by Paul Peterson
Peter Mannino jumped about as high as a man in goaltending equipment could as soon as the final horn sounded Friday night at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The University of Denver goalie set a school shutout record with the 14th of his career in a 1-0 victory over Michigan Tech.
"Peter Mannino was the story of the game," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "He's been a very solid goaltender in his career here. . . . I'm happy to see him get the record."
The win was an important one for the Pioneers. They moved into a second-place tie with idle North Dakota in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, both teams with 33 points.
For his part, Mannino credited his teammates for the record-setting win.
"Shutouts are a team effort, and this game was no different," the senior said. "I've been fortunate for four years to have great teammates. It's pretty amazing."
In a game where scoring chances were at a premium, the Pioneers got the only one they would need with just 13 seconds remaining in the second period.
With his team on a power play, freshman forward Dustin Jackson nudged a rebound shot past MTU's Michael-Lee Teslak.
Assisting on the goal were Kyle Ostrow and Patrick Mullen.
Tech coach Jamie Russell said both goalies were outstanding.
"I thought Mannino and Teslak were on their games," he said. "They didn't have to make a lot of saves, but there some tough ones in there."
With both teams emphasizing tight checking, there were few good scoring chances throughout.
The middle period was filled with penalties, a total of 16 minutes assessed.
The Huskies' best shot at scoring came midway through the third period, when forward Jon Kivisto hit the pipe and the puck dropped into the crease. But Mannino was able to clear the puck and preserve his fifth shutout this season.
"You could tell that Peter was locked in tonight," Gwozdecky said. "He was that way right from the very beginning.
He also got a little help from the goalie’s best friend. Tech got shots by Mannino twice in the second and third periods, but both times the puck banged off the post and stayed out of the net.
“There’s no question that every goaltender, especially the good ones, are known to have their three best friends (the two posts and the crossbar) with them at all times,” Gwozdecky said.
Mannino and Teslak each had 21 saves.