St.. Cloud, MN – The Denver Pioneers scored the tying goal with 3:27 remaining in regulation to salvage one league point and scored in the second overtime for the extra league point as the league leaders skated to an official 1-1 tie. Denver heavy-hitters Henrik Borgstrom and Troy Terry were held in check all night but still both assisted on the Adam Plant game-tying goal as the Pioneers battled to remain within striking distance of the first-place Huskies. The extra league point narrowed SCSU’s conference lead to four points setting up a critical game on Saturday. A win on Saturday would clinch the NCHC Penrose Cup for the Huskies with a seven-point league lead. With only two games remaining after this series with the Huskies the Pioneers could only earn a maximum of six points in their final series with Miami.
The first period was punctuated by tight defensive play by both teams with the Pioneers outshooting the Huskies 8-7 in the period. SCSU was 0/1 on the lone power play of the period. The Huskies ended the period with a nice flurry of pressure in the DU zone and Tanner Jaillet was called upon to make a key save on SCSU’s Kevin Fitzgerald with 1:31 to go in the first period.
After failing on two man-advantage opportunities in the first five minutes of period two, the Huskies finally cashed in with a goal by Blake Lizotte (Eyssimont | Newell) at 14:03 of the period. In a scramble in front of the Denver goal, Lizotte was able to punch the puck in through traffic for a 1-0 SCSU lead. The Huskies withstood a Pioneer power play at 16:58 after a roughing call to Jimmy Schuldt and David Hrenak was called upon to make two key saves – a point-blank shot at 8:08 and another save on Henrik Borgstrom at 7:15. The Huskies outshot the Pioneers 10 to 8 in the period.
The Huskies took things too conservative in period three placing zero shots on goal possibly pre-occupied with maintaining the 1-0 lead. Denver finally evened up the score at 16:33 on a goal by Adam Plant – his third goal of the season. With assists from Henrik Borgstrom and Troy Terry, Plant ripped a shot from the blue line that beat Hrenak high glove side to knot the game at 1-1. Denver outshot the Huskies 8-0 in period three leading the squads to an overtime session that yielded no goals. SCSU outshot Denver 3-2 in the overtime session as the teams settled for an official 1-1 tie. In the league mandated 3×3 session to allow an opportunity for an exra league point DU’s Logan O’Connor scored with 33 seconds remaining in the second overtime session for the extra point.
SCSU was 0/3 on the man-advantage wile Denver was 0/1. SCSU’s Hrenak turned aside 25 of 26 shots on goal while DU’s Tanner Jaillet stopped 19 of 20. SCSU won 35 faceoffs and the Pioneers 21. Denver blocked 15 shots and SCSU 7.
Stars of the Game: #1 O’Connor (DU) #2 Plant (DU) #3 B Lizotte (SCSU)