DENVER (10/1/10) - Two rookies scored and goaltender Kevin Litinsky earned a shutout as the Colorado Buffaloes hockey team defeated the Denver Pioneers 2-0 on Friday night in their season opener at Magness Arena.
Junior Alex Lencioni scored in the first period for CU (1-0) while freshman Scott Seale scored on the power play with 38 second left in the third. Mark Viau, Bill Haege and Andy Neitenbach picked up assists for the Buffs.
Litinsky, a 2009-10 All-American, was once again solid in net even though he only faced 18 shots in the contest. The senior goalie led the ACHA with five shutouts last season.
Denver (0-1) had a hard time keeping the puck in the Colorado zone in the first two periods as they could only muster seven shots on Litinsky in the first 40 minutes.
While Litinsky had a fairly quiet night, the same could not be said for Pioneer goaltender Dean Klemenz who made 62 saves and played on his head the entire game, making tough save after tough save.
"Dean's a good goaltender, he held them in the game," said CU head coach Ken Fikis. "We couldn't get to him early. Sometimes you get to the goalie early and get a few goals and then he has problems the rest of the night. He played great right from the start. We got the second one late and that is what we needed."
Colorado began their scoring at 5:25 in the first stanza on a two-on-one breakaway where Lencioni received a cross ice pass from Viau and chipped it past Klemenz to give the Buffs the early lead.
The game stayed 1-0 until there was 38 seconds left in the third period when CU struck again, this time on the power play with a goal from Seale. With the puck behind the DU net, Haege fed it to Seale at the top of the crease who then fired it into the back of the cage to give the Buffs some late insurance.
CU went 1-of-6 on the power play in the game while DU went 0-of-4.
The Buffs and the Pioneers will face each other one more time this season on Oct. 15 at the CU Ice Arena in Boulder.
5:25 CU Alex Lencioni, assist by Mark Viau
19:22 CU Scott Seale, assists by Bill Haege and Andy Neitenbach
CU - 64
DU - 18
Three Stars of the Game
(As chosen by CU Broadcasting)
1. DU Dean Klemenz - 62 saves
2. CU Kevin Litinsky - 18 saves
3. CU Alex Lencioni - Game winning goal (First career ACHA D-II goal)