- Associated Press - Sunday, January 26, 2014

DENVER (AP) - Denver goalie Sam Brittain made 18 of his 43 saves in the third period and Zac Larraza scored twice as the Pioneers snapped North Dakota’s 10-game unbeaten streak with a 3-0 win Saturday.

It was UND’s first loss since Nov. 29. Goalie Clarke Saunders was in nets for that game and played for the first time since that game in Friday’s 4-2 victory.

Saunders was pressed into service due to an injury to Zane Gothberg, who had worked the first nine games of the streak. He gave up one goal in the second and another in the third. Larazza’s second goal was an empty-netter.

With the win, Denver (13-8-5, 6-5-2) moved into a first-place tie with UND (13-8-3, 8-6-0) in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Brittain picked up his fourth shutout this season. UND had not been shut out since a 1-0 loss to Bemidji State on Nov. 20, 2011.

Brittain made 14 saves in the scoreless first period.

“He’s big in net,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “He’s a good first-save goaltender and we couldn’t bury any rebounds. You walk away after throwing 43 pucks on net with nothing to show for it, credit their goaltender, credit their defense.”

Denver’s Emil Romig, centering the Pioneers’ third line, broke the scoreless tie early in the second period when he floated a wrister past Saunders at 1:42. Evan Janssen and Will Butcher assisted.

It was the only goal that Brittain needed as he turned away 11 shots in the second period.

UND was scoreless on six power plays after scoring two goals with a man advantage and one time short-handed on Friday.

“We had a lot of opportunities to have momentum swings,” Hakstol said. “I thought we had probably four or five Grade A opportunities that we didn’t make them make a stop.”

The Pioneers finally scored on their sixth of seven power plays when Larraza tipped the puck in after Saunders made initial stop at 1:07 of the third period.

North Dakota has a week off.

“It stinks to chew on this for an extra week,” Hakstol said. “But turn back and take a look at what we’ve been able to accomplish. We’ve put ourselves in a position where we control everything in terms of our own destiny.”

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