The last time the Denver Pioneers swept the North Dakota hockey team, Barack Obama was president, the WCHA not only existed but was thriving as a force in men’s college hockey, and the UND hockey team was still known as the Fighting Sioux. That year, George Gwozdecky’s Pioneers went to the frozen tundra of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and came away with 2-0 and 4-2 victories. Since then, the Pios have never earned more than one victory at The Ralph, and they’ve been swept themselves a few times, including last year. That was then. This is now. The #2 Pioneers (9-3-0, 5-1-0 NCHC) have finally erased that drought as they downed #12 North Dakota (4-5-2, 1-2-1 NCHC) 6-3 on Saturday night to break out the brooms in North Dakota and earn their second victory of the weekend.
Carter Mazur scored twice, the Pios scored twice on the power play, and the freshman duo of Aidan Thompson and Jared Wright each scored their second goals (Wright scored his third with an empty-netter) of the weekend to secure the victory. North Dakota started the game hot with a goal just seven seconds into the game. However, the Pioneers dominated play from that point and, aside from a few boneheaded mistakes and limited stretches of poor play, they did not let the Fighting Hawks do much of anything offensively, outshooting the hosts 33-24 in total and held a 14-3 gap in that stat after the first period.
We will have a full weekend recap as normal tomorrow morning. In the meantime this evening, enjoy the sweep Pios! It’s been a long, long time coming.