DENVER — The No. 10 Denver Pioneers scored twice in the first two minutes into the game and five different players notched goals as the team earned its fourth-consecutive victory with a 5-2 win over Alaska Anchorage at Magness Arena tonight in front of 6,027 fans. Sophomore right wing Ryan Dingle scored his team-high 14th goal for the Pioneers (9-6-2, 6-3-2 WCHA) while junior goaltender Glenn Fisher stopped 26 shots by the Seawolves (4-10-1, 2-8-1).
Pioneers junior defenseman and Anchorage, Alaska, native Matt Carle, who entered the game tied for second in the NCAA in scoring by defensemen, notched his seventh goal of the season. Junior right wing J.D. Corbin accounted for Denver’s lone power-play score.
“It was a great start for us, but for the next 58 minutes, Alaska Anchorage had us on our heels,” DU Head Coach George Gwozdecky said. “We took advantage of a couple of bounces early on, but they settled down and played a tough game.”
The Pioneers won 39-of-60 faceoffs (65.0%) and finished 1-of-6 on the power play. Alaska Anchorage, which was outshot by Denver 33-28, was held to 1-of-5 on the power play and Seawolves goaltender Nathan Lawson made 28 saves.
DU capitalized on a slow start by Alaska Anchorage and built a 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Standing on the edge of the crease with his back toward the net, sophomore left wing Tom May slid a no-look, back-handed shot into the net 37 seconds into the opening period. Shortly after that goal was announced, freshman right wing Patrick Mullen raced down the left boards on a breakaway after a UAA defenseman misplayed the puck and flipped a back-handed shot over Lawson’s glove hand for a 2-0 Pioneers advantage at the 1:17 mark.
Alaska Anchorage cut DU’s lead to one in the second period when Mat Robinson’s centering pass got caught in traffic and deflected off the skate of Jay Beagle into the Pioneers’ net at 4:45.
Denver, which registered 18 shots on net in the second period, regained its two-goal advantage at 13:36 of the second frame. Sophomore center Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo.) forced a turnover at the blue line and fired a pass to the front of the net to a wide-open Dingle, who used several fakes on Lawson to put the Pioneers ahead 3-1.
Both teams traded power-play goals in the third period with DU’s Corbin scoring at 7:07 before the Seawolves’ Billy Smith trimmed DU’s lead to 4-2 with a tally at 10:41 of the final period. Carle added an insurance goal for Denver at 16:05 when his wrist shot from the right side beat Lawson top shelf.
Denver returns to action Saturday night against Alaska Anchorage at Magness Arena looking to sweep its season series against the Seawolves for the second consecutive season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. MST.