Photo courtesy DU Athletics
A college hockey team does not become one of the top teams in the nation because of one player. One player cannot dictate the success or failure of one team. Will the Denver Pioneers miss American Hero Troy Terry, who is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury? Absolutely. Is it reasonable to expect that they won’t be successful without him? Absolutely not.
Let’s start with the first game after Terry’s injury that has him out ‘indefinitely’ but will most likely be out 6-8 weeks. After getting shut out the night before by Western Michigan with their American hero playing most of the game, the Pioneers went out and seven different Pios put a seven spot on the Broncos without Five Hole Terry on Saturday night.
The importance of this game cannot be understated. They were able to get goals from all four lines and even senior Evan Ritt was able to register his first ever collegiate goal in addition to his two assists. They were also able to get goals from Emil Romig, Colin Staub, Matt Marcinew, Logan O’Connor, and Jarid Lukosevicius. Check it. That’s production from all four lines.
To withstand the absence of Terry, the Pioneers will need scoring from everyone on the ice. It’s not like they haven’t played through adversity before. Dylan Gambrell was out for much of October and the Pios went 4-0 against Boston University and Michigan State without him.
Denver also had to play without Henrik Borgström for a fairly significant period of time in December thanks to flu-like symptoms and the Pioneers went 3-2-1 in his absence. Sure, they tied and lost at Providence while they were without Troy Terry due to his and Borgström’s participation at World Juniors, but coming off a long break, they may not have had much success that weekend anyway.
Jarid Lukosevicius-Borgström-Gambrell is still a premier college hockey first line. Together, they’ll lead DU through the next couple of months and down the stretch with incredible chemistry and creativity. This isn’t a new top line. These three have been playing together throughout the year. This is just a revisitation of what has worked in the past.
Troy Terry’s injury obviously leaves a gaping hole in DU’s offensive production. But it’s up to the rest of the team to fill that hole in order to take the Pios to the NCAA tournament when their American hero comes back. There’s absolutely no reason to think they can’t do it.