No. 2 Denver hockey gets jump on CC, completes series sweep

February 11, 2017 Updated: February 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm
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Denver Pioneers forward Tyson McLellan (9) celebrates his goal with defenseman Adam Plant (28) and teammates in the first period against the Colorado College Tigers. The Denver Pioneers defeated the Colorado College Tigers 5-1 in men's ice hockey on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at The Broadmoor World Arena. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

The Broadmoor World Arena crowd rose to its feet for a standing ovation when 2003 Hobey Baker winner Peter Sejna was honored during first intermission.

It was about all the Colorado College fans had to cheer about on Saturday night.

Second-ranked Denver prevailed 5-1 to conclude a season series sweep of the last-place Tigers.

A goal by senior Evan Janssen about six minutes into the second period made it 3-0 and put the Pioneers on their way to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference victory - Denver's 12th in a row over CC (7-19-2, 3-13-2).

The rout was on from the start with 38 saves, 15 in the first period, by freshman Alex Leclerc keeping the Tigers in the contest.

"They came out and wanted it more than us right from the start," CC coach Mike Haviland said. "They won every loose-puck battle and every one-on-one battle. Our identity is supposed to be our work ethic. They came out and took it to us and we never really recovered from it."

Colorado College made it interesting when leading scorer Mason Bergh scored a power-play tally for his 13th goal of his sophomore season. The score made it 3-1 with 3:58 left in the second period.

But Denver slammed the door shut when freshman Henrik Borgstrom scored on an unassisted breakaway with 46 seconds left in the second to pull ahead by three.

"You cannot do that with that team," Haviland said. "When you have the momentum you need to hold onto it and take that into the third period."

While DU's top scorers rightfully garnered plenty of attention, it was the less-heralded Pioneers who stepped forward to deny CC its second home win this season.

The fourth line delivered a critical goal when sophomore Tyson McLellan scored with 70 seconds left to put the Pioneers ahead 2-0 entering the first intermission.

Freshman defenseman Michael Davies scored the opening goal with 6:29 remaining for a 1-0 lead off a power-play tally.

"That was good communication there," DU coach Jim Montgomery said. "Davies told (Janssen) they weren't covering him on the backside earlier and Janny made a nice play."

Denver's sweep pushed the Pioneers (20-6-4, 12-3-3-2) into first place and clinched home ice in the first round of the playoffs. It also extended DU's third-longest win streak over the Tigers to 12 games.

Colorado Springs native Colin Staub scored the final goal of the game.

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