Denver draws overtime tie with Miami Ohio

Missed opportunities led the University of Denver Pioneers and the Miami University (Ohio) Redhawks to skate to a 1-1 overtime tie. The No. 1 ranked Pioneers returned to Magness Arena after rolling on an eight game win streak. Denver (7-2-2, 3-0-2) finished the game with a shootout conversion made by freshman forward Henrik Borgstrom following scoreless 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 overtime periods.

The Pioneers ran various line variations throughout the game dominating possession, but failed to convert. Denver held a 37-20 shot edge over Miami through the first overtime. After hitting the post consecutively and missing open chances, Miami’s goaltender Ryan Larkin held off the Pioneers from clinching the victory.

When questioning coach Montgomery on his decision for sending Borgstrom to take the shootout, while Anaheim Ducks prospect Troy Terry had exhibited a stellar performance tallying Denver sole goal, Montgomery said, “He [Borgstrom] knows what he’s doing with the puck. I did think about Troy Terry because he had such a great game and scored our goal. But Henrik, in practice, when he gets a breakaway; every time is a goal.”

Miami took control early on, 1:59 into the first period, sophomore defenseman Grant Hutton sniped his shot in transition bar-down to deliver 1-0 lead for the Redhawks. Miami amplified its intensity following the goal, maintaining possession for the majority of the period.

The Pioneers eventually adjusted to their opponent’s pressure and rallied in the final minutes. Freshman forward Kevin Conley replaced Colin Staub on the top line, alongside Henrik Borgstrom and Dylan Gambrell, delivering an energetic offense. Denver finished the opening frame with a 15-3 shots on goal edge over Miami.

The Pioneers opened up the second period with an equalizer from Terry. Terry intercepted a pass between Redhawks defensemen to beat Larkin in the five-hole, tying the game one apiece.

The remaining period saw even play from both teams. The Pioneers continued pressuring Miami’s net.

Towards the end of regulation, Montgomery aligned sophomore forwards Jarid Lukosevicius, Gambrell and Terry together. Gambrell missed an open opportunity after toe-dragging past his defenseman low in the slot. Lukosevicius tested Larkin with two wrist-shots in transition. Paired with Borgstrom and Conley, Staub attempted two wraparound chances, but was knocked off the puck and Larkin held off the Pioneers.

“We just couldn’t hunker down and finish our chances. That’s something we’ve got to focus on tomorrow,” Terry said. “Just play the way we did, capitalize and get to the net better tomorrow.”

Denver returns for the second game of the NCHC series against the Redhawks tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Magness Arena.

Game Notes:

-Denver ascended to No. 1 in the top college hockey rankings for the first time since March 15, 2010.

-Current leading goal scorer Henrik Borgstrom has amassed all twelve of his points (7G-5A) in the 2016-17 season during DU’s now nine-game unbeaten streak.

-Junior goaltender Tanner Jaillet currently leads the conference in all major goaltending categories.   

-Evan Ritt replaced Emil Romig in the lineup after Romig suffered a lower body injury last weekend against North Dakota.