DENVER — The No. 10 Denver Pioneers saw their season-best four-game winning streak come to an end tonight with a remarkable 3-0 loss against Alaska Anchorage at Magness Arena in front of 6,028 fans. Goaltender Nathan Lawson turned back 37 shots to earn the shutout for the Seawolves (5-10-1, 3-8-1 WCHA), while DU (9-7-2, 6-4-2 WCHA) sophomore Peter Mannino stopped 23 shots in the loss.
Alaska Anchorage took a 2-0 lead into the third period after scoring once in each of the first two periods, and the Seawolves added an empty net score with less than a minute remaining in the contest.
Denver’s power play was unable to score on six chances, marking the first time its extra-man unit was held without a goal since it went 0-for-5 on the power play in a 1-0 loss at Boston University on Nov. 25. The Pioneers, who outshot Alaska Anchorage 37-25 for the game and 20-2 in the third period, were shut out for the third time this season and suffered their first home shutout since a 3-0 loss against Michigan Tech on Jan. 7.
“Alaska Anchorage played really well and was the better team tonight,” DU Head Coach George Gwozdecky said. “They frustrated the heck out of some of our top players. We had some good looks, but Lawson was very good.”
Alaska Anchorage, which finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play, emerged from a physical first period with a 1-0 lead on Merit Waldrop’s goal at 6:46.
The Pioneers generated several quality scoring chances early in the game on a power play, including one that saw sophomore center Paul Stastny slide the puck across the crease behind Lawson on a sharp-angled shot from the left goal post. UAA’s Charlie Kronschnabel won possession of the puck shortly after that penalty expired and tapped it to Waldrop, who one-timed it past Mannino at 6:46 of the first period for a 1-0 Alaska Anchorage lead.
Alaska Anchorage controlled the opening stages of the second period, building a 7-2 advantage in shots midway through the frame. The Seawolves’ effort paid off when Jay Beagle caught a pass from Shane Lovdahl at the top of the slot, dropped it to the ice and snapped a shot past Mannino at 10:44 for a 2-0 advantage.
The Pioneers, who entered the game with a WCHA-best 22 goals in the third period, were unable to get the puck past Lawson in the final period despite outshooting the Seawolves 20-2. UAA added an empty net goal by Kronschnabel at 19:23.
Denver returns to action next weekend for a two-game series at Minnesota Duluth while Alaska hosts #4 ranked Colorado College.