In what was expected to be a modest opponent in the Lake Superior State Lakers and an easy skate for DU Hockey on homecoming weekend the Pioneers found themselves in an adverse situation, down two goals to none shortly into the second period as Lake Superior State’s Brayden Gelsinger (Regina, Saskatchewan Victoria) and on a wrap-around from Max Humitz (Livonia, Mich.).
Denver outshot Lake Superior State 36-12 in the first two periods but didn’t find any answers past Lake Superior’s netminder Mareks Mitens (Ventspils, Latvia) until star sophomore forward Henrik Borgstrom (Helsinki, Finland) scored his third goal in two games. That was followed by a backhand pass to junior forward Dylan Gambrell (Bonney Lake, Wash.) from Borgstrom to tie the game up early in the third. That goal was followed by another Lake Superior goal two minutes later. Sophomore forward Liam Finlay (Kelowna, B.C.) came through for the Pioneers on a caught puck to send the game to overtime. Neither team scored in overtime until junior forward Jarid Lukosevicius (Squamish, B.C.) won it for the Pioneers in double overtime.
Oct. 21 was another true test of the Pioneers’ character as they were once again down 1-0 early but the always reliable Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) found an opening firing a slapshot to tie the game with just under three minutes in the first period. Terry also went on to score again, aiding a shot from Ian Mitchell to put the Pioneers in the lead for the rest of the game.The second period started to get physical with several dirty hits that did not get called the Pioneers way, angering the student section. Things got even more belligerent between the two teams in the third period as DU’s Blake Hillman (Elk River, Minn.) found himself getting ejected after an apparent blindside hit to the head. Both teams saw several players go into the penalty box several times in that period.
The Pioneers continued to successfully find ways to get the puck past the net, finally seeing their aggressive shooting pay off with three goals in the third period from their young players, the first one from sophomore defenseman Michael Davies (St. Louis, Miss.). That goal was followed by two other goals from young Pioneers players. Freshman defenseman Griffin Mendel (Kelowna, B.C.) scored his first career goal for the Pioneers followed by freshman forward Jaakko Heikkinen (Helsinki, Finland) as the Pioneers took home a 5-1 victory on Saturday night to win both homecoming games and boost their record to 4-0 on the year.