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#4 Denver Pioneers bounce back, cruise past Miami

The Pioneers and Redhawks will close out the regular season tonight

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-Denver vs Minnesota-Duluth Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

With contributions from five different goal scorers, the #4 Denver Pioneers cruised past the Miami Redhawks at Magness Arena Friday night by a score of 6-3. Junior forward Troy Terry made plays all over the ice, dishing out four assists in his second weekend back from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics for Team USA.

Having already locked up the second seed in the NCHC tournament starting next weekend, the Pioneers (18-8-7, 12-6-5-4 NCHC) had an opportunity to fine tune their play and enter the post-season on a winning streak. From the drop of the puck Friday night, it was clear the team had bought into that mindset.

The first pair of assists by Terry came in the first period on back-to-back power play goals. The first came off the stick of Dylan Gambrell on a pretty move to the backhand in front of the Miami net at 2:13.

The Redhawks (11-18-4, 6-14-3-1) killed a second penalty just under six minutes later, but ended up shorthanded once again after Alec Mahalak was sent away for cross-checking at 12:32. Terry and Gambrell both recorded their second early point, as Terry fed Gambrel for a shot was that was redirected past Miami goaltender Ryan Larkin by Jarid Lukosevicius. It was Lukosevicius’ ninth power play goal of the season, which leads the team and ties him for fifth in the country.

From start to finish, DU dominated the first period and entered the intermission with a 2-0 lead and a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal.

The Pioneers were quick to pick up where they left off after the break, as Rudy Junda beat Larkin for his third goal of the season just 1:51 into the period.

Miami seemed to wake up a bit facing a 3-0 deficit and got themselves on the board less than two minutes later.

Nearing the midway point of the period, Henrik Borgstrom stretched the lead back to three and snapped a rare three-game streak without a goal on a pretty give-and-go play with Logan O’Connor, who was playing in his 100th career game with the Pioneers. The goal was Borgstrom’s 43rd of the season, matching his output from his stellar freshman season a year ago.

The second period saw a 12-9 shot on goal advantage for Denver, bringing their overall advantage to 29-16.

Miami made things somewhat interesting with goals less than two minutes apart in the final ten minutes, but Denver extinguished any hope of a dramatic comeback by adding a fifth goal from Adam Plant at 17:37 and an empty-netter from Colin Staub in the final minute.

Denver will close out the regular season tonight with a rematch, starting at 7:05 PM MT. The Pioneers will also be keeping a close eye on the Western Michigan-Colorado College game. If CC wins as they did Friday night or ties, Denver will host WMU in the first round next weekend. With a WMU win, DU could face any one of North Dakota, Omaha, Western Michigan or Colorado College, depending on other Saturday results and tiebreakers.