DENVER – The No. 3 ranked Denver Pioneers dominated the No. 18 UNO Mavericks, scoring five goals including three in the first period, en route to a 5-0 victory and a weekend sweep over the Mavs.
“The team is evolving and getting better,” head coach Jim Montgomery explained. “And hopefully after a week off, we can take this team to another level.”
The talk heading into the weekend was how Denver was going to stop UNO’s third-ranked power play in the nation. It was DU’s power play who made all the noise this weekend, scoring four goals including two tonight.
“I give [Will] Butcher the credit on the power play,” Montgomery said after the game. “He has taken ownership of that first power play. He takes them out before practice so they can work on things. You can see the rhythm on the power play is they know what they want to do and then if all else fails just get the puck to Borgström.”
The first period looked like the Mavericks had yet to make it from the dressing room. The Pioneers had ten shots on goal before the Mavs had one. The first goal came courtesy of the power play where Liam Finlay set-up on the half board, fed it down low to Evan Janssen and Janssen was able to find Colin Staub in front of the net to put the Pios up 1-0. Matt Marcinew was able to get the Pioneers on the board a second time when he picked up a rebound from Janssen. The third goal came courtesy of Logan O’Connor from a tight angle where he was able to squeeze it past the goaltender.
“That first period was the best period we’ve played all season,” Montgomery said.
The Pioneers kept their foot on the gas for the second period, they continued to dominate the game and scored two goals in the period. Matt VanVoorhis was able to get his first goal of the season off of a ripper from the point. Then it was the power play, yet again, who put the Pios up 5-0 on a goal that looked eerily similar to the first one, Finlay to Janssen to Staub to twine.
“That second unit [on the power play]is really building some chemistry,” Montgomery said. “And I credit the development of 13 [Finlay], 28 [Plant] and 21 [Davies].”
DU was able to take their foot off the gas in the third period, sitting down their first line for the majority of the period and they also sat back on the forecheck. That lead to no goals for the Pios but they were also able to stop the Mavs of getting anything past the net, granting Tanner Jaillet with a 17-save shutout.
“[Jaillet] didn’t have to do a lot, but we didn’t need him to. He’s just a rock back there.” Montgomery said.
First star: Colin Staub (Denver)
Second star: Liam Finlay (Denver)
Third star: Tanner Jaillet (Denver)
BY THE NUMBERS:
Shots : 43-22
PPG/PPA : 2/5-0/3
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME:
When the Pioneers took the ice.
The Pioneers will have a bye week next week, then have a home-and-home series with the Colorado College Tigers on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11.