TROY, N.Y. – Freshman Emil Romig (Vienna, Austria) scored 3:02 into overtime to lift the No. 20 University of Denver hockey team to a 2-1 victory at No. 18 Rensselaer on Friday night in the opening game of a non-conference series at Houston Field House in Troy, N.Y.
Junior Zac Larraza (Scottsdale, Ariz.) set up Romig’s heroics with a nice centering feed after a hard rush up the left wing. The win marked Denver’s first overtime victory since March 16, 2012 vs. Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA playoffs, snapping a 10-game winless streak in games that required extra time.
The Pioneers are now 1-4-2 in overtime this season and have seen 10 of their 17 games on the year be decided by a single goal or end in a tie.
“I liked our 200-foot hockey tonight,” DU head coach Jim Montgomery said. “I thought it was the best complete game we have played all year long and it was right from the first minute through when we got the overtime winner.”
With the win Denver moves to 9-6-2 overall, while RPI slips to 8-6-3 on the year. The Pioneers have only been defeated once over their last nine games overall.
Rensselaer (8-6-3) scored the game’s first goal just 2:30 into the contest as Ryan Haggerty sent a pass from behind the Denver net to the blade of teammate Brock Higgs, who was positioned just in from of the goal crease for the successful one-timer and promptly gave the Engineers a 1-0 advantage with his 12th tally of the season.
Senior David Makowski (St. Louis, Mo.) evened things up for the Pioneers by scoring his sixth goal of the season – and first since Nov. 16 – with a wrist shot from inside the right circle with 5:19 remaining in the second period. The shot beat RPI goalie Scott Diebold low on his stick side and sent the teams into the second intermission all knotted at 1-1.
Denver (9-6-2) had a great chance to take the lead with 12:21 left in the third period as the line of Matt Tabrum (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Ty Loney (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo.) teamed up on a nice give and go effort that ended with a one-timer attempt by Shore being secured by Diebold to keep the scoreboard deadlocked at 1-1.
For the game, Denver outshot RPI 38-23 and held the Engineers scoreless on a pair of power play opportunities. The Pioneers have only allowed their opponents a pair of power play goals over their last 33 opportunities with a man advantage.
DU goalie Sam Brittain (Calgary, Alberta) turned away 22 shots in the win, while Diebold made 36 saves in defeat. Sophomore Gabe Levin (Marina del rey, Calif.) finished with a pair of assists for the Pioneers, extending streak of consecutive games with an assist to five and upping his overall point total to seven over the last seven games.
Denver will conclude its weekend series at No. 18 RPI in Saturday in a 5 p.m. (MT) puck drop that will be broadcast live on Denver’s 105.5 FM ESPN Radio.
The Pios will then close out their current road trip with a rare Tuesday night contest at UMass in Amherst beginning at 5 p.m. (MT) on Dec. 17.
Individual and group (20 or more) tickets are now on sale starting at just $14. Three-game mini plans that include the North Dakota series are also currently on sale by calling 303-871-2336 or visit at DenverPioneers.com/tickets.
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