DENVER - No. 5 University of Denver opened its last WCHA season with a 5-1 win over Michigan Tech before 4,935 fans at Magness Arena on Friday night.
Junior goaltender Sam Brittain (Calgary, Alberta) made 27 saves, and the Pioneers (3-0-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) received goals from Dakota Mermis (Alton, Ill.), David Makowski (Wildwood, Mo.), Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo.), Joey LaLeggia (Burnaby, B.C.) and Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.).
"I don't recall a Michigan Tech team as fast and as tough to play against as the team we played tonight," head coach George Gwozdecky said. "They caught us out of position a lot in that first period. Sam (Brittain) really kept us in the game in that first period. We made some adjustments and I thought our positional play was a lot better after that."
Dakota Mermis put DU on the scoreboard with his first career goal at the 14:46 mark in the first period. Junior center Nick Shore and senior forward Chris Knowlton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) earned assists on the play.
Makowski fired a slap shot past Pheonix Copley (11 saves) at the 8:49 mark of the second period off a pass from senior forward Shawn Ostrow (Calgary, Alberta) for Denver's second goal.
Michigan Tech (1-2-0, 1-2-0 WCHA) cut into the lead at the 6:21 mark of the second period, when Justin Fillion scored a power-play goal from the blueline with assists going to Jujhar Khaira and Malcolm Gould.
Quentin Shore gave the Crimson and Gold a two-goal cushion, scoring on a breakaway at the 16:50 mark in the second period off assists from Matt Tabrum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Jarrod Mermis.
Just 14 seconds into the third period, defenseman LaLeggia scored on a wrister from the right circle. Makowski and freshman defenseman Nolan Zajac (Winnipeg, Manitoba) earned assists on the power-play goal.
Nick Shore iced the victory at the 4:28 mark in the third period, carrying the puck down the right side of the ice and riffling a wrist shot from the circle.
The Huskies outshot the Pioneers 28-22 in the contest, and DU went 1-for-4 and MT was 1-for-6 on a man advantage.
The Pioneers and Huskies face off again on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. MT at Magness Arena.
Denver hockey tickets can be purchased online at www.DenverPioneers.com, in person at the Ritchie Center North Box Office or by calling (303) 871-2336.
Notes: Dakota Mermis and Quentin Shore both scored their first career goals...three of Denver's goals came from blueliners...DU has scored five goals in each of its three games, just the second time since 1988 that the Pioneers have scored at least five times in three games to start a season (also 2008-09)...Denver is 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008-09...the win was Gwozdecky's 50th win against Michigan Tech, the most against any opponent.