Denver boasts 66 shots in OT “win” over Lake Superior State

photo courtesy of Shannon Valerio

Across the span of five minutes, three goals were scored exchanged between teams to requiring double overtime. A game which the University of Denver Pioneers dominated in finesse and was countered by the grit and extraordinary hustle of their opponent the Lake Superior State Lakers.

“You’ve got to give them a lot of credit, [Nick] Kossoff and their entire defensive unit,” Head coach Jim Montgomery said. “Their entire defensive plant was really good.”

Down 2-1, the Pioneers (1-0-1, 0-0-0 NCHC)  equalized the score 2-2 as sophomore forward and Florida Panthers prospect Henrik Borgstrom played a cross-ice pass to junior assistant captain and San Jose Sharks prospect Dylan Gambrell. Gambrell collected the puck in the neutral zone and rushed the attacking zone where he buried the puck past Laker goalie Nick Kossoff.

Kossoff, who played for the Colorado Thunderbirds U18 team, would face 66 shots by the end of regulation from Denver’s dynamic offense.

“I knew they were the No. 1 team in the country, I just tried to keep it in reach there,” Kossoff said. “I think just realizing we were in reach there and just doing whatever I can to keep the puck out of the net.”

Just over two minutes later in the third period, a costly Denver turnover resulted in a tic-tac-toe passing sequence dow low where Jake Hand buried a backdoor shot past Jaillet to regain the Lake Superior State’s’ lead 3-2.

DU sophomore forward Liam Finlay would score his second goal of the season and second goal that sent the game into overtime (Notre Dame’s second game) with four minutes remaining in regulation.

In the second period of extratime, junior forward Jarid Lukosevicous buried a rebound, terminating the game and the unofficial score in favor of Denver.

While the Pioneers handedly controlled the puck possession of the game, the Lakers were efficient in their execution. Lake Superior State (1-2-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) took a 2-0 lead three minutes into the second period.

Denver outshot Lake Superior State 17-7, creating lethal chances on net, but the Pioneers’ execution was unlucky. DU had a few scramble plays where the puck straddled the goal-line and one play where Lukosevicius fired a wrister that ricocheted off of the upper corner of the pipe.

In the final four minutes of play, Borgstrom was called for tripping. With just under 30 seconds remaining on the powerplay, the Laker’s forward Brayden Gelsinger beat DU’s goalie Tanner Jaillet on the backdoor.

Returning for the second frame, Lake Superior State doubled its lead within the opening three minutes. The Pioneers failed to clear a puck from behind the net and Lakers forward Max Humitz buried the one-timer short-side past Jaillet.

Denver finally got on the board as junior forward Colin Staub circled behind the net and dished a puck in the slot to Borgstrom. The Helsinki, Finland native notched his one-timer short-side, to cut DU’s deficit down by one goal. The goal immediately ignited the Pioneers’ momentum in the attacking zone. Denver amassed a 19-5 shot on goal advantage throughout the second period.

Denver implemented an explosive, harmonious tempo of play, but the reality was even the outstanding 66-17 shot advantage reflected the lack of execution and room for growth for the Pioneers.

“There are a ton of positives, too many to list,” Montgomery said. “The number one was how resilient we were. I think it was only the first shot they had in the third and they scored. The only negatives really in my mind were on our special teams and we weren’t crisp on our breakouts. There were too many breakouts where we were over-handling pucks. We didn’t do that last weekend, but its early in the year and we need to continue to get better.”

The Pioneers held a pre-game celebration commemorating the accomplishment of winning the 2017 national championship title and the physical raising of the banner at Magness Arena. A video clip of the journey to the claim the title was displayed prior the raising of DU’s eighth banner along with an introduction of the returnees from the national title team in attendance at tonight’s game.  

Denver and Lake Super State clash for the second game of the series tomorrow at Magness Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

9 thoughts on “Denver boasts 66 shots in OT “win” over Lake Superior State”

  1. Good effort tonight. I mean, how do you complain too much about a game where you outshoot the opponent 71-17? Opposing goalie was great. Jailett got hung out to dry once. But still, very much outshined by the Lake St. goalie. A little surprised to hear Montgomery say he was disappointed in the fans tonight. I understand that Magness is not the most boisterous place typically. But I thought the energy was pretty good in the building tonight. But acoustics in there are weird. I was in North end for the banner raising, every word the announcer said was completely garbled. Couldn’t hear a thing he said. Doesn’t anyone check this stuff??

    In any case, eight banners look amazing. What a a great hockey program to be a fan of.


  2. Last night was a very frustrating game to watch. The Pios obviously heavily dominated the game offensively, but struggled to solve a strong goalie in Kossoff. Yes. the Pios got 66 shots on goal, but the vast majority of them were not difficult saves for Kossoff to make.

    They also made several few poor defensive plays/busted coverages that cost them the win tonight against a plucky, opportunistic Lake State team. I don’t think Jaillet was as sharp as he normally is, either, as he was late sliding over on a couple of Lake State’s goals.

    All in all, I was happy with the work rate, but this is a team DU should beat handily. The Pios will no doubt want to improve defensive communications around the net front.


  3. A few extra thoughts on the crowd — I thought the crowd was decent – much better attendance that the last couple of openers and students were pretty loud in the south end and the rest of crowd was even joining in on cheers in the third period, which doesn’t always happen. I’d give it a or B+/B+ by Magness standards – I’ve heard louder here certainly, but it was not a dead crowd, either.

    The Banner raising, however, should have been scheduled for between periods, when the crowd was actually in the building. This is such a late arriving city for hockey games, and I think that ceremony would have been much better had they waited for the crowd.


  4. I think it is great that Monty calls things as he sees them. That is what makes him a great coach. I am sure he challenges players and now he is challenging the DU ‘sit on your hands’ culture. Good on you Monty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seemed more like he was challenging the game operations crew for not doing a good job of firing the crowd up which has been an issue for a long time at magness and soccer/lacrosse fields


      1. I agree. With a hockey program that has been this successful for so many years, the DU crowd should be knowledgeable and passionate enough without artificial inducement.

        Last night for example, DU killed off a 5-minute penalty kill without really allowing a significant shot from the opponent. At almost any hockey arena around the country, the home crowd should have been on its feet thundering in admiration. Not so at DU, where there was more reaction to the “kiss cam”.

        Our crowds lack emotional investment…


      2. you are obviously watching a different video…he clearly said the crowd was not energetic enough which has been true for a long long time. We have quiet fans that need to show their support for a national championship team. plus the whole place is EMPTY during intermissions…show up early for the banner raising if you are a true supporter. Can’t wait to see how green the arena is during the nodak series….


  5. Don’t really know what the source of the issue is. I am emotionally invested, but I’m not some crazy dude that is going to be the only one in my quiet section of other emotionally invested people (and non-invested people) to start yelling and try to fire people up. Student section is great, and they make noise, but it’s just the one section in the far part of the arena. It makes it an active scene on that side of the arena, but noise doesn’t travel well across to other sections. Moving the student section to the middle of the arena would make a difference, but of course that won’t happen, since those are the pricey seats. So…the question is where DU can do anything to get the rest of the crowd more vocal…tough issue, wonder if DU is thinking of anything to assist with this…I doubt it. I don’t give a crap if there are a lot of North Dakota fans for that series…it is what it is, and they are paying customers who likely eat many hot dogs. Up to the hockey players to keep them quiet, and up to DU fans to cheer for the good stuff during that series.


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