Savoie’s Career Night Helps Pioneers Shut Out Falcons and Complete Sweep

Carter Savoie recorded a hat trick and a career-high six total points while freshman goaltender Matt Davis recorded a shutout in his first career start as the #11 Denver Pioneers (4-0-0) cruised past the Air Force Falcons (1-3-0) 8-0 at Magness Arena on Saturday night. It was never a particularly close game for the Pioneers, who topped these same Falcons 4-1 in Colorado Springs last night and still have yet to allow a five-on-five goal through four games this year.

Air Force didn’t exactly present Denver with an especially difficult test this weekend but the Pioneers did to the Falcons what good, talented teams do to less-skilled teams – they dominated start to finish. Savoie’s six points understandably got all the attention, but it was Denver’s team effort in all three phases that opened up the ice for Savoie to go to work. In the second period, the St. Albert, AB native’s final two goals of the night were products of excellent cycling and relentless pressure in the offensive zone. They constantly wore down Air Force’s defense and when they found those openings in the defense, they didn’t miss the net. A night ago, Air Force goaltender Alex Schilling made 42 saves on 46 shots but tonight, thanks to Denver’s pressure in the offensive zone, Schilling exited halfway through the second period, making just 21 saves on 26 shots.

“First one, [Behrens] made a really good pass, I slid in the back door,” Savoie said of his hat trick night. “Second one, I saw room upstairs on his blocker side and on my third one, I went back against the grain on the one-timer. I was obviously feeling it tonight.”

It wasn’t just the even-strength Pioneers that benefited from that relentless offense as Denver scored three times on the power play – Savoie accounted for two of them – a week after failing to score in seven tries in game two against Arizona State. For the first time all year, and probably since 2019, David Carle’s Pioneers look a lot like the elite Denver teams from the Jim Montgomery era that never let the opposition breathe. These Pioneers, at least through four games against teams that they should beat, have played relentless hockey and appear to once again be trusting the ‘proscess’ that led the Pioneers to incredible heights last decade.

“I really liked our game tonight,” Denver head coach David Carle said. “I thought we were relentless and I thought we were last weekend against Arizona State at home, last night in our first game on the road. It was a tough environment and it’s tough to sweep opponents and I thought our guys did an excellent job tonight.”

Denver’s offense – also including a four-point game from captain Cole Guttman and three-point games from Sean Behrens and Bobby Brink tonight and a two-goal game from Mike Benning last night – was what drove the Pioneers to the sweep this weekend, but after giving up six goals to Arizona State – all with Denver on the penalty kill – this weekend, the Pioneers gave up one goal (also on the power play) and freshman Matt Davis excelled in his collegiate debut stopping all 25 Air Force shots. Magnus Chrona, for his effort a night ago, stopped 19 of Air Force’s 20 shots and the only one that ended up crossing the goal line came with less than a second left on the clock in the first period.

“He was exceptional,” Carle said of Davis’ debut shutout. “I thought he did an excellent job getting out, stopping pucks, playing the puck, tracked it very well, got whistles when needed…I just loved his demeanor for a freshman making his first career start. I thought he had to earn his shutout.”

In all, it was as perfect a weekend as the Pioneers could have forecasted. They allowed just 44 shots and one goal all weekend while lighting the lamp 12 times, as they did last weekend against ASU. The offensive formula is working perfectly so far this season but if they can repeat this defensive effort all year long, watch out for these Pioneers.


Top photo of Savoie celebrating one of his goals courtesy of Shannon Valerio, Denver Athletics

3 thoughts on “Savoie’s Career Night Helps Pioneers Shut Out Falcons and Complete Sweep”

  1. Last night was a great display of the Pioneers’ speed and skill, and the Falcons had no answer for Denver’s top line. Of course, we’ve seen DU go to 4-0 in Colorado against some decent but non-top 20 teams in ASU and AFA which should elevate DU into the top 10.

    The next few weeks, though, will tell is a lot more about how good this DU team really is as the Pios face Providence, BC and North Dakota on the road against more skilled opposition than ASU or AFA.

    I really like what I am seeing so far, especially the scoring and relentless puck pressure this year, with the youth stepping right in and contributing…

  2. That was fun. DU put on a clinic against a game but overmatched AFA squad. Playing against AFA is no joke, as those guys always play hard and always compete, so to pile up 12 goals on the weekend and only surrender 1 is impressive. That said, as Puck Swami mentions, the schedule gets a lot tougher, at least on paper. A long road trip out East to play two Hockey East opponents and then the trip to Grand Forks.

Leave a Reply