DU Freshman Goaltender Freddie Halyk Spurs 4-0 Win

DU hockey (4-1-1) went back on the ice Saturday night following a spotty performance Friday against Augustana. One LetsGoDU reader observed following the tie with the Augies, “The first 10 minutes showed a difference in talent (3-0 DU) and the last 50+ minutes (5-2 Augustana) showed the difference in heart.” Saturday night against a scrappy Air Force team was certain to be a test of both as Denver took to the ice on this snowy Hoctoberfest game.

Hocktoberfest fans battled the first winter storm of the season Saturday night.

Denver answered the bell in the first period with fast, physical play. Big freshman goaltender Freddie Halyk, 6’5 210 pounds, had a rock-solid opening twenty minutes. Finally, a rip from the high point from Massimo Rizzo, assisted by Boston Bruckberger at 9:00 minutes,  gave DU a 1-0 lead. DU added a pair of excellent PK’s and outshot the Falcons 11-6 in the opening period.

DU’s energy carried over early into the second period. Halyk stood on his head with a spectacular save early and Denver carried the pace of play. Unfortunately, Denver’s two power plays mid-period could not find pay dirt as the Pioneers could not penetrate the AFA defense. Later, a pair of penalties were called on Denver’s Sean Behrens and Connor Caponi, leaving DU two men short and Halyk on an island – the freshman keeper stood on his head yet again. Denver finally doubled up the score at 18:31 on a shot from the Pioneers’ freshman Cale Ashcroft off the back pads of the AFA goalie Guy Blessing as his shot ricochet into the cage, 2-0 DU.

DU controlled play the first ten minutes of the third period. In the final ten minutes, Halyk was required to make more beautiful saves to hold off some excellent Air Force scoring opportunities. At 5:44 Massimo Rizzo went coast-to-coast down the ice and poked in a goal, his second of the game, 3-0 Denver. DU’s Carter King scored a red-line empty netter to finish off the scrappy and frustrated visitors, 4-0, who grew increasingly agitated by the score and Denver’s swarming style of play.

Denver got physical, showed heart, played in space and flashed Pioneer hockey. It wasn’t a perfect skill game by any measure for a young Pioneers side who can improve on both end of the ice. And yes, while it is only one game, my oh my – Freddie Halyk looks like the real deal. He owned the crease and seized the opportunity. The Gold Rush uniforms looked sharp on the ice but the most valuable discovery of the night may be Halyk.

6 thoughts on “DU Freshman Goaltender Freddie Halyk Spurs 4-0 Win”

  1. No question, Halyk was the star of the game tonight….
    The rest of the team again looked somewhat out of sorts. Some of last night’s players weren’t suited up, including Davis. Passing was still off, stick handling was only so-so, expected skating speed wasn’t on display tonight and the DU power play was again ho-hum with few shots attempted.
    Fortunately, there’s time for Carle to get this group on track as the schedule appears to be in DU’s favor…until North Dakota comes to town on December 1st anyway.

  2. I didn’t get to see the Air Force game, but I’m glad DU got the bounce-back shutout win after Augustana tie embarrassment, the sellout DU homecoming crowd went home happy and the Pios may have found a new starting goalie.

    CC is up next, and while the Tiggies lost to Augustana on Saturday, I expect a very closely played series with DU next weekend. The flu-ridden Pios lost to CC 1-0 last year in the NCHC semis which should keep DU plenty motivated, along with the usual Gold Pan rivalry. CC has more scoring depth this year, and the Pios will need to be more dialed-in.

  3. Really glad to see this 2023-24 edition of DU hockey back on the ice and in person, but it was a very weird weekend to start the home slate. Friday night DU came out like gangbusters, and I thought they would end up winning by a TD and an extra point. Then the contest turned into a dumpster fire. Pios couldn’t hold the lead, were plagued by sloppy and uninspired play and lousy goaltending, and I went home trying to figure out what the hell I just saw. One thing’s for sure: give a lot of credit to Augustana. Those guys came to play and took advantage of DU’s poor execution and disjointed effort.

    Last night was much better, particularly against a determined and spirited (to no one’s surprise) AFA squad. I really liked what I saw from Halyk, and I went home feeling a bit better about the weekend overall. Still, this team has a lot to improve upon and clean up, and the younger players will have to learn on the fly. In addition:

    –Have to wonder what kind of confidence Matt Davis has right now. He played poorly on Friday, and as another poster mentioned, hasn’t performed the way he needs to if he wants to be the starter. I’m pulling for him, but he needs to up his play significantly.
    –Special teams need to be better, especially the PP.
    –Blueliners need to be cleaner with their outlet passes and more positionally sound
    –If DU can commit to a forecheck on a nightly basis, they will be tough to handle.
    –I’m excited about this freshman class. I know it’s very early, but there is some exciting talent in that group.

    Can’t wait to the these guys battle CC next weekend.

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