The Denver Pioneers were beaten, 6-3, on Saturday by the North Dakota Fighting Sioux at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. The loss was Denver's (9-5-2, 7-3-2 WCHA) fourth in its last six games, a three-week stretch in which the team has failed to record a single win.
The Pioneers got the scoring started early, with Grant Arnold firing his first career goal past the Fighting Sioux goalie just 1:25 into the game. North Dakota (8-5-3, 5-2-3 WCHA) responded with a barrage of goals, with Rocco Grimaldi tying the score with less than three minutes left in the first. A Derek Forbort power-play goal opened scoring in the second, and was followed in quick succession by two goals from Carter Rowney.
North Dakota maintained that 4-1 advantage late in the second, until a major penalty against Dan Senkbeil gave Denver a power play. The Pioneers cashed in with two goals in 17 seconds from Ty Loney and Joey LaLeggia, narrowing the margin to 4-3. The teams struggled back and forth through a mostly scoreless third period, before a Danny Kristo goal with just over three minutes to play doubled the North Dakota margin. An empty net goal with seconds left provided the final margin.
Denver remains first in the WCHA despite the loss, but will likely again fall in the national rankings. The Pioneers return to action December 14 and 15 at Bemidji State.