A two-goal third period in combination with perfect outing from netminder Sam Brittain was just what the Denver Pioneers needed to shut out the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks 2-0 in NCHC quarterfinals at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
In front of an attendance of 3,862, the Pioneers and Mavericks battled for two periods without either team finding a way onto the scoreboard.
UNO dominated in shots after the first period, almost doubling that of Denver's 8 with a 15, and added 11 more shots on goal in the second period but couldn't find a hole in Brittain's net. Heading into the final period of regulation, the Mavericks held an edge in shots, 26-15.
Fortunately for the Pioneers, they were able to get one helluva pep talk between the second and third periods because they came on flying.
At 6:16 into the third period, Ty Loney finally broke the stalemate and gave the visiting Pioneers the 1-0 lead. Assists were awarded to Daniel Doremus and Josiah Didier on Loney's goal.
Head coach Dean Blais was then forced to pull UNO's Ryan Massa from his net in order to break the wall Brittain had put up, but DU's Zac Larraza added an empty-net insurance goal to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead that would hold until the final horn sounded.
3rd Period - DU (6:16) Ty Loney from Daniel Doremus and Josiah Didier
3rd Period - DU (18:09) ENG Zac Larraza from David Makowski
Sam Brittain (DU): 15-11-8 = 34 (0 GA) - W
Ryan Massa (UNO): 8-7-12 = 27 (1 GA) - L
- Nebraska Omaha finished 17-18-2 overall, while Denver improved to 18-15-6.
- The Pioneers lost to the Mavericks on Thursday 4-3, but won on Friday and Saturday to earn a trip to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff.
- UNO outshot DU by a 34-29 margin.
- Denver has outscored opponents 16 to 9 in their last five outings.
- Omaha was victorious in the faceoff-category, winning 37 battles to Denver's 29.
- Both teams failed to convert on three man-advantage attempts, but the Mavericks were able to get six shots on net compared to the Pioneer's three shots.
- The Mavericks will lose six players to graduation this spring: forwards Brock Montpetit, Zahn Raubenheimer, Johnnie Searfoss, Alex Simonson, Ryan Walters, and defensman Michael Young.