Pioneers Fall to Falcons 5-4 in OT to Open Season
Colorado Springs - On Friday night, the Pios traveled to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Falcons of the Atlantic Hockey Association and came away with a disappointing 5-4 loss in overtime.
The Pioneers started slow in the first period and entered the locker room for the first time on the night with a 2-1 deficit. However, in the second period, Denver looked like the much better team for the first time all evening. While they only scored two goals and entered the locker room for the second intermission tied at 3, the Pios held the momentum going into the third period.
In the third period, after allowing the Falcons to retake control of the game and score the go-ahead goal with over 8 minutes left, DU took over the game and tied the game up less than two minutes later. Even though Air Force continued to foil every Pioneer attack and chance, Denver controlled the last part of regulation.
As the teams entered overtime with the game tied at 4, fans were loud and Denver picked up right where they left off and dominated play early in overtime. Unfortunately, at the 2:11 mark of overtime, Air Force benefited from a lucky bounce in the crease and won the game.
The story that will likely dominate Saturday pregame Air Force headlines, however, is the fact that half of the Pioneers attempted to leave the ice before shaking hands.
This is not a headline. This is nothing more than a miscommunication and misunderstanding between teams.
In big boy college hockey, teams generally don't shake hands after game one of a series, even if it is a home-and-home series. Understandably, Denver wanted to get off the ice and think about tomorrow and how to avenge such a disappointing loss, but they certainly were not being unsportsmanlike by leaving the ice after the Falcons won the game.
If there is one thing that a Jim Montgomery-coached team is it's sportsmanlike. I'm sure that there was no disrespect meant towards the Falcons and frankly, this shouldn't even be a story.
Regardless, it is important to note that Denver was abiding by the NCHC and big-time college hockey modus operandi. As far as the Pios are concerned, tomorrow is a new day that will present another opportunity to earn a win and a split in the series.
Quentin Shore tallied 2 goals, Danton Heinen and Emil Romig both netted a goal apiece; Troy Terry earned his first college point with an assist; Tanner Jaillet made 23 saves on 28 shots while Falcon goalie Billy Christopoulos made 28 saves on 32 Denver shots; Will Butcher earned his first point of the season by assisting one of Shore's two goals.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Air Force Falcons vs. Denver Pioneers
7:06 PM MT