Tech swept in Denver by #5 Pioneers

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

DENVER — No. 5-ranked Denver scored five goals for the second straight night to defeat  Michigan Tech 5-2 in WCHA hockey at Magness Arena tonight. The Huskies (2-4-0, 1-3-0 WCHA) trailed 3-1 in the second period with three consecutive power plays but could not get back into the game. DU (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) put it away in the third with two more goals.

Tech trailed 2-1 after penalty-ridden first period. The Huskies were whistled for seven penalties in the frame and spent nearly seven minutes on the penalty kill.

All three goals in the period came in a three-minute span. Denver scored the opening goal off a rebound at the 12:14 mark as Quentin Shore collected a puck that bounced off the right post to the left of the crease.

Dennis Rix <> tied the score at 1 at the 13:52 mark as he came down on a 2-on-1 rush shorthanded. The Pioneer defender took away the pass, so Rix took the shot and buried it from the right faceoff dot into the upper right corner of the goal.

On the same power play, Denver’s David Makowski scored for a 2-1 lead.

Tech was called for four of its seven penalties within a minute late in the period and found itself down 5-on-3. It killed 1:15 of the two-man deficit before the end of the period and another 1:15 of DU power play after the intermission.

Just as the final penalty ended, Joey LaLeggia made it a two-goal lead for Denver with a shot from the center of the blue line.

Tech had four power plays in the second period including a full two minutes of 5-on-3 but could not get one past DU netminder Adam Murray.

The Huskies remained within 3-1 until Shawn Ostrow scored at the 6:04 mark of the third on a rebound of his own shot. The hosts made it 5-1 at the 9:12 mark before Rix tallied his second of the game at 10:34. The goal came off a rebound of a Jimmy Davis <> shot.

“We played hard tonight,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “We took a lot of penalties in the first period that really limited us from getting any momentum.

“Once we got through the 5-on-3 kills, we settled in. We outshot them 30-12 in the final two periods but didn’t get any puck luck around the net.”

Final shot totals showed that Tech outshot Denver for the second straight night. It was 38-28 Huskies tonight, and Murray made 36 stops for the win. Phoenix Copley played the full game and stopped 23 of the 28 shots he faced.

Tech put nine shots on net during five power play chances but did not score. DU was 1-for-6 on the man advantage.

Michigan Tech, having played the No. 1 and No. 5 ranked teams to open its WCHA schedule, will return home next weekend for another league series vs. Nebraska-Omaha. Games are set for Friday and Saturday (Nov. 2-3) at 7:07 p.m. ET both nights.

Notes: Rix now has a team-leading five goals this year … Davis picked up his first career point with the primary assist on Rix’s second goal.