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The No. 2 Denver Pioneers hockey team is in North Dakota this weekend to play the No. 6 North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The two NCHC rivals faced off on Friday in game one of their two game series that the entire world of college hockey has their eyes on, and it turned out to be the great hockey game that every expected.

The game was scoreless until North Dakota freshman Cole Smith scored his first career college hockey goal 1:05 into the third period to make it 1-0 for the home team.

Denver had plenty of chances to tie up the game after this, and finally scored on a power play late — freshman Henrik Borgström scored his fifth goal of the season to tie it up at 1-1 at 14:47 in the third period. Assists went to Will Butcher and Dylan Gambrell on the play.

After a scoreless 5-on-5 overtime period, the game was recorded officially as a tie according to NCAA rules, but in the NCHC teams always play till there is a winner. So, the game went to an extra 3-on-3 overtime where North Dakota’s Shane Gersich scored on this beautiful spin-move to give the Fighting Hawks the extra point in the NCHC standings.

The goaltending was outstanding in this game, as DU’s Tanner Jaillet made 29 saves on 30 shots and UND’s Cam Johnson made 24 saves on 25 shots.

In this exciting rivalry, a game like this comes as no surprise to anyone — a closely fought, nail-biting game that seemed like an extension on their Frozen Four match-up from last season. Saturday’s game two of the series should be a great one to keep an eye on!



Founder/Owner of 303 Sports Network. A Sport Indsutry Operations major from Metro State University of Denver, Nick is a lifelong sports fan and an experienced professional in the sporting world. He has worked for all of the major sports teams in Denver, and is credentialed for DU Pioneer sports events.

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