Thursday, April 13, 2006

Blog Closed For Off-Season Repairs

Its time to close the Blog till next hockey season.

Thanks to the readers who tuned in this season to follow the Denver Pioneers and WCHA Hockey. LetsGoDU was created to improve school spirit at DU (hense the name), and along the way the Blog morphed into a satirical look at college hockey. We'll be back a month or so before next season ready to take on the college hockey world again.

A huge "Good Bye & Good Luck" to departing players Gabe Gauthier, Ted O'Leary and Matt Carle who delivered two more National Championships (DU's 6th & 7th), a MacNaughton (DU's 10th) and a Broadmoor Trophy (our 14th) to the university. To Matt Carle who added a Hobey Baker Award to mix, bring the Stanley Cup back to DU on its way up to Anchorage.

To all the DU fans who helped out with story ideas, photos, encouragement, inside infomation and road trips I can't thank you enough. To the other college hockey bloggers, stay in touch we are creating something great here and getting better every day. Thanks to everyone who posted "Comments," about the articles. Often your Comments were better than my articles.

Finally to the rest of the DU hockey players, coaches and EVERYONE in DU's Athletic Department, thanks for another great season of Pioneer hockey. Lets hang some more banners up in the Magness rafters next season.

If you have any questions about DU Hockey or the University of Denver go to the "All Things DU" Thread at USCHO.com, the DU fans who frequent that site know EVERYTHING...

LET'S GO DU

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


North Dakota Sells T-Shirts

To order your Official Jordan Parise "I Might Be The Best Looking Kid Here" T-Shirt send $19.95 (no foodstamps please, optional beer $3.50 extra) to:

The University Of North Dakota Bookstore
c/o Jordan Parise T-Shirt Offer
775 Hamline Street
Grand Forks, ND, 58203

Also available is the, "I Might Be The 4th Best Goalie At The Frozen Four" for $17.95

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ten "Mortal Lock" WCHA Predictions for 2006-07


(left) LetsGoDU is predicting that "Dirty" will not be your new WCHA Commissioner...


1). Drop The Puck will predict that UAA will finish 5th or higher..

2). There will be at least one "Jutting Must Go Thread" on USCHO.com

3). The under/over for WCHA Players spending at least one night in jail is three.

4). There will be less "Mike Eaves Burns Out His Team Threads" than in year's past.

5). Wisconsin will lead the WCHA in attendance

6). At least 5 DU posters will be suspended or have their priviledges revoked on the CC Message Board.

7). CC will NOT win the National Championship or the WCHA Final Five

8). "Holy Cross!" will replace "Dear Parise!" as the most overused phrase on this message board.

9). Bemidji State will NOT be invited to join the WCHA

10). Dirty will NOT be elected WCHA Comissioner

Saturday, April 08, 2006


How DU "Stole" the Hobey Baker Award

- Carle winning two National Championships & "The Pass" to Stastny last year against UND had to stick in voters minds.

- DU having almost half its games televised on Fox College Sports.

- DU getting the "Carle for Hobey" Website up and running early and having the site looking good.

- Elliott's injury was pivotal since he was running away from the field at the time of the injury.

- Danny King getting inside Brett Sterling's head and bringing his play down a notch.

- DU's Power Play working like clockwork from New Year's onwards. Props to Stastny because he was the key to the PP's success IMO.

- When the two time National Coach of the Year is singing your praises, the media notices.

- All the media articles that appeared throughout the country. Props especially to the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News, which really came through with some well-timed and well-written Carle articles keeping the momentum going.

- Puck Swami's posts, which clearly defined what the parameters of the Hobey Baker selection were going to be this year. Who knows if or how many voters he swayed?

- Carle getting into the lineup with San Jose and scoring was HUGE.

- And especially to Matt Carle himself, who really won the award on his own. When the media frenzy kicked into high gear, most players performance usually drops off. He handled it all with ease...

Skills Challange Ends Badly

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The NCAA Skills Challenge held at the Frozen Four ended on a bizarre note, as the teams tied in points at the end of the events, something the producers apparently didn’t plan on. After much discussion, the organizers decided to hold a sudden death shootout, but they messed up the order and gave the East an extra round, which they won to take the trophy.
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Its always encouraging to see an event sponsored by the NCAA end in shambles because of disorganization, poor math skills and "East Coast Bias."

“We got hosed,” joked Denver’s Gabe Gauthier outside the locker room. “And we’re sharing the room with (the East) so there’s gonna be a rumble.”
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For a more accurate descrption on the precedings check out Elliot Olshanski's article...

News, Notes & Reactions to the Hobey Baker Triumph

Matt Carle: (Speaking about the difference between the NHL & College Hockey) "It's a much more controlled game. In college there's the face mask, and there's a lot of running around, and hitting. It's like a kamikaze game, I'm noticing now. In the NHL, there's so much depth and it doesn't seem like teams have any weaknesses. It's a true business, but at the same time, in the end, it's just guys playing hockey."

George Gwozdecky: "His legacy will live on at Denver for a long time."

Puck Swami: "As we celebrate the newest additon to the Pioneer Trophy Case, It must be nice to be Matt Carle. Let's see, two National Championship Rings, one World Junior Gold Medal, a Hobey Baker Award, a two-time first team all-American, a WCHA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, A two time all-WCHA First Teamer, INCH National Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, USCHO Player of the Year, An WCHA All-Academic Team selection, a $3 million dollar NHL contract and a goal in your first NHL game, and 3 points in your first six NHL Games, all before you are 22 years old."

Carle: "I was joking with Chris (Conner) and Brian (Elliott), all three of us were glad to finally end with all the hype and I was giving credit to them for how they handled it. Now they're playing in a national championship game."
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DU Teammate Gabe Gauthier: "Carle's offensive ability is the one thing that sets him apart."
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College Hockey News: "It's not supposed to be a cumulative award, but when you think of Carle's career, it's hard to overlook all that he's accomplished. He won two national championships, and this year, became the first player ever to win the WCHA's top offensive and defensive player award in the same season. That all helped him win the honor, despite missing this year's NCAAs."
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Coach Gwozdecky: (On DU's early exit from the playoffs) "To be honest, I was concerned ... for him, that he would drop off the radar," Gwozdecky said. "But he's established himself so strongly across the country and has such a great reputation, that he stayed there."
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Carle: (Talking about his new San Jose teammates) "All those guys were pretty interested, I got a few 'Good lucks' before I left," Carle said. "But I'm sure I'll get some grief. It's all in good fun. I guess I'd rather be taking the grief."
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College Hockey News: "But combine his Alaskan heritage with the fact that his two younger brothers also play hockey, and his parents don't always get a chance to see him play. In fact, his dad, Bob, was not at the Hobey ceremony. He's back in Anchorage with Matt's brother David, who plays at Shattuck St. Mary's and is going on an unofficial visit to Denver."
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CC Forward Joey Crabb: "It's real difficult at both ends of the ice against him. He can shut you down. And once he shuts you down, he can start (the play) the other way and you've got to backcheck him hard and watch him. You can't ever rest as a forward against him."
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Carle: (About the 6 on 3 against Maine) "People ask about that moment a lot. When I look back, I'm still in shock we won. Berky (goalie Adam Berkhoel) made some huge saves. It was the longest minute of my life."
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Coach Gwozdecky: "We're so fortunate to be able to have Matt Carle come to Denver and be a Pioneer for three years. He represented us in such a first-class fashion. Terrific young man, terrific player, terrific student athlete and a great role model not only for his teammates but for young people across the country."
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Carle: "Summer quarter registration starts Monday and I'll be online registering," Carle said.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Matt gets a well deserved hug from Mom

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award
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Matt Carle, Kevin Milbery and THE TROPHY

Matt Carle Wins Hobey Baker Award

Matt Carle, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, became the first DU hockey player to win the Hobey Baker Award. He also was the first player to win WCHA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.
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DU Coach George Gwozdecky noted, "His legacy will live on at Denver for a long time."

"Defensemen are kind of unsung players on the ice," Carle said. "Being there to make a good breakout pass or breaking up a three-on-two, those aren't stats that people write down. For a defenseman to be up here, obviously you have to put up a decent amount of points to maybe get some recognition and I'm sure there's a lot of defensemen out there in the country that could be up there just for their defensive abilities."

"It's almost like a storybook with what's happened in my college career," Carle said. "I just really have to give credit to the University of Denver for giving me the opportunities. Not just letting me play there, but for the group of guys that were brought there to play with me. Winning two national championships and then this year with the help of the guys getting me get up here to win the Hobey Baker, I can't give enough credit to my teammates over the past three years."
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A first-team All-WCHA selection for the second year in a row, Carle leds the nation in assists (42) and leds all NCAA defensemen in points (53). In conference games he led the WCHA in assists and finished second in points. Carle, who recently joined the NHL's San Jose Sharks, was a member of the 2004 and 2005 NCAA championship teams at Denver and was a co-captain of the Pioneers this year. A real estate and construction management major, he carried a 3.30 grade-point average and was a WCHA All-Academic Team honoree. He participates annually in the "Skate with the Pioneers" event for terminally ill children, and has volunteered at the Alaska Food Drive and a holiday children's charity drive.

John Scott Named 2005-06 Bad Boy of the Year in a Landslide

On a day when college hockey names its most outstanding player, LetsGoDU names college hockey's most notorious player. Time will tell who will have a better NHL career, but we like a player with a mean streak.

In a college hockey year filled with alcoholic brawls, hidden cameras, drinking before and after the games and multiple suspensions, one candidate stood tall and towered above the rest. Michigan Tech defenseman John Scott wins our prestigious "Bad Boy of the Year Award."

Firstly thanks to all of the readers who voted. You clearly and emphatically said excellence must be rewarded. So without further introduction, here's the article from the Michigan Lode that thrilled our voters...
From: Michigan Tech Lode Newspaper

Tech Hockey Player Charged

Another Michigan Tech hockey standout is receiving national attention this week.

Unfortunately, it is not the kind of publicity the player in question, or the program, would prefer; junior defenseman John Scott has been arraigned by the Houghton County District Court on three separate criminal charges stemming from a late night altercation last week. The altercation, in which nobody was injured, ended with a vehicle driven by Scott running into the side of a parked vehicle occupied by two other MTU students, at least one of whom had been directly involved in the initial confrontation.

The incident took place Saturday March 26 in downtown Houghton, starting around 11 p.m. according to Houghton County Prosecutor Doug Edwards. It began when a Michigan Tech student not identified by prosecutors approached Scott and made accusations that Scott had backed into another vehicle. The dispute which followed became increasingly confrontational until Scott’s accuser, responding to allegedly threatening language by the 6’ 7”, 255 pound Scott, chose to depart the scene, driving away in his 1996 Chevrolet Lumina. The Lumina also contained one passenger, another MTU student.

At this point, according to Edwards, Scott entered his 1999 Nissan Pathfinder and went in pursuit of the other student’s vehicle. Scott came up behind the Lumina and followed closely as the vehicles navigated the “Yooper loop.” Fearing that Scott’s pursuit was deliberate, the students in the Lumina used a cell phone to contact local police while driving. In Edwards’ words, “These guys were scared; Scott was threatening to beat them up.”

Shortly after exiting the Yooper loop, the driver of the Lumina made an abrupt turn into a parking lot in an effort to elude Scott. While Scott was initially unable to make the turn, he then allegedly drove over the curbing surrounding the lot and rammed the side of the Lumina.

Houghton City Police arrived on the scene a short time later. A breathalyzer test of Scott indicated that his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit for operating a vehicle, and officers placed Scott under arrest.

The following Wednesday, Houghton County District Court arraigned Scott on three charges: malicious destruction of property between $1,000 and $20,000, assault with a dangerous weapon, both felonies, and a misdemeanor charge, operating while intoxicated. If found guilty, Scott could face up to nine years and three months in prison, as the felony charges carry penalties up to five and four years respectively and the OWI charge carries as much as a 93 day sentence. The resulting damages to the Lumina come to more than $4,000, says Edwards.

Scott, who has no prior criminal record, has chosen one of the region’s premier defense lawyers, Hancock’s Mark Wisti, to represent him in court. Currently Scott is free after paying 10 percent on a $3,000 bond. He will next be in court for a preliminary hearing scheduled for the District Court on April 13.

The incident came the same day on which Scott had learned he would be receiving a full scholarship to attend MTU next school year. Scott had become an essential part of the Huskies’ defense during this past season, showing marked improvement over previous campaigns. Scott’s aggressive style of play has won him a number of fans among Husky supporters, and also given him a name among opposing team fans. His bruising play in this past campaign led to him assuming a key role as the team’s enforcer and also resulted in his leading the team in penalty minutes with 101.

While details on the incident are unclear, and no eyewitness accounts have yet turned up, it is clear that should Scott be found guilty of any of the charges, Michigan Tech hockey will face a difficult decision regarding one of its key players. Several Division I college hockey programs have made news in recent seasons for placing relatively minimal penalties on players found guilty of various misdeeds, including multiple instances in which players found to be driving under the influence remained on their respective teams, facing only short suspensions.

Michigan Tech’s traditional response in such situations has been more severe however. Most recently, defenseman Brady Greco, then among the nation’s most promising freshman, was removed from the team after disciplinary problems that included the assault of an MTU student in the dormitories and a DUI charge.

However, talented players removed from Division I programs seldom have difficulties in finding another team willing to give them a second, or third, chance. Greco, for example, is now playing in college hockey’s Frozen Four as a member of Colorado College.

While the incident has received widespread attention among followers of college hockey, most point out that little is really known about the situation thus far. MTU hockey coach Jamie Russell, quoted in the Daily Mining Gazette, commented that “He’s innocent until proven guilty both in my mind and the legal system.” A longtime follower of MTU hockey added that “This is far from an open and shut case.”

Meanwhile, MTU hockey has a good deal of positive news to focus on as well, most notably the success of Colin Murphy in fan voting for the Hobey Baker Award, college hockey’s most prestigious individual achievement.


Hobey Baker Announcement Today

Word on the Street is that the Hobey Baker election, to decide the nations best college hockey player, is very close. The announcement will be at 6 PM Central Time and televised on ESPNU.

Fearing the election might be rigged towards the Eastern Candidate, DU Chancellor Dr. Robert Coombe called on the United Nations to send "Election Observers" to keep things on the up-and-up. Troops were dispatched from hockey playing countries such as Norway to the Hobey Baker Memorial Headquarters.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Curse of the Seawolf Unleashed

(Above) Minnesota Gophers hockey coach Don Lucia gazes to the heavens as the "Curse of the Seawolf" envelopes the entire Gopher Athletic Department

Don Lucia Almost Throws Down At Final Five

gordwiser

Born Gopher, Graduated Sioux
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Engelstad East
Posts: 324
Re: Minnesota Gophers Off-Season Thread


Actually, I do know why the team (Minnesota) went into the crapper.

During the Thursday Final Five play-in game UM Coach Don Lucia and Assistant John Hill were sitting a section over from me. Since I was in my Seawolf garb, a buddy of mine and I went over to the two of them and demanded an apology from Hill for leaving UAA.

Lucia took offense and said, "An apology for what? Living his own life?!"

I'm pretty sure Lucia was ready to throw down. Anyway, the famous "Curse of the Seawolf" was inadvertantly unleashed upon Lucia when he started getting lippy. The curse quickly trickled down and infected most of the team, hence I ruined the Gophers magical season. Seriously, it was unintentional.
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I didn't even want to go talk to them, but my buddy offered me ten bucks to do it. He did most of the talking. I guess the collapse is actually HIS fault, and he calls himself a Gopher fan.

Besides, Hill was laughing and it was in good fun. I was there to say good job at a tough place to coach and Lucia got ready to go WWF. Actually caught me off guard.
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Sorry, guys.

The "Curse of the Seawolf" Chronology

3/16 - Don Lucia goes "WWF" on "Minnesota born" Sioux fan in Seawolf Jersey. Exactly 15 years after the Seawolves upset Boston College in the NCAA Tournament.

3/17 - Minnesota loses 8-7 against SCSU in OT. This loss forces Gophers to play Wisconsin for #1 seed in NCAA Tourney.

3/18 - Minnesota loses 4-0 to Wisconsin in "meaningless" WCHA Third Place game forcing showdown with Holy Cross.

3/24 - Seawolf Curse kicks into high gear as Holy Cross pulls off biggest upset in college hockey history since UAA Seawolves upset BC in 1991. Holy Cross wins 4-3 in OT.

3/25 - Holy Cross must have caught the Curse from Minnesota during the game, because they fall to North Dakota

3/26 - Don Lucia attends Women's National Championship game and infects the Gophers Women's team. Don sneaks out of the game at the end of the 2nd Period with UM trailing 3-0. With Don out of the building, the Lady Gophers play much better but still lose 3-0. Wisconsin becomes the first program outside the state of Minnesota to win a National Championship.

3/29 - Ryan Potlny leaves Minnesota early to sign with the Flyers.

4/2 - Long time Seawolf Fan Drop the Puck is given the longest suspension in the history of USCHO.com, a two month suspension.

4/6 - Danny Irman leaves Minnesota early to sign with the Minnesota Wild. No word if Irman will infect the Wild with the Seawolf Curse.

4/6 - Ironic how the Curse goes "full circle." It was started by a UND fan in a Seawolves jersey. The North Dakota hockey team catches the Curse from Holy Cross, who caught it from the Gophers who were given it by their coach. North Dakota falls like a House of Cards to Boston College...Boston College loses the National Championship to Wisconsin.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


2005-06 LetsGoDU Bad Boy of the Year


Its time to name our LetsGoDU Bad Boy of the Year. This your chance to vote for one of the candidates or teams listed below. Before you call me an a******* (or if you are a UND fan, send me a Death Threat), remember that any player who wins will probably get a larger NHL contract, because what NHL team doesn't need an enforcer. To vote just list the player or team in the comment section below and we will announce the winner at 3 PM CST on Friday.


Unlike the bogus "Hobey Vote" your decision won't be overruled by the Committee.

The Candidates

Mike Hamilton, Maine (Junior) Hockey East
Charges - Aggravated Assault and Criminal Mischief
Jail Time - Overnight in Penobscot County Jail
Suspensions - "Indefinate"
Witnesses - Ex-Girlfriend
LetsGoDU Recap

7 New Hampshire Forwards - Hockey East
(Daniel Winnik, Trevor Smith, Josh Ciocco, Brett Hemingway, Jerry Pollastrone, Greg Collins and Mike Radja)
Charges - Broke Team Rule #1546 - "No cocktails before the game..."
Jail Time - None
Suspensions - One Game
Witnesses - Themselves (turned themselves in)
USCHO Recap
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Mike Atkinson, Vermont (Freshman)
Charges - Diving while intoxicated and careless driving
Jail Time - Was taken to hospital
Suspensions - Indefinitely and left school
Witnesses - Not Known
USCHO Recap

John Scott, Michigan Tech (Senior)
Charges - Malicious destruction of property, assault w/ a dangerous weapon & operating vehicle while intoxicated
Jail Time - Overnight
Suspensions - 14 Games
Witnesses - Two terrified MTU students in the car getting rammed by Scott's SUV
Newspaper Recap (Its a good one)
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Mike Ruberto, Canisius (Sophmore) Atlantic Hockey
Charges - None
Jail Time - None
Suspensions - Dismissed from School
Witness - Not Known
USCHO Recap

The University of Minnesota Drinking Team WCHA
Charges - None
Jail Time - None
Suspensions - Perhaps One Game.
Witnesses - Fox 9 viewers in Minneapolis-St. Paul
Fox 9 Recap

Frank "Skates" Serratore, Air Force Academy CHA
Charges - None
Jail Time - None
Suspensions - Business Partner has been "Suspended with Pay" by the City of Omaha
Witnesses - "He Said, She Said"
LetsGoDU Recap

The "Canisius Four" - dismissed from school.

Wes Clark (Maine) - The Ultimate "Wing Man"

Aaron Slattengren (CC) - Nailed the Exacta - Kicked off the team and dismissed from school.

Lane Caffaro and T.J. Fox (Union) - According to the Coach they were suspended for being "Good Citizens" and "one day will be captains of the team."

The Mankato "Checking Line" (MSU-Mankato) - These five or six players (depending on which version you subscribe to) plus a member of the MSU's Women's team did it all: allegedly smoked the peace pipe, perhaps laced with the date rape drug, sexual assault and then broke out the camera for posterity.

The Duke Lacrosse Team (Duke) - OK, its not a college hockey team, but you have to admit if you read the story and they didn't mention the school or the sport, you might have guessed hockey. The worst part was all the free national publicity lacrosse received. College hockey always gets the short end of the stick.

Matt Carle Returns To Denver to Play the Avalanche Tonight

By Mike Chambers
Denver Post Staff Writer


Former DU star and current San Jose Sharks defensman Matt Carle makes his homecoming tonight against the Avalanche. (Post / Helen H. Richardson)

On March 18, Matt Carle was a penny-pinching college student who had just completed winter quarter finals at the University of Denver. It was his last day of wearing his baseball cap backward while walking around campus as a typical collegian scared to death about an uncertain future.

The next day, the Pioneers' best hockey player in at least 20 years was a guaranteed millionaire and scheduled to be picked up in a limousine at an airport in Oakland, Calif.

Today, Carle is a regular for the San Jose Sharks, having played four games - including the club's past three - after signing a maximum three-year, entry-level contract for more than $2.8 million on March 19. That's the day DU was denied an NCAA Tournament bid and a chance to win a third consecutive national championship.

Tonight, the Sharks visit the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in what figures to be an emotional homecoming for Carle, who is favored to win the Hobey Baker Award on Friday as college hockey's best player.

InsideCollegeHockey.com and U.S. College Hockey Online have named Carle national player of the year. If Carle wins the Hobey Baker, he will be the first DU player to win in 26 years of the award.

Carle is having a big week to go along with a big month. But he's not alone. The entire DU hockey team and countless school administrators and students are scheduled to lend support at tonight's game, which has playoff ramifications for both teams.

DU's coaching staff will accompany Carle to Milwaukee for the Hobey Baker announcement at the Frozen Four.

"It's kind of been a whirlwind tour ever since the day I signed, and it just seems like it's been going nonstop," Carle said Tuesday at DU after practicing with the Sharks in Westminster. "At the same time, it's been a lot of fun, and every day is a new experience and I learn more and more trying to develop myself as a pro hockey player."

Carle, the Sharks' second-round draft choice in 2002, collected a $282,000 signing bonus and will make the prorated portion of a $662,400 salary this season. He is scheduled to make $942,400 in each of the next two seasons.

"I have to give a lot of credit to Coach (George) Gwozdecky and his staff for the foundation I've received here at the University of Denver, not only being a hockey player, but as a person," Carle said.

Carle has scored two goals with the Sharks, matching what veteran San Jose defenseman Kyle McLaren has in 69 games. Carle has more goals than San Jose blue-liners Rob Davison (69 games) and Josh Gorges (42) and has taken over running the power play while averaging 15 minutes of ice time.

"It doesn't surprise me because San Jose really wanted him, and you're not going to sign someone like Matt to have him sit and watch," Gwozdecky said. "They think he's going to be an important piece to the puzzle to get them into the playoffs."

Carle, 21, is living in a San Jose hotel and his roommate on the road is former Colorado College star Tom Preissing, who also plays the point on the No. 1 power play.

"The guys know we went to rival schools, but nobody really gives us any grief," Carle said. "Tom's a great guy, and he's helped me out a lot."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Carle Wins Another Award

The organization that "suspended" me earlier in the year for "bandwidth hijacking" named DU defenseman Matt Carle as its "Player of the Year." (Note to USCHO.com - Don't suspend me next season and I'll include a link next time)...

The same organization named Matt Carle to its First Team All-American squad and DU forward Paul Stastny to its Third Team.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Jim Wiste ('69) - Continues Success At Campus Lounge

DU Hockey Alumni

by Irv Moss, Denver Post

Jim Wiste's theme in playing hockey and living life has a lot of Murray Armstrong, the storied University of Denver hockey coach, built into it.

Maybe the best example came in 1969 when Wiste moved from captain of DU's collegiate program to rookie with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. Wiste jumped into the challenge at training camp with youthful enthusiasm, but was jolted when some of the veterans let it be known his style was irritating.

A call to Armstrong for advice got a two-word response.

"Go harder," Wiste remembered hearing from his former coach. "Murray didn't speak a lot, but when he did you listened."

Armstrong's messages at times had Wiste ready to walk through walls to get on the ice. He would save his best for special games.

"Before you went on the ice, he'd grab your hand and look you right in the eye and say 'Good luck to you, Jim,"' Wiste said. "The veins would be sticking out in his face. Jeez, you hardly could wait for the national anthem to finish. He gave speeches, and let me tell you, he had some speeches."

Wiste didn't waste the words or his talent.

He twice was an All-American at DU, scoring 139 career points. With Wiste and Cliff Koroll as captains, the 1968 Pioneers won the NCAA championship, beating North Dakota 4-0 with Gerry Powers in goal in the title game. Wiste played for the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks and earned a ring when Chicago won its first Original Six championship. His professional career included stops with Vancouver and the New York Rangers, and Cleveland and Indianapolis in the World Hockey Association.

"Winning the NCAA title was the biggest thrill in my hockey career because I look back on how tough it was," Wiste said. "In the championship game against North Dakota it was 0-0 with 10 minutes left in the game. I've played in Stanley Cup Finals and never felt the pressure that is there in a one-game series. When you're a senior and going out, you say it would be great to leave as a winner."

Koroll remembered Wiste as being effective on the power play.

"He not only was a good goal-scorer, but he was a tremendous playmaker," Koroll said. "He was just a great college player."

"You always felt good when Jim Wiste was on the ice," Powers said. "He knew how to pick the other team apart."

But there was another time when Wiste called on the memory of Armstrong's terse, powerful good luck for motivation.

"When I finished my hockey career in 1976, I was 31 years old," Wiste said. "When your career is over no one is prepared for it. It's the toughest decision a player has to make. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I'd interview and they'd say, 'What have you done? We're not looking for a left winger right now.' Your earning power starts high

















and it drops to nothing."

A restaurant-lounge on South University Boulevard was for sale, and he bought it.

"I didn't know a thing about the restaurant business," Wiste said. "But like with sports, the timing was good, I was lucky and I knew this area as it was close to DU."

The Campus Lounge became Wiste's power play.

"One thing about hockey players is that they support each other," Wiste said. "The whole Blackhawks team has come here. Bobby Orr and Don Cherry would come in. Everybody would say 'Meet you at the Campus."'

The place also has become a haven for DU's hockey program past and present.

The hockey stories abound. A night rarely goes by that DU's encounters with the Russians, the Czechs, the Finns and the U.S. and Canadian national teams during Armstrong's era are told and retold.

DU's 2-2 tie with the Russians in 1960 preceded the U.S. winning the hockey gold medal in Squaw Valley. The Pioneers also tied the Russians 4-4 in 1959.

"We never went home for Christmas because we were playing against international competition at The Broadmoor," Wiste said. "We played the Russians, the Czechs, the Finns, the U.S. and Canadian national teams. It brought us to another level. Murray would say that some of those teams could beat the NHL."

"When we played the Russian team in 1968, it was a huge turning point for us," Powers said. "We realized that even though we were outplayed and lost 8-1, we skated with them."

The Pioneers won 22 straight games on the way to the NCAA crown after losing to the Russians.

Wiste came to DU from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, for his freshman year in 1965.

"Denver didn't have pro teams except for minor-league baseball," Wiste said. "We were front page of the paper, top cabin. People would be dressed up for our games. It was a social event.

"I'm proud of the fact that I made All-American at center one year and right wing the next year. But you don't get honors like that on your own. I was confident I could play college hockey. The pros were another step."

It's all in the stories that go around in the Campus Lounge.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Matt Carle Named Dual Award Winner

(left) Matt Carle led DU to the 2004 National Championship in Boston as a Freshman

Matt Carle has been named Inside College Hockey's Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year. Wisconsin goaltender Brian Elliott was named the Runner-Up.

On Friday, the Hobey Baker Award Winner will be named. Carle has been named one of three finalists.