Adam Plant, power play unit lead Denver past St. Cloud State to secure sweep

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

The soon-to-be-top-ranked University of Denver Pioneers scored three power play goals and senior defenseman Adam Plant scored two goals as the Pioneers surged past the currently top-ranked St. Cloud State Huskies 5-1. Top to bottom, it was as complete a performance as Denver has put forth to this point in the season and the Pioneers were firing on all cylinders from the moment the puck dropped.

While everything clicked for DU, the Huskies simply fell flat after an exciting finish to the first game of the series a night ago. After last night’s statement, tonight was just a continuation of what went well for the Pioneers. They tightened things up defensively, they were more willing to play the physical game, and the offense showed up in a big way.

“I thought that everybody that played had a concerted effort to get on the right side of the puck,” DU head coach Jim Montgomery said. “We were relentless coming back to our net. We did a lot of good things and there’s still a lot of areas to improve for us.”

The scoring didn’t get started until the second period, though. After an opening period that saw the Huskies control much of the play, the Pioneers scored three straight goals, including Plant’s two goals, in the first ten minutes of the middle frame. Plant and Tyson McLellan both found the top right corner just 28 seconds apart within the first two minutes of the period. Plant added his second goal with a shot from the point for his second power play goal of the period.

“We’ve seen it in practice all the time,” Montgomery said of Plant’s first goal. “We’ve wondered why he hasn’t scored more in his career. He’s just a terrific hockey player and he was a great leader for us tonight.”

While the Huskies were able to pull back within two by the end of the period, the Pioneers had begun stepping on the Huskies’ throats and they weren’t about to let up. The third period saw more dominance by the Pioneers as they added two more goals from Jarid Lukosevicius and Dylan Gambrell. Of course, multiple major penalties against the Huskies helped the Pioneers’ case.

By the end of the game, though, when the result was all but assured, the Huskies let their frustration get the better of them and things started to boil over for both teams. By the end of the game, 56 penalty minutes were handed out between both teams and Timm Walsh and Dan Dreger had lost control of the game.

As a result, there were words exchanged between teams and between coaches after the game. While the teams were coming onto the ice for handshakes, Montgomery and SCSU head coach Bob Motzko were yelling at each other on the ice between the two benches and had to be separated by the linesmen.

“It was an emotional game,” Montgomery said. “Bob Motzko is a great coach. We both probably said things that we regret. It’s the emotion of the game. It’s over and done with for me.”

While the extracurriculars near the end of the game will linger at least until February when these two teams meet again in St. Cloud, Minnesota, this was a key early season sweep for the Pioneers. The Huskies are a very good team and these six points will do the Pioneers a lot of good as February and March get closer and they make a run for their second straight Penrose Cup.

Now that the St. Cloud series is behind us, though, focus shifts to Denver’s next opponent, North Dakota. It’s officially North Dakota week, so be sure to watch for Fighting Hawks related content throughout the week as next weekend draws closer.

18 thoughts on “Adam Plant, power play unit lead Denver past St. Cloud State to secure sweep”

  1. Congratulations Monty and Team! Great to see the Pios rebound from the WMU debacle. Still room for improvement, but back on track heading into what is always a tough NoDak series. Keep up the good work guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What exactly should Dreger and Walsh have done differently to not “loose control”? Bold statements should be backed with some knowledge or facts. I’ll wait…

    Like

    1. Guess I will wait until I wake later and am drinking my coffee.

      Come on expert, lay it out:

      What should have been called?

      How, if it was called, would it have effected SCSU’s last-minute behavior? Or their behavior throughout the game? Would any of it effected anything when they were gonna be disgruntled when the sweep was inevitable?

      I am in a position to better see and actually know shit you are purely imagining; I know what is happening, you basically just don’t. Yet, I do want to hear your logic behind your assertion that “control was lost”.

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  3. You could see the fight coming. SCSU start playing ND style goon hockey. When the nation’s second highest scoring team only scores three goals in a weekend, tempers are bound to flare. Surprising to see Monty lose his cool, ala Gwoz doing his exit at Grand Forks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The NCHC officials do a pretty good job, which is really apparent when you watch the games on TV (and see the replays) as well as at the rink. They are making split second decisions in the heat of the moment, and I dare say that virtually none of us could do it better. These guys have risen to a high level of officiating through years of work, development camps, evaluations, travel and abuse from players, coaches, and fans for a few hundred bucks a game at this level. They deserve our respect. Finally, teams don’t lose games because of officials – they lose because they didn’t score enough goals in the run of play.

    While I am very pleased DU won the game Saturday, the game was pretty disjointed and penalty-marred (I can’t remember seeing two majors in one game) and not a true indication of either team playing its best hockey. I expect both of these teams be better when they play in Minnesota later in the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t mind tough hockey. However, boarding is very dangerous (case in point – Jesse Martin & Robbie Bina). When guys are making runs because they are frustrated, they should get a game misconduct. There were at least two additional calls last night that should have gone that way. This is college hockey. I do not want to see kids get permanently injured because of frustration – on either side. The officials could have stopped the game for a minute or two and pulled the coaches or the team captains aside and told them that game misconducts were coming and cooled down the situation. That is not unusual – especially when a team or teams are getting frustrated. Monty had every right to speak his mind. At the end of the day, he is responsible for player safety on his watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. WTF!?!?!

    SCSU’s best player got a game misconduct! DU got two 5 minute PP’s!

    Boarding is generally a minor!

    Jesse Martin’s situation was CHARGING!!!!

    Bina was a CFB!!

    And what the fuck do you think is talked about when the refs go to the benches when they have a chance????

    This blog has not a clue. My gawd…

    Like

    1. Way to put a name to your comment. If we want to talk about dirty hits, Marvin’s dirty check from behind, elbow to the back of the head on Genoway was dirtiest of all time. Hockey is a contact sport, tempers sometimes get the best of them. Time to move on.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think Tim was likely referring to dangerous hits from behind in general, not specifically Boarding penalties. SCSU is one of the least penalized programs in the country, and does not have a reputation for dirty play. Motzko is a terrific coach and runs a model program.

    However, there is no doubt in my mind that when the top-ranked Huskies got down last night, and the reality of getting swept became obvious, the Huskies got frustrated and took some out-of-character, dangerous penalties that called as serious, 5 minute majors. When any team’s players are subjected to that kind of illegal hitting, the coach of that team (in this case, Monty) is going to be angry about it, as I would expect Motzko to be angry if the Pios were taking those kinds of frustration penalties out on the Huskies if the tables were turned.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Although last night’s game lacked the flow of Friday night’s, I’ll take a 5-1 win any day. For the weekend DU outscored St. Cloud 9-3 and was the better team. After the debacle last weekend against WMU, the recipe was pretty simple: better team defense, win more puck battles, be more physical, and the rest will take of itself.

    As for the shenanigans at the end, I think the analysis is simple: SCSU came in here flying high, #1 ranking, undefeated, probably brimming with confidence, and leaves town with their between their legs, pun intended. They were frustrated and decided to pull some bush league stuff. Can’t blame Monty at all for being hot at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The dust up still doesn’t beat the infamous Gwoz walk across the ice . Some of his players thought he was going into the penalty box. I was there and it’s one of those moments you never forget. A historical (and actually funny ) incident. We were all standing up yelling nasties at the refs but laughing at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Gwoz walk was one if the best moments in DU hockey’s stories history. Classic Gwoz. Dude was awesome.

    As to scsu, certainly no way to behave for the formerly #1 team in the country. Checking Troy Terry from behind into the boards. How low can you go. Be careful, or we will bring back John Ryder for the next series to show those fools how to place a clean hit on an opponent that will send them into last week. Ryder…I miss that guy.

    Liked by 1 person

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