Following a dominating performance the previous night, in which the Pioneers would win their 4th consecutive Gold Pan following a 5-1 victory over the Colorado College Tigers, the Pioneers would fall to the Tigers 1-0 tonight, squandering their chances of claiming home-ice advantage through the playoffs.
Much of the first period would be played in the Tigers zone, however, things would change as Pioneers forward Jake Durflinger would be called for tripping — in which the Tigers would convert on the powerplay in the dying seconds of the first period.
— Aaron Goldschmidt (@lateinthegoldie) February 18, 2018
With that late goal, the Tigers would head into the second period with the 1-0 advantage.
“I thought that the first period was actually our best period offensively,” Coach Jim Montgomery said, “and it was like, ‘lets keep doing the same thing’, but in the second period I felt that we didn’t penetrate the middle of the ice as much as we did in the first period.”
Both teams would get some scoring chances, but the score would ultimately remain the same following the second period.
With plenty of other chances from the Pioneers, but with no results — the Tigers would hold onto the 1-0 lead, escaping Magness Arena with the shutout victory.
Sometimes after dominating an opponent the night before, it is easy to come into the next game with a mentality of thinking the opponent will be easy — this was not the case for the Pioneers tonight.
” I don’t think that our guys thought that it was going to be an easy game, because we knew that they would be much desperate,” Montgomery said, “our effort was good, I just don’t think that we were hard enough offensively.”
With the loss, the Pioneers will have to wait another day before they can clinch home ice through the NCHC playoffs.
The Pioneers will face a tough test next weekend, as they will have a two-game series visiting St. Cloud State as they look to clinch the home-ice advantage for the NCHC playoffs.