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Home Teams Sweep Friday’s Trio of Conference Contests

By NCHC, 01/19/18, 11:30PM EST


WMU edges CC in OT, DU blanks Omaha as teams move into second-place tie; UMD beats UND, 5-3

Friday, January 19, 2018 Scores
No. 11/11 Western Michigan 3, Colorado College 2 (OT)
No. 14/13 Minnesota Duluth 5, No. 7/7 North Dakota 3
No. 5/5 Denver 5, No. 15/15 Omaha 0

Home teams won all three NCHC games Friday night, which saw an overtime thriller, a shutout and a high-scoring contest on national TV. In the first game of the night, No. 11/11 Western Michigan used a strong power play to rally in the third period and then top Colorado College, 3-2, only 35 seconds into overtime when junior forward Richard Zehnal scored his first career goal. The Broncos moved into a second-place tie with No. 5/5 Denver, which blanked No. 15/15 Omaha, 5-0, behind three power play goals and senior goalie Tanner Jaillet’s third shutout of the season. In the night-cap of a doubleheader on CBS Sports Network, No. 14/13 Minnesota Duluth also potted three power play goals to edge No. 7/7 North Dakota, 5-3, in Duluth.

In an unlikely ending, junior forward Richard Zehnal scored his first career goal in overtime to lift No. 11/11 Western Michigan to a 3-2 win over Colorado College Friday night at Lawson Ice Arena. Zehnal, who played on WMU’s club team as a freshman, tallied only 35 ticks into the extra session for his first collegiate point in his 18th career varsity game. The Broncos (13-9-1, 8-5-0-0 NCHC) scored both goals in regulation on the power play, the first coming late in the second stanza on a one-timer from senior defenseman Scott Moldenhauer that put WMU in front. The Tigers (9-11-3, 3-8-2-1/0 NCHC) struck twice in the third period to take the lead, the first on a delayed penalty early in the frame to tie the game, while going ahead with less than eight minutes left in regulation on a rebound. The Broncos pulled even two and a half minutes later, however, on the man advantage, to force overtime. Modenhauer set up the game-tying goal for a two-point night. WMU outshot CC, 43-32, in the victory, while going 2-for-5 on the power play and 7-for-7 on the penalty kill. The teams finish their series Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Striking three times on the power play, while not allowing a goal, No. 5/5 Denver rolled to its 11th straight victory over No. 15/15 Omaha, 5-0, Friday at Magness Arena. Senior goaltender Tanner Jaillet stopped all 34 shots he faced for his fifth career shutout and third this season, as Denver (13-6-4, 7-4-2-1/0 NCHC) outshot the Mavericks (12-10-1, 5-8-0-0 NCHC), 48-34. Junior forward Jarid Lukosevicius scored a pair of power play goals to lead the way, opening the scoring late in the first frame. Freshman defenseman Ian Mitchell then doubled DU’s lead in the second stanza, while he also assisted on all three power play goals for a career-high four points. Denver tacked on three more tallies in the third period, including the first two on the power play, to seal the victory. Sophomore forward Henrik Borgström dished out three helpers in the win, as well. The Pioneers finished 3-for-5 on the man advantage and killed all four Omaha power plays. The two squads wrap up their series Saturday at 7:05 p.m. MT.

Extending its unbeaten streak to six games, No. 14/13 Minnesota Duluth topped No. 7/7 North Dakota, 5-3, Friday at AMSOIL Arena, downing the Fighting Hawks for the seventh straight time. The teams traded first period goals with UMD sophomore forward Joey Anderson, who also had an assist, opening the scoring on the power play off a feed from junior forward Parker Mackay. The Fighting Hawks (12-7-6, 6-5-2-0/2 NCHC) pulled even minutes later with their own power play goal. The second period proved to be the difference as the Bulldogs (12-9-3, 6-7-0-0 NCHC) struck twice, with Mackay setting up the first and scoring the second on the power play for a three-point night to give UMD a 3-1 lead. Freshman forward Grant Mismash pulled UND within one 40 seconds into the final frame, but senior forward Karson Kuhlman scored the eventual game-winner a minute later to regain a two-goal cushion. Sophomore defenseman Colton Poolman brought North Dakota within one again a few minutes later, but an empty-net goal shut the door on a comeback. Despite the loss, UND outshot UMD, 36-26, with sophomore goalie Hunter Shepard making 33 saves for the Bulldogs. The long-time foes conclude their series Saturday at 7:07 p.m. CT.

All three NCHC series conclude Saturday night. In addition, No. 3/3 St. Cloud State hosts No. 9/8 Minnesota State in a top-10 non-conference clash on Hockey Day Minnesota, which is being held in St. Cloud all day Saturday. All four games Saturday can be seen on, while the SCSU game is also on TV on FOX Sports North PLUS, FOX College Sports Central and TSN2 in Canada.