It wasn't quite a Pyrrhic victory for the Denver Pioneers on Friday night, but the 5-3 win over the No. 1/2 Minnesota Golden Gophers saw star forward Jason Zucker leave the game due to an upper body blow by Kyle Rau. He eventually left the ice with the help of trainers, but he was announced as out for the remainder of the game. His status has not been updated further.
Minnesota opened the scoring in the first period with a Nate Condon goal at 9:08, but just 40 seconds later the Pioneers answered back with Shawn Ostrow finding the back of the net. Dustin Jackson and Nate Dewhurst followed roughly three minutes and eight minutes later, respectively.
Minnesota answered back with a Rau goal at 1:56 in the second period, a power play goal. However, Zucker responded with a goal for the Pioneers. At 6:38 in the second period, Rau delivered the hit that caused Zucker to leave the game with an injury. Rau was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct to end his night.
Chris Knowlton extended the lead to 5-2, but Zach Budish got credit for a goal that hit off his skate. Seth Helgeson originally looked as though he had the goal, but after a lengthy review the referees confirmed the goal and gave it to Budish because of the deflection.
Denver's Sam Brittain stopped 31 of 34 shots while Minnesota's Kent Patterson allowed all five goals on 34 shots.
The two teams will play on Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. MT. Root Sports will have the broadcast.
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