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DU Pioneers defeated UMass with Tristan Broz scoring the game-winning goal in double-overtime to win in the NCAA Tournament

Denver’s McKade Webster (6) and Massachusetts’ Jack Musa (9) battle for the puck during the second period of a college hockey game in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 28, 2024, Springfield, Mass. (Don Treeger/The Republican via AP)

The University of Denver hockey team traveled across two time zones to get to its NCAA hockey regional in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The University of Denver hockey team traveled across two time zones to get to its NCAA hockey regional in Springfield, Massachusetts.

There, the top-seeded Pioneers faced the fourth-seeded UMass Minutemen team, which had to drive about 26 miles to reach MassMutual Center for Thursday afternoon’s win-or-go home game.

But somehow, the Pios never ran out of energy.

In a long and competitive game that showcased two outstanding performances in goal, junior forward Tristan Broz scored a wrist shot into the right corner of the net to give DU a 2-1 double-overtime win.

The victory puts the Pioneers (29-9-3) on the verge of their 19th trip to the Frozen Four. The only thing standing between them and a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota, is a game against Maine or Cornell on Saturday in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Broz wouldn’t have had a chance at the game-winner if goaltender Matt Davis hadn't played exceptionally in goal. The junior stopped a total of 46 shots and stayed in the game after appearing to injure himself in the second overtime.

DU came into the regional as the No. 3 overall seed in the 16-team NCAA bracket and showed its strength early on, leading 10-5 in shots on goal in the first period.

However, that was the only period the Pios outshot the Minutemen (20-14-3). The nation’s top scoring team (4.85 goals per game) struggled to take control of the game.

Freshman defenseman Boston Buckberger put the Pioneers in the lead with a wrist shot from the blue line 5:12 into the second period.

Shortly after, the momentum shifted as UMass attacked the DU net (14-7 shots-on-goal advantage in the second period) and Liam Gorman scored the equalizer in a scramble in front of the net 12:52 into the period.

The two teams exchanged power play opportunities in the third period, with Davis denying a pair of close-range chances for the Minutemen to help send the game to overtime.

The game continued back and forth until Broz managed to score the deciding goal, turning and shooting a wrister with assistance from Sam Harris’ screen in front of the net.

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