Denver hockey carried the pace of play but trailed 2-1 at the end of the first period to the visiting Omaha Mavericks. However, Denver rallied for five goals in the second period, fueled by a five-minute major penalty, to carry a 6-3 lead into the final period. Denver outscored Omaha 2-1 in the final period but the die was cast. Denver earned the dominant win at Magness Arena against Omaha, 8-4.
Denver controlled the puck in the first period but at 5:46 Ray Fust got the visitors on the board. A minute later, DU countered with the equalizer, 1-1, on an even-strength goal by Sean Behrens with help from Tristan Broz and Miko Matikka. Three and a half minutes later, Omaha struck again when Ty Muller tickled the twine, 2-1. Omaha solved freshman goaltender Freddie Halyk early with two goals on only four shots.
Early in the second period (:22), a 5-minute major was given to Omaha for contact to the head. It was the Buium power-play show as Zeev scored at 1:57 to knot the score and Shai put DU in front at 4:11, 3-2. Denver was off to the races, pasting Omaha goalie Simon Latkoczy with shots as the Pioneers used their superior speed and puck movement to dominate. Shortly after the major penalty expired, DU’s Rieger Lorenz made the Mavs pay for some lackadaisical defensive play and doubled up the advantage. Five minutes later, McKade Webster scored an even-strength goal with assists from Massimo Rizzo and Sean Behrens. Denver had Omaha reeling when Miko Matikka added DU’s fifth goal during the 20-minute scoring rampage. With two minutes left in the period, Omaha’s Brock Bremer finally got a puck past Halyk, 6-3.
REPLAY: backhand wizardry by Lorenz pic.twitter.com/t1pJmZb2Ai
— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) November 18, 2023
The final period was inconsequential after the second-period onslaught by the Pioneers. Rieger Lorenz scored at 6:34 of the third period for Denver. Matt Miller broke the ice for Omaha at 9:10 but eight minutes later Boston Buckberger assisted a Connor Caponi goal to make the final score 8-4.
Overall, a dominating performance by Denver. Sure, there were some defensive lapses but Denver is very dangerous on the offensive end and made stops when they needed to do so. Heck, the final score even felt like an old WCHA game with high-scoring and end-to-end action in the old barn. This group can light the lamp. As with many DU teams, the Denver defense will continue to grow and improve as the season progresses.
These same teams meet on Magness Arena ice Saturday night at 6:00 pm MT.