The Denver Pioneers dropped to No. 8 in the polls after going 0-1-1 against Michigan Tech, including a surprising 7-2 loss on Friday. The tea was without starting goaltender Adam Murray after the first period of that game, as he left the ice with what was called an upper body injury. Freshman Juho Olkinuora replaced him and allowed just one goal over the rest of that game before he was pulled for the extra skater with seven minutes left in the game (Tech scored three empty-netters).
During this weekend series with the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Murray and Olkinuora might platoon this weekend and each play a game. The Bulldogs are No. 14 in the polls and 4-3-1 on the season. They recently swept the Bemidji State Beavers, 6-2 and 1-0. They are 3-0-1 in their last four games since a three-game losing streak against Notre Dame and Minnesota took place.
The Bulldogs feature plenty of offensive firepower. Travis Oleksuk leads the team in goals with six, but is second on the team in points with nine. Jack Connolly has the team lead in points with 10 (three goals, seven assists). Mike Seidel is second on the team with five goals.
Goalie Kenny Reiter is back for the Bulldogs and having a decent season so far. He is 4-2-1 this season with a 2.67 GAA. He's made 156 saves on 175 shots.
The Pioneers are led by Jason Zucker and Drew Shore, both of who have 10 points this season. Zucker is tied at four goals for the team lead with rookie defenseman Joey LaLeggia. Shore is second with three goals. Beau Bennett, who has six points, might return to the ice after missing last week's series against Michigan Tech. A teammate's skate blade cut him during practice last week.
On Friday, the puck drops at 7:37 p.m. MT. Saturday's start time is 7:07 p.m. MT. Friday's game can be seen on Root Sports.