The University of Denver Pioneers opened their 2017-18 campaign with a 2-2 tie at #4/#4 Notre Dame Friday night. Although the game will go in the record books as a tie officially, the teams went to a shootout where the Pioneers prevailed 2-1.
Henrik Borgström kicked off his sophomore campaign strong, scoring both of DU’s regulation goals. Senior goaltender Tanner Jaillet finished with 27 saves, including 7 in a 5-minute sudden death overtime. Freshman Kohen Olischefski scored the shootout winner in his first career NCAA game.
The game was, for the most part, a defensive struggle. Notre Dame went with a physical approach that DU will likely see from opposing teams often this year. The Pioneers dominated possession with a 48-29 advantage in shots, but both teams went long stretches without a good scoring chance.
Despite controlling possession, the Pioneers looked rusty at times in the first period, playing both frantic and timid in the offensive zone. DU seemed to wake up when Notre Dame got on the board with a goal from Jake Evans at 14:01. Evans collected a rebound that was intended as a pass off the pads of Jaillet from Avalanche prospect Cam Morrison and put the Irish up 1-0.
But just 15 seconds later, before Notre Dame could even announce the Evans goal, DU evened things back up on a one-timer from Borgström.
The goal, likely to be first of many for Borgström on the year, was set up by a pretty give-and-go pass from Adam Plant. Denver finished with a 13-5 shot advantage in a quick first period that went without a penalty or even an icing call.
Period 2 was scoreless, but saw more of the same themes: physical play from Notre Dame and puck possession from DU.
The dynamite power play line of Troy Terry, Dylan Gambrell and Borgström squandered its first chance in the third period with a sloppy looking setup. But they would come to redeem themselves in the waning seconds of their next chance when Borgström tapped in a pass from Terry to give DU its first lead with just over 5 minutes remaining. Freshman Ian Mitchell registered his first NCAA point with the second assist.
Notre Dame answered with a power-play goal of its own less than two minutes later when Andrew Oglevie beat Jaillet for his third goal in as many games.
The overtime period saw a few good chances for both teams including a frantic sequence in the final seconds, but Jaillet and Notre Dame freshman goalie Dylan St. Cyr, who finished with 46 saves, stood strong.
Oglevie and Borgström traded goals in the shootout, before Olischefski rifled a wrist shot past St. Cyr to end the shootout after 4 shooters.
The teams will conclude the weekend series tomorrow at 4:05 PM MT. The game can be seen on NBC Sports.