Road Trip To Wisconsin

This year a number of DU fans will be flying to Chicago and driving to Madison for the big Denver-Wisconsin showdown in November. Airfares haven't been this cheap since Colorado College last won a National Championship (1957). If you are interested in joining the fun look at arrive in Chicago before 2 pm (no exceptions) on Friday, November 10th and depart anytime after 10 am on Sunday, November 12th.

We will have rental vans lined up...Hotels in Madison range from $50-$162 a night.

Sample Airfares: (

Denver-Chicago $158 + taxes

NYC - Chicago $178 + taxes

Orlando - Chicago $178 + taxes

Houston - Chicago $158 + taxes

Don't delay on the plane tickets. These fares won't last...

DU's Stastny signs with Avs

By Mike Chambers
Denver Post Staff Writer

The University of Denver's painful loss is the Avalanche's potential gain.

The Pioneers on Monday said goodbye to All-America center Paul Stastny, who will forgo his final two years of eligibility after signing a three-year contract with the Avs. Colorado selected Stastny, the son of former Quebec Nordiques star and Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, in the second round of the 2005 NHL draft.

Stastny was the Western Collegiate Hockey Association rookie of the year in 2004-05 and the WCHA scoring champion last season. He had 98 points, including 36 goals, in 81 career games at DU.

"After talking to my dad, my adviser (sports agent Matt Keator) and my brother (Yan) we decided in my two years at Denver I got so much better. I kept accelerating, and I'm at an age where I need to keep getting better. It was time to take the next step," said Stastny, who as a freshman in 2005 helped DU win its second consecutive NCAA title with two goals and an assist in a 4-1 national championship game victory over North Dakota.

"I had such a good time at DU," Stastny said. "So nice to be a part of such a rich program. I'm really going to miss the guys."

Stastny, 20, is the third player to leave DU for the NHL in less than a year. Defenseman Brett Skinner signed with Vancouver in August and defenseman Matt Carle, who tied Stastny with a team-leading 53 points last season, joined San Jose for the Stanley Cup playoffs in March.

"When your program develops into a national contender you face the challenges of players leaving early, and teams owning their draft rights pulling them out early," Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky said. "I'm happy for Paul, and proud of him like I was for Brett and Matt. But I've got mixed feelings.

"Paul was going to be in a great situation here. He would have been one of the top returning players in the country and a leader on our team, which is going to be outstanding with another talented freshman class. There was a lot still for Paul to accomplish in college hockey."

Stastny was a preseason candidate for the Hobey Baker Award, which Carle won in April to become DU's first national player of the year. Stastny, a burly 6-foot, 210-pound center, played in all situations for the Pioneers, and will be particularly missed on the power play, on which he scored 17 goals.

"Paul brings a great deal of speed, skill and potential to the organization," Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere said in a release. "Obviously his college accomplishments speak for themselves and we look forward to watching him continue to develop."

Avs Sign Stastny

In what can only be described as a mortal blow to the Pioneers next season the Colorado Avalanche announced today that the club has signed its one of its second round draft choices from 2005, forward Paul Stastny. In two seasons with the Pioneers, Stastny became one of the best players in the WCHA and led the Pioneers to a National Championship his Freshman season.

Stastny, 20, a standout at the University of Denver for two seasons, signed a multi-year contract with the Avalanche and will begin his professional career with the same franchise his hall-of-fame father, Peter Stastny, began with when he signed with the Quebec Nordiques as a free-agent in 1980.

Stastny completed his sophomore season at the University of Denver in 2005-06, capturing the Western Collegiate Hockey Association scoring title with 44 points (15g, 29a) in 28 conference games. He was named first team All-WCHA and a third-team All-American by U.S. College Hockey Online. The Quebec City native became the first DU Pioneer to win the WCHA scoring title since Dave Shields in 1989-90. Stastny and Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Carle shared the overall team scoring lead with 53 points (19g, 34a), fourth best in the WCHA. Stastny’s 1.36 points-per-game average ranked 10th in the nation.

“Paul brings a great deal of speed, skill and potential to the organization,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Francois Giguere. “Obviously his college accomplishments speak for themselves and we look forward to watching him continue to develop.”

Stastny has tallied 98 points on 36 goals and 62 assists in just two seasons at the University of Denver (81 games). He was named WCHA Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2004-05 after helping DU to its second consecutive national championship. He recorded two goals and an assist in Denver’s 4-1 victory over North Dakota in the 2005 NCAA title game and was named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team. He made everyone around him better with his fantastic passes and unselfish play.

We wish Paul nothing but the best of luck in his professional career and hope to see him scoring tons of goals in the Pepsi Center.


No. 1 goaltender at Bridgeport receives one-year deal

The Islanders have agreed to terms with goaltender Wade Dubielewicz on a one-year contract. Last season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, the 27-year old goalie was 20-21-2 with a 3.12 goals against average and .920 save percentage. He also starred throughout Bridgeport's seven-game loss to Wilkes Barre-Scranton in the first round of the AHL playoffs.

In seven games last season with the Islanders, the 5-10, 190-pound Dubielewicz was 2-3 with a 2.90 GAA and .897 save percentage.

The Saskatoon native has been in the Islanders organization for three seasons after a four-year college career at Denver University. His best pro season so far was in 2003-04 when he was 20-8-5 with a 1.38 GAA and .946 save percentage.

DU Hockey Alum Is Majority Whip in MN. Senate

2/3rds of hat trick at '84 Olympics
Tomassoni remembers goal, son born on same day

(left) David
Tomassoni was a rugged defenseman for the Pioneers from 1972-75. The article below details his experiences at the 1984 Olympic Games. David graduated from the University of Denver and worked in the Insurance business before being elected.

Bill Hanna
Mesabi Daily News
Feb. 8, 2006

Twenty-two years ago today, University of Denver Alum David Tomassoni of Chisholm scored a unique two-thirds of a hat trick at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

Tomassoni, now a DFL state senator, was a 31-year-old member of the Italian National Team in the locker room and ready to take the ice against the vaunted Russian squad when his stomach “did a back-flip. I turned to a teammate and said, ‘Mike, I think my baby might have just been born over in Hibbing. And, you know what else, I might just score a goal today,’” Tomassoni said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

He was right on both counts.

That day at the Hibbing hospital, his wife, Charlotte, gave birth to their third child, Danny.

Meanwhile, the Italians would play well against a much stronger and heavily favored Russian team, losing 4-1.The lone Italian goal was scored by Tomassoni, who at the time only thought he was a father a third time.

There were no cell phones two decades ago, so Tomassoni had to seek out a land line after the game to call back home.

“I was trying to find a phone when I ran into Brent Musburger (longtime and well-known television sportscaster) who directed me to the press room. I called home and found out Danny had been born a couple hours earlier,” Tomassoni said of his youngest child.

Tomassoni was one of three Americans playing as foreign nationals on the Italian hockey team, which finished in ninth place, with its lone win against Poland. “We finished one place lower than expected,” he said.

There were several other Americans playing different sports for different countries, including a downhill skier for Egypt. A few days after the Italy-Russia game, another famed sportscaster, Dick Schaap, did a television interview with the American foreign national players, including Tomassoni.

“He said I scored two-thirds of a hat trick (a hockey term for three goals in a game) against the Russians ... a goal and a son,” Tomassoni said with a laugh.

And where will Danny Tomassoni be tonight to celebrate his 22nd birthday? Appropriately at a Minnesota Wild National Hockey League game in St. Paul.

Phil The Thrill Goes Job Hunting

The following story appeared in ESPN The Magazine this week. The article follows the Columbus Blue Jackets around as they prepare for the upcoming draft. Part of the article dealt with University of Minnesota star foward Phil Kessel.

Day 3 of four days spent interviewing prospects. The Blue Jackets will have interviewed 109 teenagers by the end of business tomorrow. They come through the doors, one every twenty minutes.

The scouts sit through all 109 interviews, and Williams enters notes from each into a database. But no interview is more important to the Blue Jackets than Kessel's. No prospect has more to win or lose than he does. Kessel walks into the room. The Blue Jackets are the first of 20 interviews on his schedule. He is barely in his seat before Boyd says, “Teammates.”


“Do you know what I'm talking about?”

“No,” Kessel says.

He most certainly does.

Kessel has a reputation for being disliked by teammates wherever he's played. Jack Johnson, third overall in last year's draft, called him “a dirtbag” during one of his
combine interviews.


“I don't have a problem with my teammates.”

More silence.

“I don't have a problem with Jack Johnson.”

More silence.

“I had lunch with him practically every day.”

What about that TV report about that bar serving underage Gophers?

“Happens everywhere,” Kessel says.

Only 18 goals last season when you were compared to Sidney Crosby the year before?

“I was on the third line...we rolled four lines.”

Kessel's time is up. He leaves, seemingly aware that his was a less-than-stellar performance.

Boyd is unfazed. “Helluva talent,” he says to no one in particular.

Another excerpt:

Kessel walks in holding an empty water bottle.

He shakes hands, sits on the couch and starts tapping the bottle against his palm, a drum beat.

"How would you look with Nash?" the GM asks.

"I think I'd look pretty good."

"Do you dish the puck well enough to play with him?"

"I think I dish it pretty well."

"I'm not sure that you'd get it back."

Boyd jumps in. "Phil, I watched you test at the combine. How do you think you did?"

"I think I did pretty well. It was tough. I just came back from the world championships. Didn't have that much chance to prepare for it."

"You walked around that room," Boyd says. "You saw the conditioning level of the other guys. Where do you think your conditioning is? A lot of guys look like they've been in the gym longer than you. I'm talking about the past year, year and a half."

"I doubt that."

"You train pretty hard?" Boyd says.

"Yeah. I mean, I didn't have a chance to work out for practically a month and a half.

There are other questions. About his relationships with teammates. About his rep as a party guy. Then Boyd goes directly to the scouting report. "How would you respond to this: 'A little bit immature, needs to work a little harder in the gym, practice a little harder, needs to lean some social skills, people skills.' We'll leave it at that."

Kessel's voice falls to a whisper. "I'd say, okay...yeah a little bit...some of that's a little on some of that stuff, I guess."

It's soon over after that. Kessel looks disheartened as he leaves. MacLean looks sad. "If what they're saying about this kid isn't true, it's criminal. Because I don't know if I ever heard the negative stuff like I have with this kid."

"It would be a tragedy.", Boyd agrees.


Former DU Standout Rycroft Signs With Avs

Mark Rycroft signed a contract Tuesday to play next season with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. Rycroft, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today (born July 12, 1978), played three seasons with the University of Denver from 1997-98 to 1999-2000. The right winger appeared in a team-high 80 games for the St. Louis Blues last season, notching six goals and four assists. The Penticton, B.C. native signed with the Blues as a free agent in 2000 and has spent his entire NHL career in St. Louis, notching 34 points (15g/19a) in 160 career NHL games.

Rycroft played for DU for three years before signing a pro contract a year early. During his career at DU, Rycroft made the WCHA All-Rookie Team in 1998. He is tied for first on the Pioneers’ all-time game-winning goals list (15). Ranks sixth on the Pioneers’ all-time power- play goal list (20). Played in 117 games for the University of Denver, notching 51 goals and 52 assists for 103 career points.
UAA Player Takes AD to Jedi Council
Seawolves Athletic Director denies a transfer to Gophers

(Left) Walksy & Cobb state their case before the Supreme Jedi Council which oversees the UAA Athletic Department

Anchorage, Alaska - UAA Hockey player Eric Walsky has left the UAA program and intends to transfer to another school in the Western Intergalactic Hockey Association, the powerful league in which UAA plays.

NCAA transfer rules require the Anchorage native, who was the Seawolves' best forward (he must have scored at least two goals to win that dubious honor) as last season came to a close, to sit out one season before he is eligible to play for a new team.

Walsky, 21, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, said he will transfer because he believes UAA coach Dave Shyiak won't let UAA players fly the Jedi X-Wing Starfighters until they are Seniors and won't allow him to flourish. Walsky said he didn't harbor any animosity toward Shyiak. They just disagreed philosophically, he said.

"Simply, I don't feel I'll develop into the Jedi Master I deserve to be,'' Walsky said. "I don't have the opportunity to do that here. I butted heads with the coach a little bit, and I didn't see that changing.

"I take this decision very seriously. I take my light saber practice very seriously, and I want to have a career.''

Shyiak said he gave Walsky his best wishes the last time they talked.

"I told him, 'I wish you the best of luck. You have a bright future on the Dark Side,' '' Shyiak said.

Walsky would not say where he intends to transfer, but it won't be to Minnesota. UAA athletic director Steve Cobb refused to grant Walsky a release to join the Gophers because Minnesota assistant John Hill (also known around Anchorage as "Darth Vader"), the former Seawolves head coach, recruited Walsky to UAA on UAA's dime.

"I'm not going to allow someone (a traitor like John Hill) who worked for us, and used Intergalactic resources to develop a relationship with the kid, to benefit from that with another school,'' Cobb said. "I agreed to waive him to 57 (other Division I hockey) schools, so I'm not limiting the kid.

Cobb added, "I don't have any bad feelings toward Eric (the same obviously can't be said for Hill).''

Cobb said Colorado College, which hasn't won a National Championship since 1957, was the only school he granted a waiver to pursue Walsky. If Walsky chose to transfer to Colorado College, that waiver would, under NCAA rules, allow him to receive scholarship aid while sitting out his transfer season.

After Cobb refused to grant Walsky a waiver to pursue a transfer to Minnesota, Walsky appealed the decision, as allowed by NCAA rules. UAA's Jedi Council appeals committee upheld Cobb's decision.

"The rules are there to protect the institution, not the student-athlete,'' Cobb said.

Walsky added, "I need to do what's best for me and best for my career.''

Walsky became the second Seawolves forward to transfer in the offseason. Winger Shea Hamilton, who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out a transfer season, left the program earlier and signed with North Dakota of the WCHA.

Also, Shyiak said recruit Erik Felde of Anchorage, a forward/defenseman of astonishing speed who tore up the British Columbia Hockey League last season, won't join the Seawolves as planned his fall because he did not meet the Starfighter Qualifications at UAA.

If you would like to see the movie treatment of this screenplay, Star Wars III is currently on HBO.

Click on picture to enlarge

Click on picture to enlarge

DU to Open College Hockey's Newest Arena

The latest pictures from Miami University's Ice Arena. DU opens the season against Miami in Ohio at the Ice Breaker Tournament on October 6th.
Gauthier heads to LA

By Pat Rooney, Special to the Rocky Mountain News
July 8, 2006

In 1988, Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, a move that broke the hearts of hockey fans in Canada while sparking a new generation of hockey enthusiasts in the previously untapped Southern California region. One of those youngsters who immediately became enamored of the game in general, and the Kings in particular, was Gabe Gauthier, of Buena Park, Calif. After a standout career at the University of Denver, Gauthier is going home. The former Pioneers forward has agreed to terms with the Kings and will fly to Los Angeles today or Sunday to sign a two-year contract.
"It's close to home, which is good for my parents, and I grew up watching the Kings," Gauthier said.
"I grew up watching those teams with Gretzky and Tony Granato and Luc Robitaille. Now I have the opportunity to wear the same uniform they did."
Gauthier, an undrafted free agent, finished his career 16th on DU's all-time scoring list in points, with 155, and ranks second in power-play goals, with 31. He served as the Pioneers' co- captain last season and was a key component of DU's back-to- back national title teams in 2004 and 2005, often displaying a knack for producing in big games. Gauthier scored the Pioneers' only goal in their 1-0 victory against Maine in the 2004 final and registered three goals and three assists in two games at the Northeast Regional in 2005. Gauthier said he also received interest from Boston, Anaheim and the Avalanche before his choices narrowed to the Kings and Bruins.
"It's a huge relief," said Gauthier, who will participate in the Kings' conditioning camp next week. "Now it's done and over with and I couldn't be happier."
Local player jumps from high school to DU

By Mike Chambers Denver Post Staff Writer
Article from the Denver Post

Lakewood native Tyler Ruegsegger has joined Littleton's J.D. Corbin and Englewood's Geoff Paukovich as homegrown University of Denver players and NHL draft picks.

Ruegsegger is a pioneer of sorts, because unlike virtually every DU recruit signed in the past 20 years, the blue-chip forward is coming to college straight out of high school and with no junior-A or U.S. Development Program experience.

Ruegsegger, 18, signed with DU last fall at the beginning of his senior season at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn., and agreed to delay the start of his freshman season until 2007, after playing a season in junior-A. But then he erupted on the ice, leading the prestigious high school team with 38 goals and 89 points in 60 games.

DU coach George Gwozdecky has since asked Ruegsegger to join his program immediately, and the Toronto Maple Leafs devoted a sixth-round draft pick to him in last month's NHL draft.
"Tyler played for arguably the top prep school in the country, and he plays to win," DU recruiting coordinator Steve Miller said. "The more and more we evaluated him as the season went on, it made sense to us to bring him to school.

"He has so much heart and character. He'll go out and do whatever it takes to win, so I don't see him getting frustrated at all, making that jump. He's too mentally tough."

Ruegsegger, a product of the Arvada and Littleton youth hockey organizations, said: "I'm really excited to go straight from high school to college. The coaching staff has watched me play over the past year and they think I'm ready. I think I'm ready, too. It's a big jump, but I'm just going to go in there and let 'er rip."

Ruegsegger will join DU a year early along with defenseman Keith Seabrook, who was selected in the second round by the Washington Capitals last month. Seabrook, the younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, replaces Matt Carle, DU's first Hobey Baker Award winner who in March gave up his senior season to sign with the San Jose Sharks.

Ruegsegger and Seabrook helped give DU a school-record 12 NHL draft picks on its roster this season. The previous record is eight (2003-04).

Ruegsegger, one of a record five Denver freshmen to be drafted last month, said his second favorite NHL team, behind the Avalanche, is Toronto, because the Leafs are his father's favorite team.

"It was a special moment," he said about being drafted by Toronto. "I feel like I've really been blessed."


DU's incoming freshman class is expected to grow to eight next week with the group's only recruited walk-on, whom Miller declined to reveal. Currently, the only freshman player not drafted by an NHL team is rugged 6-4 defenseman Cody Brookwell of Calgary. ... The 2007 incoming freshman class, after losing Ruegsegger and Seabrook, features goalie Marc Cheverie and forwards Jesse Martin and Kyle Ostrow. ... In addition to losing Carle and graduated forwards Gabe Gauthier and Ted O'Leary, forwards Brock McMorris of Cherry Hills and Jon James have decided to not return for their senior seasons.