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University of Denver Pioneers cruise to first home victory

Three goal third period lifts DU over Lake Superior State

2017 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships - Semifinals Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After falling behind for the second straight game, the #1/#1 Denver Pioneers rattled off five unanswered goals, including three in the third period, to put away Lake Superior State in a 5-1 win.

Twelve players collected points for the Pioneers (2-0-2) in the win and freshman goaltender Dayton Rasmussen made 15 saves to collect his first NCAA win in his first start. Troy Terry (2 G), Dylan Gambrell (2 A) Collin Staub (2 A) led a powerful offensive attack for the Pioneers, who eclipsed 50 shots on goal after putting 66 on net Friday night.

Lake Superior State (1-3-2) struck first, scoring nine minutes into the first period. But that was all that Rasmussen would concede on the night.

With under three minutes to play in the first period, Troy Terry sniped LSSU freshman goalie Mareks Mitens over the shoulder to even the game up.

The game remained tied until late in the second period, with Mitens keeping the Lakers in the game. With a 5-on-3 advantage, Terry tipped home an imposing slap shot from freshman defenseman Ian Mitchell to finally give DU the lead.

The period ended there, but the Pioneers had the momentum and did not look back. Three players scored their first goals of the season in a third period rout, starting with Michael Davies just 47 seconds in. Freshman Griffin Mendel and Jaakko Heikkinen followed with their first career NCAA goals to put the game well out of reach. Mitens was peppered with 21 shots in the period and made 49 saves total on the night.

Special teams was slightly better from a night before, but still left room for improvement. The Pioneers scored on 1-of-5 chances with the man advantage and successfully killed 3-of-3 penalties. DU Head Coach Jim Montgomery went with some altered lines, with Staub moving into the first line of Gambrell and Terry and Jarid Lukosevicius sliding to the second line with Henrik Borgstrom and Liam Finlay. The new first line collected six points on the day, so it could be here to stay as Montgomery looks to find the most productive lineup.

The win is likely to keep the Pioneers at #1 for another week, although #2/#3 St. Cloud State is making a strong statement with a 5-0-0 start and a weekend sweep of #15/#13 Boston College.

DU will face another big test this upcoming weekend, taking to the road to face #8/#7 Boston University Friday and Boston College Saturday.