Was there a hockey game Saturday night?
But DU saved the best memory for last, as DU sophomore Jack Devine won the Saturday night game, rifling a 20- foot wrister to break a 2-2 tie just 1:15 into overtime, sending over 6,000 DU fans into a happy conclusion to Homecoming weekend, completing the sweep of the Providence Friars on the weekend in one of the more physical non-league series in recent years.
The Providence Friars, who DU coach David Carle termed a top 10 level opponent, were supposed to be the homecoming foil for a Denver team hanging yet more NCAA Championship laundry in the rafters, forcing DU’s latest (and ninth) NCAA banner to hang from a third girder in Magness Arena, outgrowing the previous girder spaces. But the Friars failed to roll over, as they were itching to spoil DU’s party by giving the Pioneers all they could handle. The Friars came in with an attitude and major physicality, following the 4-1 thumping DU gave them Friday night and were determined not to be Saturday night crash dummies.
So it took DU three periods and a little extra time to complete the sweep. Adding to the frivolity were crazy bounces and caught edges when the sweltering 78-degree outdoor temps turned the Magness surface into Italian frozen ice.
DU could only muster a paltry five shots in the first period and Pio goalie Magnus Chrona held strong in net as Providence came in waves. Both teams sent players to the penalty box, but a pair of Friars went to the box with 18 minutes to go but, alas, teams left the ice knotted 0-0.
DU failed to take advantage of a five-on-three advantage to open the second period and trailed on shots, 16-8, five minutes into the second frame. Twenty-two minutes of penalties into the frame failed to produce a goal and each team was on the short end of physical checks.
Finally, a power play goal by Providence’s Jaroslav Chmelar at 15:51 gave the team in black a 1-0 edge. Denver would have none of it and countered with a powerplay of their own with 2:43 remaining as Carter Mazur pulled Denver even, 1-1. Next, with a minute to go in the period, DU’s Massimo Rizzo buried the puck in a scramble in front of the net as a gassed Frier shift left the Providence goalie Philip Svedeback exposed, and all of a sudden in front, 2-1 good guys.
The third period led with more hard checking and an offensive edge by Providence. The Friars tattoed the Pioneers to the boards and clanked a shot off the pipe but could not pull even with Denver. Y et another Denver penalty at 11:00 gave Providence yet another superb chance but Denver survived the short-handed flurry.
With 3:56 remaining in regulation, during yet another Providence powerplay, Taige Harding finally buried a shot in a scramble to pull even with Denver, 2-2. A total of 32 minutes of penalties (16/16) pulled the game even and neither side could collect more than a pair of goals in regulation.
Denver quickly punched their winning ticket in 3-on-3 overtime behind Devine’s snipe to put the finishing touches on a perfect weekend 1:15 into five-minute overtime, 3-2 – Pioneers.
- Denver was outshot 30-23 and a tough physical game ended with 32 minutes of penalties in a physical, hard-earned homecoming victory.
- There was also a medical emergency when DU forward Casey Dornbach collapsed and passed out on the DU bench after taking a puck to the throat. Dornbach was taken to an area hospital on a precautionary basis and appears to be okay, according to news reports.
Massimo Rizzo's tally is the @Safeway Goal of the Game & has given the Pioneers the 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Carter Mazur had 2 points in 2 minutes, this time on the feed to Riz. pic.twitter.com/oQCgjaPxhQ
— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) October 23, 2022
Feature Photo: Courtesy Denver Athletics
Jack Devine delivers a happy Homecoming for the Pioneers. pic.twitter.com/1r0IBgpbx7
— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) October 23, 2022
3 thoughts on “Denver wins Homecoming Slugfest over Providence in OT, 3-2”
Man, that was a battle. Pios had to grind this one out and withstand a major push from the Friars. This was a physical, hard-fought game……big boy hockey for sure. In the end, the Pios had a little more magic and Devine scored in OT on a beauty of a wrist shot.
Big weekend for DU to get a sweep over a very good and tough Providence team. To no one’s surprise, the Friars showed up and gave the Pioneers all they could handle. The Friars certainly have the makings of an elite team and a national contender.
I hate to harp on the officiating, but I feel the same way about this series as I felt last season after the DU-Western Michigan series (if I remember correctly). It just felt over-officiated. Too many ticky-tack calls on both sides in both games really disrupted the flow this weekend. Maybe the refs were worried about things getting out of control between these teams, but that doesn’t seem reasonable. It was disappointing to see the refs making so many calls in a series between two elite teams who were just out there battling.
After the setback last weekend against UMass, getting two Ws against Providence is huge. As Mazur mentioned in his post-game comments, hopefully this weekend is a big stepping stone for this young team. League play starts next weekend with a visit to Miami.
While I am very happy with the sweep, the Pios are already piling up the injuries. Thompson and Webster were out already, and now perhaps with Dornbach and King injured this last weekend, the Pios are now perhaps down four forwards. This coming series in Miami is big for DU to maintain momentum with SCSU and North Dakota looming in the following weeks…
Didn’t Mayhew get injured, as well, in the 3rd period?