ST. PAUL, Minn. – The University of Denver hockey team upset top-ranked St. Cloud State 4-1 Saturday to win the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Frozen Faceoff.
DU is the first team to win the conference’s championship twice.
“I’m really proud of our group”, head coach Jim Montgomery told denverpioneers.com. “I thought we were relentless. After we scored the first goal we really started to play Denver hockey. We were very persistent, very hard offensively and defensively and we were able to push our lead because of it.”
Three freshmen – Kohen Olischefski, Jake Durflinger, and Ryan Barrow – scored goals to give DU a 3-0 lead at the end of two periods.
St. Cloud State rebounded with a goal in the third, but Dylan Gambrell sealed the victory with a slap shot from the right cirlce with less than three minutes remaining in the contest.
“It was a well-played game”, SCSU head coach Bob Motzko said. “They defended very well after getting a lead early. After we made it 3-1, we had a couple of great chances and then they get another fluky one.”
Pioneers goaltender Tanner Jaillet was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
The Pioneers beat Minnesota-Duluth 3-1 Friday night to advance to the championship.
Ranked fourth nationally, DU now moves on to the NCAA Frozen Four tournament’s Midwest Regional. As that region’s second seed, the Pioneers will face Penn State on Saturday in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
St. Cloud State is still a top seed in the NCAA. The Huskies play in the West regional and drop the puck against Air Force in the first round. They play Friday afternoon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.