Pioneers Erase Two-Goal Deficit, Come Back to Beat Bulldogs in Overtime

The #1 Denver Pioneers (13-4-0, 7-2-0 NCHC) traveled to Duluth, Minnesota, a city where they have not played particularly well historically, and promptly spotted the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (8-9-0, 4-5-0 NCHC) a 2-0 lead. Dominic James and Ben Steeves each scored on Sean Behrens’ two first-period penalties – holding then tripping – to give the PK unit an inauspicious start to the weekend. But Massimo Rizzo responded with under two minutes left in the opening frame with a power-play goal of his own off of a beauty of a pass from goaltender Magnus Chrona to cut the deficit to one entering the first intermission.

From there, the Pioneers played quintessential Pioneer hockey. They were tough to play against, the defense activated when it needed to, and Chrona settled in nicely, turning away all 14 shots he saw after the first period. It was early in the third period, though, when Jack Devine found Carter Mazur on a perfect back-door pass through the slot in transition to tie the game at two. Mazur had been in the midst of a rare four-game goal-less streak so it was helpful for the DU star forward to get off the schneid, so to speak, and find the back of the net at a key moment.

After Mazur’s goal, it appeared that the Bulldogs had pulled back ahead but thanks to the heroics of Travis Culhane, the same Director of Hockey Operations who implored David Carle to challenge the game-winning goal call against Arizona State a week ago, saw goaltender interference. He got Carle’s attention, the head coach challenged, and, well, you know how this goes. No goal. Tie game. Overtime.

Tristan Broz was the one tonight who called game for the Pioneers with a perfect wrister from the slot after Mike Benning forced a UMD turnover at the DU blue line. 3-2 final. Pioneers win. Two more important points in the NCHC standings to remain in first place, one point ahead of St. Cloud State.


6 thoughts on “Pioneers Erase Two-Goal Deficit, Come Back to Beat Bulldogs in Overtime”

  1. Pios came out flat as a pancake last night, but as good teams do, DU managed to dig out of the hole on the road and to grind out a result against a UMD that is young, but talented and emerging.

    As we approach the halfway mark, DU has been getting excellent top-level defense and well-balanced, but not explosive offense. The puck possession and transitions are top level and are a joy to watch when DU’s feet are moving, and the Pios are excellent on the walls, winning puck battles and forcing turnovers all over the ice.

    With all that good stuff, there is still much to improve: Particularly the performance of special teams, goaltending and face-offs in the second half. Certainly the DU coaching staff is well aware of these statistically-obvious deficiencies.

  2. Those UMD broadcasters are horrible. All they could do was complain about the officiating and how wronged UMD was in all the calls and non-calls. Makes you appreciate Jay Stickney.

  3. I thoght the UMD broadcasters were pretty good. They gave DU a lot of credit…at least until the ‘no-goal’ decision.

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