In what’s both a nasty omen for the remainder of the season or an indication of every other nationwide championship season, relying on your standpoint, the number 1 Denver Pioneers (2-2-0, 0-0-0 NCHC) have been swept by the hands of the #13 UMass-Amherst Minutemen (2-0-1, 0-0-0 Hockey East) by means of rankings of 4-2 and 3-0 at Mullins Center in Amherst, MA. The sweep marks the second one consecutive season that the Pios traveled to the northeast and returned to the Mile High City with no win. Last 12 months, all over the 3rd weekend of the season, the 4-0-0 Pios performed Providence and Boston College and misplaced 6-5 and 5-1, respectively, en path to this system’s 9th nationwide championship.
Game One: Denver Drops Weird Series-Opening Game to UMass-Amherst
Normally, while you outshoot the opposition 47-15, you’re going to win in blowout style. Normally. But when that opposition rankings on 3 in their first six pictures – the whole collection of pictures they recorded within the first era – together with two shorthanded markers, ‘normal’ will get thrown out the window. And that’s precisely what came about within the sequence opener. During a five-minute main energy play for the Pios because of Minutemen captain Cal Kiefiuk’s hitting from at the back of recreation misconduct, Kenny Connors and Scott Morrow scored shorthanded objectives simply 1:18 aside whilst the Pioneers couldn’t be able to resolve goaltender Luke Pavicich, which used to be a key theme for the weekend. Tyson Dyck completed the Minutemen’s 50% first-period capturing hospital on the 12:33 mark of the hole era and the Pios had somewhat the outlet to dig out of.
Unfortunately for DU, they didn’t have a large sufficient shovel or sufficient time to make it occur. Special groups endured to battle as Reed Lebster scored a PPG lower than 3 mins into the second one era to increase the UMass-Amherst result in 4-0. DU outshot UMA 12-8 within the center body however once more may just no longer in finding the again of the web.
The Pioneers in the end broke thru within the 3rd era however trailing 4-0, it used to be sadly too little, too past due. Carter Mazur (PPG) and Shai Buium each and every scored an additional attacker objective within the ultimate seven mins whilst the Pioneers outshot the Minutemen 22-1 within the ultimate 20. That 3rd era must were a favorable signal for a crew having a look to proper the send in recreation two, however alas, the Pios haven’t discovered a option to exorcise their October street commute demons.
Game Two: Luke Pavicich Shines Again for UMass-Amherst, Blanking the Pioneers to Secure Sweep
The Pavicich theme from Game One reached new heights in Game Two. The Pioneers didn’t outshoot the Minutemen 47-15 this time round however they nonetheless generated sufficient seems to be and offense that you just’d be expecting a crew just like the Pios to scratch and claw to a hard-fought, shut victory. Instead, Pavicich stopped all 30 pictures despatched his approach and avoided the usually opportunistic Pioneers from capitalizing on any mistake with elite rebound keep an eye on. The avid gamers that DU wishes to provide the offense gave themselves a lot of possibilities as Carter Mazur (3), Massimo Rizzo (5), and Jack Devine (4) mixed for 12 of the Pios’ pictures on objective. The truth of this recreation is every so often, you simply run right into a scorching goaltender.
Instead of the Pioneers being the opportunistic ones, it used to be the Minutemen who capitalized on their possibilities. Just 37 seconds into the sport, Scott Morrow despatched a puck from the half-wall towards the web and ignored vast. It used to be a shot that differently wouldn’t were a large deal excluding on the rebound off of the facet of the web, as DU goaltender Magnus Chrona used to be getting again into place and looking for the puck, he made touch with it along with his skate and deflected it into his personal web. It used to be a horrible jump filled with unlucky success and allowed the Minutemen to attain on their first shot for the second one directly recreation. Once once more, a difficult series within the first era set the tone for the remainder of the sport and it adopted swimsuit.
Over the process the remainder of the sport, the Pios went 0-2 on their two energy performs whilst Pavicich once more stored the red & gold at bay. Cal Kiefiuk, UMass-Amherst’s captain whose recreation ended lower than 40 seconds into recreation one because of his hitting from at the back of recreation misconduct, sealed the 3-0 shutout with a 185-foot empty-net objective with below two mins left.
What’s your favourite competition in sports activities? Mine’s Denver hockey vs the month of October.
— LetsGoDU (@LetsGoDU) October 16, 2022
It used to be a difficult weekend for a tender crew with quite a few learners on the roster. For the entire razzing we do of the UMass-Amherst fanbase, there’s no wondering their pastime and love for their program and it got here thru each nights. They made Mullins Center an especially antagonistic position for the Pioneers to play over the weekend and the Minutemen themselves gave Denver their first actual style of what it’s love to have the defending-champions goal on their backs with two very good defensive performances.
The trail doesn’t get any more straightforward for DU now, even though, as a veteran Hockey East contender involves Denver in Providence for the Pios’ Homecoming Weekend. But, on the very least, it’ll be a complete space each nights and the Pios will probably be celebrating their ninth championship on Saturday with the banner-raising rite prior to the sport (get there early!) so the emotion and crowd will probably be humming in Denver’s prefer.
This used to be a weekend, even though, that might rather well pay dividends down the road for a tender Pioneers crew filled with learners however on this second, now, on October sixteenth, simply 4 video games right into a 36-game common season, having a look on the 2-2 protecting champions doesn’t really feel nice. But identical to ultimate 12 months’s crew that misplaced all of its first 4 street video games, those are necessary courses and reports that can assist pressure the Pioneers to turn the varsity hockey global what they’re made from.
But whats up, if dropping a few most commonly meaningless October street video games is turning into a part of the nationwide championship Proscess, neatly, that’s simply nice and it’s price trusting.
What have been your ideas on the weekend? What did you spot from the Pios this weekend that both worries you or provides you with hope for the season? Before you remark, even though, needless to say it’s October sixteenth and the Pios have performed 4 (4) video games. Also, as at all times, please stay it respectful.
Top photograph courtesy Thom Kendall for UMass Athletics