photo courtesy of Shannon Valerio
Six different goal scorers for the No. 5-ranked University of Denver Pioneers combined to secure a 6-3 victory and hold off a late rally by the Miami University Redhawks, on Friday, March 2. Dylan Gambrell, Jarid Lukosevicius, Rudy Junda, Henrik Borgstrom, Adam Plant and Colin Staub all lit the lamp for the Pioneers and Troy Terry added four assists.
“Every time we play them they always play until the end of the game,” Gambrell said. “We fell asleep there, but then came back. We had a ton of effort in the end.”
While the Redhawks (11-19-4, 6-15-3 NCHC) took the first shot of the game and struck iron, the Pioneers (19-8-7, 13-6-5 NCHC) quickly assumed control of the play.
Gambrell beat Miami’s goalie Ryan Larkin with a deceptive backhander low in the slot. Gambrell scored the first of the night on a tic-tac-toe sequence from linemates Troy Terry and Henrik Borgstrom. The San Jose Sharks prospect also assisted on DU’s second goal and second of the period. Junior forward Jarid Lukosevicius shielded Larkin’s vision and tipped in Gambrell’s long-range wrist shot.
After a winless (tie and loss) weekend against top-ranked St. Cloud State, the Pioneers took the ice at Magness Arena with urgency, up until the third period.
Denver added two more goals in the middle frame to extend the lead to four goals. In between goals, Miami netted their first of the night.
Senior forward Rudy Junda crashed the net on a DU rush and sent his own rebound between the pipes 1:51 into the second period. Miami’s goal paralleled Junda’s goal as Kiefer Sherwood crashed the net and sent the feed from Phil Knies past Denver goalie Tanner Jaillet.
Leading goal scorer Henrik Borgstrom buried a feed on the backdoor from Logan O’Connor as the duo crashed the net. The goal was Borgstrom’s 19th of the season.
The Pioneers dangerously settled into their 4-1 lead, which the Redhawks took advantage of. Miami cut the deficit down to one goal, with two goals scored in the final frame.
After taking a timeout and collecting themselves Denver, fortunately, regained a two-goal lead with 2:23 remaining in regulation.
“We talked how relentless they are and just about just getting back to our game plan,” Gambrell said of what was discussed during the timeout.
Terry circled from behind net and sent a stretch pass to senior defenseman Adam Plant. Plant, positioned at the point, launched his wrist-shot past Larkin’s weak side.
Miami pulled Larkin during the final two minutes. After gaining possession, junior forward Colin Staub attempted to send a pass to a rushing Gambrell. The pass was broken up by a Redhawks defenseman and tipped into the net.
The last conference game of the regular season and conclusion of the series takes place tomorrow, Saturday March 3. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Denver’s senior class will be honored prior to the game start.