The Denver Pioneers have basically booked a trip to the 2012 NCAA Hockey Tournament with a 3-2 overtime victory against the Michigan Tech Huskies on Thursday afternoon, but that won't stop them from seeking a WCHA Playoffs championship. On Friday afternoon, the Pioneers will play the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, the No. 2 team in the polls and the No. 2 seed in this tournament.
The No. 3 seed in the WCHA Playoffs, the Pioneers went three games against the Wisconsin Badgers in the opening round of the playoffs to reach Thursday's quarterfinal game. Now, the Pioneers have a chance to return to the WCHA championship game for a second year in a row, losing in double-overtime to North Dakota last season.
The Pioneers are led by Drew Shore and Jason Zucker, each having 21 goals, but the former leads with 52 points to the latter's 45. Drew's brother, Nick, is also right there with 40 points. Freshman Joe LaLeggia and Ty Loney have also been of great help down the stretch.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have Jack Connolly, a repeat Hobey Baker Award finalist. He has 18 goals and 56 points while J.T. Brown has the team-lead in goals with 23. Goalie Kenny Reiter has a .912 save percentage and a 2.39 goals against average.
The puck drops at 1:07 p.m. MT and can be seen on Root Sports.
Head over to Western College Hockey Blog for more WCHA news and notes.