Pioneers Rally in Third Period to Win Eighth-Straight vs Miami, Secure NCHC-Opening Road Sweep

The Miami RedHawks (4-3-1, 0-2-0 NCHC) did not trail until there was just 7:11 left in the game and yet, they still lost. But that’s what can happen when you’re playing the reigning national champions who have their eyes squarely fixed on winning another. Carter Mazur scored his second of two goals and his fifth on the weekend with 7:11 left to give the #3 Denver Pioneers (6-2-0, 2-0-0 NCHC) their first lead of the game and one they would not relinquish as Massimo Rizzo added an empty-net goal to seal the 4-2 victory. It was Denver’s eighth-straight victory over the RedHawks and their fourth-straight overall as they open NCHC play with a critical six points and sit atop the extremely early conference standings.

The RedHawks gave the Pioneers fits, especially on the power play throughout the first two periods of the game, preventing DU from sustaining much zone time and forcing the Pioneers to 0/5 on the PP before Mazur’s game-winning goal on their sixth chance with the man-advantage. By the third period, though, the Pioneers had worn down the RedHawks with their speed and puck pressure and eventually won the war of attrition in Miami’s zone. The third period was an excellent showcase of the sheer difference between a rebuilding Miami team and a national title-contending Denver team. The Pioneers did what they had to do to grind out a victory against an upset-minded RedHawks, something that they’re certainly going to have to do plenty more times throughout the rest of the season.

We will post a full weekend road trip recap tomorrow morning.

5 thoughts on “Pioneers Rally in Third Period to Win Eighth-Straight vs Miami, Secure NCHC-Opening Road Sweep”

  1. the Dornbach Mazur Rizzo line is improving week by week as their time playing together grows Mazur is getting most of the goals but Dornbach is the key. He instinctively goes to the right place to either get to the puck or pass it off.

  2. DU did what it had to to do to grind out a win against a determined Miami team. Yes, the Pios got some fortunate penalty calls tonight, but DU was poised and outshot Miami by a 2-1 margin and were full value for the win.

    Miami had no answer for the Mazur line, which was dominant..

    Pios were out-faceoffed by Miami on both nights, and that is something that DU will need to do better as the season goes on.

  3. Too close for comfort. Like last season, would like to see improvement in faceoffs and, especially, power play success.

    1. There is no comfort in the NCHC – I expect most games to be close.

      DU’s offense is largely a one-line team right now, which means DU is #23 nationally in team offense at 3.12 goals per game – slightly above average, but well below last year’s 4.1 goals per game team. I expect the offense to get a bit better as the new faces grow into their roles, and DU becomes more multi-dimensional than a one-line team.

      DU’s power play is #17 nationally, clipping along at about 24%, which is where it was last year, and against a pretty tough first eight games. The PK is about 78%, 36th nationally which is below average, but pretty similar to last year. There is certainly room for improvement.

      Chrona is #23 nationally in saves percentage at 91% – top third nationally, but not quite elite. Room to get better, too.

      These stats are all pretty good, considering all the talent DU lost. After UND in a couple of weeks, DU will face a middle of the schedule with some non-ranked opponents, where the young players should gain more confidence in their roles. That will help in the stretch drive, when things get tough again…

  4. The big big loss was Bobby Brink. Without him last year there would be no championship. I wish he had stayed.

Leave a Reply