Pioneers Advance to Frozen Four
DU competing in 15th Frozen Four in school history
For the second time in as many years, the University of Denver men’s hockey team has secured a berth in the Frozen Four. On Sunday, March 26, the Pioneers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions in the championship game of the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Regional in Cincinnati.
“I thought it was a really hard game to prepare for,” said coach Jim Montgomery after Sunday’s win, his 100th victory with the Pioneers. “The way [Penn State] plays is they come at you and you really have to be aware of what you’re doing defensively to be able to stop that offensive attack they have.”
The star for the Pioneers in the 6-3 victory was Highlands Ranch native Troy Terry. The 19-year-old was involved in five of the goals, scoring three times and recording two assists. The sophomore is only two months removed from his starring role in the United States’ gold medal performance at the World Junior Championship.
DU now has eleven days to prepare for Notre Dame in the national semifinals in Chicago on April 6. The winner of that game will play for the national championship on April 8.
“It’s nice to be going back to the Frozen Four for a second year in a row,” Montgomery said. “I think the experience of last year is going to help us immensely in our preparation.”
The Pioneers competed in the Frozen Four last season, but lost to eventual national champion North Dakota in the semifinals. Coach Montgomery says that experience will help his team.
“Last year I was on Cloud 9 and our team didn’t come down from Cloud 9 probably until the Saturday coming up. Right now, I’m not on Cloud 9 and I’m already starting to think about Notre Dame. The experience of having been there, you are just hungrier to go further to finish it off.”
Minnesota Duluth and Harvard won their regionals this weekend and will play in the other national semifinal.