- Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2014

DENVER (AP) - Backup goalie Clarke Saunders made 29 saves as North Dakota extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 4-2 win over Denver on Friday.

Drake Caggiula and Dillon Simpson had power-play goals and Rocco Grimaldi scored short-handed for UND, which improved to 9-0-1 in its last 10 games.

With the win, UND (13-7-3, 8-5-0) moved into first place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

“We came out and played hard,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “Everybody contributed a little in different ways.”

Saunders had watched from the bench while Zane Gothberg backstopped the previous games, but he was back on the ice for the first time since Nov. 29. Gothberg was injured in practice earlier in the week.

Saunders made 29 saves, including 13 in the first period to help North Dakota to a 2-0 lead.

“He had some big saves in that first period,” Hakstol said. “It wasn’t like we shielded him and sheltered him. He did a real good job. He worked his way into game action real quickly.”

Michael Parks had a goal and an assist and Brendan O’Donnell assisted on two goals for UND.

Parks opened the scoring and Caggiula doubled it on the power play. O’Donnell assisted on both North Dakota goals in the first period.

Caggiula one-timed an O’Donnell pass through the crease past Sam Brittain at 14:29.

Denver closed the gap to 2-1 with a Ty Loney power-play goal midway through the second period. Loney, who was run into the boards and injured by Gage Ausmus resulting in a five-minute power play, came back to score the goal.

Dillon Simpson answered less than two minutes later for UND, scoring on the power play when he slipped a centering pass under Brittain, who was slow to react to the rush.

Denver came in with the best penalty kill in the NCHC and Brittain brought a 1.95 goals against average into the game. Brittain left with less than five minutes left after making 219 saves. Greg Ogard finished up, making one save.

Ty Loney and Trevor Moore got power-play goals for the Pioneers (12-8-5, 6-5-2).

Moore made it 4-2 late in the third period, but not before Saunders made four saves out of a scrum in front of the net. Moore slipped a wraparound past Saunders.

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