Three takeaways from Denver’s 5-2 victory over Michigan Tech in the Midwest Regional

Tyson McLellan’s goal gave Denver a 5-0 lead over Michigan Tech (photo: Shawn Conkle).

CINCINNATI — As the top-seeded team in the NCAA tournament as well as in the Midwest Regional, Denver let its experience speak for itself in a 5-2 victory over Michigan Tech. Three takeaways:

1. Denver’s powered play

The Pioneers were awarded three power plays in the first period and they made good on two of them. Colin Staub and the second unit did what was necessary, take away the eyes of Huskies goaltender Angus Redmond, in order to be successful.

Staub and Evan Janssen caused all kinds of problems for Redmond by getting in his line of sight throughout the three power plays whenever possible to make things difficult on the excellent freshman.

Staub came up with a well-timed tip in the slot for his first tally of the night. His second goal came when he pounced on a rebound later in the period, setting off a run of three goals in a little under three minutes, which put the game out of reach before the first period ended.

2. Huskies youth is promising

After surrendering four goals in the first 15 minutes, Redmond essentially shut the door save for one more rebound tally by Tyson McLellan. He made two or three really key stops on Team USA hero Troy Terry in close as well as on Henrik Borgstrom and others.

The Huskies’ two goals came from a freshman, Gavin Gould, and a sophomore, Jake Lucchini. The two represent the future of the Huskies and they proved that they were ready for the big stage of the NCAA tournament.

Both players will be big parts of the Huskies’ offense next season.

3. Denver’s depth is worth noting

While much has been made of the efforts of Borgstrom, Terry and Dylan Gambrell this season, it was Staub and others who led the way Saturday.

Coach Jim Montgomery praised the efforts of Staub, Janssen, Evan Ritt and Emil Romig after the game as the quartet were involved in the Pioneers’ first three goals of the night.

Against Penn State at 6 p.m. EDT Sunday, the group will need to be just as good, considering that the Nittany Lions struck 10 times in a 10-3 victory over Union in the second semifinal.

1 COMMENT

  1. I hope Denver wins this year’s NCAA title because the 2017-2018 squad could look much different. The Pioneers will lose: Will Butcher, Matt VanVoorhis, Evan Ritt, Emil Romig, Matt Marcinew, Evan Janssen, Brad Hawkinson, Greg Ogard and Evan Cowley to graduation. Additionally, there is a group of players which could being leaving the program to the lure of professional hockey. Included in that group are:Blake Hillman [a Chicago draft pick], Henrik Borgstrom [Florida], Dylan Gambrell [San Jose], Troy Terry [Anaheim]. None of the previous four players may leave or any combination of them could leave.

    One player whose presence is pivotal to the success of next season’s team is goalie Tanner Jaillet–a senior-to-be. Although he is an undrafted free agent, his attractiveness to NHL teams may be at or nearing its peak given his stellar play this season. I believe the Pioneers can withstand the loss of any of the players on its present roster who have been drafted, but would be decimated if Jaillet should choose to leave the program to begin a professional hockey career. Should he leave, the Pioneers would be looking at heading into next season without having a goalie on the roster who had played a single minute for Denver.

    • You are right, especially on Jaillet. We have a nice mix of very talented Freshman and Sophomores. I haven’t heard any rumors of Hillman, Borgstrom, Gambrell, or Terry wanting to bail, though a lucrative pro offer is hard to resist. I thought Gambrell might leave last year when Moore left, but it didn’t happen. I am sure the top priority for Montgomery to recruit is a goalie. I have has season tickets since 1996, and both Gwozdecky and Montgomery want the “young” and the seasoned goalie to split time, especially during NC games. This pattern has worked well in the past.

  2. Sometimes you’re the windshield…
    But it could’ve been worse – I could’ve been a Union man. Ay-yi-yi!

    • We stayed and watched until it was 8-2. Union goalie was horrendous, demoralized his team really bad. After 4th PSU goal, Union just gave up completely. Not pretty, thought Gadowsky should have called off the dogs.

      • You lasted longer than I did. Went chili-hunting after the 6th. Heard them score #7 on the way out. Agree – puzzled that PSU didn’t ease off. They could’ve used some of that scoring the next night…

  3. .
    damn…

    we were a little nervous, that didn’t help. neither did the goal off of tech’s player (in the air) and beef’s screw up behind the net. or even our penalties…

    with that being said; hats off to denver – you played circles around us!!!

    proud of our guys in the second and third.

    BRING ON NEXT YEAR! can’t wait…

    GO TECH GOLD!

    final will be UML vs DU…
    .

    • Appreciate the fact you showed up today. Thanks, think the better team won. DU coasted after the first period. Instead of attacking, they made sure the puck was cleared. You lead the NC$$ in penalties and it showed. Looking forward to tonight’s game, PSU looked very good, Union goalie did not have his best game. You better hope your coach doesn’t bail to Michigan, a very real possibility.

      • .
        all is good. congrats on the PSU win…

        and trust me… i don’t even come close to feeling as bad as WMU fans, or worst yet, UML ones.

        see you on the next go ’round – my money is on DU.

        and pearson? i think he will stay… ;)

        GO TECH GOLD!
        .

    • I was there. Yeah, it was a rout. DU clearly let off the pressure after the 5th goal. Had they not, this could’ve easily been another PSU/Union.

  4. The Pioneers have played five post-season games this year heading into today’s game versus Penn State. Denver has received remarkable goal scoring from one unexpected source, while three other sources have contributed only on a limited basis.

    Colin Staub scored six regular season goals, but thus far in the post-season is a healthy [4-0-4] and is Denver’s leading goal scorer. Troy Terry is a robust [3-2-5] and is the team’s leading point scorer in the post-season.

    The scoring concern for Denver centers on three of its leading scorers during the regular season. Dylan Gambrell [0-3-3], Henrik Borgstrom [0-3-3] and Jarid Lukosevicius [0-2-2] have not scored a goal in the post-season. The Pioneers do have goal scoring depth, but the above trio accounted for [in order] 21, 11 and 11 goals for a total of 43 during the regular season. They need to break their collective and individual goal scoring droughts if the Pioneers are to earn an eighth national title this spring.

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