February 26, 2011
Nebraska-Omaha moved within a point of first place with Friday's victory
MADISON, Wis. – First-year Western Collegiate Hockey Association men's member Nebraska Omaha continued to impress on Friday (Feb. 25) night, skating past defending MacNaughton Cup champion Denver 5-2 to move into sole possession of second place in the league race and reach the 20-victory plateau. The No. 12-ranked Mavericks (20-11-2, 16-7-2 WCHA) will host the No. 6 Pioneers (19-9-5, 15-7-3 WCHA) at Qwest Center Omaha again on Saturday at 7:07 pm CT in the second game of their two-game regular season series.
Elsewhere around the WCHA on Friday evening, Minnesota, Colorado College and St. Cloud State all successfully defended home ice, with the Golden Gophers defeating Michigan Tech 5-2 to move into fifth place, the Tigers upending Minnesota Duluth 5-4 to move into a share of sixth, and the Huskies downing Wisconsin 4-2 to stay in contention for a top six finish. On Saturday, No. 20 Minnesota (14-12-5, 11-10-4 WCHA) will host MTU (4-25-4, 2-21-2 WCHA) at 7:37 pm CT at Mariucci Arena, No. 19-ranked Colorado College (18-15-2, 12-12-1 WCHA) will entertain the No. 7 Bulldogs (19-8-5, 14-7-4 WCHA) at 7:07 pm MT at Colorado Springs World Arena, and St. Cloud State (13-15-5, 9-12-4 WCHA) will host the 13th-ranked Badgers (19-12-4, 11-11-3 WCHA) at 7:07 pm CT at the National Hockey Center.
Also today, league-leading and No. 1-ranked North Dakota (22-8-3, 17-6-1 WCHA) will open a Saturday-Sunday matinee series against Bemidji State (12-14-4, 8-12-4 WCHA), with both face-offs at 3:37 pm CT at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
To date, North Dakota, Nebraska Omaha, Denver and Minnesota Duluth have all earned home ice for the first round of WCHA playoffs.
In non-conference play Saturday, Alaska Anchorage (11-17-3) will look to rebound in Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup action against in-state rival Alaska Fairbanks (14-14-5) in a 7:07 pm AT puck-drop at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
Looking ahead to the final weekend of the 2010-11 regular season – Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 – all 12 teams will engage in conference play as Colorado College visits Wisconsin, Michigan Tech hosts North Dakota, Nebraska Omaha travels to Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State entertains Alaska Anchorage, Minnesota journeys to Bemidji State, and Denver hosts St. Cloud State.
This Week in the WCHA
Results of Friday, February 25: Michigan Tech 2 at Minnesota 5 (WCHA); *Alaska Anchorage 1 at Alaska Fairbanks 5 (NC); Wisconsin 2 at St. Cloud State 4 (WCHA); Denver 2 at Nebraska-Omaha 5 (WCHA); Minnesota Duluth 4 at Colorado College 5 (WCHA). *Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup
Games for Saturday, February 26: Bemidji State at North Dakota (WCHA), 3:37 pm CT; *Alaska Fairbanks at Alaska Anchorage (NC), 7:07 pm AT; Denver at Nebraska-Omaha (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota Duluth at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:07 pm MT; Wisconsin at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Michigan Tech at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT. *Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup
Games for Sunday, February 27: Bemidji State at North Dakota (WCHA), 3:37 pm CT.
Friday, February 25 Highlights
Denver 2 @ Nebraska Omaha 5 (WCHA): left winger Rich Purslow had two goals, including a shorthander, and one assist and the host Mavericks scored the final three goals en route to a 5-2 league win over the Pioneers before 8,948 at Qwest Center Omaha. Notching the winner for UNO at 7:56 of the third period was defenseman Andrej Sustr while right winger Matt White also had a shorthanded tally. For DU, left winger Jason Zucker had two assists while the Pioneers were 0-of-5 on the power-play. UNO leads the two-game regular season series, 1-0-0.
Michigan Tech 2 @ Minnesota 5 (WCHA): Center Nick Bjugstad scored a pair of goals and set up another and Kent Patterson stopped 28 shots on goal as the host Golden Gophers prevailed 5-2 over the Huskies in WCHA action before 9,672 at Mariucci Arena. One of Bjugstad's two scores came shorthanded while left winger Jacob Cepis netted the game-winner at 12:58 of the second period. MTU center Daniel Holmberg scored the game's first goal at 6:30 of period two. UM leads the regular season series, 3-0-0.
Wisconsin 2 @ St. Cloud State 4 (WCHA): Center Garrett Roe led the Huskies' offense with two goals, including the game-winner at 11:42 of the second period, and defenseman Nick Jensen drew three assists in a 4-2 conference victory over the Badgers before 5,982 at the National Hockey Center. After a scoreless first, SCSU erupted for three unanswered goals in the second to take a 3-0 lead. For the UW, defenseman Jake Gardiner contributed two assists. The Huskies lead the two-game regular season series, 1-0-0.
Minnesota Duluth 4 @ Colorado College 5 (WCHA): Five players had two points each for the host Tigers, including two scores from center Nick Dineen, in a 5-4 WCHA triumph over the Bulldogs before 7,163 at the Colorado Springs World Arena. Trailing 3-2 late in the second period, CC went on to score three answered goals with center David Civitarese knocking home the game-winner at 4:29 of the third. For UMD, left winger Mike Connolly led the way with a goal and two assists. Colorado College holds a 1-0-0 advantage in the two-game regular season series.
Alaska Anchorage 1 @ Alaska Fairbanks 5 (NC): Tied 1-1 in the third, the host Nanooks erupted for four straight goals, including the game-winner from left winger Colton Beck at 8:09, to down the visiting Seawolves 5-1 in Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup action before 4,039. Defenseman Brad Gorham scored the game-opening goal for UAA.