What a moment, what a team, what a year!
The University of Denver Pioneers are champions on the ice once again, and there really was never any doubt about it — they were the best team all season long and played their best hockey in the NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four — when it mattered most.
Jarid Lukosevicius, the sophomore forward who currently has the best name in hockey [lew-ko-savages], modeled after his head coaches past by scoring a hat trick in the National Championship game — the first player to pull off that feat since Jim Montgomery scored three in the 1993 National Championship game with the University of Maine.
After a scoreless first period, the Squamish, British Columbia native scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season only 16 seconds apart early in the second period.in the second period to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead. The 16 second span between goals is a new Frozen Four record. His third goal came just minutes later to make it a 3-1 game. All three goals were scored within a 7:39 span.
Goaltender Tanner Jaillet made 38 saves in net to help preserve the Pioneers lead in the game, especially late when Minnesota Duluth dominated possession. Duluth was able to get one goal back with about five minutes left in the game, but Jaillet nailed the door shut after that as Denver hung on to win.
The National Championship is Denver’s eighth overall in the sport of Ice Hockey, and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005.
We will have more coverage of this Championship going forward including features on the key players that helped Denver win the title and a look forward at how Jim Montgomery can keep this run going.