Tristan Broz Scores Four, Pioneers Dominate Second Period Again to Sweep RedHawks

In years when the Pioneers are contending for national titles – and it certainly seems it’s every year lately – consistent success in the second period always seems to be one of the key reasons why. In 2017, Jim Montgomery’s national champion Pioneers outscored their opponents an incredible 70-27 while a year ago, David Carle’s 2022 national champion Pioneers outscored theirs 68-22. If you’re noticing a theme, there’s a good reason: when you dominate the second period consistently, you win a lot of games. That theory was on full display this weekend at Magness Arena as the #4 Denver Pioneers (19-5-0, 10-2-0 NCHC) blasted the Miami RedHawks (7-13-2, 2-9-1 NCHC) with 10 second-period goals, six on Friday and four on Saturday, en route to the sweep and 7-0 victory in game two. The sweep, aided by Carter King’s hat trick on Friday and Tristain Broz’s four goals on Saturday, also widened the gap between first-place Denver and second-place St. Cloud State to six points at the halfway mark of NCHC play.

Thanks to this weekend’s second-period dominance, the 2022-23 Pioneers have outscored their opponents 34-17 in the middle frame this season. They’re behind the pace set by the program’s 8th and 9th national title winners but they’re still finding ways to impose their will after the first period. Interestingly, in both games this weekend, the second-period explosions came after scoreless first periods. On Friday night, five of their six were scored within a 6:33 span while tonight, three of their four were scored within the first 5:05. Miami may be the NCHC’s perennial cellar-dweller but scoring in bunches like the Pios did this weekend is impressive nonetheless.

“On paper, it says that we love the second periods,” DU goaltender Magnus Chrona said. “I just think that we stick with it, we know that [goals are] going to come. We had our opportunities in the first and in the second we capitalized more on the shots that we took. We did that last year too.”

Even more impressive, though, was the fact that, in addition to Broz’s incredible four goals tonight, the Pioneers had four different goal-scorers in the second period tonight and five last night. Scoring depth has always been a hallmark of Denver’s best teams, historically, and as the season continues to wear into the dog days of late January and February, that appears to be a calling card for these Pioneers as well. While last night, four scorers augmented Carter King’s first career hat trick, tonight, Broz, Rieger Lorenz, Sean Behrens, and Casey Dornbach each tallied for the Pios in the second period before Broz scored three more times in the third period to round out the first four-goal performance for DU in nearly 20 years.

“So happy for him,” Dornbach said of Broz. “He’s a great kid and ever since we both have been here, we’ve just been working our asses off and he’s a guy that I’m really close with. I couldn’t be happier for him. A couple really nice shots and he’s a great player so it’s awesome to see him get rewarded like that…he deserves it.”

As elite as the offense was, Magnus Chrona shut the door all weekend on Miami’s offensive “attack.” He stopped all 40 shots he faced this weekend and tallied his third shutout of the season, all of which have come against Miami.

“He’s been really good, coming out of the break,” DU head coach David Carle said of Chrona’s play of late. “He didn’t play either Lindenwood game and prior to that was Duluth and again, I thought he was excellent there, so yeah, his game is definitely at a different level now than it was two months ago, but he’s been pretty good all year.”

Zooming out, though, this weekend’s games marked the halfway point of NCHC play across the conference and the Pioneers (29 pts) sit six points clear of the #3 St. Cloud State Huskies (23 pts) who sit in second place in the race for the Penrose Cup. Entering the weekend, before the Huskies split with the Colorado College Tigers, that gap was only three.

“It’s just the midpoint of the year, we’re not even close to the playoffs yet,” Broz said. “We have to keep building on everything but I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Winning the Penrose is not remotely the Pioneers’ goal for this season. Sure, the hardware would nicely complement the bevy of other trophies Denver boasts in its case, but the importance of winning the Penrose – and it is important – has almost exclusively to do with putting themselves in the best possible position entering the postseason. Winning the Penrose not only clinches the top overall seed entering the NCHC Tournament, but it almost certainly clinches a top four, #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. At the halfway point of conference play, with 12 games left, the Pioneers have earned the inside track for all of that to happen before the games really start to matter.

Winning both games against Miami and sweeping the season series with the RedHawks (again), isn’t particularly groundbreaking. But what the Pioneers were able to do in the second period this weekend, especially after last weekend’s surprise split with Alaska, showed why they remain the favorite to win the conference and the whole damn thing in April.

David Carle Postgame


Top photo credit: Harrison Barden/Clarkson Creative via DU Athletics

4 thoughts on “Tristan Broz Scores Four, Pioneers Dominate Second Period Again to Sweep RedHawks”

  1. Great to see Broz scoring four times in a single game. DU hasn’t seen that feat in 20 years since Kevin Doell did it in 2003, and great to see DU playing its relentless “Pioneer Hockey” style again. The two touchdowns DU put up this weekend was as strong a DU scoring performance in an NCHC series as I can remember since the league was founded in 2013.

    This series was also an excellent confidence-booster for the Pioneers, who had more than their share of flat play in the Lindenwood and UAF series’ prior to Miami. What is really interesting to me is that DU had zero goals from the first line last night, and that is a powerful sign that the Pioneers are developing some scoring depth, so if teams shut down Mazur and Rizzo from scoring, other Pios hit the net, like Broz last night and Carter King did on Friday.

    Now is a good time to take the Pioneer hockey show on the road and see if it can work against #5 St. Cloud, the team just below the Pioneers in the PWR and in the NCHC standings.

  2. I wonder if DU has ever put together back to back touchdown to zip games? Maybe in the 60s. Big step for Broz, and good for King. We’ve got the top scorers with Rizzo, Dornbach, and Mazur, but to have 3 more consistent scorers right below them would be huge. Broz, King, and still waiting for Devine to break out a bit more. Congrats to Chrona! Not under heavy pressure, but back to back shut outs is impressive.

  3. I missed Friday’s game, but it sound as though Saturday’s game was a continuation. Pios put on a clinic, and Miami had no answers. Two TDs and and two extra points this weekend and no GAs against an NCHC opponent–very impressive.

    Broz was playing with his hair on fire. That was great to see. I feel as though we’ve seen flashes of potential from him this year, but he really put it all together on Saturday. He’s a guy who will likely continue to play a very important role in terms of DU’s scoring depth.

    Big test coming up next weekend on the road against St. Cloud.

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