Three Wings draft picks help Denver win ninth NCAA hockey title

Jimmy Golen
Associated Press

Boston — The Denver Pioneers awakened with five goals in the third period to rally past Minnesota State 5-1 on Saturday night for their record-tying ninth college hockey title at TD Garden.

Two nights after eliminating Michigan in the Frozen Four semifinal, Denver joined the Wolverines as the only schools with nine championships.

Jackson native Carter Mazur, right, is checked by Minnesota State captain Wyatt Aamodt along the boards during the first period of the NCAA Frozen Four championship final on Saturday in Boston.

The Pioneers featured three Red Wings draft picks: forward Carter Mazur (3rd round/2021) and defensemen Antti Tuomisto (2nd round/2019) and Shai Buium (2nd round/2021).

Mazur (Jackson, Mich.) had two assists, three shots and was plus-2, Buium assisted on the winning goal, had three shots and was plus-3 and Tuomisto had one shot and was even.

Mazur, a 6-0, 173-pound freshman, had 14 goals and 24 assists for 38 points and was plus-25 in 41 games.

Buium, a 6-3, 220-pound freshman from San Diego, had three goals and 15 assists for 18 points and was plus-20 in 39 games.

Tuomisto, a 6-5, 210-pound sophomore from Finland, had one goal and eight assists for nine points and was plus-18 in 35 games.

Denver's Ryan Barrow (18) celebrates his goal against Minnesota State during the third period.

Goalie Magnus Chrona stopped 27 shots for the Pioneers (31-9-1). They won their first championship since 2017 and improved to 9-3 in title games – including the last four in a row.

“You come to Denver to win national championships,” said Ryan Barrow, a fifth-year senior who set a school record by playing in his 168th game.

“I came the year after they won it. You hear all their stories about winning the national championship and you picture winning one yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the 2017 pump-up video of them winning the ‘natty.’ It will be pretty sweet to watch my own now.”

It was also a rewarding victory for head coach David Carle, who was an incoming freshman at Denver when he was diagnosed with a heart condition that ended his playing career.

The Pioneers honored his scholarship anyway, and kept him on the team as an assistant coach.

“Denver hockey and the university has done a lot for me,” Carle said, his suit still drenched from the sports drink his players dumped on him during the on-ice postgame celebration. “That responsibility does not fall on me lightly. I owe a lot of what I have in my life to this place. This program is very special; it means the world to me.”