Pioneers Explode for Five Goals in Second Period, Pull Within One Win of Clinching Gold Pan

When a team scores five goals in a period, usually good things are happening. For the Denver Pioneers (8-12-1, 28 pts), after a bye last weekend, an explosive five-goal second period from five different players, was exactly what the doctor ordered as they coasted to a 5-1 victory over the Colorado College Tigers (4-15-2, 21 pts). It was the penultimate college hockey game at the Broadmoor World Arena as Colorado College will christen Robson Arena, its new home on campus, next season.

It’s been a rough year, to say the least, for the Pios. Scoring has been inconsistent, goaltending has been spotty, and generally speaking, the level of energy has been lacking night in and night out. But tonight on the road, on the big ice of the World Arena, it was Denver’s unrelenting offensive attack that was reminiscent of the height of Jim Montgomery’s tenure as DU head coach, that took over the game in the second period. Ryan Barrow, Cole Guttman, and Antti Tuomisto each scored within the first six-and-a-half minutes of the second period to blow the game open after a first period that was mostly controlled by the Tigers. Kohen Olischefski and Justin Lee each added a goal in the final five minutes of the period to put the game out of reach and put the finishing touches on the five-goal period, Denver’s first since a 5-goal second against Bemidji State on January 13, 2012 in a 6-3 effort (it was the second time they did it that season alone).

It was Barrow’s goal to open the scoring that served as the turning point, or breaking of the dam, if you prefer that analogy. Barrow had taken a tripping penalty in the waning minutes of the first period and it carried over into the second period. But as soon as he exited the box, he found himself in the right place at the right time on a missed CC pass to generate a 2-on-0 look and banked the puck off of Ben Copeland’s diving stick past CC goalie Dominic Basse while trying to find Kohen Olischefski back door.

From that point on, it was all Pioneers. The Tigers looked stunned and Denver played every bit like the more prepared team and for once, that effort showed itself on the scoreboard for the Pioneers. But beyond the offensive outburst, it was Magnus Chrona’s performance between the pipes that kept the Tigers from getting back into the game and making it competitive at all as he stopped 24 of CC’s 25 shots on the night including all 13 in the first period (he was also helped by two CC shots hitting iron. The Tigers did add one goal near the midway point of the final frame but the game was all but decided by that point.

In the larger picture, the Pioneers have three regular-season games left before traveling back to Grand Forks for the 8-team, single-elimination Frozen Faceoff and this is the kind of performance that Denver needed to begin this final stretch run. The next step is going to be carrying this momentum into Saturday night’s game against these same Tigers at Magness Arena in the first game that DU has hosted fans since last March. Around 300 fans will be permitted to attend. If Denver can win that game or any of the next three, they will clinch the Gold Pan for the second straight year.

David Carle Postgame


Top Photo: Casey Gibson/

9 thoughts on “Pioneers Explode for Five Goals in Second Period, Pull Within One Win of Clinching Gold Pan”

  1. Great effort and energy getting to pucks tonight. Goal scoring is a goalies best friend. I think the key for DU the balance of this season is getting on the board early/first to take some pressure off the defense.

  2. Excellent second period by the Pios, burying chances, creating scoring opportunities by winning puck battles and breaking open the game after a shaky first period.

    While we’re always happy with victory, there is still a lot of room for improvement by Denver – poor start, poor o-zone penalties, poor power play, and too many grade A’s given up in the first period should be in DC’s talking points tonight.

    It’s basically playoff hockey now…

    1. Hi Puck Swami,
      You are always a good read. Thank you for that. So I have a question for you. What happened to Brett Stapley. I haven’t seen him on the ice for probably 5 or 6 games. Has he left DU? OR does he have the infamous upper or lower body injury? Thanks for any info.

      1. He’s out for the season. He had season-ending surgery for his injury sustained against North Dakota in mid-January.

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