Penalties cost Denver chance at a sweep

When Denver spotted North Dakota seven power plays Friday, the Pioneers survived for a 5-4 win. They gave UND nine power play chances Saturday and it doomed them in a 6-1 loss.

Denver killed off six of seven penalties Friday as its power play went 2-for-5 but one night later, UND took advantage of Denver’s penalties for three goals on the man advantage.

UND wasn’t getting many opportunities early Saturday, but Danny Kristo scored 10:34 on UND’s fourth shot on goal of the game.

Carter Rowney scored the first UND power play goal with 1:36 left in the period UND and Rocco Grimaldi added another with 12 seconds left to chase Juho Olkinuora after 20 minutes. Mark MacMillan scored another in the third minute of a five-minute major with one second left in the second period.

Dillon Simpson scored the third UND power play goal in the third period to make UND 3-for-7 on the man advantage and the game so out of reach at that point that it didn’t matter UND couldn’t convert on the last two PP chances.

The Pioneers are the nation’s most penalized team but 16 power plays to the opposition in one weekend is a number that’s unacceptable, especially against a high-efficiency power play.

UND’s power play was operating at a 25.9-percent rate going into the Denver series, which is better than the national leader (Minnesota, 25.4 percent).

SCSU takes a hit in the PairWise

St. Cloud State is in first place in the WCHA standings but slipped to 10th in the PairWise Rankings, knocking the Huskies into low-seed territory. It’s odd to think that SCSU, which has gone 7-2-1 in the WCHA in the second half, is so low in the PairWise.

For those who don’t know, the PairWise is used to determine the NCAA tournament field.

The loss to Colorado College, which has become a team under consideration while going on a six-game unbeaten streak, hurts the Huskies; so does the 3-5-0 nonconference record.

Although SCSU didn’t come out of the gates flat in Friday’s loss like they had coming off of byes throughout the season, the loss dropped the Huskies to 1-4-0 on Friday’s when they didn’t play the week before.

UMD sees a bright spot in third period woes

Minnesota-Duluth has struggled in third periods an awful lot since Christmas, but Saturday, the Bulldogs did just enough in the final 20 minutes to earn a 2-2 tie at No. 2 Minnesota.

UMD has scored four times in third periods since the break and is minus-15 in third-period goal differential.

The Bulldogs’ only goal in third periods from Jan. 19 up until Saturday was in a Feb. 16 tie at Bemidji State. UMD got outscored 2-0 in Friday’s loss to the Gophers and UMD’s chances looked grim as half the third period went by Saturday without a goal facing a one-goal deficit.

Then, with 7:06 left in regulation, Keegan Flaherty got to a loose puck below the goal line, threw it off the side of the net and it ricocheted out to Jake Hendrickson in the slot. Hendrickson split Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox’s wickets as Wilcox looked for the puck to tie the game at two.

The Bulldogs are ninth in the WCHA in third-period scoring and 43rd in the nation yet they’re ranked second nationally in first-period goals.