DENVER – The No. 2 Denver Pioneers had their second game of the battle for the Gold Pan on Saturday night against the Colorado College Tigers. Of course everyone was pumped up for this rivalry matchup, including the Tigers, who played one of their best games of the season. In the end, CC was no match for the 2nd best team in the country and fell to the Pioneers 3-1.
It was another one of those games for the Pios were they had a load of shots but weren’t burying the pucks at the same rate.
“A lot of different guys are getting a ton of chances,” head coach Jim Montgomery said after the game. “They’re not burying them, but they’re getting a lot. The freshmen line had a ton of chances tonight.”
Colorado College was able to get the scoring going early in this one with a goal by Westin Michaud just 5:32 into the period. It didn’t take long for the Pioneers to answer, 25 seconds to be exact, when Will Butcher found Dylan Gambrell who was able kick the puck to his stick and rip a shot into the top corner. From then on, the majority of the period was spent in CC’s zone with the Pioneers peppering CC goaltender Alex Leclerc.
“I thought in the first period that was the best we’ve played, all three lines, this year,” Montgomery said.
The Pios were finally able to take the lead off of a gorgeous tic-tac-toe passing play, Michael Davies to Colin Staub to Evan Janssen to twine. That goal would come with 47 seconds left in the period and the Pioneers would take the one goal lead into the locker room.
Denver started the second period killing two straight penalties and it felt like they were killing penalties for the entire period. They ended up getting called for seven penalties during the period, and killed each one successfully. DU was able to use the penalty kill to their advantage when Logan O’Connor put the Pios up 3-1 with a shorthanded goal right at the end of the second period.
“I thought we blocked shots well. Evan Cowley made some key stops, that’s what you need if your penalty kill is going to come up big.” Montgomery said.
Although both teams had their opportunities during the third period, no one was able to get past either team’s goaltenders and the game would finish at 3-1. That was DU’s tenth-straight victory against Colorado College and they extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games. Now the Pioneers will look ahead to the No. 1 ranked UMD Bulldogs who will be coming to Denver next weekend for a marquee No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.
First star: Logan O’Connor
Second star: Evan Janssen
Third star: Evan Cowley
BY THE NUMBERS:
Shots : 36-20
PPG/PPA : 1/6-0/6
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME:
Logan O’Connor’s goal with eight seconds left in the second period to go up 3-1.