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Pioneers rally past Beavers for 3-1 victory

Bemidji State's Sam Rendle carries the puck ahead of Denver's Beau Bennett during the first period Friday night at Denver. Rendle put BSU?ahead 1-0 early in the game. Pioneer Photos/Eric Stromgren

DENVER - Matt Donovan, Jason Zucker and Luke Salazar scored in each period to lead Denver to a 3-1 win over Bemidji State Friday night at Magness Arena.

The Beavers took an early lead on the No. 13 Pioneers in the first period on Sam Rendle's goal, Bemidji State's only goal of the game. Zucker's second-period goal stood as the game-winner.

"I thought it was a pretty good game, a good game played between the blue lines," Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. "There wasn't a lot of sustained pressure between both teams. It could have went either way." BSU goalie Mathieu Dugas finished with 27 saves in the game and DU goalie Sam Brittain finished with 14 saves.

The loss dropped Bemidji State to 2-6-1 overall and 2-6-1 in the WCHA. Denver improved to 7-4-1 overall and 6-2-1 WCHA.

Bemidji State and Denver wrap up the weekend series tonight at 8:07 Central Standard time.

"When you lose it's never good," Bemidji State senior Ian Lowe said. "We're playing good but we need a little more desperation. I think we've just got to want it more, that's what it comes down to. A loss is a loss. We've just got to play a little bit better and play with more desperation.

Bemidji struck first on Rendle's second goal of the season at 7:54 of the first period. Jamie MacQueen's shot rang off the crossbar, came out between the circles and Rendle put back the rebound.

Denver answered with 3:31 left in the period on Donovan's goal and the two teams went into intermission tied 1-1.

Following a television timeout late in the second period, Zucker tipped Donovan's low slap shot from the blue line to beat Dugas with 2:55 and give the Pioneers a 2-1 lead it would take into the third period.

Bemidji State fought to get back into the game in the third period, but three consecutive penalties made it difficult for the Beavers. BSU was outshot 12-5 in the third period.

BSU had an opportunity to force overtime late in the game when Jordan George drew a holding penalty on DU's John Ryder behind the Pioneer net with 3:24 remaining.

BSU managed two shots on the power play and Salazar sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 26 seconds remaining.

"The guys played very good, I'm really proud of our effort," Serratore said. "We minimized the scoring chances and when we didn't Mathieu made some great saves...We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end there and we just couldn't convert but our effort was outstanding."

BSU 1 0 0 - 1

DU 1 1 1 -3

First period - 1. BSU, Rendle 2 (MacQueen, Cramer), 7:54. 2. DU, Donovan 4 (Makowski, Maiani), 16:29.

Second period- 3. DU, Zucker 8 (Donovan, D. Shore), 17:05.

Third period- 4. DU, Salazar 8 (Zucker, D. Shore), 19:34, en.

Shots on goal- BSU, 4-6-5-15. DU, 7-10-12-29.

Goalies- BSU, Dugas (29-27). DU, Brittain (15-14) Power Plays- BSU, 0-for-2. DU, 0-for-5