Freshman forward Jason Zucker scores twice - including game-winner - for Pioneers

Freshman Jason Zucker scored twice for the Pioneers

ANCHORAGE - A pair of goals by senior Tommy Grant wasn't enough as the No. 9/10 Denver Pioneers downed Alaska Anchorage, 5-3 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Sullivan Arena on Friday evening.

Following a 2-0 run by the Pioneers (12-5-2, 9-3-1 WCHA) in the opening stanza, UAA (5-10-1, 4-8-1 WCHA) came back with three unanswered goals in the second and third frames before Denver would once again take the lead with three of its own in the final 10 minutes of play.

The Pioneers opened the scoring just 48 seconds in with a goal by Jason Zucker - his first of two - and added a short-handed tally with 53 seconds remaining for a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.

The Seawolves mustered up some will power in the locker room and dominated the second period with back-to-back goals by Grant (4:57) and freshman Matt Bailey (6:16), knotting the game at 2-2. UAA outshot the Pioneers 11-6 in the period.

Grant, who leads UAA in scoring, recorded his second goal of the night on the power play at 2:02 of the third period, giving UAA its first lead. The Seawolves held onto the one-goal advantage for eight minutes until DU struck at 10:06 and then followed it up with a power-play goal at 13:21.

Nine seconds after pulling netminder Rob Gunderson, the Pioneers added a empty-net goal for the 5-3 final.

Gunderson (4-7-1) picked up the loss for the Seawolves with 22 saves, while Adam Murray (2-1-0) made 24 saves for the win. The teams tied in shot attempted, with each team finding the net 27 times.

Infractions were quite low for both teams, as UAA was 3-for-6 and DU was 2-for-4. On the man advantage, the Seawolves were 1 for 2, while the Pioneers were 1 for 3.

The Seawolves and Pioneers will rematch on Saturday evening with a WCHA contest at 7:07 p.m. AST.