The No. 2 DU Pioneers laid claim to several notable feats on Saturday night at Broadmoor World Arena, defeating Colorado College by a score of 5-1 to (A) reach 20 wins in a season for the 16th consecutive year (longest active streak in the NCAA), (B) leapfrog idle UMD for first place in the NCHC Standings & (C) improve to 12-0-0 in their last dozen meetings with the Tigers. Denver has also now clinched home ice advantage in Round 1 of the NCHC Playoffs.
“Winning twenty games in college hockey isn’t easy and reaching that total that for sixteen straight years is a great accomplishment for our program,” Denver head coach Jim Montgomery said following Saturday’s win. “It’s obviously great to be back in first place as well. We now control our own destiny in our pursuit of the Penrose Cup, which we’ve never won. It’s definitely a trophy our student-athletes, especially the seniors, really want to hoist at the end of the regular season.”
“Any time you can win a championship of any kind it better prepares you to compete for a national title – which is ultimately our goal for this season.”
The visitors struck first on Saturday as freshman rearguard Michael Davies (St. Louis, Mo.) finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Liam Finlay (Kelowna, B.C.) and Evan Janssen(Green Bay, Wis.) by burying a close-range snap shot during a DU power play at the 13:31 mark of the first period. Denver then doubled its lead 5:19 later when first-year centerTyson McLellan (San Jose, Calif.) banged home a loose puck deep in CC territory to register the fourth goal of his season.
Janssen put DU up 3-0 at the 6:14 mark of the middle frame, with the hosts responding ten minutes later to reduce their deficit to two. A highlight-reel tally off the stick of Henrik Borgström (Helsinki, Finland) then restored the Pios’ three goal advantage late in the stanza as the Florida Panthers prospect carried the puck from his own zone the length of the ice and proceeded to beat Tigers goalie Alex Leclerc on a picture-perfect shot to record his 15th goal of 2016-17.
The lone marker of the third period was scored by Colin Staub (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who found the back of the net in the 59th minute of play to give DU the victory by a four-goal margin. Denver (20-6-4, 12-3-3-2 NCHC) will next face the MU RedHawks in Oxford, Ohio on Friday, February 17 at 5:30 p.m. MT.
Featured Image Credit: Denver Pioneers