The Denver Pioneers might have seen their grip on the No. 2 spot in the polls slip on Friday night when the Michigan Tech Huskies downed them, 7-2. More concerning, the Pioneers lost starting goalie Adam Murray to injury in the first period. The team lost star goalie Sam Brittain to knee surgery back in the summer and he is not expected back until January or February.
Juho Olkinuora relieved Murray in net after the Huskies made the score 3-1 in the first period. Tanner Kero had put the Huskies on the board first at 1:53 in the first frame, but freshman defender Joey LaLeggia knotted it at one at 4:23. Milos Gordic put another power play goal past Murray before Ryan Furne's even-strength goal just seconds later sent Murray from the game.
Olkinuora limited the scoring to just one power play goal in the second period at 3:17, Gordic's second of the game. And Olkinuora kept the Huskies off the board from that point on until 13:59 in the third period when Gordic completed the hat trick. But Olkinuora had been pulled from net at that point, making it an empty-netter. Denver continued to play without a goalie and allowed two more goals.
Paul Phillips did add a goal for the Pioneers with 56 seconds left in the game.
The Pioneers (3-2) return to the ice on Saturday against the Huskies at 5:07 p.m. MT.
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