The Denver Pioneers hockey team closed out its home schedule with a 5-3 victory over the North Dakota Fighting Sioux on Saturday. The team improved to 19-11-4 overall and has already clinched home-ice advantage in the first round WCHA playoffs before the end of the regular season, which ends next week against Nebraska-Omaha.
Denver and North Dakota combined for six goals in the second period, but the Pioneers came out on top with four of those goals. Nick Shore opened up the scoring at 9:23 for the 1-0 Pioneers lead. Carter Rowney tied the game three minutes later, only to see Chris Knowlton score a shorthanded goal (11) and Jason Zucker a power play goal (19) for the 3-1 Denver lead.
North Dakota saw Brock Nelson score his 21st goal just seven seconds after Zucker's score, but Scott Mayfield wound up scoring what became the game-winner with about two minutes left in the game. Knowlton scored Denver's fifth goal at 17:35 in the third period and then saw Nelson with his 22nd goal come at 18:43.
Juho Olkinuora drew the start and stopped 27 of 30 shots. Brad Eidsness played for the first two periods and was pulled for Aaron Dell in the third period. Eidsness made 19 saves and allowed four goals. Dell stopped 12 shots on 13 attempts.
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