The No. 1 DU Pioneers skated to a 5-2 victory over No. 19 Michigan Tech at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Regional to advance to the national quarterfinals. Denver will now face Penn State on Sunday at 4 p.m. MDT with a berth in the 2017 Frozen Four on the line.

Denver took an early 1-0 lead on Saturday when sophomore forward Colin Staub (Colorado Springs, Colo.) redirected a point shot from junior blueliner Adam Plant (Penticton, B.C.) to the back of Michigan Tech’s net at the 4:42 mark of the first period during a DU power play. Staub scored another PPG eight minutes later to put DU up by two, with Emil Romig (Vienna, Austria) netting an even-strength marker shortly thereafter to put the Pios up by three.

“I was fortunate enough to get a stick up and a shot on that first one,” Staub said postgame. “I got [Adam] Plant’s shot on that first one. That’s as much his [Adam Plant] goal as it is mine. I just tried to turn and let his shot get through, but it hit my stick and then the puck squirted out to me. I tried my best to get body position on their D-man and get my stick on the puck, and then I was fortunate enough to get that puck.”

A bullet off the wrist shot off the stick of team captain Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.) then gave the Pioneers a 4-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The four goals scored by DU in the opening stanza tied a Midwest Regional record.

“Going into games we try to win net-front battles, both at our net and their net,” the captain said. “When you’ve got pucks going towards the net with bodies, it makes it tough for the guy in the crease to see.”

Freshman forward Tyson McLellan (San Jose, Calif.) put the Pios up 5-0 early in the middle frame, banging home a loose puck deep in MTU territory to register his fifth goal of the season.

The Huskies then scored twice late in the second period to cut Denver’s lead to three but that would be as close as the WCHA champs would get as the Crimson & Gold hung on to take the decision by a 5-2 final following a goalless closing stanza.

Featured Image Credit: Denver Hockey, Twitter