Denver Hockey Advances to NCHC Semifinals with 7-2 Win Over Miami

The Miami Redhawks  (8-24-4, 3-19-3) took an early spring break, giving up 3 goals in the first 3:30 of the game. #1 NCHC seed Denver (30-8-0, 20-5-0) scored seven goals on the night by seven different players en route to a dominant 7-2 win. DU is headed to the NCHC Semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota to face Colorado College in the NCHC Semifinals.

Should Denver advance to the NCHC finals, it is unclear which teams will be on the other side of the bracket as of this writing. Omaha and North Dakota split their quarterfinal games along with St. Cloud State and the University of Minnesota Duluth whose playoff series is also knotted at 1-1. Saint Paul participants will be decided in third and final games Sunday.

Denver came out on fire to start Saturday night’s game.  DU’s Casey Dornbach scored at 36 seconds, Aidan Thompson at 2:37 and Owen Ozar at 3:24 with the eventual game-winner in the opening minutes of the first period. The Miami Redhawks were shellshocked at the opening Pioneer salvo but finally solved Matt Davis three minutes later when Miami’s Ryan Savage found net, 3-1. Twelve minutes later, Shai Buium scored for Denver to regain the three-goal margin, 4-1, Denver.

Five minutes into the second period, Tristan Lemyre scored on a powerplay to bump the score to 5-1 on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play with assists from Carter King and Kyle Mayhew. At that point, Denver had solved goaltender Ludvig Persson with five goals on only fourteen shots. Three minutes later, DU’s Lucas Olvestad beat a deflated Persson with goal number six. With four minutes left in the period, the Redhawks finally beat Davis for their second and final goal of the night by Artur Turansky. The period ended 6-2, Denver.

It was largely an uneventful third period as Denver emptied their bench and rested players. With 4:30 remaining, head Coach David Carle inserted goaltender Jack Caruso for mop-up duties. With 1:02 remaining in the game, Jack Devine capped his weekend with a goal to make it a 7-2 final score.

Denver had a balanced attack on the night with all their goals scored by different players as injuries allowed the Pioneers to play deep into their roster and test different line combinations. Denver’s Kyle Mayhew finished the game leading DU with four assists on the night but acknowledged after the game that the team is banged up after a long, emotional season.

Next up, it should be an exciting all-Colorado NCHC Semifinal against Colorado College on Friday, March 17 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

David Carle Interview

Kyle Mayhew Interview

Audio Interviews:  Courtesy of Josie Lecompte

5 thoughts on “Denver Hockey Advances to NCHC Semifinals with 7-2 Win Over Miami”

  1. Lot’s of different guys stepping up.Good to see the depth on this team. CC will be desperate next weekend. Let’s get healthy!

  2. This DU team is so banged up that I am not really emotionally invested in how they do at St. Paul this year. Play the reserves, as needed.

    It’s more important to have our guys ready for the NCAAs, and if some guys aren’t ready next weekend, rest them. No need to rush anyone back, as DU is already locked into the #1 seed band at #3, and losing either game at St. Paul won’t change that.

    More importantly, DU still has a major area to practice before the NCAAs, and that is the PK, which, rather incredibly, is still ranked 45th in the country. Pios will need to be sharper here, as the stakes go up in the coming weeks.

  3. Swami- Yes that’s the big picture, but still want to put another dagger in CC’s heart!

  4. Strong weekend for DU and an emphatic start to the postseason. There was a lot to like this weekend. DU piled up 13 goals in the two games, with the depth and versatility of this team on full display, and the Pios controlled a pesky but overmatched Miami team for the bulk of the weekend. This kind of series is always a bit tricky–Miami had absolutely nothing to lose, while DU is trying to get healthy and ready for the national tournament. I’m glad the Pios took care of business and glad this series is behind them.

    DU has now won 30 games this year. Hopefully 6 more victories to come.

    Playing CC next weekend in St. Paul will be a high intensity battle.

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