The story: For the fourth time this season, UND found it nearly impossible to beat Denver rookie goaltender Filip Larsson, who finished with 32 saves. Larsson has stopped 140 of 143 shots (.979 save percentage) in his four games against UND this season and is 3-0-1.
UND hasn’t gotten to two goals against him in any game. Denver used a pair of goals from players who haven’t scored against anybody other than UND this season — Tyson McLellan and Griffin Mendel — to build a 2-0 lead. McLellan scored with a minute left in the first and Mendel scored midway through the third.
Three stars: 1. Filip Larsson, DU, 32-save shutout; 2. Tyson McLellan, DU, goal; 3. Griffin Mendel, DU, goal.
Did you notice? Denver played UND’s goal song, Chelsea Dagger, after the Pioneers’ second goal of the game.
Lineup notes: Grant Mismash was back in the lineup as the 19th skater. He was mixed in on shifts with various lines throughout the game. UND scratched Ludvig Hoff, Andrew Peski and Josh Rieger. Joel Janatuinen (undisclosed) missed his 18th-straight game, while starting goalie Adam Scheel (knee) missed his seventh in a row. Denver standout freshman Brett Stapley, a Montreal Canadiens pick, returned to the lineup after missing the last seven games with an upper-body injury. Denver healthy scratched freshman Tyler Ward.
Updated records: UND 18-16-2, Denver 20-10-5.
Up next: UND and Denver play Game 2 of their best-of-three series at 8:08 Central tonight in Magness Arena.
DENVER 2, UND 0
First period — 1. DU, Tyson McLellan 2 (Jarid Lukosevicius 10, Michael Davies 9) 19:00
Second period — No scoring
Third period — 2. DU, Griffin Mendel 1 (Jaakko Heikkinen 8) 11:44
Penalties — Griffin Mendel, DU, interference, 6:27 first; Brett Stapley, DU, slashing, 8:09 first; Grant Mismash, UND, elbowing indirect contact to the head, 2:32 second; Gabe Bast, UND,
Goalie saves — UND: Peter Thome 2-6-7 — 15; DU: Filip Larsson 11-13-8 — 32
Penalties-minutes — UND 2-4, DU 2-4
Power plays — UND 0-2, DU 0-2
Referees — Joe Sullivan and Cameron Voss