DAYTON, Ohio — Junior Jeff Drummond scored two goals and junior Jon Foster added a goal and an assist to lead the No. 13 Denver Pioneers to a 5-2 win over No. 14 Ohio State in their season-opening game Friday at the Lefty McFadden Invitational.
Junior Kevin Ulanski added two assists and senior goaltender Adam Berkhoel made 23 saves as Denver advanced to the championship game. The Pioneers will play St. Lawrence, a 3-1 winner over Miami in the second semifinal.
The Pioneers took an early 1-0 lead at 7:31 of the first period. Foster scored the first Pioneer goal of the season when he took a nifty pass off the boards from senior Max Bull and beat Buckeye goaltender Mike Betz with a wrist shot for a power-play goal.
Ohio State tied the game 1-1 at 16:07 of the first stanza when Paul Caponigri’s one-timer off a Dan Knapp feed from behind the net beat Berkhoel high to the glove side. In the first period, Ohio State had nine shots on goal, Denver six.
Denver took a 2-1 lead at 7:22 of the second period when Drummond banged in a rebound off a shot by Ulanski. Senior Greg Keith’s breakaway goal at 11:31 gave the Pioneers a 3-1 lead. OSU answered with a Dave Steckel goal at 13:44, again assisted by Knapp, but Drummond’s second goal of the game at 15:24 gave Denver a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
Junior Luke Fulghum scored the lone goal of the third, converting a turnover by Ohio State’s Matt Waddell and scoring unassisted to make the final 5-2.
Denver outshot Ohio State 29-25 and was nine-for-10 on the penalty kill as Berkhoel made multiple saves on odd-man rushes by the Buckeyes. For OSU, Mike Betz made 24 saves and the penalty kill stopped six of seven Pioneer opportunities.
Faceoff for Saturday night’s championship game between Denver and St. Lawrence is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. MT. Ohio State will play Miami at 2:35 p.m. MT.