Niagara Falls to Denver in 4-0 Shutout as Pioneers Remain Unbeaten

Photo courtesy Shannon Valerio/DU Athletics

DENVER – Goaltender Michael Corson may not have entered the minds of most Denver fans ahead of the 2019-2020 season. The assumption was that it would be a two-horse race between Devin Cooley and freshman Magnus Chrona. Then Cooley got hurt before the season started and those plans changed. Tonight, against Atlantic Hockey’s Niagara, Corson shined for the top-ranked Pioneers as he stopped all 16 shots he faced en route to Denver’s 4-0 victory with more than 170 Denver Hockey alumni on hand to witness the shutout.

Denver dominated play against the Purple Eagles a night ago en route to a 6-2 victory. The Pioneers’ dominance continued tonight just without the same results on the scoreboard. Denver and Niagara skated to a scoreless draw through one period of play before Denver finally broke through in the second period with a gritty goal scored by Jake Durflinger off of a Kohen Olischefski shot after a wonderful first intermission celebration of the alumni spanning all seven decades in attendance. It was 1-0 at that point but the Pioneers were outshooting the Purple Eagles 32-10 through 40 minutes of play.

If there is one thing that has been a surprise for the Pioneers, it’s been their special teams play, especially on the penalty kill. Coming into the night, Denver had killed all but one of their penalties. The Pios’ dominance on the kill continued as they killed all five of their penalties and even got a shorthanded goal from Brett Stapley about halfway through the third period. Stapley’s goal was an important one, too, given Denver’s difficulty scoring goals to that point. It was a key insurance goal for the Pioneers that gave them the extra cushion if Niagara had somehow found a way to beat Corson, as they nearly did at different points throughout the evening.

The Pioneers added two empty-net goals off the sticks of Tyler Ward and Hank Crone which salted away the shutout and ensured Corson’s night would be one to remember and celebrate. As head coach David Carle noted after the game, “[Corson] has played four periods and hasn’t given up a goal.”

A shutout is always special for any goalie at any level. But when it’s in your first career start in front of the very alumni who made this program what it is today, it becomes something legendary. Tonight’s game will go down as another win on Denver’s journey that will hopefully end in Detroit, but it was Michael Corson’s game on a night that belonged to the alumni.


Postgame Comments

David Carle:

Michael Corson

Michael Davies

2 thoughts on “Niagara Falls to Denver in 4-0 Shutout as Pioneers Remain Unbeaten”

Leave a Reply