The University of Denver Pioneers were able to sweep the Western Michigan Broncos on Saturday night and get their sixth win in a row. Heading into the game the Pioneers were a dismal 4-for-36 (11.1) on the power play so they weren’t looking to play a ‘special team game’. But it would turn into a special team game as the officials called a total of 17 penalties. Their fortunes would change as the Pioneers would end up going 3-for-9 on the power play in this one, and that’d be the story of the game.
“That’s the best our power play has looked all year,” head coach Jim Montgomery said after the game, “We need it to continue that way if we’re going to win games, especially in the NCHC.”
For the second game of the series, the game started expectedly slow. Denver was getting the majority of the scoring chances, but the trading off of a couple penalties evened things out in the first period. DU got a 5-on-3 opportunity with about a minute left in the period, and that’s when Henrik Borgstrom found some open net and put the Pioneers up 1-0. The assist came from Will Butcher as the Pios got the first goal of the game for the second straight night.
In the second period, DU came out with the more intensity but it was the Western Michigan Broncos who were able to get on the board with a diving goal from their captain Sheldon Dries. After that, it was Western Michigan who started dictating most of the play. With a little help from the officials putting WMU on a 5-on-3, the Broncos were able to jump to a 2-1 lead with a gorgeous snipe by Matheson Iacopelli. Denver kept working to try to even the hockey game, and it was on the power play when Jarid Lukosevicius was able to tie it with a fantastic tip and redirection of Will Butcher’s wrist shot.
The third period was all DU, it was Dylan Gambrell who was able to get the scoring going in the third period off of a beautiful wrist shot on the power play. The Pioneers kept the pressure on from there by peppering Western Michigan’s goaltender Trevor Gorsuch with shots. It was with 4:55 left in the game when Gambrell found Matt Marcinew at the backdoor and Marcinew was able to put the Pios up 4-2. That would be your final as the Pioneers get a very important sweep, and are off to a great start in the NCHC.
The Pioneers get a bye week next week and then they’ll travel to North Dakota to take on the Fighting Hawks in what should be a top 5 matchup.