Pioneers Look Ahead To The Frozen Four

By Michael Spencer

Fresh off punching a ticket to the Frozen Four, Denver hockey coach Jim Montgomery joined CBS4 Sports anchor Michael Spencer for Xfinity Monday Live at the ViewHouse Centennial.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – “It’s a nice feeling of accomplishment,” said Montgomery who will take the Pios to the Frozen Four for the second straight year.

Denver beat Michigan Tech in the regional semifinal 5-2 on Saturday and followed that up with a 6-3 win over Penn State in the regional final on Sunday.

“We came out blazing,” said Montgomery of Saturday’s victory in which the Pios jumped out to a 5-0 lead.

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Jim Montgomery on Xfinity Monday Live (credit: CBS)

Sunday was more of the same as Denver scored the first two goals to take a 2-0 lead. Penn State tied the game at 2-2, but then Denver rattled off three straight goals before taking a 6-3 win.

Sophomore Troy Terry had a hat trick in the win, including two goals in the second period.

“Our elite players took over that game,” said Montgomery. “Troy Terry is a special hockey player, and the plays that (Henrik) Borgstrom made, they were really great set ups.

“We found a way to score goals, but it was our attention to details defensively that got us those odd man rushes offensively.”

Sunday’s win was Montgomery’s 100th win as the head coach at Denver, but gave all the credit to his players.

“The most important thing is that we went to the Frozen Four. I don’t understand why they count coaches W’s, cause they don’t do anything to win the game,” Montgomery joked.

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Will Butcher #4 of the Denver Pioneers celebrates his goal with teamamtes on the bench in the third period against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks during semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 7, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

“You give them the plan, but they gotta go out and score the goals. If I don’t have Troy Terry scoring goals, I don’t get any wins.”

Denver will face Notre Dame Thursday, April 6 in Chicago in the national semifinal. The winner will advance to play either Minnesota-Duluth or Harvard in the national championship game on Saturday, April 8.

RELATED: With Classes Over, DU Captain Will Butcher Is Living The Good Life

The Pios lost to North Dakota in the national semifinal last year, and are hoping that experience will pay dividends this time around.

“Last year we were going there to see what it was all about,” said Montgomery.

“I think this time our veteran group is really honed in on what we need to do to have some success.”

Michael Spencer is a Sports Anchor at CBS4. Read his bio or connect with him on Twitter @MichaelCBS4.

 

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