DENVER -- Denver left the Minnesota men stunned late Saturday night, handing the Gophers a 4-3 overtime defeat in WCHA hockey action. The Gophers had owned a decisive, two-goal lead at mid-game, before the Pioneers' Nick Shore tallied the game's final two goals to cap Denver's weekend sweep. That saddled Minnesota with its first Saturdaysetback in WCHA play this season. Now, the Gophers (30 points) lead their league by just one point over Minnesota Duluth.
"It hurts, obviously ... but we've got to regroup," said Gophers senior Joey Miller late Saturday. Minnesota sophomore forward Zach Budish handed the visitors a commanding, 2-0 lead late in the second period Saturday, courtesy of a power-play goal.Denver promptly worked its way back in it, though, and knotted the score at 2-all early in the third period, when Luke Salazar finished off a one-timer. The Gophers (15-7-0 WCHA)tallied a go-ahead goal with 9 minutes, 54 seconds remaining, when forward Nico Sacchetti lit the lamp from directly in front of the net. Alas, the Pioneers again answered in kind, as Nick Shore caught the visitors out of position on a power-play and knocked home a goal with 1:27 left in regulation, sending the game into an extra session tied at 3-all. Then, just 17 seconds into overtime, Shore again scored, tapping home a deflection in front of the net. The Gophers return to action next Friday at 7 p.m., at home against Bemidji State, in a game set to be televised on the FOX Sports North-Plus channel.