Princeton 4 - Denver 1

Someone must of forgotten to explain to Princeton how these Holiday Tournaments work. The first round games are just a mere formality where the host team skates around, makes a few snappy passes and scores a few fancy goals to build the gate for the Saturday night Championship game. If the cupcake wants to play a good game they are obliged to do so in the "Consolation Game" in front of a handful of fans.

The dilemma for Denver hockey fans is what to do on Saturday. Show up at the Third Place game or watch the "Championship" game in the evening?

The good news for the Pioneer hockey team is that they have cleared up some precious time on what is sure to be a busy New Years Eve social schedule.

Former DU Player Traded For A Bus

In the early 80's Denver had a player, Tom Martin, who left school after his Freshman year to play Major Junior hockey in Canada. While at DU he was traded to another team for a bus.
Martin was playing for the University of Denver during the 1982-83 season, the Seattle Breakers traded his WHL rights to Victoria with cash for a used team bus and future considerations. In fact, the deal was really just Martin straight-up in lieu of Seattle having to make a down payment on Victoria's spare bus. The unconventional deal was made in mid-January 1983.

"Our old bus blew its engine on a road trip to Kelowna," Seattle owner John Hamilton explained to a reporter from The Hockey News. "Victoria had a bus they couldn't use and we had a player we couldn't use. Bingo."
THE DENVER CUPcake Begins Tonight

A nice easy win against Princeton is just what the doctor ordered for the boys after a week back home fattening up on Mom's cooking. I expect that the only ice the boys saw over the Break was in the bottom of their glasses as they told their families stories about their exploits back at college.
TV Schedule

Friday, Dec, 30
Wells Fargo Denver Cup
Denver vs Princeton
7:07 PM MST TV: FSN-RM (FCS Central)
Saturday, Dec 31
Wells Fargo Denver Cup Third Place Game

Wells Fargo Denver Cup Championship
7:07 PM MSTTV: FSN-RM (FCS Atlantic)
1st Round Match-Ups
Game 1: 4:05 p.m. MT
Ferris State (8-6-4, 4-4-4 CCHA) vs. No. 4 Boston College (9-4-1, 8-2-1 Hockey East)
Game 2: 7:05 p.m. MT
Princeton (4-10-0, 2-8-0 ECACHL) at No. 13 Denver (11-7-2, 8-4-2 WCHA)
Since the 1930's, Minnesotans spell "chicken" G-O-P-H-E-R-S
From St. Cloud Times
As the weather turned cold and December unfolded, the buzz around St. Cloud turned to hockey. The first mention of St. Cloud Teachers College that season appeared Dec. 13, 1933, in the St. Cloud Daily Times and Daily Journal-Press. The story detailed the 18 players on the team, including “Frank Brimsek of Eveleth, one of the best amateur goalies on the Mesabi Range in recent years.”
The first game was on Monday, Jan. 8, 1934, when Andolsek enticed the University of Manitoba to stop in St. Cloud en route home after two games at the University of Minnesota. Reports suggested Manitoba was the best college team of the era, possibly because of a pair of wins over the Gophers, 3-2 in double-overtime and 4-0, on Friday and Saturday.
On Monday afternoon, despite almost no practice because of the holiday break, Brimsek made 16 saves and the Peds won 3-2. As if the upset wasn’t enough, the team prevailed despite having just one spare player — and he didn’t play because of illness.
Brimsek allowed one goal 13½ minutes in. The same player, “Jackson” (first names were often omitted in the journalism of the era), beat Brimsek with a shot in the second period, but the Peds rallied to win in overtime.
“That game got a lot of attention, and the scouts began to hear more and more about (Brimsek),” Vandell said. “There would’ve been more. We challenged the Gophers to play us. They wouldn’t do it.”
From DU's Hockey History

The Denver Way vs. the NCAA Way (1974-1978)

By the mid 1970s, there was an ongoing debate in college hockey regarding the status of Canadian Junior A players, who were increasingly seen as professionals by the NCAA. Denver, whose 20 years of previous hockey success was predicated on these Canadian junior players, was a flag bearer for schools with no native talent pools. But some coaches, such as Minnesota hockey godfather John Mariucci, did not want their own players — just out of local high schools — to be playing against Canadians in their mid-20s. As a result of this feud, the WCHA had fractured and Denver and Minnesota would not play each other in league play throughout the entire 1960s into the early 1970s.
2005 Dodge (no pun intended) Holiday Classic
Minnesota, Canisius, Union & UMASS-Lowell
Carle for Hobey?

The Denver Post ran an article today sizing up Matt Carle's Hobey Baker prospects.
Press Release: At The Rink

(Left) Matt Carle gives Brett Sterling "The Business"

Just wanted to let you and your readers know that Alaska-Anchorage head coach Dave Shyiak and Colorado College forward Brett Sterling will be the guests for this week's "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats.
Surprisingly Danny King was not asked to appear. This egregious oversight is yet another example of the Eastern Media Bias.
Coach Shyiak, whose Seawolves play Alaska-Fairbanks to decide the Governor's Cup on December 30 and 31, will open the chats at 1 p.m. EST tomorrow, and Brett, who will next play for the Tigers in this week's Great Lakes Invitational, will be in at 2 p.m. EST. Both chat rooms are currently open, so fans can submit questions in advance.

Dave Shyiak chat:
Brett Sterling chat:
Hobey Baker Fan Vote for Sterling Raises Questions
(Left) Brett Sterling collapses in another Big Game
BY KEN SCHOTT Gazette Sportswriter
Colorado College senior forward Brett Sterling, the team’s leading scorer this year, has had 18 admittedly terrible games against CC's arch-rival the University of Denver. In 18 career games against the Pioneers he has 1 goal and 0 assists, costing his team league titles, playoff victories and a shot at the teams first National Championship since 1957. Even though the CC player has "choked" in all of the "BIG" games against DU, it hasn’t stopped fans from nominating him for the Hobey Baker Award. In the Vote for Hobey nomination phase, Sterling has 272 votes, which puts him into the preliminary voting phase. Players with at least 25 votes advance to the next round.
The nomination phase runs through Jan. 15. But when players who have choked in BIG games are receiving nominations, it threatens to ruin the integrity of the fan vote. When Jon Doehr, a vice president of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation, was told that fans are voting for players like Sterling, he admitted concern. "I don’t think we’ve had this problem before," Doehr said. "Certainly, we can not have players who have not won a major WCHA or NCAA trophy eligible to receive votes. At the same time, I don’t want to send a letter to Colorado College saying we appreciate your interest, but stop doing what you’re doing, at least at this stage.
"The good news is that, from looking at it, if you look at many of the top 10 to 15 players on the list right now, with the exception of Sterling, appear to be good candidates. So, from that vantage point, it’s working."
There is little the committee can do about preventing fans from voting, according to Doehr. But a rule could be voted on in the future to prevent the situation from happening again.
"Quite frankly, we don’t have a staff. We’re all volunteers," Doehr said. "To go through it every day and say it looks like Sterling might get nominated and he shouldn’t even be eligible. I think it’s a great idea."
The fan vote has been in place for five years. After the nomination phase, the preliminary round of voting runs from Jan. 16 through March 5. Fans can cast one ballot per day for their first- , second- and third-place choices. The fans’ tally is combined with the votes of the 59 Division I coaches to determine the 10 finalists.
The final round of voting takes place from March 17-27. The results of the fan vote will be counted, along with the votes of the Hobey Baker selection committee, to determine the award winner.
"We were looking for ways, as we always are, just to promote the award, and promote college hockey in general," Doehr said. "And in addition to that, quite frankly, we didn’t have any money, so we were trying to figure out how we can attract sponsors to the award. We thought getting more people attracted to our Web site would be a possible way with that cause.
"So, the fan voting was a way to promote the award, promote the game and also try to be a source of potential revenue for the foundation."
However, the fans’ vote counts for just 1 percent of the final total.
"The fan vote is the minimalist in the overall selection process," Doehr said. "We’re counting heavily on the ballots we get from the 59 coaches. The fan voting, at the end of the day, could decide a tiebreaker, but it’s not going to decide who gets in the top 10, and who doesn’t. Not by a long shot."
Merry Christmas From The DU Hockey Cheerleaders
To view the entire DU Cheer Team
Megan Rivera - Team Captain, Sophomore
Major: International Business
Born: February 1985, Alamosa, CO
Attended Sheridan High School
Favorite professor: David Schneer
Favorite sports: basketball and soccer

Let's Go DU
The Battle of the Brocks?

Brock Trotter's (right) unfortunate injury earlier in the season will cause Pioneer fans to miss seeing him battle with BC's highly regarded Brock Bradford (left).
Denver fans will be interested in watching #19 Freshman Brock Bradford of Boston College next weekend in the Denver Cup. Last year, he narrowed his choices down to Minnesota, DU and BC when he was one of the highest rated recruits in the USHL.
Luckily, DU managed to land Brock Trotter who was also highly regarded in the USHL. It would be interesting to know if Denver would have taken both Trotter & Bradford if they both wanted to come to DU? Certainly Denver's offense would seem to benefit from the depth this season and Pioneer fans can only wonder what sort of numbers they might have put up over four seasons together.
Unfortunately, Trotter got injured against North Dakota and is out for the season. He appears to be rehabing well and has been spotted at DU games and practices in good spirits. Certainly his offensive statistics were fantastic in the first five games he played for the Pioneers.
Brock Bradford (BC) 4 goals, 3 assists, 2 GW goals in 14 games
Brock Trotter (DU) 3 goals, 2 assists, 1 GW goal, 2 PP goals in 5 games
RPI Problems

Currently DU is sitting 25th in the RPI Rankings and not too much better in the PWR Rankings. DU may be in real danger of making the NCAA tournament even if they win 22 games or finish up in 2nd place in the WCHA standings. The RPI is calculated by 25% teams winning percentage, 50% opponents winning percentage and 25% opponents-opponent winning percentage. It doesn't matter if you lose games to UAA, MSU-M and other teams with weak records. What matters is that you schedule nonconference games with teams with high winning percentages.

Sooner or later this RPI/PWR situation is going to deny a very good team from making the tournament (i.e. - CC two years ago). This might be the year. DU would probably be favored in a neutral site over Miami, St. Lawrence, Vermont and most other non-WCHA teams. DU still controls its own desiny, but will needs to beat some very good teams down the stretch (WI, UND, BC, MN & CC).

What has been the weakness in DU's schedule that has caused this "RPI problem?"

1). Scheduling non-conference games against Notre Dame, Princeton & Air Force. Winning these games 10-0 and you still regress in the RPI.

2). Scheduling and losing games against tough Hockey East Teams on the road (Maine & BU).

3). Not having non-conference games against highly ranked ECAC & CCHA teams such as Clarkson, Cornell, St. Laurence, Miami & the like at home.

The long and the short of it is that DU has put together a very competitive schedule with an attractive range of teams from the season ticket holders perspective. Also, we have heard that the coaches like to schedule the toughest Hockey East programs to prepare for WCHA play. That being said, it may be time to consider more games against the elite programs in the ECAC & CCHA, less road games against the Hockey East and certainly the elimination of games against Air Force and the like unless the NCAA adopts the KRACH method.
The good news is that DU's remaining games have an opponents winning percentage of 0.5506. The bad news is some games which might look easy on paper (UAA on the road & MSU-M at home) are teams that DU has struggled against. If DU does manage to win 22 games they would probably end up with the 11th ranked RPI. Thats cutting things mighty thin and assuming that DU can win some very tough WCHA games.
Carle Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week Again
DENVER - University of Denver defenseman Matt Carle (Anchorage, Alaska), who was instrumental at both ends of the ice while helping the Pioneers to a two-game conference road sweep at Minnesota Duluth last weekend, has been named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for Dec. 19-25. Carle also earned co-Defensive Player of the Week honors on Dec. 5.
A 6-0, 195-pound junior from Anchorage, Alaska, Carle contributed four scoring points in the series, contributed eight hits and recorded six blocked shots from his blueline position as Denver earned 4-2 and 3-1 victories over the host Bulldogs. Carle helped key a defensive team effort that yielded just three goals and blanked UMD on all 12 of their power-play chances.
Last Friday (Dec. 16) night, Carle factored in on all three of the Pioneers' first-period goals in the 4-2 victory, scoring a game-tying power-play goal and assisting on two others, including teammate Chris Butler's (St. Louis, Mo.) eventual game-winner. Then last Saturday (Dec. 17) evening, Carle drew an assist on Butler's game-tying goal in the second period as Denver rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win, 3-1.
Denver's co-captain, a 2003 second round (47th overall) NHL Draft choice of San Jose and an All-WCHA First Team choice last season, Carle is the WCHA¹s top scoring defenseman in 2005-06 with eight goals, 19 assists and 27 points in 20 games and is tied for first in scoring among all blueliners nationally.
Two-time defending national champion Denver, sporting a 6-1 record over the last eight games and standing 11-7-2 overall, is now idle until hosting the Wells Fargo Denver Cup on Dec. 30-31.
Duluth Blows Another Lead

For those of you keeping score at home Duluth has held a lead over the University of Denver in seven straight games. The good news is that DU is 5-1-1 in those games. Of course there was the Frozen Four collapse, followed by two straight third quarter blowups last year in Duluth that resulted in a win & a tie for the good guys. Then another win and a loss in Denver last season. Which sorta kinda brings us to this past weekend. Dualing 1-0 leads that quicky evaporated under a Pioneer onslaught.
Saturday night was a textbook collapse. After out shooting DU 10-2 and seizing the aforemented lead in the First Period, DU came back with three straight goals by Chris Butler and Michael Hanza in the Second Period and everyone's All-American Paul Stastny in the Third to round out the scoring.
It wasn't a dominating victory by any stretch of the imagination, but a road sweep in the WCHA against determined opposition is always welcome. DU also held the Bulldogs without a Power Play goal all weekend.
Sandelin says "DU is Beatable"

(Left) "Sandy" answers questions from an irate Northern Minnesota press corps on how UMD managed to blow a two goal Third Period lead in the Frozen Four semi-final in 2004

In a post game interview on Friday night, Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin said, "DU is beatable." Sandelin who last year lead the USA Junior Team to a disasterous result in the World Championships in North Dakota, including a shocking loss to a very "beatable" Belarus team.

DU and UMD square off on Saturday night in Duluth.
A Fish Called Wanda

Glenn Fisher was a rock tonight in goal turning away a career high 39 shots to lead DU to a 4-2 victory over Minnesota Duluth. The Junior goaltender, who was drafted in the fifth round by the Edmonton Oilers, controlled play in the Third Period thwarting several dangerous UMD efforts.
Matt Carle scored a goal and chipped in with two assists. Chris Butler, Tom May and Ryan Helgason also added goals for the Pioneers. Paul Stastny had three assists. The story of the night was DU's much maligned Penalty Kill unit which shut the Bulldogs down on all 6 PP's.
Glenn Fisher is turning into one of the top goaltenders in the WCHA lowering his GAA to 2.37, his save percentage to .911 and his WCHA winning percentage oto almost 70%.

Denver Lineup
LW Tom May / C Paul Stastny / RW Ryan Dingle
LW Patrick Mullen / C Gabe Gauthier / RW J.D. Corbin
LW Michael Handza / C Geoff Paukovich / RW Ryan Helgason
LW Ted O'Leary /C Steven Cook / RW Jon James
LD Matt Carle / RD T.J. Fast
LD Chris Butler / RD Andrew Thomas
LD J.P. Testwuide / RD Julian Marcuzzi
G Glenn Fisher
Press Release from CSTV

(Left) - Matt Carle is in 4th place in CSTV's Hobey Watch
.’s first weekly Hobey Baker Watch – featuring analysis from CSTV analysts Adam Wodon, David Starman and 1992 Hobey winner Scott Pellerin – debuted on Thursday. Wisconsin’s Brian Elliott leads the first edition of the rankings, followed by Colorado College’s Brett Sterling, Minnesota’s Ryan Potulny, Denver’s Matt Carle and Michigan’s T.J. Hensick. The full rankings (9 candidates were ranked this week) can be viewed at:
DU: The Cradle of College Hockey Coaches
(Left) Enrico Blasi looks like a shoo-in for NCAA Coach of the Year

The No. 2 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks undoubtedly are college hockey's most surprising team, sitting 12-2-2 overall and leading the Central Collegiate Hockey Association at 10-1-1.
And no one is happier for the RedHawks than University of Denver coach George Gwozdecky, who joined DU in 1994 after coaching Miami for five years. RedHawks coach Rico Blasi is one of Gwozdecky's most successful protégés.
"It's great to see it," Gwozdecky said of Miami's success. "Rico and his staff have worked very hard and have gone through some trying times. They have a very talented team, but their talent doesn't get in the way of how hard they work. And you can really see that by the way they play."
Blasi served as Miami's captain in Gwozdecky's final two seasons in Oxford, Ohio. He joined Gwozdecky's coaching staff at DU before taking over the Miami program in 1998 at age 28.
DU and Miami also have a strong connection with their assistant coaches. The Pioneers' Seth Appert and the RedHawks' Jeff Blashill made up the goal- tending tandem at Ferris State in the early 1990s. And DU recruiting coordinator Steve Miller came to the Pioneers with Gwozdecky from Miami.

NOTE: Article from 12/15/05 Denver Post


DU - UAA #3

Spanky's - Where Champions Eat
DU - UAA #2

The University of Denver - Where Champions Play
DU - UAA Weekend #1
Over Rated - A Look Back

(Left) Ryan Caldwell Scores the backbreaking tying goal against Issac Reithmuth in the 2004 Frozen Four Semi-Final (Note the foot in the crease).
In honor of this week's DU-Duluth game I thought it might be a fun idea to go into the LetsGoDU archives and review the last over-rated/over-hyped WCHA media darling. Your 2004-05 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Duluth, MN. - After a summer filled with Booze, Broads & Boating the University of Minnesota Duluth enters the 2004-05 season holding down the No. 4 preseason ranking in the Poll and the No. 5 slot in the USA Today/USA Hockey MagazinePoll, both of which were released today.

#4 UMD easily out-partied the University of Michigan (541 points and 17 first place votes), the University of Maine (493; 9) and and Boston College (488; 2) who occupied the top three slots.

UMD, which retains the services of some 20 overweight borderline alcoholics from last winter, reluctantly opens preseason practice this Saturday before launching its 61st year of intercollegiate hockey on Oct. 7-8 at the University of Notre Dame.
12 Questions From Western College Hockey Blog

Western College Hockey Blog asked all of the WCHA & CCHA Bloggers to answer 12 Questions and then he is going to link them all together "in a Roundtable Format" on his site. Sounds like a dangerous technological maneuver.
1. In 50 words or less, give a quick overview of your team's season so far... Denver has shown "heart and character" coming back from two goal deficits to tie Minnesota and MSU-Mankato and defeating Colorado College. There were also impressive victories on the road against North Dakota and CC. There were disappointing losses to Maine (twice), UAA, MSU-Mankato & Minnesota.

2. What is the general consensus among fans about your team? (Is your coach a God among men or an incompetent fool that should be attacked by a swarm of bees? Do people at your school even realize that you have a hockey team? etc.) When your Coach is the Lord of the Springs, what more needs to be said.

3. What does your team need to do better in the second half to improve? Penalty Kill, Change the DU Logo, Get more balanced scoring from "the other lines."

4. Who is your team's star player and how has his season been going? Matt Carle has been simply amazing. He is logging 30 minutes a game and all the while just looks effortless out there.

5. Who on your team doesn't receive the credit that he deserves? Everyone not named Gauthier, Stastny & Carle. JD Corbin gives maximum effort on every shift, every night. He works so hard on the penalty kill sacrificing his body and moving his feet so quickly. Great to see him be rewarded with a "shortie" last weekend. (Others: Adrian Veideman, Andrew Thomas, Ryan Helgason, Ted O'Leary, Glen Fisher)

6. Who is your favorite player to watch? Matt Carle. He's such a fluid skater, fantastic on the Power Play, is amazing defending the odd man rush and when he makes a move to towards the goal you feel the goalie's terror. Also: Paul Stastny's patience of the power play. He just has such awesome puck control.

7. Who or what has been the biggest surprise for your team this season? Ryan Dingle has blossomed into a Superstar. He has raised his game to the next level.

8. What is going on with your team's goalie situation? The "Catholic Rotation" is getting back last season's form when the lead the country in win percentage. With four Freshman D-Men in front of them this season, there was an adjustment from last season no question.

9. Where do you see your team in 3 months? In second place behind Wisconsin.

10. Who will you be saddest to see leave at the end of the season? Ruckus the team mascot. Word on the street is that calling your team the "Pioneers" and then having a "Red Tailed Hawk" as your mascot and logo is abusive and offensive to the intelligence of your alumni.

11. Who are you most excited about joining your team next season? Looks like Edmonton Oilers draft choice Matt Glasser from Alberta is the "real deal."

12. What has been the highlight of the season so far? Sweep of #2 Ranked Colorado College last week showed the potential of the team.
Boone Rides On The Team Bus

Making a Few Bucks @ the Golden Bee

Road Trip

The Lord of the Springs

Got Hobey?

Denver - CC #3
Ask The Coach

With Chris Butler & Geoff Paukovich on the US Junior Team, here's your chance to AskTheCoach...
Press Release: Just wanted to let you and your readers know that Northern Michigan and US Junior National Team head coach Walt Kyle will be the guest for this week's "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats on Coach Kyle will start things off at 1 p.m. ET. The chat room is currently open, and fans can submit questions in advance.
Walt Kyle chat:
Gabe Gauthier & Boone
Future Pioneers With Gauthier

Boone Checks How Trotter's Leg is Healing

Stats & Boone Trade Wooden Stick Stories

The Fish Wins in World Arena

Boone in Da Springs - Part II
CC Tiger is in Shock After DU Victory

Nice Lid

Another DU Victory

Quiz Jumping on the Bandwagon

Boone Asks Paukovich if needs a "Wingman" in Vancouver

Boone Goes to the Springs & Returns Victorious
Thanks to "kscant" for taking the pictures so thatCO14ers and Dubbie31 could gloat in the glory of the win