Minnesota State Mankato is idle this weekend and the Mavericks really needed a week off more than anybody else.
They got swept at Denver last weekend, losing the second game 10-2 to fall to 1-5-0 overall, 0-2-0 in the WCHA. It's hard to play well when everybody is hurt.
Here is the list of Mavericks who were out Saturday
Chase Grant, soph. foward ... lower body injury, suffered Friday against DU
J.P. Burkemper, soph. forward ... upper body
Michael Dorr, senior forward ... upper body
Tyler Elbrecht, junior defenseman ... broken left arm in first game of season, expected out 6-8 weeks
Max Gaede, freshman forward ... upper body
Eriah Hayes, junior forward ... concussion
Danny Heath, soph. defenseman ... upper body
Freshman defenseman Brett Stern suffered an upper body injury in the first period Saturday and did not return. With Grant and Stern being out, MSU Mankato was down to 18 players for Saturday. ... Dorr and Hayes were first-line players, Elbrecht the Mavericks' top defenseman.
So five forwards and three defenseman were out. Wow.
Third-rated Denver scored five unanswered second-period goals.
DU took a 2-0 first-period lead with a pair of goals in the first five minutes old. Sophomore forward Jason Zucker, a Wild prospect, tucked in a rebound at 44 seconds and freshman defenseman Joey LaLeggia one-timed a pass from Beau Bennett past MSU senior netminder Austin Lee at 4:36.
The Pioneers erupted for five goals in the middle period. Daniel Doremus, Zucker, Scott Mayfield, Shawn Ostrow and Jarrod Mermis scored. LaLeggia got his second goal of the game early in the third period to make it 8-0 DU. But MSU responded with a pair of power-play goals. Jean-Paul Lafontaine scored his team-leading third goal of the year at 5:19, then freshman blueliner Zach Palmquist got his second goal at 6:40. The goals were the first power-play goals of the year for MSU.
DU tallied a pair of power play goals by David Makowski and Ostrow to complete the scoring. The Pioneers converted on three-of-seven power-play chances and owned a 39-37 advantage in shots on goal. The Mavericks were two-of-10 with the man advantage.
Goaltender Juho Olkinuora of Helsinki, Finland made his collegiate debut for DU, playing the final 9:14. This is the first time since an 11-1 rout of Air Force on Dec. 27, 1995 that the Pioneers have scored 10 or more goals.
The last time MSU gave up 10 goals in a game before Saturday's rout was Feb. 21, 2004 in a 10-1 loss at the University of North Dakota.
Denver 4, Minnesota State 2
In Friday's game at Magness Arena, the Mavericks scored first at 15:23 of the opening period on freshman forward Jean-Paul Lafontaine's rebound goal.
But senior wing Luke Salazar scored twice in the second period to put DU ahead 2-1.
MSU sophomore Zach Lehrke tipped in a pass from Adam Mueller at 1:17 of the third to tie the game at 2-2, but Drew Shore’s power-play goal at 6:18 emabled the Pioneers to regain the lead. It also ended DU's zero-for-22 streak on the man advantage. Nick Shore added an empty-net goal at 19:18 for DU.
The victory for Pioneers George Gwozdecky was his 400th at Denver.
DU outshot the Mavs 38-25, but this was a competitive game. The Mavericks went zero-for-five with the man advantage and ended the game zero-for-22 in power play chances. The streak ended on Saturday with two pp goals. Until then it had grown to zero-for-26 to start the season.
* The Gophers play MSU Mankato in one series this season. at Mariuccia Arena on Dec. 2-3. ... Coach Don Lucia of the Gophers said Monday on his weekly radio show on 1500ESPN that his team had no injuries.