Freshman forward Nic Kerdiles scores game-winner for Badgers

Derek Lee scored a goal for the Badgers

DENVER - The No. 5/5 University of Denver men's ice hockey team dropped a 3-1 decision to the University of Wisconsin on Saturday night before a crowd of 5,702 at Magness Arena.

The Pioneers lost despite out-shooting the Badgers 36-25 overall for the game, including 23-11 over the final two periods.

"I thought that we played real hard, and gave ourselves a chance to win, especially in the second and third periods," said head coach George Gwozdecky. "It was a really bad start, with two critical bad turnovers in our own zone. I was very pleased with the effort that we showed in the second and third periods, the execution was just missing at times. In the third period especially, we did everything score."

The loss drops No. 5/5 Denver's record to 9-4-1 overall and 7-2-1 in WCHA action, while the Badgers improve to 2-7-3 on the year and 2-5-3 in league play.

Wisconsin (2-7-3, 2-5-3 WCHA) took the game's first lead at the 5:01 mark of the opening period when Derek Lee put away a blast from just between the faceoff circles to give the Badgers a 1-0 advantage.

The Badgers increased the margin to 2-0 at 12:38 of the first when Nic Kerdiles scored an unassisted goal off a Pioneer turnover in the Denver zone.

Sophomore Daniel Doremus (Aspen, Colo.) trimmed the lead to 2-1 at 12:25 of the second period when he scored his seventh goal of the season during a power play on a scrum in front of the Wisconsin net. The Pioneer offense was the more aggressive side over the second twenty minutes as it posted 10 shots while limiting the Badgers to five.

The two teams battled to a scoreless third period until the Pioneers pulled their goalie with under a minute remaining and Wisconsin responded with an empty-net goal by John Ramage to account for the final margin.

Denver netminder Sam Brittain (Calgary, Alberta) made 22 saves in the loss, while Wisconsin goalie Landon Peterson turned away 35 shot attempts.

The Pioneers finished 1-of-5 on power play opportunities, while holding the Badgers to a 0-for-3 showing.

Denver won the faceoff battle 36-24, led by Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.), who captured 13-of-17 draws.

Denver will return to the road next weekend as it travels to South Fork, N.D., for a two-game series against No. 7/8 North Dakota. The Pioneers will open action on Friday night in a 6:37 p.m. (MT) start in a game that will be televised on Fox College Sports and aired on 102.3 FM ESPN.