Denver struck twice in the first period for a 2-1 lead over New Hampshire after 20 minutes of play at the Verizon Wireless Arena in the second semifinal of the Northeast Regional.
The Pioneers got on the board first just 2:24 into the first stanza when Daniel Doreumus crashed the net to bang home a rebound. Larkin Jacobson took the initial shot while Matt Tabrum was credited with the secondary assist.
UNH picked up the pace of its play right after falling behind. Austin Block had a great chance that Denver goalie Juho Olkinuora got a stick on. Just about a minute after that, sophomore forward Casey Thrush connected on his own rebound from the right side. Defensemen Brett Pesce and Trevor van Riemsdyk assisted on the goal at 5:39.
With just under two minutes to play in the period, Denver regained the lead when the Shore brothers connected for a tally. Nick Shore received the puck at the blue line, spun around and blasted a slap shot that UNH sophomore goalie kicked out. The puck squirted out to Quentin Shore who snapped it into the top corner over DeSmith's glove.
The only penalties of the period came on a scrum with 1:58 to play. DU ended up with the power play as UNH was called for the extra penalty. DeSmith stopped 17 of 19 shots on the period while Olkinuora made 13 saves on 14 shots.
The winner of this game will face top-seeded UMass-Lowell who defeated Wisconsin 6-1 in the first semifinal of the regional. The win was UML's 27th of the season, a program record.
Jeff Cox covered college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.