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University of Denver blanks Minnesota-Duluth in title game rematch

Tanner Jaillet delivers first shutout of 2017-18

2017 NCAA Div I Men's Ice Hockey Championships Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The top-ranked University of Denver Pioneers held off #17 Minnesota Duluth for a 1-0 road victory Friday night at AMSOIL Arena. Tanner Jaillet made 28 saves to keep the Bulldogs’ lackluster offense off the scoreboard, recording DU’s first shutout since March 4 of last season against Nebraska-Omaha.

It was fitting in a game that saw few true scoring chances that the eventual game- winning goal came out of a scrum in front of the net. After a scoreless first period, Logan O’Connor swatted the puck past UMD’s Hunter Shephard 2:51 into the second period. This assist on the play officially went to Dylan Gambrell, who remains second on the team with 13.

Minnesota Duluth’s offense was frustrated for the most part for the remainder of the contest, with scoring opportunities few and far between. The loss was the fourth time the team has been held scoreless this season and drops their goals per game average to just 2.44, 50th in the country and dead last in the NCHC.

Both teams received three minor penalties and successfully killed of each of them.

In the win, Henrik Borgström (11 games), Troy Terry (9) and Ian Mitchell (7) all had point streaks snapped. Given how good Borgström and Terry have been especially this far, it ought to be promising for Pioneers fans to see the team come out with a conference win even without point contributions from either player.

After the game, DU coach Jim Montgomery credited his team’s defensive effort, adding that he felt the Pioneers’ puck pressure was as good as it has been all season.

Some were surprised to see senior defenseman Adam Plant on the ice for Denver after suffering a concussion in the first period of the November 19 win over North Dakota. Plant finished with one shot on goal and was +1 in the contest. Ryan Orgel, a freshman defenseman who was added to Denver’s roster this week from the North American Hockey League, was a healthy scratch.

The teams will finish up the weekend series Saturday night. Puck drop will be at 6:05 MT.