Denver Pioneers looking ‘gold’ for conference playoffs

Frozen Four

As the National Collegiate Hockey Conference is set to get underway this weekend, the Denver Pioneers are excited about where they’ve come and what’s lying ahead. After a weekend sweep against Nebraska-Omaha, the Pioneers finished the regular season second in the NCHC conference, only behind North Dakota.

After beating the Mavericks 3-0 on Friday night and 2-1 on Saturday, the Pioneers extended their winning streak to nine games. Their last lost came against Miami of Ohio at the end of January.

On Monday the Pioneers were ranked in the Top 10 on both major NCAA Division 1 Hockey polls this week, which only echoes their recent results. They were listed at No. 6 on the USCHO.com Poll as well as the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll.

“It was a great gut check for us and to pull out a win down the stretch like that was big for us,” head coach Jim Montgomery said via Denver Athletics, after the game. “We need big time players like Quentin Shore, Danton Heinen and Trevor Moore to make those kinds of plays heading into playoffs and they did that tonight.”

Denver will face the same Nebraska-Omaha team this weekend in the first-round of the NCHC playoff tournament. The Pioneers will host the best-of-three series, beginning Friday evening at 7:36. Game Two will be on Saturday evening, with a possibly Game three (only if necessary) taking place Sunday night.

“UNO is a team that’s very capable of going on run and we know that,” Montgomery added. “We have a lot of respect for their coaching staff and the character in their dressing room. We’re gong to have a good week of rest and practice to get ready for next weekend.”

Ticket prices for the first round of the NCHC playoff are now on sale.

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