Denver escapes NCHC Frozen Faceoff with trophy

Denver defeats Western Michigan 3-1 in the third place game of the 2017 NCHC Frozen Faceoff on March 18, 2017 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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The Denver Pioneers team gathers around goalie Tanner Jaillet (36) at the NCHC Frozen Faceoff (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)

The Denver Pioneers get back in the win column with an NCHC Frozen Faceoff consolation game victory after the University of North Dakota snapped a Pioneer 13 game winning streak on Friday.

The outcome is not likely to greatly change the rankings of the Pioneers atop the Pairwise and RPI rankings.

The story of the relatively newly created NCHC – National Collegiate Hockey Conference, formed when the Big Ten Conference took Minnesota and Wisconsin from the WCHA, prompting one of the biggest conference realignments in decades.  The 2013-14 season was the first for the NCHC and just four short seasons later, the NCHC boasts three of the top five teams in the country.

Stay tuned, with the hockey heavyweights clustered in the NCHC, it is likely that no matter the outcome of the tournament, all four would get bids to the College Hockey Championship but that is not a sure thing.  Stay tuned.