Pioneers Survive Upset-Minded RedHawks to Escape Oxford with Five Points

The #5 Denver Pioneers (18-5-1, 11-3-0-1 NCHC, 32 pts) traveled to the Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio to take on the last-place Miami University RedHawks (4-19-2, 1-13-1-0-1, 6 pts) expecting two easy wins after the RedHawks were demolished 11-1 & 8-0 against St. Cloud State last weekend. Instead, the Pios got a lot more than they bargained for in the two-game series as DU had to come back from a third-period two-goal deficit on Friday night to force overtime before coming away with the 5-4 victory. On Saturday evening, the RedHawks once again gave the Pioneers all they could handle, spotting the Pioneers a 2-0 lead before tying it back up at 2 entering the third period. Ryan Barrow scored the game-winner less than six minutes into the final frame and McKade Webster sealed the win with an empty-netter with just over a minute left.

It was a gritty series sweep where the first-place Pioneers narrowly escaped with two wins and come home with five more points to become the first team in the NCHC to reach 30 points on the season. They are now five points clear of North Dakota which is currently trailing St. Cloud State, 3-1 (as of 5:51 pm MT).

We will have a more in-depth discussion of both of this weekend’s games tomorrow in our normal Denver Hockey Road Trip Recap.

2 thoughts on “Pioneers Survive Upset-Minded RedHawks to Escape Oxford with Five Points”

  1. All sweeps, especially road sweeps, are good sweeps in the NCHC, and you have to be proud of DU’s resiliency when they were challenged. While the scores were closer than some thought they would be, DU dominated possession, shots and chances by a large margin all weekend, and deserved to win both nights. Moreover, the Pios got it done at crunch time, when it mattered, on the road.

    Credit Miami for a valiant effort, and for being an improving program, way better than the #49 PWR would have you believe.

    That said, the DU coaches know that there are lots of things that need to improve for DU to win against better teams they will face in the coming weeks. Special teams was subpar this weekend, both PK and PP. There needs to be serious improvements in those two areas down the stretch.

    Additionally, Chrona was solid enough to beat Miami twice, but giving up six goals on the weekend to a struggling-to-score Miami team isn’t going to win any NCHC Goalie of the Week awards.

    If he gives up softies (there were 2 or 3 of those six he’d like to have back) against the upper echelon of the NCHC in February and March, it’s going to be a white-knuckle struggle for the Pios….

  2. On paper, all indications were this should have been a relatively easy series for DU. First place team vs last place team. A couple of easy victories, right? Nope. Full credit to Miami. They may be toiling in last place with only one league victory to this point, but they certainly haven’t mailed it in. While DU held a decisive shot and puck possession advantage in both games, it was only a 9-6 goal advantage in the series. Miami was opportunistic and came to play.

    Having said that, the Pios deserve credit as well. A road sweep in the NCHC is always something to be proud of, regardless of the opponent, and DU runs it road record to 7-5, including 3 wins in a row away from Magness.

    Get ready for some intense, playoff-like series the next two weekends. St. Cloud is here next weekend, and I’m sure the Huskies will be in an ornery mood after getting pasted by UND on Friday night and then blowing a lead last night and losing in a SO.

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