Tanner Jaillet injured in Denver’s Senior Night tie with Miami

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

The last-place Miami University RedHawks earned the meaningless extra point in three-on-three overtime for NCHC standings purposes but the #4 University of Denver Pioneers and the RedHawks tied on Senior Night at Magness Arena. Denver started the game well, scoring three goals within the first five minutes of the game, but Miami cooled Denver’s offense off for the remaining 60 minutes of hockey and scored three straight goals of their own to earn the tie. However, by the end of the first period, very few minds were on the result of what was a meaningless NCHC game.

With a few minutes left in the opening frame, Gordie Green and Kiefer Sherwood had a two-on-one odd-man rush. Green shot the puck off of the pass from Sherwood and DU goalie Tanner Jaillet made the initial save, sprawling back across his body. However, Michael Davies, the lone defenseman back for the Pioneers crashed into Jaillet and pushed the puck over the line for Miami’s first goal. Both Davies and Jaillet were down on the ice for an extended period of time, both with what looked like head injuries. Before play resumed, Davies went back to the locker room but Jaillet stayed on the ice to finish the first period.

Backup goalie Dayton Rasmussen led the Pioneers back onto the ice for the second period and there was immediate concern for Jaillet’s health with what the Pioneers hope will be a long postseason run on the horizon. There was no instant indication as to whether Jaillet’s injury was serious, but in the meantime, it was up to Rasmussen to finish the game and send Denver’s seniors off with a victory.

“It was a real tough situation [for Rasmussen]” DU head coach Jim Montgomery said. “He hadn’t played in a long time. I thought he fought well in his crease, he fought to see pucks, and he gave us an opportunity to win a hockey game.”

Unfortunately, Denver didn’t respond to the injury as well as one might have hoped in the second period and the Pioneers blew another three-goal lead as Karch Bachman scored two straight goals about 10 minutes apart to tie the game at three in the middle frame. While Rasmussen certainly wants both of those goals back, all blame can’t be placed on his shoulders for the collapse. Simply put, Denver’s overall play in the second period wasn’t that of a national title contender. They looked lost at times and Miami took full advantage.

“Our team didn’t respond well when the backbone of our team got injured,” Montgomery said. “In the second period, I thought we played tight and tense and Miami came back at us and was able to tie it up.”

Denver looked much better in the third period, outshooting Miami 16-4 in the final period of regulation, but Ryan Larkin recovered from a disastrous first period and kept the puck out of the net and the RedHawks forced overtime.

After the game, with focus shifted back to Jaillet and his health, Montgomery indicated that Jaillet will be healthy and ready to go for the NCHC Quarterfinal round against Colorado College. Montgomery said that taking Jaillet out of the game was simply precautionary and didn’t want to risk any additional injury with the postseason starting next weekend.

“We’re just looking forward to next weekend,” Montgomery said. “It’s been an up-and-down regular season and we have to get ready for the playoffs. We’re going to be close to 100% healthy starting next week so we have to get ready to play a real good CC Tiger team.”

Colorado College is coming back to town for a rematch of the 2017 NCHC Quarterfinal round and the Pioneers will need all hands on deck to get out of the opening round and to the Frozen Faceoff. The Tigers took five of six possible points from the Pioneers at Magness Arena this year so this won’t be anything like last year’s matchup. Denver may not be playing their best hockey of the season right now, but the slate has now been wiped clean. All you can do is watch to see how the Pioneers respond now that the games count.

9 thoughts on “Tanner Jaillet injured in Denver’s Senior Night tie with Miami”

  1. After Tanner was hurt, it was evident the lack of coordination and chemistry with the new goal tender and his teammates. It improved as time went on, but by that time the game was tied and the Pioneers had already given a bad team hope.


    1. Not that it’s a legitimate excuse but perhaps as the game went along and DU had a lead, maybe it crept into their minds that from a standings and point wise perspective, the game was meaningless? DU locked down the second position with home ice while Miami had locked down the #8 position. It’s hard to fight off those tendencies sometimes. I remember the third place game between DU and North Dakota a few years ago at the Frozen Faceoff and it was similar. Come Frozen Four, however, when the stakes were high, that game was completely different from an intensity standpoint. The third place game, however, felt like I was watching a drop in session over at Family Sports. I’m sure Monty will conduct some spirited practices this week to get the boys’ mindset back for next weekend against CC.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was the most disappointing game of the season to date, and it seems to me that we’re seeing a repetitive, deep-seated mental fragility with this team that likely points to an early playoff exit and what will likely be a disappointing end to the season. It’s as obvious as a blinking, neon sign…

    Consider the circumstances:
    DU is at home.
    Full house.
    On Senior night.
    Against last place Miami.
    And the Pios score three goals on the first four shots of the game…
    and they didn’t win.

    The team lacks the killer instinct, played to the level of the competition, and did not respond well when Tanner went down, lacking the urgency and focus to close out the weekend.

    CC will be coming to town next weekend for the playoffs, and we’ll see if there is character on this team, or not…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Puck Swami, even though I’m a CC/UND fan, I’m going to talk you off the ledge because I like you, you know your DU hockey stuff. Yah, DU hasn’t looked good against some inferior teams but they seem to rise to the occasion and play better against the better opponents. You beat Duluth four times, you swept St. Cloud at home, you tied and beat Notre Dame, and I believe you beat Boston U. I see a lot of quality wins against some tournament-bound teams. Regardless of what happens next weekend, DU is a lock for the tournament and they’ll be facing quality opponents there, which they seem to step up their game against.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like Monty hasn’t been able to flip the switch with this group. Still waiting for them to play their best hockey. They are capable of beating anyone in the country and conversely losing to any team as well. I think we can all agree, DU is not playing their best hockey coming down the home stretch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leaving last night’s game, I felt surprised, frustrated, and of course, disappointed. Losing on senior night to a last place Miami team certainly wasn’t what I envisioned. No disrespect intended, but that’s a team DU should beat 10 out 10 times. Upon further reflection, I’m not sure why I was surprised……it was just more of the same for this DU team. Not enough effort over 60 minutes, a lack of focus, and yet another game that slipped away. Tough to watch.

    As the regular season ends, it’s hard to classify it any other way than lackluster. 34 games player, 18 victories (53%), and an even split of losses and ties. There were some impressive wins no doubt, and finishing 2nd in a tough competitive NCHC is nothing to sneeze at, but given the talent and experience returning, this team’s percentage of wins should have been at 70% or higher.

    I said it before–I think this team really missed Will Butcher. There seems to be a lack of on-ice leadership this year.

    In a strange way, I’m glad the regular season is over. Maybe the postseason is what the Pios need to start putting together some consistent efforts. A CC team with absolutely nothing to lose starts thing off. Should be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was at Boston in 04,Columbus in 05 and Chicago last year and ready to book St. Paul this year but my senses says we won’t be there.

    I would love to be wrong but this team just doesn’t seem to have the senior leadership .that the other 3 teams had.
    Maybe Berkstrom.Terry and Gambrel have been spending too much time talking to their N.F.L. team reps about their next gig this late spring which dilutes their attention to the tasks at hand.


  6. Will be interesting to see if DU can figure out how to play great hockey for 60 minutes and get the puck in the net instead of being so ‘cute’ as they carry the puck into the zone. Fancy stick handling doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t lead to goals. CC has everything to gain and will be at their best for this weekend’s games. The Frozen Four looks like it’s a long way off for the Pioneers this year….. Hope I’m wrong!


  7. Not having attended Saturday night’s game, I remain optimistic about our chances to get on a roll to the Frozen Four. If I had witnessed blowing a 3 goal lead on Saturday, I might share your pessimism.

    We need McClellan back on the ice. I hope that he’ll be ready to go soon. If he’s at full speed, then we’ll have a group of gritty and skilled forwards (McClellan, O’Connor, Finley, Lukosevicius & Staub) that can provide energetic shifts that will be invaluable in the playoffs.

    I’m a little disappointed in Heikenen lately. He was on a roll, but has not been too impressive lately. Although you can’t put too much on his shoulders, he’s another guy who can add a lot down the stretch if he finds his game.


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