Kevin Spiewak scored two third-period goals to help North Dakota tie Denver, 3-3, in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action tonight before 5,312 fans at Magness Arena. With the tie, North Dakota remains in third place in the WCHA with a 12-5-4 record (22-5-4 overall). Denver stays in seventh place in the WCHA at 8-8-5 (17-9-5 overall).
“North Dakota pursued the puck harder, faster than we did in the end,” Denver head coach George Gwozdecky said. “Even though it’s a tie, it feels like a loss. Our guys left here angry, and I think that will motivate them for tomorrow.”
Denver dominated play for the first 47 minutes of action and held a 3-1 until Spiewak scored the first of his two third-period goals at 7:31. Spiewak broke free and was able to unload a backhanded shot, which beat Denver junior goaltender Adam Berkhoel.
Spiewak then delivered a huge goal for North Dakota at 18:01 to tie the game at 3-3. Spiewak whacked at a loose puck off a face-off won by teammate David Lundbohm, and found the net for his 13th goal of the season. Lundbohm finished with one goal and two assists and North Dakota goaltender Jake Brandt (27 saves) survived a shaky game in goal for North Dakota.
Senior Kevin Doell scored two power-play goals to lead Denver, who is now winless in its last three games. Berkhoel (10-4-3) turned in a solid performance in net for Denver with 28 saves.
“Adam’s always been a really competitive person,” Gwozdecky said. “He did a great job for us tonight. We have to be able to finish around the net, especially in the second period when we had them on their heels.”
Denver and North Dakota will play game two of the WCHA series tomorrow night at Magness Arena.