Goaltender Matt Davis' determination leads to domination in DU title win

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Posted at 9:58 AM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 11:58:10-04

DU junior goaltender Matt Davis played the game of his life over the weekend, shutting out one of the most dynamic teams in all of college hockey to help the Pioneers claim their 10th national title— the most of any program in NCAA ice hockey history, in case you hadn't heard.

Davis stopped 35 shots in the 2-0 win, including 23 saves in the 3rd period alone. One of those was the save of the tournament that forced Buccigross into fervor, and they all combined for an unforgettable performance.

"He won us a national championship," Davis' roommate and DU's senior captain McKade Webster said.

"[He was] superhuman," Denver's head coach David Carle, who hoisted his second title trophy as the Pio's boss thanks to Davis' brilliance, said. "This whole [NCAA tournament] run he gave up 3 goals, it’s incredible. There were many moments in all of these games he could have cracked and he didn’t. He earned this for us. I couldn’t be happier for Matt and his family for what he was able to do for this program.”

“We had a lot of valleys this year that’s for sure," Davis said. "But man it feels good to be on the summit.”

The largest valley for DU's netminder came in the form of an injury that kept him out of the lineup for two months. When he returned to the ice in January, it took him time to re-acclimate to the action.

“I hadn’t played for a while," Davis said. "I had to get back into some certain details and habits.”

Assistant coach Ryan Massa and sports psychologist Stephen Gonzalez helped Davis to get out of his rut, get back into the game, and eventually to peak at the right time.

“We made it so that I would just focus on my breath and kinda just pump my own tires when I talk to myself," Davis said. "It sounds kinda weird but I am a goalie.”

It's that sense of humor- that delightful whimsy- that inspires such love between Davis and his Pioneer brethren.

“He’s an unbelievable guy," Webster said. "He’s gone through a lot in his career to be here, I’m so happy for him. I don’t want to say I called it, but I said that he would win a national championship one day here. [Even if] I’m not here, he’ll still do it. We all knew this in the back room, how good he was, and that he'd carry us to a national championship."

As of now, Davis has not been drafted by a NHL team. Perhaps the Avalanche should give him a call before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin?

Davis deserves a shot in the big leagues— if not for his incredible, historical, monumental title game performance, then certainly for his life philosophy.

“As long as it’s not in the back of the net, it’s sweet," Davis said.

Goaltender Matt Davis' determination leads to domination in DU title win