DENVER – The Denver Pioneers came out of the gates pumped up after watching their National Championship banner go up in the rafters during pre-game ceremonies. They were hard to stop, hard to even get the puck from.
They racked up 17 shots in the first period but couldn’t get any of them to go in the back of the net. Late in the period, the visiting Lake Super State Lakers scored on the power play to put themselves up 1-0 after the first.
The second period was more of the same for the Pios. They continued to pepper Lakers goaltender Nick Kossoff, but had a tough time getting it passed him. The Lakers went up 2-0 as a result of an ill-advised turnover in DU’s zone. Max Humitz was credited with the goal with an assist from Brayden Geslinger.
Henrik Borgström was the man that finally was able to get it past the Kossoff wall. Colin Staub slid the puck over to Borgström on the backdoor where all Borgström had to do was put it home. The Pios had a grand total of 36 shots through two periods but only one of them found the back of the net.
The Pios continued to put pressure on the Lakers but it wasn’t until the eight minute mark of third period when they made it past Kossoff for a second time. Dylan Gambrell made a gorgeous move to his backhand on a breakaway to tie the hockey game.
That’s when things got interesting. The Lakers answered within minutes after some sloppy defense from the Pioneers that ended in a turnover and a goal for the other team.
But the Pios weren’t ready to say die. They fought back and with three minutes left in the 3rd period, they tied it up again. Jarid Lukosevicius danced behind the net and found Liam Finlay in front of the net who was able to put it home and put the Pios right back in it.
No one was able to be the hero and that brought overtime. Overtime was a battle of who wanted it more. It was back and forth until the Pioneers went on the power play with about a minute left in the extra frame.
They had a few great scoring opportunities but like the rest of the game, they just couldn’t get much past Kossoff. The game was recorded officially as a tie but after five minutes of overtime, the boys wanted to play a little bit more.
On the 70th shot for the Pioneers in the game, Lukosevicius put it in the back of the net off of a great feed from Staub.
First star: Nick Kossoff (LSSU)
Second star: Jarid Lukosevicius (DU)
Third star: Henrik Borgström (DU)
BY THE NUMBERS:
Denver-Lake Superior State
Shots : 70-17
PPG/PPA : 0/4-1-1
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME:
Lukosevecius’ goal in overtime.
that's a high-percentage shot from a high-percentage shooter, folks pic.twitter.com/91AV9XiwPM
— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) October 21, 2017
The Pios will have their second game of the series with Lake Superior State on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. MST.