No. 1 Denver prevailed in their opening game of the 2017-18 season to defend their title as they beat no. 4 Notre Dame 2-2 in a shootout in South Bend on Friday, Oct. 13. Notre Dame struck first on a goal from alternate captain Jack Evans. DU quickly responded with a goal from sophomore forward and last year’s NCHC rookie of the year Henrik Borgstrom (Helsinki, Finland) who would also go on to score the second goal for the Pioneers in regulation.
In the overtime Notre Dame put hard pressure on senior goaltender Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, Alberta). Jallet was able to hold off the Fighting Irish from scoring to force the game to a shootout, which was won by Denver on a goal from freshman forward Kohn Olischefski of Abbotsford B.C. Overall, head coach Jim Montgomery was extremely happy with his team’s performance in the first game believing that “This was by far the best game in my five years here that this Denver team has played.”
Following a close win on Friday night the Pioneers skated their way to a 4-2 shutout on Saturday as both goals were scored in the first period by star forward and Anaheim Ducks 5th round draft pick, Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) then one by freshman forward Jake Durflinger with assists from Logan O’Connor and Jake Doremus (Aspen, Colo.).
The defending NCAA champions, Denver Pioneers, look to continue their steady play in front of a packed homecoming weekend crowd for their home ice opener next weekend against Lake Superior State.
This year, DU Pioneers could see players like Tanner Jaillet winning the Mike Richter Award for most outstanding goalie. DU could see several players like Troy Terry or Henrik Borgstrom representing their respective countries in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Most importantly, the ultimate goal for DU will be seeking a second consecutive national championship, their ninth in franchise history.