The No. 4 Denver Pioneers finally got back in the win column Saturday night when they defeated the No. 20 Western Michigan Broncos 6-1. Denver had been winless in their last five games after facing NCHC rivals Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota. The Pioneers got back to their game with big performances from freshman forward Bobby Brink (2G, 1A) and goaltender Devin Cooley who made 24 of 25 saves in his first game returning from injury.
One of the Pioneers goals tonight came in the second period from forward Jake Durflinger. The junior from Walnut Creek California plays on the checking line for the Pioneers and knows a thing or two about bringing energy. He is often mixing it up with opponents and fighting for the pucks in the “dirty areas.” Saturday night was no different.
The-Rink caught up with Durflinger after the Pioneers 6-1 win.
On his second period goal against Western Michigan
“We were at the end of our shift and our defenseman made a good play turning the puck up playing fast. Jack made a smart play getting it deep and Wardo did a good job getting to the net like we talked about all night on this goalie. I was in the right spot at the right time.”
— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) November 24, 2019
What has David Carle said to the team recently about staying positive?
“It’s just about staying calm. We’re a confident group even though the last five games struggling to find a win. We stayed confident in the room and stuck to our process. We had to get back to it a bit, we strayed away from it for a few games and that’s why games didn’t result in a win. But tonight we were able to get back to our process which ended up with a good win.”
What has been your advice to younger players on the team?
“Every night is going to be a good team, it doesn’t matter who it is in the NCHC. It’s the best conference in college hockey so we have to be ready every night and instill in our younger guys that if we stick to the process we’re going to win hockey games.”
On the return of Devin Cooley
“It’s awesome. He’s a big part of our team. He’s proven with a lot of success last year and he’s worked really hard all summer to come back from injury. It was awesome to get that win for him.”
On what makes this year’s Pioneers team special
“We’ve had good teams in my first two years here but we want to go further. We think… we know we have a special group but we have to accomplish it. That was a good first NCHC win, but now we need to get on a roll.”