DENVER — Sophomore right wing Ryan Dingle notched his second consecutive two-goal game with two third-period scores to lead the No. 9 Pioneers to a 4-3 win and series sweep against Michigan Tech in front of 6,136 fans at Magness Arena.
The win was the third consecutive victory for Denver (5-3-0, 3-1-0 WCHA), which built a 2-0 lead against Michigan Tech (1-8-1, 0-3-1 WCHA) before the Huskies fought back to tie the score at 2 in the second period.
“We really made things difficult for ourselves, but the main thing is we won the game,” DU head coach George Gwozdecky said. “We had a great start to the third period after a flat and unimpressive second period.
“The bottom line is that it’s a big win and a big series win for us.”
Dingle, who has scored eight goals in Denver’s last seven games, added an assist to his two goals while sophomore left wing Paul Stastny posted a career-high four points. Senior center Gabe Gauthier notched his 36th career multiple-point game with one goal and one assist.
The line of Gauthier, Stastny and Dingle continued its success, accounting for nine points against Michigan Tech, and has posted 24 points in the Pioneers’ last three games. Denver, which outshot Michigan Tech 39-25, finished 2-for-5 on the power play and has converted 8-of-18 extra-man opportunities in its last three games.
The Pioneers dominated the first period of play, outscoring Michigan Tech 16-5, but did not open the game’s scoring until 11:37 into the contest. Standing on the right edge of the crease, Gauthier one-timed a shot low to the stick side past goaltender Rob Nolan after taking the feed from Stastny to put Denver ahead 1-0.
Less than one minute into a second-period power play, Stastny collected his rebound from a point-blank shot on Nolan and scored on a shot high to the glove side, giving Denver a 2-0 advantage at 6:24 of the second period.
Michigan Tech trimmed Denver’s lead to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Brandon Schwartz at 8:52 of the second frame before tying the game on Taggart Desmet’s tally at 11:26 of the period. Michigan Tech outshot Denver 16-11 in the second period and utilized three power plays to frequently pin the Pioneers in their zone.
The Pioneers regained the lead when Dingle scored his second shorthanded goal of the season 1:04 into the third period, slipping his rebound into the net on a play set up by Stastny. A short time later, Dingle stretched the Pioneers’ lead to 4-2 on a power-play score at the 3:58 mark of the third period.
Michigan Tech cut its deficit to one goal, 4-3, on Chris Conner’s unassisted power-play goal at 15:35 of the third period, marking one of the Huskies’ two power-play goals on their seven such attempts. Denver relied on the play of sophomore goalie Peter Mannino, who made 22 saves on the night, to kill a late Michigan Tech 5-on-3 power play and hold on for the victory.