DENVER - Minnesota Duluth scored four goals in a span of 3:45 in the second period to erase a 1-0 lead by No. 8/7 University of Denver en route to handing the back-to-back NCAA National Champion Pioneers a 5-2 season-ending loss tonight in front of 3,382 fans at Magness Arena. UMD's win secured a 2-1 series victory for the Bulldogs (11-24-4) in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs and denied DU (21-15-3) its second consecutive trip to the Red Baron WCHA Final Five.
Sophomore center Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo.) had a power-play goal and one assist for DU, which finished 1-for-6 on the man advantage. Senior center Gabe Gauthier (Buena Park, Calif.) also notched one goal and one assist while sophomore left wing Ryan Dingle (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and freshman right wing Patrick Mullen (Pittsburgh, Pa.) each added one assist for DU.
DU sophomore goaltender Peter Mannino (Farmington Hills, Mich.) took the first playoff loss of his career (6-1-0) and made 14 saves before being replaced by junior goaltender Glenn Fisher (Edmonton, Alberta) at 16:02 of the second period. Fisher finished with eight saves while Nate Ziegelmann stopped 33 shots for Minnesota Duluth, which was 2-for-7 on the power play.
"The loss is disappointing because we had a really good start to the game," DU Head Coach George Gwozdecky said. "We tried all kinds of things to get back into the game and had a bunch of flurries, but their young goaltender played really well."