NCAA Frozen Four
Power play, goaltending lift Denver into title
6, Colorado College 2
Carle, B. Skinner
Skinner, G. Gauthier
Skinner, J. Drummond
Sweatt, J. Crabb
Fulghum, M. Carle
Drummond, B. Skinner
Polich, M. Stuart
May, P. Mannino
Curtis McElhinney, 60:00, 23 saves, 6 GA
Peter Mannino, 60:00, 41 saves, 2 GA
CC 14/28; DU 10/20
Plays: CC 2-8; DU 6-12
Ohio – To look at the score of the game, a 6-2 verdict,
it would seem to say that Denver was the dominant team in the
first semifinal of the 2005 Frozen Four. That score, however,
discredits Colorado College, a much better opponent than the score
junior left wing for Colorado College summed it up succinctly:
"Tonight could have gone a lot differently."
CC came out
with more energy and had the better scoring chances in the first
10 minutes. Denver freshman goaltender Peter Mannino, who had
been splitting time with sophomore Glenn Fisher, was given the
start by coach George Gwozdecky after posting back-to-back shutouts
against the Tigers in recent games. The rotation worked so well,
in fact, that it marked the first time a Denver goalie started
back-to-back games since late November.
netminder rewarded his coach's confidence early on with a stop
on Brett Sterling's airborne deflection and a semi-breakaway by
Aaron Slattengren. As Mannino held the fort, Denver gained its
legs and capitalized with two quick goals.
(Mannino) was terrific in goal, and probably was one of our top
stars, if not our best player tonight," Gwozdecky said. "I
thought our opponent played very well tonight. We seemed to get
a couplee of good bounces that went our way."
a Denver senior born and raised in Colorado Springs, did the damage.
His first goal was one for the highlight reel as he walked around
CC defenseman Lee Sweatt at the blueline, was in alone on Curtis
McElhinney and Fulghum's low shot beat the goalie. Less than two
minutes later, after a face-off in the Colorado College defensive
end of the rink, Fulghum scrummed a loose puck from the right
wing boards to Brett Skinner. Fulghum rolled to the slot and Skinner's
shot deflected off of Fulghum and past McElhinney, who was searching
for the puck as the red light came on. Before the first period
ended, Slattengren's shot from a sharp angle was denied by the
goalpost over Mannino's left shoulder.
for Denver, this one on Matt Carle's high-slot wrister as Geoff
Paukovich screened McElhinney 6:05 into the second period, gave
Denver a three-goal lead. CC answered that with its first goal
against Mannino in 172:22 minutes, as Brian Salcido fired one
along the ice that deflected in.
INCH's Three Stars
Peter Mannino, Denver
an evenly played game seem lopsided thanks to his 41 saves,
extending his personal shutout streak vs. CC to 172:22 in
Brett Skinner, Denver
He guided the Pioneer power play to a 6-for-12
effort, with assists on four of the goals. He's the first
player to record four assists in an NCAA semifinal since
Adam Oates in 1985.
Luke Fulghum, Denver
With a great move and a deflection to make it 2-0,
the Colorado Springs native outplayed the higher-profile
A scrap after
the goal sent Carle and CC's Sterling and Joey Crabb to the box,
and the Tigers couldn't capitalize on that momentum. Gabe Gauthier's
goal with 10 seconds left in the period restored Denver's three-goal
a second marker with a tap-in goal during a 5-on-3 power play
5:42 into the third period. James Brannigan tallied for CC with
6:58 left and Adrian Veideman rounded out the scoring with a snipe
under the crossbar in the game's final minute.
The lost early
opportunities doomed CC as the Tigers outshot Denver 43-29 on
the night. At even strength, Colorado College troubled Denver
with quick transition from the neutral zone to the attack and
pounced on Mannino's crease. Its penalty killing wasn't as effective.
Denver's power play clicked for six goals in 12 attempts, and
both of CC's goals also came on the power play, as Matt Shegos
whistled 24 minor penalties which resulted in 20 man-advantage
continues on Saturday night when the Pioneers will defend their
2004 national championship. Colorado College finished the season
with a 31-9-3 record, and just two wins in six games against the
University of Denver.
year, when we came into this game we were such huge underdogs
and we surprised some people because nobody really expected us
to be in the final game," Denver senior Jeff Drummond said.
"This season, people know all about us which has made us
take a little bit more of a business-like approach."
fun-loving bunch of Pioneer players that dominated in Boston is
gone. This year's club is more focused, more directed, but no
matter how they went about it, the Pioneers have taken care of