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No. 4 Pioneers Sweep Seawolves, Move Into 1st Place In The WCHA

The DU Pioneers extended their 8 game unbeaten streak by beating the Seawolves 3-2 on Friday night and 5-1 on Saturday night. Captain Kyle Ostrow played one of his finest weekends of hockey, scoring three goals and an assist over the weekend. Ostrow opened the weekend with a goal just 9 seconds into the game on Friday night, finally getting the Pioneers a lead early in game. However, the Pioneers played poor defense in front of Adam Murray and AA tied the game midway thorugh thee 1st. His second of goal gave the Pioneers the lead again in the 2nd period, but again AA game back to tie in up early in the 3rd. Thankfully the Pios went up for good on a great effort by Nick Shore and a solid finish by Beau Bennett to give the Pios a 3-2 win.

The win on Friday moved the Pioneers into 1st place in the WCHA as North Dakota lost 8-4 to Nebraska-Omaha.

Saturday, the Pioneers went back to their old ways giving up a goal early in the game, but thankfully kicked things in gear late in the 1st period. With six minutes left in the first period the Pios had just 2 shots on goal. However they scored 4 goals on their next 8 shots to go up 4-1 early in the 2nd period. Freshman Jarrod Mermis scored his first collegiate goal to get the puck rolling for the Pios. Anothony Maiani then added a shortie to give the Pios the lead for good. From there the Pios decided to post some highlight reel goals.

Beau Bennet took a pass high in the slot, pulled the puck from behind his back and easily beat Rob Gunderson. Kyle Ostrow followed with a 1-1 move of his own to beat the defender to the corner and cut in to the crease to extend the lead to 4-1. Not to be outdone Jason Zucker pulled the puck from behind his back, through his legs and slid his 17th goal of the year into the net. Too bad college hockey doesn’t make “Top Plays” on Sportscenter because the Pios had three goals that were worthly of being mentioned.

DU stays a point ahead of UMD and North Dakota in the race for the McNaughton Cup. DU has next weekend off to prepare for the final two games of the Gold Pan series with CC on February 4/5. The Colorado Spring Gazetter reports that CC won’t have their superstar freshman Jaden Schwartz for the in-state rivalry. This should increase the Pios chance of retaining the trophy.

Its also good to see the Pios get some additional coverage in the local media.
Mark Kizla writes about the PIos recent struggles to win a game in the NCAA tourney.