DENVER – Senior goaltender Magnus Chrona made a season-high 37 saves on Friday night, but the No. 1 Denver Pioneers hockey team fell 3-0 to the Omaha Mavericks in the series opener at Magness Arena.
DU and UNO wrap up their weekend set on Saturday at 6 p.m. MT, and the Pioneers will honor the late Peter McNab pregame ceremony. McNab played at Denver from 1970-1973 and helped the school to national semifinal appearances in each of his three seasons.
Friday’s loss ended DU’s three-game winning streak and dropped its record to 9-4-0 overall and 5-2-0 in NCHC play.
Omaha (6-5-2, 2-2-1 NCHC) was led by netminder Jake Kucharski, who stopped 22 shots for his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career.
All of the Mavericks’ three markers came in the first seven minutes of the second period, breaking open a 0-0 game at the first intermission. Cameron Berg tallied just 12 second into the stanza and Matt Miller scored twice in a matter of 1:29 at 4:45 and 6:23 of the frame. Miller’s second marker came on the power play, the team’s only man advantage of the game.
Chrona’s 37 saves were his most since he made a career-high 39 stops on Jan. 4, 2020 against Massachusetts. He posted double-digit saves each period, including stopping a season-high 16 shots in the opening stanza.
Denver went scoreless on its only power play, which occurred on an Omaha holding penalty just 2:10 into the contest.
In addition to the series finale, Saturday’s game will also serve as the final meeting of the regular season between the conference foes, as Omaha is the only NCHC team Denver won’t travel to in 2022-23.
- Denver suffered its first regulation loss of the season at home and first since Oct. 15 at Massachusetts.
- DU is now 36-13-5 overall and 21-4-2 at home in the all-time series vs. Omaha. The Pioneers are 6-4-0 in last 10 meetings vs. the Mavs.
- Aidan Thompson (2g/1a) and Carter King (1g/2a) had their career-high point streaks end at three games.
0:12 UNO (0-1) – Cameron Berg scored on his own rebound after Omaha won the faceoff to begin the period.
4:54 UNO (0-2) – Matt Miller knocked in a loose puck in the slot after the initial shot was blocked in front.
6:23 UNO (0-3) – PPG, Matt Miller tallied on a rebound in front for his second marker of the game.
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