DENVER - The No. 12/11 University of Denver ice hockey team scored three goals in the first period and never looked back as it posted a convincing 6-1 win over Alaska Anchorage on Sunday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both teams at Magness Arena.
The Pioneers will open the postseason at Magness Arena on Friday, March 15 vs. Colorado College at 7:37 p.m. (ET) in game one of the best-of-three WCHA First Round Playoff Series. The two teams also will square off on Saturday, March 16 at Magness in a 7:07 p.m. (MT) start. If necessary, game three will be played Sunday at 7:07 p.m. (MT). Tickets for all three games are available online at DenverPioneers.com/tickets
Sunday's win improves Denver's record to 19-11-5 overall and 14-9-5 in the conference loop. Alaska Anchorage falls to 4-23-7 overall and 2-20-6 in WCHA action. The Pioneers have only been defeated once over their last 10 games on the Magness Arena ice. Denver out-scored Anchorage 13-2 over the two-game set.
Denver enters the 2013 WCHA Tournament as the No. 5 overall seed. The winners of next weekend's opening round playoff series will advance to the WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on March 21-23.
Sophomore Scott Mayfield (St. Louis, Mo.) ripped a rising slap shot from right on the blue line to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead 7:03 into the contest. The goal marked Mayfield's fourth this season and his second in the last three games.
Denver (19-11-5, 14-9-5) stretched the margin to 2-0 at 12:03 of the first period when Zac Larraza (Scottsdale, Ariz.) redirected a blast by teammate Paul Phillips (Darien, Ill.) into the Anchorage net for his third goal in the last two games and his 11th on the season.
The Pioneers added a power play goal with just 1:16 left in the opening frame as freshman Nolan Zajac (Winnipeg, Manitoba) put away a slap shot the right circle following a feed from teammate Joey LaLeggia (Burnaby, B.C.). The tally marked Zajac's sixth this season.
Senior Shawn Ostrow (Calgary, Alberta) registered his 13th tally of the season 5:24 into the second period to increase the margin to 4-0.
Phillips set up Ostrow for his second goal of the period less than 10 minutes later. Phillips wrapped a pass around from the back of the net and found Ostrow's stick just outside the crease for a one-timer than made the score 5-0 at 14:15 of the second. The goal marked Ostrow's team-leading 14th on the season.
Junior David Makowski (Wildwood, Mo.) buried a slap shot from the slot for his eight of the season at 11:02 of the third period to account for the final 6-0 margin.
Anchorage avoided the shutout when Tyler Currier scored with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.
Junior goalie Sam Brittain (Calgary, Alberta) turned away 27 shots en route to the victory. Chris Kamal made 28 saves in defeat for Anchorage.
Denver outshot Anchorage 34-28 for the game. The Pioneers won 33-of-57 faceoff chances. Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.) led the Pioneers on the draws, capturing 14-of-22.
Denver will open the postseason on Friday night at Magness Arena vs. Colorado College in game one of the best-of-three WCHA first round playoff series. Friday's game will see a 7:37 p.m. (MT) puck drop and will be available on PioneerVision as well as on Denver's 102.3 FM ESPN Radio.