Senior defenseman Aaron MacKenzie scored with two seconds remaining to give the Denver Pioneers a 2-1 win over the North Dakota Fighting Sioux on Saturday at Magness Arena in WCHA play. The dramatic victory moves Denver into a sixth-place tie with St. Cloud State in the WCHA, while North Dakota falls to fourth place in the league.
The win snaps a three-game winless streak for the Pioneers and improves their record to 18-9-5 overall and 9-8-5 in the WCHA. North Dakota, who skated to a 3-3 tie with the Pioneers on Friday, have a 22-6-4 overall record and 12-6-4 in the WCHA.
MacKenzie scored with a slap shot from the blue line, beating goaltender Marc Ranfranz on the glove side.
“Finally, we got something good to happen to this team,” Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky said. “We got a good break, which only complements Wade Dubielwicz’s play. He maintained an aggressive posture throughout the game and you could see North Dakota was running out of gas.”
Senior goaltender Wade Dubielewicz made several key stops within the last two minutes of regulation to keep the game tied 1-1. Dubielewicz finished with 32 saves and is the Pioneers all-time leader in goals against average and save percentage.
Junior Connor James pushed his point-scoring streak to seven games with a power-play goal midway through the first period, giving the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.
James scored with a rising shot from the face-off circle after taking a pass from Kevin Doell.
After the Fighting Sioux tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal from David Lundbohm just over three minutes into the second period, Dubielewicz came back with two saves minutes later while the Pioneers were on the power play.