DENVER – The No. 1 ranked Denver were dominant, yet again, in their 4-0 victory over the Colorado College Tigers in the first round of the NCHC tournament. They now advance to the Frozen Faceoff, where they will take on either North Dakota or Omaha in the NCHC semi-final.
“I’m happy [with where the team is],” head coach Jim Montgomery declared after the game. “The only thing that concerns me is that I don’t think we’ve had the toughest schedule here for the last month. We haven’t played against a team that’s going to push right back at us, hammer us in our own end and make us play defense when we’re tired. And we’re going to get that next weekend, that’s why I’m excited for next weekend.”
The Pioneers have now won 13 straight games. That was also their 14th straight victory over CC, making it the longest win streak over CC since 1970.
“Give our team credit, our players,” Montgomery said. “I thought we played with great effort and execution. CC came out with a push in the first five minutes, we weathered that and then slowly but surely we started to take the game over.”
Evan Cowley started between the pipes for the Pios tonight and he proved, once again, why he could be a starter on almost any other team in college hockey.
“It just shows the incredible depth,” Montgomery explained after the game. “I think that’s why we’re 28-6-4, is we’ve got depth at every position.”
Colorado College wanted to force the Pios into taken low percentage shots outside of the scoring areas. That plan worked perfectly during the first period; they didn’t let the Pioneers get good scoring opportunities and that led to a scoreless first period.
It took about 25 minutes of hockey until the Pioneers were able to break through. Tyson McLellan fired a puck on net where Logan O’Connor was able to redirect it into the back of the net. Around five minutes after, O’Connor was back at it again. He brought the puck through the middle of the ice, brought it to the backhand and fired a backhander past CC’s Alex Leclerc.
About a minute into the third period, Troy Terry was doing Troy Terry things. For the first one, he dangled past a CC defender and put it in his favorite spot, in between the pillows of the goaltender. Terry picked up his 2nd goal of the night on a short-side snipe to the top right corner of the net. That would it for the hockey game as CC’s season comes to a close and the Pios stay alive.
First star: Logan O’Connor (Denver)
Second star: Evan Cowley (Denver)
Third star: Troy Terry (Denver)
BY THE NUMBERS:
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME:
Logan O’Connor’s 2nd goal. It took any air that was left in the Tigers, right out.
The Pioneers will take a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to take on either the North Dakota Fighting Hawks or the UNO Mavericks in the NCHC semi-final. Games will be played on Friday and Saturday.