photo courtesy of Shannon Valerio
Finnish phenom Henrik Borgstrom astonished Magness arena with his composure low in the slot. The sophomore forward swept the puck across the crease in one slick motion before lofting it top-shelf to score his 10h goal of the University of Denver Pioneers’ nine games played in the 207-18 season. The Helsinki, Finland native would extend to his goal tally to 11 scoring an empty net goal with 32 seconds remaining in the game and finishing his 11th of the season.
“He’s so creative, like I’ve never seen goals like that before,” DU head coach Jim Montgomery said. “The first one; that was incredible. That he has the poise to take it from one side to the other and then the skill to roof it when you’re a foot from the net is unreal. Let’s hope it goes again and again a lot more times this year. I’m just really happy with our team effort. When you have special players like that that allows your team to shine in special moments.”
Borgstrom’s goal would be the first of four, in the No. 3-ranked Pioneer’s 4-2 victory over the No. 1-ranked St. Cloud State University Huskies on Friday, Nov. 10. The Florida Panthers prospect had also had a hand in the security goal, as junior forward Jarid Lukosevicius notched the second and third goals that put DU on top.
“I just feel like I’m getting kind of lucky all of the time too and I’m getting good passes. It feels like everything I shoot goes in. I don’t think I’m doing anything different in goal-scoring situations, it’s just going in. Otherwise I feel stronger and stuff like that, but otherwise I don’t think that effects my scoring really.”
Borgstrom has been mixed up along lines between Dylan Gambrell, Troy Terry, Liam Finlay and Colin Staub. Assistant captain and junior forward, Terry, is ranked second in the NCAA with five goals and 12 assists in nine games played. Assistant captain and junior forward Gambrell boasts a team-high ten-assists after Friday’s performance.
“During this weekend I know Coach Monty wanted to integrate me, Gambs [Gambrell] and Troy [Terry] into the middle [as centers across three different lines] and sometimes we were still going out there together. I don’t really care, I’ve played with Fins [Finlay] a lot this season. I feel like we’ve got some chemistry out there. Staub has been really good with us too, he’s a hard working guy and a surprisingly good passer.”
Denver bounced back after the Western Michigan University Broncos swept the Pioneers 6-5 and 7-4, respectively. Borgstrom amassed four points on a three goals and an assist in the first game and scored one goal the following night against the Broncos.
The Pioneers knew they needed the win as a morale boost and to elevate momentum going forward so when St. Cloud cut the lead down to one goal late in the third period the team reacted by pressuring the Huskies immediately.
“We were just thinking not again,” Borgstrom said. “So when I got that empty-netter; I don’t think I’ve ever celly-ed that hard. It was a huge win for us. For the team that’s what we needed to go on and take the next step for us.”