The No. 1 ranked Denver Pioneers got their road to the Frozen Four started on Saturday against the Michigan Tech Huskies. The Pios jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and never looked back from there, wrapping up a 5-2 first round victory.
It was deja vu all over again for DU hockey fans as most will remember the first round thrashing of BU from a year ago. In that game, the Pios jumped out to a 6-0 lead and ended up winning 7-2.
"It's a group that been there," head coach Jim Montgomery said about his team after the game. "They're full of experience. They know you can't sit and wait and that they've got to be the aggressors."
The No. 1 overall seed played the first period as if they had something to prove. They were awarded a few early power plays and were able to capitalize on two of them. Both power play goals came courtesy of Colin Staub but the entire second power play unit was unstoppable in the first period.
The Pios made it a three-goal lead when Tech’s goaltender Angus Redmond turned the puck over behind the net and Emil Romig was able to take advantage. Will Butcher made it 4-0 off of a rip from the point that was deflected in by a Husky. The Pios finished with 17 shots in the first period.
About six minutes into the second period, Tyson McLellan made it 5-0 after picking up some loose trash in front of the net. That’s where the DU train seemed to come to a halt. The Pios didn’t look like the same team for the rest of the period and Michigan Tech was able to capitalize. They scored two unanswered goals to finish the period, one on the power play courtesy of Gavin Goud. The second one was scored by Jake Lucchini with about five seconds left in the period.
The third period didn’t consist of any scoring but Michigan Tech was able to put the Pios on their heels multiple times. The excellent group of defensemenDU has were rock solid all game long and were able to limit the Huskies of grade A scoring chances. They limited Michigan Tech to five shots in the third period and 18 shots for the entire game. Jarid Lukosevicius had six of the Pioneers’ 34 shots.
First star: Colin Staub (Denver) Second star: Liam Finlay (Denver) Third star: Will Butcher (Denver)