Lackluster Pioneers Shut Out by #2 Fighting Hawks in Grand Forks

In a tough season filled with bad nights of hockey, the Denver Pioneers (7-11-1, 25 pts) delivered another dud against the #2 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (14-4-1, 41 pts), falling 3-0 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was a game that featured 17 penalties, 11 power plays, and a game that altogether did not spell success for the Pioneers. It was, fittingly, a DU penalty followed by a North Dakota power-play goal that served as the turning point of the game.

Denver looked a step behind North Dakota from the jump. The Pioneers were outshot 16-6 in the first period and 29-24 overall thanks, in part to DU’s 7 penalties resulting in 5 UND power plays. All the penalties prevented the Pioneers from generating any momentum in the offensive zone and North Dakota was able to take advantage of DU’s unsettled play twice in their own defensive zone to provide the game’s only offense. Jasper Weatherby scored first on the rush in the first period before Shane Pinto took advantage of an open net after DU goaltender Magnus Chrona made a sprawling save to double UND’s lead and all but ice the game in the second period.

Between the two teams, there was a total of 48 penalty minutes, 24 of which were the result of contact with a goaltender by both teams (Kohen Olischefski was issued a five-minute major and game misconduct for knee-to-knee contact at the 20-minute mark of the 3rd period and will likely be suspended by the NCHC tomorrow night), more than two full periods of a hockey game. Neither team was really able to generate much momentum throughout the game and there was barely any continuous 5-on-5 hockey at any point in the game. For a team like Denver, looking to make some noise and work its way back into contention, a game officiated like this did them no favors. To be clear, though, puck don’t lie.

Sure, Chrona played a decent game stopping 26 of 28 UND shots prior to their empty-net goal, but really, in the end, nothing matters. The Sun is eventually going to engulf the solar system, Whatever. Everything ends. Eat at Arby’s. Denver and North Dakota play again tomorrow night at The Ralph. Puck drops at 5:07pm MT.

Postgame Comments


Top photo: Denver Athletics

5 thoughts on “Lackluster Pioneers Shut Out by #2 Fighting Hawks in Grand Forks”

  1. As a spoiled DU fan, other than getting just enough points to retain the Gold Pan in the coming weeks, I am pretty much ready for this DU hockey season to end. It’s been painful to watch.

    This DU team just does not have the mojo, smarts, goaltending or scoring when it needs it in order to be an elite team this year. Sure they have talent. Sure they can control games from time to time. But when it comes to key moments in games when it’s time for a big save, a big goal, not taking a stupid penalty or locking down defensively, more often than not, this team just can’t seem to do it.

    It’s been a terrible, terrible year in life under Covid, and so far, a relatively poor year in Pioneer sports, with almost all Pioneer teams pretty firmly on the struggle bus…

  2. The only consolation to this year is that as bad as DU is, CC is worse. I am not optimistic about retaining the Gold Pan. What a train wreck of a season.

  3. It appears that the Pios are trying the best they can…
    Unfortunately it just isn’t good enough this season.

  4. When it rains, it pours, and the puzzling saga that is the DU 2020-21 hockey season continues.

    Doesn’t sound as though there is anything positive to take away from last night’s game. Glad I didn’t see it.

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