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Colorado College snaps 14-game losing streak to DU

Chase Howell Avatar
December 9, 2017

DENVER – The No. 1 ranked Denver Pioneers took on the Colorado College Tigers on Friday night in one of the greatest rivalries in college hockey. It hasn’t been much of a rivalry as of late as the Pioneers have won the last 14 matchups. That streak ended as the Tigers scored late in the third period to take it to overtime and then were able to finish the deal in second overtime to win the game 5-4 (officially 4-4).

The Tigers came out of the gate ready to end the losing streak. They were buzzing all over the ice during the first period. The Pioneers picked up a couple of power plays which saved them from being absolutely dominated in the first frame. It wasn’t until seven seconds were left in the period that the Tigers finally got one on the board. Kristian Blumenshein scored his first goal of the season off of a nice feed from Trevor Gooch to put them up 1-0.

The second period was a different story. Five minutes into the frame, the Pios tied it up via Logan O’Connor on a beautiful wraparound that ended up going through the goalie’s five hole. Ten minutes later the Tigers tied up on another backdoor pass, this time it was Nick Halloran who put it home off of a pass from Mason Bergh.

The Pios weren’t done in the second period. Dylan Gambrell tied it again after going behind the net on his backhand and then spinning and shooting off of his forehand to make it a 2-2 hockey game. Just a couple minutes later and with 17 seconds left in the second frame, the Pios made it 3-2. This time it was Ian Mitchell, with his first career Pioneer goal, bringing the puck around the net and tucking it home on his backhand for another wraparound goal.

Denver came out in the third period ready to seal the deal but couldn’t put any of their chances into the back of the net. With about nine minutes left, the Pios got sloppy in their own zone and a poor turnover led to a CC goal on a smooth backhand move by Halloran. That didn’t seem to bother the Pios. They started to make an even bigger push but it wasn’t until about three minutes left when DU made it 4-3. Jaakko Heikkenen got the puck wide open in the slot and fired it home. But CC came right back – with 6.8 seconds they made it 4-4 and the game was heading to overtime.

In the first overtime, DU had the majority of the scoring chances but couldn’t bury the puck. The game went down officially as a tie but NCHC rules allow for a second overtime (three vs. three) and a shootout if it’s still deadlocked. In the second overtime, Colin Staub was called for a hooking penalty, the Tigers went on a four on three and Christiano Versich was able to find the back of the net and win the hockey game for the Tigers.

THREE STARS:

First star: Nick Halloran (CC)
Second star: Dylan Gambrell (DU)
Third star: Ian Mitchell (DU)

BY THE NUMBERS:

Denver-North Dakota
Shots: 38-31
PPG/PPA: 0/2-0/4
Faceoffs:  33-28

TURNING POINT OF THE GAME:

It was a very back and forth hockey game throughout so it was the goal in double overtime by Christiano Versich that ended the game and was also the turning point.

HIGHLIGHTS:

WHAT’S NEXT:

The Pios will have their second game of the series with Colorado College on Saturday in Colorado Springs. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. MST.

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