DENVER — The University of Denver celebrated goals from five different players and engaged in a suffocating defense in front of the net allowing just seven shots in the final two periods as they convincingly deflated the University of Alberta, 6-2 in an exhibition match-up Friday night at Magness Arena.
The Pioneers received the first opportunity of the night when Alberta defenseman Jeff Zorn was called for tripping in the opening minutes of the game. Denver’s power play opportunity was nullified when the Golden Bears capitalized on a Denver turnover in the defensive zone and knocked in a loose puck in front of the net to tally the game’s first goal, a short handed marker, take a 1-0 lead at 3:05.
The Pioneers answered minutes later after successfully killing the Golden Bears first power play and took advantage with a two-on-one play. Bryan Vines and Jussi Halme completed a textbook give-and-go before Vines chipped the puck by Alberta net-minder Clayton Pool to knot the game 1-1 at 7:22.
Denver struck again when Kevin Doell slid a cross-ice pass to Lukas Dora in the far circle who fired a wrist shot over Pool’s shoulder into the corner of the net at 12:49 to give the Pioneers their first lead of the game, 2-1.
Max Bull lit the lamp for the Pioneers 24 seconds later to give Denver a 3-1 at the first intermission.
Denver opened the second period with a man advantage but was held scoreless with only two shots on goal, but scored again following Alberta’s penalty kill. Connor James skated the puck into the offensive zone and drove towards the net before dropping a pass behind him to Jon Foster who wristed a shot low under Pool’s blocker to tally his first goal of the night and give Denver a 4-1 lead at 7:10.
Denver added two more goals in the third period from Foster and Doell to extend Denver’s lead to 6-1, and Alberta added a goal late in the third period from Geoff Lynch to supply the Denver’ final margin of victory 6-2.
For the game, Denver out-shot the Golden Bears 27-16 and held a 38-25 advantage on face-offs. Denver was scoreless in eight power play attempts and successfully killed all six attempts for Alberta.
The Pioneers open the regular season next week when they travel north to participate in the Nye Frontier Classic hosted by Alaska Anchorage. Denver will face-off against Boston College in the season-opener on Friday (October 12) and then take on Northeastern on Saturday (October 13).