Colorado Springs, CO - There's a reason that the University of Denver is the No. 2 team in the country.
And, even though Colorado College battled beyond the final buzzer on Friday, it was the visiting Pioneers who skated off the ice with their sticks in the air.
DU?struck for three goals within a span of 73 seconds midway through the second period, the held off a furious comeback bid by the 14th-ranked Tigers to hold on for a wild 6-5 triumph at the World Arena.
The standing-room-only crowd of 7,725 and a regional television audience got more than they bargained for as the arch-rivals combined for 76 shots on goal, including a season-high 43 by CC, which rallied for three third-period tallies of its own after falling behind 6-2.
“It was a great game for the spectators, a great game to be part of,” said head coach Scott Owens. “We just made too many mistakes and ended up on the wrong end of the score.”
The teams meet in a 7:07 p.m. rematch Saturday at Denver's Magness Arena, where Colorado College is 15-9-4 all-time against the Pioneers.
Six different players found the back of the net for the visitors on Friday while seniors Rylan Schwartz and Mike Boivin each scored twice for CC. Senior center Shawn Ostrow notched what proved to be the game winner at 1:22 of the final frame before the Tigers clawed back with the three late red lighters by defensemen – junior Eamonn McDermott's first of the season at 4:49 and the pair by Boivin at 9:25 and 18:34.
Boivin's second goal came with Colorado College's net empty and an extra attacker on the ice.
Schwartz, who received a game disqualification penalty for his alleged part in an altercation near the Denver bench at the end of the of the contest, added an assist and now has collected eight points in the last three games. Pending an appeal, however, he is ineligible to play in Saturday's rematch.
DU?goaltender Juho Olkinuora, who finished with 38 saves, also was assessed a game DQ?as time expired.
The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Tigers, who dropped to 7-4 overall and 4-1 in the WCHA. Denver improved to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in league play.