Penrose Cup Race Knotted after 2-0 Loss at St. Cloud State

Denver lost their two-game NCHC Regular Season lead in the standing after a weekend sweep by St. Cloud State. Following a Friday 7-3 defeat, the Pioneers were shutout 2-0 Saturday night. The teams are now tied atop the NCHC standings. It was a battle, according to head coach David Carle, “This was tightly contested. Not much open ice. It was a challenge all weekend long. We got better this weekend. We’ll be better for it.”

The first period was tight, ending 0-0. Denver (19-7-0, 10-4-0) could only muster three shots-on-goal to St. Cloud State’s five. The Huskies (18-6-0, 10-4-0) dominated at the dot, winning 10 of 14 faceoffs in the first period.

The second period tilted in the Huskies’ favor with two goals. Jack Rogers broke the ice with the game-winner at 7:32 for St. Cloud on an even-up goal. Three minutes later, Zach Okabe got a powerplay tally for the Huskies at 10:26 with assists by Jami Krannila and Jack Pearl.  The period ended with 11 shots-on-goal by St. Cloud to 7 SOG for Denver. Denver’s best chance to score came on an early whistle goal which was disallowed.

Denver came out much more aggressively in the first ten minutes of the third period but could not solve Jaxon Castor. Denver tried a number of line combinations but to no avail. The St. Cloud defense was stout the final ten minutes and the game ended, 2-0, St. Cloud State. The Huskies won six more faceoffs than DU and went 1-for-2 on the powerplay. Denver went 0-for-1 with the man advantage.

Despite the sweep, David Carle saw the bright side in the weekend sweep on the road, “We got pushed. Our team needed to be in this type of dog fight. We need to be reminded. On to Ball Arena (against Colorado College next Friday) and a good week of practice. We will have a good week of practice.”

3 thoughts on “Penrose Cup Race Knotted after 2-0 Loss at St. Cloud State”

  1. The only way DU “got better” this weekend was seeing first hand what kind of serious effort it will take to overtake St. Cloud in the Penrose race down the stretch.

    St. Cloud was better than Denver this weekend in both games and fully deserving of the sweep. Denver had a better showing on Saturday than the seven-goals-allowed shitshow on Friday night to be sure. But coming out with a better puck possession effort on Saturday, DU still could only manage 19 shots on goal on Saturday, and they did not really make Castor work very hard in the SCSU net to get his shutout. Some of that is the big Olympic-sized ice at SCSU, but only scoring 3 goals on the weekend is just not good enough in any rink.

    The Huskies executed. They scored more five-on-five goals, scored more power-play goals, blocked more shots, and did more of the little things that win series.

    The Pios have a lot of work to do. Giving up 4 PPGs this weekend was a step backwards. Defense wasn’t up to standard on Friday. Goaltending was below the level it needs to be at this time of year. DU needed its first line to score this weekend and it did not.

    Hopefully, DU will be frothing to play CC before a good crowd at Ball Arena. I took a look at the Ticketmaster ticket sales on the Ball Arena seating chart, and it look like about 14-15 K seats are sold, with mostly corner seats remaining, and most of those remaining are in the upper bowl. Capacity is 18,000.

  2. Once again, the better team won last night. I’m concerned that this bunch of young men may not be up to the task of winning another natty. It didn’t look like a lack of effort, more like a lack of skill.

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