Pioneers Advance to the Championship Game
DU Dominates the Fighting Irish in the semifinal game
It will be No. 1 versus No.2 for the national championship. On Thursday night, the top-ranked University of Denver Pioneers dominated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a final score of 6-1 to advance to the championship game. They will play Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday night after defeating Harvard 2-1.
The Pioneers controlled the first two periods scoring five of their goals on 29 shots. On the defensive end, the Pioneers faced only 11 shots through the first 40 minutes. Both teams scored one goal in the final period.
“We just wanted to stick to our game plan,” said senior defenseman and team captain Will Butcher. “I think our floor check ate them up tonight. When we are moving and floor checking really well we are getting on top of pucks, we are getting the puck more and that is always good for us.”
Five different players scored goals for the Pioneers. Emil Romig, Henrik Borgström, Tariq Hammond and Evan Ritt each had one goal. Dylan Gambrell scored two goals in the second and third periods.
Minnesota-Duluth is a familiar opponent for the University of Denver. The teams split two games earlier this season at Magness Arena.
“It’s going to be a great college hockey game,” said DU coach Jim Montgomery. “The two best teams from the NCHC consistently throughout the year. It’s going to be a barn-burner and it’s going to be a great show for college hockey.”
“It’s going to be a hard-nosed game,” Butcher said. “We battled back and forth and split with them earlier this year. So, it’s going to be a great college hockey game.”
For the eight seniors on the team, there is no better way to end their college hockey careers than playing for a national championship. The University of Denver will be playing for its first championship since 2005 and the eighth in program history. Minnesota-Duluth will be playing for its second championship. Saturday’s game starts at 6 p.m. MT and can be seen on ESPN.
DU alumni chapters across the country will host watch parties for the championship game. All parties are free to attend. For more information and to find the party nearest you, please click here.