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Denver Pioneers blank Dartmouth, 1-0

Tanner Jaillet posts shutout with 23 saves

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-Denver vs Minnesota-Duluth Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Senior goaltender Tanner Jaillet made 23 saves to lead the No. 2 Denver Pioneers to a 1-0 non-conference win against Dartmouth College Friday night at Magness Arena. The shutout was Jaillet’s second of the season, after he shut down Minnesota Duluth in a 1-0 Dec. 1.

Denver (10-3-4, 5-3-2-1 NCHC) did well to keep pressure off Jaillet throughout the game, registering a 32-23 advantage in shots on goal. Dartmouth (2-8-1, 2-4-1 ECAC) has now been held scoreless four times this season and maintains their Division I-worst goals/game mark of 1.45.

Denver started relatively slow, allowing for an even first period. Shots were 11-10 in favor of the Pioneers. DU killed off a pair of minor penalties and failed to convert on their one opportunity with the man advantage.

There were nearly some fireworks courtesy of Henrik Borgström as the period wound down, but ultimately the teams went to the locker room in a scoreless tie.

Dartmouth goalie Devin Buffalo, who made 31 saves in total on the night, kept the game tied with several big stops. He would face 14 shots in total in the second period but couldn’t keep Denver’s high-powered power play off the board all night.

After Brandon Demler was sent away for tripping Troy Terry on a scoring chance, the Pioneers’ second power play unit came through with under 40 seconds remaining in the man advantage. Freshman Jaakko Heikkinen finally beat Buffalo on a one-time blast set up by Colin Staub from near the side of the net.

The eventual game-winner was the fifth for Heikkinen in his freshman campaign and his first on the power play. He also finished the night 5-for-6 on faceoffs.

With the one-goal cushion, the Pioneers relied on their suffocating defense to close out the win. Dartmouth was held to just six shots in the final period and failed to tie the game up after pulling Buffalo for the extra attacker in the final minute.

The shutout was the seventh in Jaillet’s career with Denver. His goal/game average now hovers right near 2.00 and he is third in the NCHC with a .924 save percentage.

The Pioneers will go for the weekend sweep Saturday at Magness Arena. The puck will drop at 7:05 MT and can be seen on Altitude 2 or