Pioneers Dominate Tigers In 4-0 Shutout to Clinch Second-Straight Gold Pan

It’s been a season that has felt lost, uneven, and at times unnecessary. But even in a season such as this one, amidst national turmoil, a global pandemic, and an unrelenting economic crisis, at least one thing has remained constant: the Denver Pioneers are better than the Colorado College Tigers and have won another Gold Pan. By virtue of tonight’s 4-0 victory at Magness Arena, the Pioneers improved their all-time record against the Tigers to 186-121-21 and won their 15th pan since its inception 28 years ago.

The Pioneers put on a show for the roughly 300 fans in attendance – the first home game of the season with fans in attendance for the Pioneers. The penalty-killing unit was perfect going 8-for-8, Magnus Chrona was brilliant stopping all 29 of CC’s shots, and Cole Guttman provided the scoring in the second period with two power-play goals just 34 seconds apart. Just like the game two nights ago, when the Pioneers scored five times in the second period, this game was out of reach before the final 20 minutes were even played. There weren’t many genuine scoring chances for either team in the third period but it was Denver’s potent defense, led by Chrona, that kept the Tigers off the scoreboard and made sure the Pioneers would retain the Gold Pan.

Unlike the first game of this two-game series at the World Arena, Denver was able to take control of the game in the first period thanks to an early goal from freshman Carter Savoie – his 12th of the season – and a last-minute goal by Connor Caponi, his 2nd. Those two goals set the tone for the final 40 minutes of play and, as we’ve seen so many times in the past decade between these two archrivals, the Tigers simply could not keep up.

Now that the Gold Pan has been won in a dominant fashion, Denver’s attention turns to getting into postseason shape in their final two tilts with the Tigers next Thursday (in Denver) and Saturday – the final college hockey game at the World Arena. As things stand now, the Pioneers are at best a long shot to be given an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. In all likelihood, if Denver doesn’t win the NCHC Tournament in Grand Forks in a few weeks, they will miss the national tournament for the first time since 2007 (not including last year for obvious reasons). In other words, even without the Gold Pan there as motivation anymore this year, there is still plenty for the Pioneers to play for this year if they’re going to find a way to extend their season into late March and, hopefully, early April.

This rivalry has a long, fantastic history – DU and CC passed Michigan vs. Michigan State tonight for the most matchups all-time with 328 – with ups and downs, some extended, by both teams. Heck, the very first game between these two storied programs ended in a 16-0 rout won by Colorado College. The run of misery by the Tigers over the better part of the last decade isn’t a new phenomenon or necessarily unique to the black and yellow-clad program but it certainly has been nice to see the Pioneers on the winning end of this run. The Pioneers have outscored the Tigers 19-6 in their first four games this year and they still have two left next weekend. There is no indication that next weekend’s games will be any more competitive than these last two games have been. If that is indeed the case, Denver will certainly be able to use it as a confidence and momentum-building series heading into an NCHC Tournament that matters more for them than it has since the conference’s inception.

Notable: Carter Savoie sustained a big hit near the end of the game and went to the locker room after initial evaluation by DU’s trainers. Head coach David Carle did not have an update on Savoie’s status and said that there won’t be one until early next week.

Postgame Comments


Top photo: Colorado College Athletics

3 thoughts on “Pioneers Dominate Tigers In 4-0 Shutout to Clinch Second-Straight Gold Pan”

  1. Good effort by the Pios. Nice to see fans scattered about Magness last night. Watching Savoie being helped to the locker room didn’t look good. We can only hope that he’s going to be ready for the NCHC tourney, as the team may finally be peaking,

  2. DU got the job done, despite a lot of lazy penalties. If they do that against anyone else the NCHC, they will be out of the tournament, as other league PPs are an order of magnitude better than CC’s 5% PP.

    The big question now is Savoie. DU’s hopes for any kind of playoff run depend on him to score goals.

    Chrona looked like his old self this weekend. He needs to be like that in the playoffs to win three straight against the best teams in the country…

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