DENVER - The No. 1 ranked Denver Pioneers handled the Lake Superior State Lakers 5-1, thanks in large part to the new guys, freshmen Dayton Rasmussen, Griffin Mendel and Jakko Heikkinen. Rasmussen stopped 15 shots, more than good enough for his first NCAA win, and Mendel and Heikkinen netted their first NCAA goals.
The Lakers struck first nine minutes into the first period with a goal from Josh Nenadal. Troy Terry got the scoring started for the Pios with 2:54 to play in the first. He roofed a shot over the left shoulder of goalie Mareks Mitens to even the score. The Pioneers outshot the Lakers 18-7 in the first, but the score was even after twenty minutes of play.
Feelings of Friday night continued to linger far into the second period, until the Pioneers struck on a power play goal from Troy Terry. Ian Mitchell received a pass from Dylan Gambrell, and put the puck on net, where Terry tipped it in to put the Pioneers on top 2-1. It took nearly 18 minutes into the second period to finally take the lead, and once they did, there was no looking back.
The Pios came out firing in the third, and completely dominated the Lakers only allowing two shots in the period. The Pioneers wasted no time, scoring just 47 seconds into the period on a wrist shot from Michael Davies. Davies shot came off of a feed from Colin Staub who was +3 on the night, and had 7 shots of his own, after getting bumped up to the first line to play with Terry and Gambrell.
With about eleven minutes left in the game, and the Pioneers leading 3-1, Henrik Borgström found the freshman Mendel for his first NCAA goal.
Heikkinen finished the Lakers with a one timer from Liam Finlay. That was the icing on the cake for the Pioneers, as they gave Heikkinen his first NCAA goal along with Mendel.
The third period was the Pioneers most dominate performance this year, as they outshot the Lakers 21-2, finding the twine 3 times. The Pios made it easy for Dayton Rasmussen to pick up his first NCAA win, on a night where the freshmen snatched the storyline.
First Star: Troy Terry (Denver)
Second Star: Dayton Rasmussen (Denver)
Third Star: Colin Staub (Denver)
BY THE NUMBERS
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
Terry's tip off of Mitchell's shot late in the second period.