in this team’s performance tonight from last night at Air Force,” head coach George Gwozdecky said. “The team displayed a much better effort hunting down pucks and on the power play. While there were a few miscues in our zone, this was by far our most complete game this season.”
Denver (2-2-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) netted its first goal less than three minutes into the game when Carle took advantage of a screen by Gauthier and fired a shot past Notre Dame (0-2-0, 0-0-0 CCHA) goalkeeper Jordan Pearce. The goal was the first of the season for Carle and marked the fourth consecutive game the Pioneers were the first to strike.
Both teams unleashed a scoring fury in the second period. Despite having to kill a two-man disadvantage, the Pioneers were able to notch their second goal of the night at the 9:22 mark courtesy of Gauthier. The Denver co-captain buried a cross ice feed from J.D Corbin for his first goal of the year. The Fighting Irish struck back with a power-play goal less than 90 seconds later with a one-timer by Wes O’Neil.
Stastny scored his first goal of the season at the 13:08 mark off an assist from Gauthier. Denver and Norte Dame continued to trade goals as Fighting Irish center Josh Sciba beat Mannino to cut the Pioneers’ lead to 3-2.
However, Denver would have the last word in the second period when Trotter collected the puck at the left crease and fired an off-balance shot for the Pioneers’ fourth goal.
Denver kept control in the third as Trotter struck again at the 5:52 mark with assists by Andrew Thomas and Gauthier. Dingle capped off Denver’s scoring with a beautiful unassisted shorthanded goal in the 12th minute. Notre Dame’s Noah Babin made the final score 6-3 with a late goal.
The Pioneers outshot Notre Dame, 23-19, and converted 2-of-10 power-play chances. Notre Dame’s Pearce stopped 17 shots in the loss as the Fighting Irish went 2-of-8 on the power play. Erik Condra added three assists for Notre Dame.
Denver opens WCHA play next weekend at North Dakota. Meanwhile, Notre Dame will return home after a tough two-loss weekend to host Princeton for a pair of games.