COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In the opening game of the annual battle for the “Gold Pan,” Denver used timely goaltending, a great penalty kill and a quick-strike attack to down Colorado College by a 3-1 score. Colorado College mustered just four shots on five power play opportunities, finishing 0-4 on the night while Tanner Jaillet yielded just one goal on 20 shots for the second-ranked Pioneers.
“Our penalty kill was really good tonight,” said Denver coach Jim Montgomery. “Tanner [Jaillet] was good; you need your goalie to be your best penalty killer but I thought we pressured them and took away some of the things they wanted to do and that was great tonight. Evan [Janssen] helped being back tonight and that was a big part of our penalty kill being better.”
Following a scoreless first period that saw the Tigers kill off back-to-back penalties, Troy Terry opened the scoring at 7:26 with both teams skating 4-on-4. Terry took a pass from Will Butcher, and rifled a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle high over Alex LeClerc’s blocker for a 1-0 Pioneer lead. A sophomore from Denver, Terry has scored a goal in five consecutive games.
Just over three minutes later, Jarid Lukosevicius flew down the left wing off a pair of quick passes from Butcher and Dylan Gambrell and beat LeClerc with a backhand inside the post on the short side for a 2-0 lead.
“Troy has really become a 200-foot hockey player and he is always on the right side of the puck,” stated Montgomery. “He and [Dylan] Gambrell were expected to be studs for us and they have been. Now it is good to see “Luko” breaking out. He scores a lot of goals in practice so hopefully he can make the same kind of jump as the other guys.”
Colorado College answered back just over a minute and a half later when Sam Rothstein shelved a wrister blocker-side on Jaillet to close the deficit to a goal. That is all the Pioneers would surrender on the night, holding the Tigers to just five shots over the final twenty minutes of play.
Defenseman Tariq Hammond closed out the scoring for Denver with a rebound effort that beat LeClerc low to the stick side. Evan Ritt and Michael Davies picked up the assists on Hammond’s first goal and point of the season.
Denver looks to capture their third straight and twelfth Gold Pan overall tomorrow night in the second game of the home-and-home series. A win would also tie the programs with 12 trophies each in the Colorado-based battle for bragging rights.
Elsewhere in the NCHC
Cornell 4, Miami 3
After jumping out to a two-goal lead on tallies from Carson Meyer and Grant Hutton, Miami saw Cornell score four unanswered goals, including three in a five minute span of the third period, to build a 4-2 lead. Karch Bachman scored for the Red Hawks to close the deficit to a goal with three minutes remaining, but the visitors could not score the equalizer as Cornell’s Mitch Gilliam stopped 28 of 31 Miami shots to earn the non-conference win.
Omaha 3, Wisconsin 3 (OT)
After building a 3-1 first period lead behind goals from Teemu Pulkkinen, Tristan Keck and Fredrik Olofsson, Omaha saw a determined Wisconsin squad rally to force overtime where neither team could score the game winner. Evan Weninger made 47 saves for Omaha including 36 in the final two periods and overtime to protect the tie.
No. 17 St. Cloud State 3, Western Michigan 0
The Huskies took an early first period lead on a goal by Mikey Eyssimont at the 48-second mark and then put the game out of reach with two third period scores from Blake Winiecki and Robby Jackson for the 3-0 win over the Broncos. Goalie Zach Driscoll stopped all 26 shots he faced from WMU to earn the shutout and his sixth win on the season.