Borgström’s two goals lift Pioneers to sweep of Terriers

How “sweep” it is for the soon-to-be-higher than 10th-ranked University of Denver Pioneers. Thanks to a clutch 3-1 victory, the Pioneers, who many had feared would come out of the weekend looking at a scary 0-4 record, swept arguably the best team in the country in the #2 Boston University Terriers.

How was it done, you might ask. How exactly did the Pioneers come away with a second victory in as many nights against such a talented team? Two words:

Henrik Borgström.

Tonight was, without a doubt, the Finnish freshman’s coming out party. With two goals and an assist, Borgström’s compete-level and incredible hands made all the difference for the Pioneers this evening.

Borgström’s first three games were best characterized as promising if a bit frustrating. He had numerous chances, but he came up just a bit short every single time.

Not tonight, though. All night, the freshman sliced and diced BU’s defense, generating chance after chance for the Pios. It took until the second period for the puck to find twine, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort on Borgström’s part.

“I said last night, wait until the first one goes in…and you could just see him,” DU head coach Jim Montgomery said. “He started going around people, through people, and that second goal was a big-time play.”

Throughout the game, on the BLT Line Jarid Lukosevicius and Troy Terry, he skated through BU’s defense and set up his linemates for scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity. However, in the second period, it was mostly a fluke of a goal that got Borgström on the scoresheet for the first time in his young career.

On a DU power play, the puck was on his stick in the left circle and Borgström shot the puck short side near BU goalie Jake Oettinger’s head. Somehow the puck found the one inch of open space and hit twine to put the Pios on the board and finally give Borgström the breakthrough he’s been craving for two weeks.

His second was nothing short of a thing of beauty. On a 2 on 1 rush with Terry, Borgström head-faked Oettinger, skated across the crease, and tossed a backhand shot past the BU goaltender. To complete his 3-point night, Borgström was credited with an assist on fellow freshman Tyson McLellan’s empty-net goal to seal the sweep.

“It’s two nights in a row where we’ve had players do real unselfish things,” Montgomery said. “Last night, Evan Janssen could have tried for a hat trick, but he just killed the game off with a one-goal lead. [Borgström] ended the game with a great play to McLellan, but that’s just good puck support.”

Montgomery has preached that he’s been so close to scoring that first goal, all he needed to do was notch his first one and they’d start coming in droves. Tonight, in front of his parents who flew in from Helsinki, Finland for Parents Weekend, Borgström scored his first two and was instrumental in helping the Pioneers complete the unlikely sweep of the Terriers.

Watch out, Pios. With his first two, a confident Borgström might start to show Denver how good he really is.