DENVER - The No. 2 ranked Denver Pioneers dominated their cross-town rivals the Colorado College tigers 4-1 on Saturday night to complete the season sweep. That is the Pioneers 12th straight victory over their rivals as they went 4-0 this season.
That was the Pioneers 20th win of the season, making it 16 straight seasons that DU has hit that mark which is the longest streak in college hockey. They also were able to move atop the NCHC standings with that victory.
“It’s exciting because every time you have an opportunity to win a [regular season] championship.” Head coach Jim Montgomery said after the game. “It helps with winning the ultimate championship in the end because you learn how to win games and learn how to manage games most importantly.”
The Pioneers got the scoring going on the power play, Michael Davis fired a shot from the left circle that was able to get past CC’s Alex Leclerc. Tyson McLellan picked up some loose garbage in front of the net to put Denver up 2-0 in the first period. Freshman Liam Finlay registered himself two assists in the period and continues to have an impressive second half of the season.
“Everything that we’ve seen in the last few games is what we brought [Finlay] here to do,” Montgomery said about his blossoming freshman. “He puts people on their heels because of how quick he is going east-to-west. He’s playing with a lot of confidence.”
Dylan Gambrell made a beautiful pass to Evan Janssen to get the scoring going in the second period about six minutes into the frame. The Tigers pulled one goal closer when Mason Bergh picked one up on the power play. That didn’t slow down the Pios much as they continued to put pressure on Colorado College but it wasn’t until under a minute left in the second when Henrik Borgström took the puck coast-to-coast and put the Pioneers up 4-1.
“He’s a game-breaker,” Montgomery said about the star freshman Borgström, “He’s the type of guy that in a National Championship game can get the puck and go through three people and win the game.”
DU kept the Tigers in their cage for the third period. The Pioneers were able to pick up a goal through a tic-tac-toe play, Evan Ritt to Emil Romig to Colin Staub who extended the lead to 5-1 in the hockey game. The Pioneers continued to pepper CC’s Leclerc, totaling 43 shots in the hockey game, but Leclerc shut the door down for the rest of the game, finishing with 38 saves.
First star: Liam Finlay (Denver) Second star: Evan Janssen (Denver) Third star: Michael Davies (Denver)
BY THE NUMBERS:
Denver-Colorado College Shots : 43-23 PPG/PPA : 1/4-1/6 Faceoffs: 31-25
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME:
Tyson McLellan's goal in the first period.
The Pioneers will travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on the Miami Redhawks next weekend in a two game series.