2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Omaha downs Denver in NCHC opener

Published: March 13, 2014, 10:27 pm, by Joe Paisley

bigger NCHC logoOMAHA, Neb. — Senior forward Brock Montpetit scored twice, including the game-winner, in the third period, to lead third-seeded Nebraska Omaha to a 4-3 win over No. 6 seed Denver Thursday night at CenturyLink Center in Game 1 of their quarterfinal series. The Mavericks (17-16-2)  lead the best-of-three series 1-0 and need one more win over the Pioneers (16-15-6) to advance to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff.

Denver struck first when senior defenseman David Makowski scored from the blue line 7:27 into the game. Omaha stormed back in the closing minutes of the first period, striking twice in the final 1:46 to grab a 2-1 lead. First, senior forward Ryan Walters finished a give-and-go after a turnover while junior forward Dominic Zombo put UNO in front when he knocked in his own rebound in front of the net on the power play.  Montpetit earned an assist on Walters’ goal, giving him a three-point night.

Early in the second period, the Pioneers pulled even when junior forward Ty Loney found the back of the net just 2:34 into the period.

Montpetit scored the first of his two goals with 1:41 remaining in the second stanza, beating DU senior netminder Sam Brittain top-shelf on the short side. Walters set up the score, giving him a two-point outing.

Denver answered early in the final frame when junior defenseman Joey LaLeggia gathered a loose puck and snapped it past junior goaltender Ryan Massa to tie the game at 3-3. Montpetit answered when he weaved around a Denver defenseman and then deked Brittain to deposit the puck for a highlight-reel game-winning goal on the power play with just over nine minutes to play in the game.

The other three quarterfinal series begin Friday with all four games streamed live for free  on NCHCHockey.com.