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First Period Notes: Denver Leads 1-0


10:18- Nolan Zajac from Matt Tabrum and Quentin Shore 1-0 Denver

Zajac showed some nice hands taking a pass from Tabrum, moving from forehand to backhand and beating the goalie high to the glove side

Shots were 9-5 in Denver's favor.


Minnesota State caught a huge break in the first minute of the game when defenseman Zach Palmquist appeared to hit a Denver player from behind into the boards, but was only assessed two minutes for checking from behind instead of a five-minute major. Not only would it have been a tough kill, but perhaps more importantly, Minnesota State would have basically had to skate the whole game with five defensemen.

Denver controlled the first half of the period, thanks in large part to three straight MSU penalties to start the game, but Minnesota State drew the better of the scoring chances, including a 2-on-1 and a breakaway that they didn't convert on while shorthanded. Brett Knowles hit the outside of the post on his breakaway.

Nolan Zajac had a nice period. On the shift before his goal, he also made a nice move in the offensive zone to create a shot for himself. My big knock on him in the past is that I felt he was a guy that contributed to the offense, but never really created offense, but that play, combined with the goal are starting to make me reconsider that.

As you'd expect from a team that's pretty loaded on the back line, Denver likes to give their defensemen a lot of freedom to rush up the ice.