Denver Post: DU Clinches Title With OT Win

(above) Rhett Rakhshani's last second heroics clinched the 13th MacNaughton Trophy for the Pioneers on Saturday night in Mankato

From: Denver Post
by Jess Meyers

As title-clinchers go, they hardly get more dramatic than this.

University of Denver captain Rhett Rakhshani's goal with 13.3 seconds left in overtime Saturday lifted the Pioneers to a 4-3 victory over Minnesota State — a win that clinched the regular-season title in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. It was the Pioneers' 12th WCHA regular-season title, and the first since 2005.

After a faceoff in the Mavericks' zone, Denver defenseman Patrick Wiercioch got the puck to the front of the net, where, after a bounce, it ended up on Rakhshani's stick with no opponent covering.

"We did have a play on, and it did fall apart," Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky said. "We wanted Patrick to get the puck to the net right away. . . . He shoveled a backhand toward the net front, and a split second later it winds up on Rhett's stick and Rhett buries it."

The last-second drama came after the Pioneers had built, and lost, a two-goal lead in the second period. With the Mavericks playing like anything but a ninth-place team, the Pioneers had to rely heavily on goaltender Marc Cheverie, who responded with 36 saves, extending Denver's win streak to 10.

The Pioneers face Colorado College in a home-and-home series next weekend to close out the regular season. DU Fans are encouraged to wear white clothing for tne "White Out."

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