Photo:Courtesy of SC Times
The #3/4 University of Denver Pioneers (17-7-7, 11-5-5 NCHC) struggled to create scoring chances and skated to a 1-1 draw with the #1 St. Cloud State Huskies (20-6-5, 14-4-3) at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
The Pioneers went on to gain the extra league point with a goal by Logan O’Connor at 4:26 of the 3×3 OT session. Adam Plant and Michael Davies both had assists on the play.In the closely contested first 20 minutes, DU & SCSU battled to a 0-0 draw in an even first period as the Pios outshot the Huskies 8-7.
The only Huskies goal of the evening came in the second period when Blake Lizotte connected in traffic at the 14:03 mark of the period. The Pioneer offense bogged down and could not create quality chances against goaltender David Hrenak the balance of the period.
Denver could not create quality opportunities the first half of the third period as the Huskies seemed to stymie every Denver rush. However, Adam Plant tied the contest at 16:33 with a howitzer from distance. Troy Terry and Henrik Borgstrom each had assists on the play which evened the score, 1-1.
After five minutes of scoreless 5-on-5 overtime when neither team could create a scoring opportunity, the teams went to a 5-minute 3-on-3 NCHC overtime period. It looked like a tie result as time ran down but Denver scored a goal with 34 seconds left in the second overtime period to gain the extra point in the NCHC standings. Logan O’Connor knocked a tumbling puck over the shoulder of Hrenak and the puck tumbled into the goal for the extra league point.
Tanner Jaillet finished with 19 saves on 20 shots. Hrenak finished with 25 saves on 26 Pioneer shots.The Huskies remain in first place in the NCHC with 46 points. Denver stays in second place with 42 points. Denver can extend the chase for the Penrose Cup tomorrow night or the Huskies can clinch the Penrose Cup tomorrow evening with an outright win.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 6:00 pm MT.