September 23, 2019

Denver sweeps Bears, Trotter sparks Pioneers

DENVER – Brock Trotter scored six seconds into the game Saturday night, giving Denver University the spark it needed to earn a 3-1 men’s hockey victory over the University of Maine at Magness Arena.

Coach Tim Whitehead’s Black Bears hung close throughout and put on a furious third-period charge during which they outshot the Pioneers 15-5 but could not get on the board.

Denver goaltender Peter Mannino made 15 of his 29 saves in the final period to help the hosts (2-0) complete the sweep of the season-opening series.

Maine, off to an 0-2 start for the first time since the 1985-86 season, hosts Mercyhurst for games Friday and Saturday nights at Alfond Arena in Orono.

Trotter gave the Pioneers an immediate spark, securing the puck after the opening faceoff and splitting a pair of Maine defenders before beating Bears goaltender Ben Bishop for an unassisted goal.

The goal was reviewed by game officials, but it was eventually upheld.

“I got a good jump off the draw and their D might not have seen me coming,” Trotter said. “I beat them to the puck, and next thing you know six seconds later we had a 1-0 lead. I made a quick move in the crease and got it by him.”

Bishop finished with 27 saves after making a career-high 46 stops in Friday’s 2-0 loss.

Bishop’s efforts included a stop on a breakaway by Tom May six minutes into the second period.

Senior defenseman Bret Tyler scored Maine’s first goal of the season during a 5-on-3 power play at the 3:49 mark of the first to even the score at 1-1. Defenseman Matt Duffy of Windham fed Tyler, who beat Mannino with a shot from the blue line.

However, Denver took a 2-1 edge into the first intermission after Tyler Ruegsegger set up freshman Jesse Martin for the first goal of his career at 13:34 of the opening period.

Pioneers freshman Anthony Maiani capped the scoring with his first career goal late in the second period.

The Bears, who were outshot 48-25 in Friday’s contest, matched the Pioneers with 30 saves in Saturday’s game. Maine went 1-for-7 on the power play and held Denver without a goal on five man-advantage opportunities.

“I think it’s very noticeable how hard out team competes,” said Denver coach George Gwozdecky. “It’s even more noticeable that when we do make blunders, you see how phenomenal Peter [Mannino] can be in making us look good.”

Billy Ryan was stoned by Mannino on a close-range power-play shot early in the third period.


Maine (0-2) 1 0 0 – 0

Denver (2-0) 2 1 0 – 3

First period – 1. Denver, Trotter 1 (unassisted), :06; 2. Maine, Tyler 1 (Duffy, Ryan), 3:49 (pp, 5-on-3); 3. Denver, Martin 1 (Ruegsegger, Mullen), 13:34; Penalties: Denver, Butler, boarding, 2:48; Denver, Thomas, interference, 3:13; Denver, Jackson, cross-checking, 7:10; Maine, Orsini, tripping, 9:35; Maine, Randall, hooking, 16:30

Second period – 4. Denver, Maiani 1 (unassisted), 18:37; Penalties: Maine, Belmore, elbowing, 2:26; Denver, Thomas, roughing, 4:59; Maine, House, interference, 6:19; Denver, Thomas, tripping, 11:58; Denver Butler, cross-checking, 16:11

Third period – No scoring; Penalties: Denver, Butler, roughing, 4:04; Maine, Danis-Pepin, holding stick, 12:52

Shots on goal: Maine 9-6-15-30; Denver 15-10-5-30

Goaltenders: Maine, Bishop (30 shots-27 saves); Denver, Mannino (30-29)

Power-play opportunities: Maine 1 of 7; Denver 0 of 5

Attendance: 6,048

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