Maiani's Last Minute Goal Shocks North Dakota

(above) DU's Anthony Maiani skates behind UND goalie Jean-Philippe Lamoureux after scoring the game winner in the WCHA Final 5
Photo Credit: Eric Hylden

Mike Chambers' Denver Post Game Recap

Freshman Anthony Maiani scored with 1:20 left in regulation to lift Denver to a 3-1 win over North Dakota today in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Five.

Maiani raced down the right side with North Dakota defenseman Joe Finley in his path the entire way, and just before getting to the goal line, he scooped a backhanded shot past Fighting Sioux goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureaux.

Matt Glasser added an empty net goal in the closing seconds and Peter Mannino made 32 saves to send the Pioneers into Saturday’s tournament final against the winner of the semifinal between WCHA regular-season champion Colorado College and Minnesota.

The game-winner came after North Dakota tied the score early in the third period on a hardworking goal by Taylor Chorney. Denver’s Rhett Rakhshani got the game’s first goal on a power play in the second period.

It’s the second straight game-winning goal for Maiani. He had the only score of the Pioneers’ 1-0 win over Minnesota Duluth last weekend to clinch a first-round series sweep in Denver.

After killing off a pair of 5-on-3 power plays, the Pioneers used a man advantage to get on the board first. Rakhshani beat Lamoureaux short side from a deep angle early in the second period to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.

North Dakota tied the score early in the second period when Chorney worked the puck free after getting his point-blank shot blocked by Peter Mannino, who let the puck get free behind him in the crease. Chorney set up the play moments earlier by keeping the puck in the zone at the blue line.

Lamoureaux made 26 saves for the Sioux.

Tempers flared in the final minute of the first period when it appeared the Sioux had scored. Mannino made two saves and covered up beneath a pile of bodies, and after some pushing around the goal light flashed on. As referees tried to restore order, players squared off in the Denver end of the ice. Three players from each side were called for unsportsmanlike conduct, and after a long video review it was ruled that the puck never crossed the goal line.

Denver is now 3-0 against North Dakota in the Final Five, winning 2-1 in overtime in the 2005 semifinals and 4-3 in 1999 final. The Pioneers also snapped a three-game losing streak to the Sioux, a skid that includes a 5-4 North Dakota win Feb 15. in Grand Forks in which Denver blew a 4-1 lead.

Denver is in the Final Five championship game for the first time since 2006, when the Pioneers beat Colorado College 1-0 for their sixth WCHA playoff title.


Anonymous said...

Correction they will play CC.

Chick Magness said...

What a fantastic win for the boys .... a real team effort all around . Peter played amazing !!! Credit the coaches , the players , everyone pulled together to make a really fun win over the Sioux --- how I would have loved to have seen it LIVE .... and that Maiani goal was "sick" .... never seen one so pretty !!!

dggoddard said...

Awesome effort by the entire team.

Its great to be a Pioneer. :-)

puck swami said...

Someone get that goal on YouTube..

Anonymous said...

That's what DU hockey is all about!

achsdu17 said...

Besides the stupid penalties taken in at the start of the game, this had to be the strongest, smartest, and best coordinated game DU has played in quite sometime.

Great work on all fronts and I hope we see this effort in the games to come.

Good Luck Tomorrow Night!

Nelson said...

Awesome effort! The two 5-3 kills were huge. Great to see Peter in the zone. He made some amazing stops in the third!

Anonymous said...

Congrats DU. My Fighting Sioux needs to get their act together. They were not pretty except for maybe 10-15 minutes or so in the third. Tough to win playing one quarter of a game. DU had a lot to do with that though.

Nelson said...

CC Sucks!!!!!!!

Never won it---never will!!!!

jhahn4 said...

Great day of hockey- ND and CC lose in the same day?! Awesome!

I watched both games at the new Jordan's Pub by campus, and will be there tomorrow too if anyone else cares to join.

achsdu17 said...

I'll probably be watching it over at the Campus Lounge with Peter.

It's going to be a tough one. Normally I would think Minn. would be the easier team but with a little less then 19,000 Minn. fans that's going to be something else.

Still this team has what it takes. Take care of business tomorrow Denver!

DenverGoldJersey said...

I'll be watching it in houston's airport i have the dish and satelite channels written down on a cocktail napkin in my pocket ready and waiting. It sure is good the Final Five is played in such a neutral venue.

Runninwiththedogs said...

Goddard and Swami,

UNACCEPTABLE that you are not in MN this weekend.


achsdu17 said...

I just saw that backhand goal from Maiani... damn!

You never expect a backhand shot like that to be a strong as a regular wrist shot.

MagnessMan said...

I formerly being known as Nelson now rejoin the ranks with a hockey related handle. I just couldn't keep
conversing with the likes of Swami without feeling about as low as a tiger.

MagnessMan said...

now i have a photo like rtd--feeling better by the minute. I'm so happy CC went down!

HoosierPioneer said...

I'll go along with Nelson and create a non-name based screen presence. No longer shall I be known as jhahn4.