DENVER – The host Pioneers took advantage of Colorado College’s mistakes and converted them to answer each Tiger goal to pull away Friday night.
Eleventh-ranked Denver took a two-goal lead by midway through the second period and kept the Tigers from sustaining a rally the rest of the way in a 5-3 victory to open the Front Range rivals’ playoff series.
“It took a little wind out of their sails,” said Denver coach George Gwozdecky. “That was key throughout the game.”
Game 2 of the best-of-three series at Magness Arena is at 7:07 Saturday with eighth-seeded CC (14-18-5) fighting to continue its season. All the higher seeds won at home Friday in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association first round of the playoffs.
Colorado College did not play poorly, but committed too many mistakes, which Division I’s No. 2 offense (3.43) converted.
Denver 5, Colorado College 3
Colorado College 1 1 1 –3
Denver 2 2 1 — 5
First period – 1. CC, McDermott (Krushelnyski, Schwartz) 11:07; 2. DU, Jacobson (Mayfield, Doremus) 16:17; 3. DU, Q. Shore (N. Shore, Zajac) 17:46. Penalties – CC, Boivin, tripping, 2:11; DU, Makowski, tripping, 11:07.
Second period – 4. DU, Ostrow (Knowlton, Mayfield) 8:46 (PP): 5. CC, Harstad (Taft, Krushelnyski) 12:07; 6. DU. Larraza (Doremus, Tabrum) 16:45. Penalties – CC, Hanson, tripping, 6:58; DU, Mayfield, cross-checking, 19:27.
Third period – 7. CC, Krushelnyski (Schwartz) 7:00; 8. DU, Loney (unassisted) 8:51;
Penalties – CC, Boivin, slashing,11:51; CC, Krushelnyski, unsportsmanlike conduct, 14:45; DU, Phillips, high-sticking, 14:45;
Power play – CC 0-2, DU 1-3. Shots on goal – CC 12-14-16 – 42; DU 13-13-13 – 39. Saves-minutes – CC, Howe 11-11-12 – 57:59; DU, Olkinuora 11-13-15 – 60:00. Referees – Anderson, Shepherd. Linesmen – Swaider, Keltie. Attendance — 4,436.
WCHA PLAYOFF ROUNDUP
MANKATO, Minn. – Chase Grant scored at 7:04 of overtime to give Minnesota State a 4-3 win over the Omaha hockey team in game one of a best-of-three WCHA first round playoff series on Friday night.
Game 2 of the series will be played on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. UNO will need to win to force a deciding game three on Sunday.
On the game-winning goal, UNO got trapped deep in the Minnesota State zone, leading to a 3-on-2 rush the other way. Jean-Paul Lafontaine carried the puck down the right wing and found Grant trailing the play. He fired a hard wrist shot over the blocker hand of UNO goaltender John Faulkner to send the crowd of 2,855 into celebration.
No. 3 North Dakota 5, No. 10 Michigan Tech 3
GRAND FORKS – Senior forward Danny Kristo scored two goals, including one 58 seconds after the Huskies scored to make it 4-3, and added an assist to lift North Dakota to a 5-3 win against Michigan Tech in the first game of a WCHA opening round playoff series on Friday night at Engelstad Arena.
No. 2 Minnesota 2, No. 11 Bemidji State 1 OT
MINNEAPOLIS — Sophomore forward Kyle Rau scored 13:18 into overtime to lift Minnesota to a 2-1 win against Bemidji State in the first game of a WCHA opening round series on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.
No. 4 Wisconsin 3, No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth 1
MADISON — John Ramage, Nic Kerdiles and Mark Zengerle each recorded multiple-point efforts as Wisconsin earned a 3-1 win against Minnesota Duluth in the first game of a WCHA playoff series on Friday night at Kohl Center.
No. 1 St. Cloud State 6, No. 12 Alaska-Anchorage 1
ST. CLOUD — St. Cloud State (22-14-1) moved one step closer to St. Paul with a 6-1 victory over Alaska Anchorage (4-24-7) in the opening game of the WCHA playoffs on Friday. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is at 7:07 p.m. Saturday.
St. Cloud State’s David Morley carded his team-high seventh power-play goal with 4:52 left in the first period for the eventual game-winner.
Sophomore Ian Young replaced freshman Russell Finch at No. 3 left defense while DU has an open spot at third pairing at right defense.
Goalies – Howe, Thorimbert
Q. Shore-N. Shore-Knowlton
Goalies — Olkinuora, Brittain, Murray.