Denver Pioners Dump CC Tigers 6-2

By: Patrick Nelson Email
By: Patrick Nelson Email

With only one experienced goaltender available for Saturday's game at Magness Arena, the University of Denver had little choice but to go with Sam Brittain between the pipes.

With premier playmaker and sniper Rylan Schwartz out of the lineup, Colorado College seldom even tested the junior netminder.

The No. 2-ranked Pioneers treated their home crown at Magness Arena to three first-period goals, let CC back into contention for the second night in row, then put the game away early in the third frame en route to a 6-2 victory that completed a sweep of the teams' two-game WCHA series.

It marks the first time in almost seven years, since Dec. 2 and 3 of 2005, that the Tigers have lost twice to their arch-rival on the same weekend.

Schwartz, who had collected eight points in the previous three outings, was forced to sit out after being assessed a disqualification penalty at the end of Friday's 6-5 loss to DU at the World Arena. Denver netminder Juho Olkinuora also received a DQ, leaving the untested Zack Hope as Brittain's backup for Saturday. Senior Adam Murray, though suited up and on the bench, has been nursing an injury.

Senior winger Chris Knowton, a Colorado Springs native, again was instrumental in tormenting his hometown team. Knowlton scored twice and set up anther pair of tallies to help the first-place Pioneers improve to 7-1 in league play as well as 9-1 overall. Colorado College dropped to 4-2 in the WCHA and 7-5 overall despite a goal and assist by senior forward Scott Winkler, who subsequenly took a major penalty that sent him to the showers with 51 seconds left in the second stanza.

The penalty came less than two minutes after William Rapuzzi's power-play goal cut Denver's lead to 3-2. Once Knowlton tipped in Nick Shore's shot from the point on the ensuing power play just 31 seconds into the final period, the home team had recaptured the momentum.

Knowlton set up freshman Gabe Levin for an easy backhand and the first red lighter of Levin's career just 3:49 into the contest. Matt Tabrum, another Colorado Springs product, made it 2-0 DU at 10:14 when his off-wing wrist shot from the outside edge of the left faceoff circle found an opening between goalie Joe Howe's right arm and the near post at 10:14. Shawn Ostrow's backhand on an early Pioneers power play at 17:21 proved to be the game winner.

Brittain finished with 24 saves and Howe with 28 tougher ones, as Denver out-shot the Tigers by a 34-26 margin overall. Knowlton factored in on all three DU goals in the third period when the Pioneers launched 18 attempts on target.


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