Thursday, November 30, 2006



Breaking News....................CC Still Sucks....... span>

DU-CC Smack "Too Hot" For USCHO.com

In a surprising move, the USCHO.com Board Administrator deleted this weeks "DU vs. CC Thread" for "Vulgar language, distasteful photographs, questionable judgement and crude humor" and those were just the charges levelled against Colorado College fan Randy May.

LetsGoDU attempted to contact the administrator but were told by his secretary, "No Comment."

LetsGoDU will cover this travesty of justice as the First Amendment continues to get trampled by various college hockey publications.

New Gold Pan Trophy On The Way

By KATE CRANDALL
THE GAZETTE

When Colorado College and Denver played for pride last season, the Tigers went 0-3-1.

Perhaps a new Gold Pan trophy — scheduled to be finished in time for the season-ending March 2-3 CCDU series — will inspire the Tigers to wrench it from DU’s clutches.

The Pioneers have retained the Gold Pan since the 2003-04 season, but the traveling rivalry trophy was misplaced after DU won the 2004 Frozen Four.

CC coach Scott Owens and DU coach George Gwozdecky began to field offers for a Gold Pan replacement two seasons ago, but cost concerns and busy schedules delayed the process.

Owens met with the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Co. this summer about sponsoring a replacement trophy. The company has commissioned a Victor-area sculptor, who will craft the new trophy out of bronze, Owens said.

“It’s a gold pan, which leans against three sticks, which stand up out of the base,” Owens said. “(It) says University of Denver, Colorado College Gold Pan. On the base it will have the logos and years it has been won. The idea of it is to have something that will be lifted overhead, but can sit on a trophy case or a bookshelf.”

Owens expects representatives of the mining company to participate in the trophy presentation.

Air Force coach Frank Serratore, then at Denver, suggested the Gold Pan before the 1990-91 season, and the trophy came to fruition during the 1993-94 season.

The Gold Pan scoring system will stay the same, Owens said, with the trophy holder retaining it in case of a tie. That means that for the Tigers to recapture the Gold Pan, they need at least two wins and a tie in four games. If the Pioneers sweep CC this weekend, they would retain the trophy for the fourth straight season.

“We’ve talked about having this elaborate tiebreaker scheme, but my understanding coming in here was that you have to win it away,” Owens said. “You have to really earn it. It’s simple.”

DU Has "Mole" In CC Locker Room

(left) JP Testwuide convinced his brother Mike to go to CC and "spy" on Scott Owens
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From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers
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Hockey games between the University of Denver and Colorado College typically become fierce, but for the first time in the rivalry's 57-year history, this weekend's series will undoubtedly get "testy."
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J.P Testwuide, a sophomore wing for the Pioneers, will face his younger brother Mike, a freshman wing for the Tigers, in what is believed to be the series' first brother-vs.-brother showdown.

Be prepared to hear the nickname "Testy" at both ends of the ice.

"I bet my parents are pretty nervous," J.P. (John Paul) said.

The Testwuides (pronounced Test-weed) were born and raised in Vail, where they still live in the summer with their parents, Janet and Paul.

The brothers have a strong bond. They played together at a prep school in Lake Placid, N.Y., and in junior-A for Waterloo of the U.S. Hockey League. J.P., a 22-year-old defenseman, who switched to a checking forward this year, walked on. Mike, 19, wanted to join his brother at Denver but his only scholarship to play Division I in Colorado came from CC.

"I've always wanted to come to CC more, but I wanted to play with my brother," Mike said. "It just really wasn't a good time to come to Denver.

"We knew we wouldn't always play together. At some point you're going to end up at different places. It just so happened that we ended up at rival schools."

Janet said there were dinner conversations about the boys playing in the DU-CC rivalry, but for the same team.

"They would have loved that, but one team wanted one and one team wanted the other," she said. "The big thing was that both boys wanted to play in Colorado. For both to be back here, playing for the two biggest schools, we're just thrilled."

There will be no shortage of sympathy being offered Friday night at the Colorado Springs World Arena or Saturday night at Magness Arena for Paul and Janet.

"We're excited, because we can't lose," Janet said. "We're going to win the game, one way or the other."

Paul recently retired as chief operating officer of Vail Resorts. Janet and Paul met in Vail in the 1970s when they were "professional ski bums." The couple thought they would raise ski racers. Instead, they raised two boys who chose ice over powder, and ended up playing on opposite sides of one of college hockey's biggest rivalries.

DU coach George Gwozdecky likened the situation to seeing brothers playing football at Ohio State and Michigan.

"This is very special and very unique in a rivalry as heated as ours, and probably a little challenging for the family," Gwozdecky said.

Paul and Janet had no allegiance to either program, and were not hockey fans until their boys began playing the game with neighbor Toby Dawson, who won the bronze medal in freestyle skiing at the Turin Olympics.

"Everybody expected us to raise ski racers," Janet said. "But they had no desire to take it to a competitive level."

Janet won't be hard to find this weekend. She'll be the one wearing the combination DU-CC sweater, with TESTWUIDE on the back, split between the school's colors. Her son's initials are on each shoulder. A friend made the jersey for Janet, and her sons have yet to see it.

"They've never fought, never bickered, about the rivalry," she said. "They smile and give you sheepish grins to each other, and they wonder what we're going to wear to the games."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pioneers, Avalanche & Beers...Oh My

The Denver Sports Guide covers all of Denver's sports teams. A recent article was forwarded to us entitled, "The Ice Men Cometh (Together)." It chronicles the NHL's arrival in Denver and the many ties between the pro team and DU. Its a fantastic article and a must read for any hockey fan.

If you want to pick up a copy of the December issue, with our boy Staz on the cover, their website (above) has locations where you can get a free copy.

Bozak From Kazakhstan Scores In BCHL

(left) Bozak received a regal send off from the leaders of Kazakhstan before joining the Victoria Grizzles

From: The Province
by Steve Erwin

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Last season DU Recruit Tyler Bozak scored 69 points in the British Columbia Hockey League. He's five points behind that total right now, despite having played 30 fewer games.

"He's a guy with great numbers, but he's also one of our most competitive guys," said Victoria coach Rylan Ferster.

"Sometimes on teams, your most talented guys will take shortcuts because they can. Tyler doesn't take any shortcuts."

Bozak credits his improvement to his linemates, fellow speedsters Gary Nunn and Jamie Benn, and to how much better the entire team has gotten the past couple of years.

In Bozak's rookie campaign two seasons ago the club was the second from the bottom; this time around they're challenging for the league title.

Ferster says that it's simply an offshoot of Bozak having two seasons under his belt, and the confidence he picked up thanks to Victoria upsetting the Nanaimo Clippers and Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the 2005-06 playoffs.

Whatever it is, it's been noted.

Bozak was receiving interest from second-tier U.S. schools last season, but the big hitters came to play this year.

Bozak eventually accepted a scholarship from powerhouse University of Denver, after also talking to the likes of Maine and Cornell.

"Nobody really noticed me last year, but when they came out this year they liked what they saw," said Bozak, a Regina native who is Victoria's captain. "The first time I talked to Denver I was really excited.

"I knew that they had won two national championships in the past three seasons.

"The program there is phenomenal.

"I'm glad I've decided now. The whole thing swamped me a bit."

Bozak doesn't get swamped on the ice, which is part of his appeal. He carries only about 165 pounds on his 6-foot frame, but he plays fearlessly.

"He'd rather go through you than around you," said Ferster.

"And that sometimes scares you a bit."

Bozak added: "I try to get involved in all the battles. It gets me more pumped up. I like to get in the scrums, and throw my body around as much as possible.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CC's Coach Owens Faces Grilling Online
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Colorado College head coach Scott Owens will join CSTV's At The Rink Chat at 1 p.m. MST on Tuesday. The Tigers prepare to meet rival Denver in the first half of the Gold Pan series this Friday and Saturday.

Scott Owens Chat:


Steamboat Express Stays On Schedule

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Ryan Dingle's two-year scoring tear continues, even though he no longer is benefiting from the extraordinary passing of Matt Carle and Paul Stastny.
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Dingle, a University of Denver junior, produced a team-high 27 goals last season while playing right wing on a line centered by Stastny, and on a power play that included Carle. When Carle and Stastny left school early to sign NHL deals, DU followers figured Dingle's production would decline.
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Go figure. Dingle, who grew up in Littleton and Steamboat Springs, has a team-leading 11 goals in 14 games, giving him 38 goals in 50 games since the beginning of his sophomore season.
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"Ryan is a scorer, no question about it," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "I don't think people thought his sophomore year was a fluke, but they saw that Paul Stastny, who played with Ryan for two years, was gone, and who was going to replace Paul?"
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Stastny, an impressive NHL rookie with the Avalanche, has been replaced by redshirt freshman Brock Trotter. He is tied with Dingle with a team- leading 16 points and has 21 points in 18 career games.
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As for Carle, an NHL rookie-of-the-year candidate is not replaceable, and the 42 assists he had last season might never be duplicated by a defenseman.
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Dingle is not looking back.
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"We still have a bunch of talent on this team," he said.
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Gwozdecky considers Dingle the most versatile.
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"As a freshman he was a checker, a great penalty killer, an energy guy," Gwozdecky said. "As a sophomore he was thrown in more of a role of a scorer, a playmaker.

"Now, as a junior, we're asking him to blend those two roles together, and I think he's done a great job."

Streaks On The Line
Denver is on a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) and hasn't lost to Colorado College in the teams' past seven meetings (6-0-1). The Pioneers went 3-0-1 against the Tigers last season, but the last two games ended in overtime (5-4) and a tie (3-3).
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"It's going to be fun," Trotter said of the upcoming series.
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Trotter severed his Achilles tendon five games into last season. He has yet to play against CC.
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"I remember watching the games last year," Trotter said. "It was pretty intense, and I was in the stands really getting into it."
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Rivalry On TV
For the first time since the 2005 DU-Colorado College Frozen Four semifinal in Columbus, Ohio, the Pioneers-Tigers game will be nationally televised.
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ESPNU will carry Friday's game at the Colorado Springs World Arena that kicks off the home-and-home series between the rivals. Saturday's game at Magness Arena will be carried by Fox Sports Rocky Mountain.

Monday, November 27, 2006

DU HOCKEY LEGENDS

From Legends of Hockey.net
Article researched by du78

BILL MASTERTON

One of the greatest players ever to lace up the skates at DU was Bill Masterton. Bill won two National Championships at DU before his NHL career was tragically cut short when he fell to the ice and hit his head and passed away two days later. The details surrounding Bill's death are open to interpretation as Sports Writers and those in attendance have differing viewpoints on what happened. The most common is that Bill carried the puck into the Seals defensive zone during the first period of the game and made a back-hand pass to teammate Wayne Connelly, then in contact with a defending player he either slipped or was tripped.
Regardless which version of the event is true, Bill Masterton fell backwards and slammed the back of his head hard against the ice. He was taken off the ice unconscious on stretcher and transported to nearby hospital. Bill Masterton never regained consciousness' and subsequently died from his injury.

Growing up in Winnipeg, Bill Masterton had a knack for scoring goals and was often among the league leaders in that category. At 17 he joined the St. Boniface Canadiens and in 22 games responded with 23 goals and 49 points in 1955-56. Masterton and the Canadiens played in the Memorial Cup playoffs, where he tallied eight points in six games but it was the OHA's Toronto Marlboros who successfully defended their national junior amateur title.

In the fall of 1957, Masterton enrolled at the University of Denver, where he played hockey while getting an education. In four years with the school team he was one of the club's top offensive weapons, averaging more than two points per game in each of his last three seasons. Masterton helped the school to win an impressive two NCAA national titles, 1960 and again in his senior year in 1961, when he was named the most valuable player of the entire NCAA tournament.

Following graduation, Masterton was hopeful of landing a professional job in hockey, but with just six teams in the NHL, cracking a team's lineup was next to impossible. In 1961-62 Masterton joined the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the EPHL, a minor pro league. Among some of Masterton's more notable teammates included future NHLers Keith McCreary, Jim Roberts, Barclay Plager, Terry Harper, Dallas Smith and goalies Cesare Maniago and Ernie Wakely.

Masterton toiled patiently in the minors for six years, mostly in the USHL before getting a shot at the NHL when the league expanded to 12 teams for the 1967-68 campaign. The expansion Minnesota North Stars signed him to a free-agent contract, which was the thrill of a lifetime for Masterton, who had for so long dreamed about one day making it to the best hockey league in the world. But, after just 38 games in the league, tragedy struck. During a North Stars' game against another expansion team, the California Seals, on January 13, 1968, Masterton fell awkwardly to the ice, hitting his head. He died two days later of massive head injuries, becoming the first player to die as a direct result of an injury during an NHL game. He was just 29.

Masterton is forever immortalized by the league, with a trophy named in his memory. It is awarded annually to the NHL player who best personifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey as voted upon by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Bobby Clarke, Serge Savard, Mario Lemieux, Cam Neely and John Cullen are just a few of the big names that have been honoured with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in past years.

Awards
WCHA First All-Star Team (1960, 1961)
NCAA West First All-American Team (1960, 1961)
NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1961)
NCAA Championship Tournament MVP (1961)

From Legends of Hockey.net
Article researched by du78

DU vs. CC Flashback...1984


(left & below) CC played for years at the Broadmoor Hotel, because they were either too poor or too cheap to build their own hockey arena

Credit: This story was contributed by DU fan "Rikkyboy"

It was during my Freshman Year at DU during the 1983-84 season. DU was playing Colorado College at the Broadmoor World Arena. Both teams were crappy and the rivalry was all the fans had in those days.

I was down there with two dorm-mates and were sitting near the DU bench. The game was becoming a DU blow out (it eventually ended 8-6).

At some point DU scored and a big drum was tossed onto the ice from the CC Student Section. The DU goalie, Chris Olson, skated over to the drum and swung his stick through it with an axe like motion. The DU fans in attendance bust into cheers. Eventually, the drum was picked up and dropped off at the DU bench.

I went down a few rows to retrieve it, as Chris lived next door to me in J-Mac Dormitory and I thought it might be cool to give it to him later. Someone on the DU bench handed it over the glass and I raised the drum out above my head. As I'm was running back to my seat, I was knocked back on my butt by some older CC fan (I ran into him, he grabbed me and pushed me back). I jumped up and cocked my arm to swing a punch, a couple DU students grabbed me and pulled me back into their row of seats. Security came over and escorted the attacker out of the building.

Broadmoor security also took the drum. Later on someone who was sitting behind the attacker told me that the he was getting more frustrated with every goal DU scored. When I got the drum, he started to get up and his wife was trying to grab his arm to keep him in his seat, which did not happen.

The "rumble" made the paper too.


The "Big Week" Is Upon Us

From: Rocky Monatain News
by Pat Rooney

J.D. Corbin's injury-forced hiatus will not be any more frustrating than it will be this week as the University of Denver prepares to renew its feisty rivalry with Colorado College.
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"It's always the fun part of the year, to play in those big rivalries," Corbin said. "It will be hard to sit out."

Corbin, a senior wing who has been sidelined since he suffered a severe right ankle injury six weeks ago, is a Littleton native who has flourished against CC.

Corbin recorded two goals and four assists in four games against the Tigers last season but will remain on the sideline when the rivals begin a home-and-home series Friday in Colorado Springs.

At least by then, Corbin should be heartened by clearing a major hurdle in his recovery from a broken fibula and ligament damage in his ankle.

Corbin has been doing exercises in a pool for about three weeks, but otherwise, has had his lower leg encased in a protective boot. That boot will be removed if a series of X-rays scheduled for today reveals, as expected, adequate progress.

"The bone should be fully healed, and everything looks really good," said Corbin, who hopes to return before the end of January. "They want to take a look at the two screws that they put in to make sure those are in there pretty solid and that the bone hasn't broken around there anywhere.

"It's kind of hard to tell now, because I haven't been able to walk on it at all, but it feels good in the pool."

DU (9-4-1, 5-2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) will take a seven-game unbeaten streak into the series and has gone 6-0-1 in its past seven games against the Tigers. CC (8-5-1, 5-3-0) had a five-game winning streak snapped with a loss Saturday at North Dakota.
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Return Of Gold Pan: The Gold Pan trophy DU and CC compete for finally will be resurrected before the end of the season.

The original Gold Pan went missing after DU reclaimed it in 2004, a victim of the jubilation that followed the Pioneers' first national championship in 35 years. Because the prize has to be won outright to wrest it from the team in possession, DU has not had to produce a new Gold Pan thanks to its recent dominance in the series.

The teams hope to unveil a new trophy when they meet again at the end of the regular season.

"The word from (CC coach) Scott Owens is that it's being constructed," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "He sent me preliminary sketches and photos of the prototype. It's going to be really nice."

SHIFTED: DU's J.P. Testwuide has found a new home at forward.

Testwuide, a Vail native and a natural defenseman, has seen spot duty up front but will remain there permanently after striking some chemistry on the Pioneers' checking line with seniors Mike Handza and Steven Cook.

"It's funny how that line was just kind of thrown together," Gwozdecky said. "They like the role they play. Both Mike and Steven have asked if J.P. can be on their line full time. The way they're playing, they are going to stay together."

ETC.: DU has killed 32 of 34 penalties in the past six games . . . Trailing 3-2 in the third period, Air Force got goals from Josh Print and Brian Reese to beat Robert Morris 4-3 on Sunday in Colorado Springs. The win snapped a six-game losing streak to the Colonials.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

DU is 151-99-9 Against CC


Looking ahead to Colorado College

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

After sweeping its two-game nonleague weekend at Magness Arena, capped by Saturday night's 6-2 victory over Robert Morris, the University of Denver Pioneers were ready to talk rivalry.
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DU coach George Gwozdecky, usually tight-lipped when it comes to looking ahead, suggested his players would walk into the World Arena in Colorado Springs on Friday still in search of their identity.
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"CC week is always special," Gwozdecky said in a serious tone. "It's the best series in the regular season to play in, playing against your archrival. They're playing well, and we're keeping our head above water."
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DU fans know better. Everything Gwozdecky said was correct except the "above water" part.
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Fact is, the young Pioneers (9-4-1) have found their groove, and will bring a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) in Friday's showdown.
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The streak, which began Oct. 28 at Minnesota-Duluth and continued with a two- game sweep at defending NCAA champion Wisconsin, added strength Saturday against the Colonials (4-7). DU's six goals were the most during its unbeaten streak, and the Pioneers surrendered three goals or fewer for the 10th consecutive game.
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Moreover, Ryan Helgason, a swift-skating senior wing with perhaps the team's biggest shot, finally got off the snide. His game-opening goal was his long-awaited and well-earned first point of the season.
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"Hopefully the floodgates open now," said Helgason, who had six shots, one shy of the team high.
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Said Gwozdecky: "I'm glad he got the monkey off his back, and hopefully there is more in store."
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Fisher, outstanding in Friday's 2-1 victory over upstart Air Force, has allowed just three goals in his past four games. His first two games during that stretch were shutouts.
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Fisher started back-to-back weekend games for just the second time in his career, but Saturday marked the first time he finished both of them.
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"I took it as a challenge and just wanted to get two Ws," Fisher said.
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Looking ahead, at least six DU players will face their first action against CC, which split a two-game series at North Dakota over the weekend and is 5-1 in its past six games. Trotter, a redshirt freshman, is the most experienced newcomer.
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"Having confidence going into CC is going to be big," Trotter said.

DU Throttles Robert Morris University

From: USCHO.com
by Candace Horgan

(left) Brock Trotter had a big game for the Pioneers

DENVER — After a relatively slow start, the Denver Pioneers finally got their offense going to up their unbeaten streak to seven games, beating the Robert Morris Colonials 6-2. The Pioneers improved to 9-4-1 on the year.
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The Pioneers looked tentative at first, having difficulty moving the puck. Through the first six minutes, the Colonials outshot the Pioneers, and the game looked to turn into a replay of Friday night's tight defensive contest against Air Force.
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Pioneers' netminder Glenn Fisher, getting a rare back-to-back start, was strong early, allowing his teammates to get their legs. "Today I felt good," said Fisher. "I was really seeing the puck and I felt I recovered on my rebounds well.
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Senior Ryan Helgason got the Pioneers on the board at 12:46 of the period. Geoff Paukovich made a pretty behind-the-back pass as he spun across the blue line to Helgason moving down the middle. Helgason's backhand was stopped by goalie Christian Boucher, but he followed up and poked the rebound over the goal line.
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Bolstered by the goal, the Pioneers played with more confidence. Late in the period, freshman Tyler Ruegsegger scored to make it 2-0 with a brilliant effort. As he skated up the center of the ice, he took a pass from Patrick Mullen and moved towards the right side of the blue line. As Colonials' defenseman Rob Cowan moved in to take the body, Ruegsegger slipped the puck through his legs and stepped around him with speed, then used Colonials' defenseman Andrew Bonello as a screen, shooting the puck past the outside of Bonello's left skate through the five-hole.
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"Tyler works so hard," said Pioneers' coach George Gwozdecky. "He just never gives up on plays; he's one of these guys who just works and gives effort and second effort. He's been a little bit snakebit; I think he's been pressing a little bit for whatever reason over the last 3-4 games, so it's really good to see him break out and score an important goal for us."
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In the second period, the Pioneers continued to blitz the slower Colonials. Senior Adrian Veideman made it 3-0 with a power play goal at 9:15 of the period, firing a slap shot from the point low stick side past Boucher.
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Fisher saw little action for large stretches of the period. "You just have to stay in the game mentally and when they come down you have to make the big stops when you have to and I felt like I did that tonight."
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The Colonials got some life briefly when Tom Biondich took the puck and poked it past Fisher low glove side. Energized by the goal, the Colonials started to get some pressure in their offensive zone.
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However, Biondich was whistled for boarding at 17:01, and the Pioneers capitalized. As they have all season, Brock Trotter and Ryan Dingle connected in what was almost a perfect replay of their goal against Air Force, as Trotter, camped low along the left side, slid a pass through the crease to Dingle streaking down the right side, who lifted it past Boucher.
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"We've been working on plays," said Trotter. "He (Dingle) knows how to get open and score goals, so I'm going to try to find him every time; if I put it near his stick he's probably going to score. It felt like a video replay of last night."
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"So many times the power play starts off with the faceoff in the offensive zone," said Gwozdecky. "You can do yourself a world of good by gaining possession right off the faceoff. Last night and earlier on tonight I thought we would fall asleep, try to let the center win the draw, and all of sudden the puck goes down the ice and we've got to work for 30 seconds to get the puck right back where we started. As the game developed, I thought our power play did a much better job of getting possession right off the back and reserving our energy for creating plays and making good decisions."
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Trotter made it 5-1 at 1:54 of the third, receiving a pass behind the net from Mullen, coming out the left side and beating Boucher.
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"We were cycling it pretty good and we got their ‘D' running around a bit," said Trotter. "The guy took me and I kind of bounced it off the back of the net, kind of got open and took it to the front and the goalie didn't really know where I was and I decided to slide it five-hole."
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Just when it threatened to turn into a laugher, the Colonials responded. Bryan Mills made it 5-2 at 4:06, beating Fisher high stick side after dropping down the slot to pick up a pass from Jason Towsley.
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The rest of the game featured a lot of run and gun hockey. Ruegsegger almost made it 6-2, but Trotter's pass skipped over his stick while he had a wide open net to shoot at. Shortly thereafter, Bonello's laser of a slap shot hit the crossbar. Despite the chances, the Colonials were unable to close the gap. Chris Butler got the final Pioneers' goal at 19:17 of the third, taking a pass from Trotter and firing a shot that beat Boucher high glove side.
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Gwozdecky was particularly happy with the play of Trotter. "Coming off what was probably a mediocre game last night, I thought he played a real strong game; he played with great intensity, played smart and used his creativity at the right times."
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The Pioneers have no time to celebrate; after the game, it was clear that they are all focused on next weekend's series against archrival Colorado College.
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"We're going to have a lot of confidence going to CC," said Trotter. "We'll take the two wins and just get ready for them during the week."
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DENVER POST THREE STARS
1. Brock Trotter - The DU redshirt freshman had a goal and two assists, giving him a team-leading 16 points.
2. Ryan Helgason - The hard-working senior wing finally got his first goal of the season and had six shots for DU.
3. Chris Butler - DU's sophomore defenseman had two points, including a goal.
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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
The announced crowd of 6,030 was the Pioneers' 41st consecutive regular-season sellout at Magness Arena.

DU Lineup Vs. Robert Morris

Trotter-Ruesegger-Mullen
Gifford-Dingle-Rakhshani
Vossberg-Paukovich_Helgason
Cook-Handza-Testwuide

Veideman-Brookwell
Thomas-Marcuzzi
Butler-Fast

Fisher

Saturday, November 25, 2006

DU Squeeks By Air Force

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney
Photo: Jack Dempsey @ AP
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(left) Mike Handza welcomes Air Force Goalie Peter Foster to Denver



It was a collision between the most dangerous scoring force in college hockey and the nation's hottest goaltender.
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Give University of Denver goalie Glenn Fisher the nod, though just barely.
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Fisher watched his shutout streak end but, thanks to a pair of goals by Ryan Dingle during special-teams chances in the second period, the senior netminder was able to extend his personal winning streak to three games as DU recorded a 2-1 win against Air Force in a nonconference game at Magness Arena.
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Fisher held the high-scoring Falcons to a lone goal on 23 shots, leading a rugged DU defensive effort focused on slowing Air Force junior center Eric Ehn, who entered the contest as the nation's leader in points and goals.
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DU (8-4-1) extended its unbeaten streak to six games heading into tonight's match against Robert Morris University and has won 19 consecutive games against the Falcons.
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AFA (7-7-1), which outshot its Front Range rival 23-22, hosts Robert Morris on Sunday. DU held the Falcons to an 0-for-6 effort on the power play and has allowed only two power play goals in 30 chances during the past five games.
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"(Air Force) works just has hard as any team in the NCAA," said Fisher, who posted shutouts in his previous two starts. "They have got a good (top) line and they have been putting up points. We knew we had to beat them and stay disciplined to keep them off their power play. Everyone is buying into our PK system. Everyone is communicating really well and it's paying off."
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Dingle put the Pioneers on the board during a power-play chance at the 3:52 of the second period, charging the far post to convert a pass that Brock Trotter slid through the crease.
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A DU penalty moments later gave the Falcons a chance to regain the momentum, but Dingle raced out of the Pioneers zone after an AFA turnover to record a short-handed goal on a breakaway, giving DU two goals in a span of 1:32.
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Dingle increased his team-leading goals total to 10, and his power-play tally moved the junior from Steamboat Springs into a tie for ninth place among DU's all-time leaders in power-play goals since that statistic was first tracked during the 1977-78 season.
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"It's always good to let the other guys move the puck around," Dingle said. "As long as I can sneak into the backside or find a nice opening, we'll take it."
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Fisher kept his scoreless streak intact even after the Falcons twice drew iron on scoring chances, but Ehn finally ended Fisher's streak at 158 minutes, 3 seconds when he scored his 15th goal with less than 2 minutes remaining in the second.
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AFA, though, could not produce an equalizer despite a furious flurry after it pulled goaltender Peter Foster with 1:41 remaining. Fisher and DU coach George Gwozdecky both credited DU's fourth offensive line of center Mike Handza, Air Force transfer Steven Cook, and Vail native J.P. Testwuide for slowing the Falcons' prolific top line of Ehn, Mike Phillipich and Andrew Ramsey
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"Glenn played well and our special teams performed well," Gwozdecky said. "I thought the line of Cook, Handza and Testwuide did a great job of keeping their top line in check. Their top line is scary."
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DU Lineup vs. Air Force
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Trotter - Dingle - Mullen
Gifford - Ruegsegger - Rakhshani
Vossberg - Paukovich - Helgason
Cook - Handza -Testwuide
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Veideman - Seabrook
Thomas - Marcuzzi
Butler - Brookwell
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Fisher

Friday, November 24, 2006

AFA Possesses Offense To Scare DU

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

When Matt Carle immediately went from co-captain at the University of Denver to rookie defenseman for the San Jose Sharks in March, his explanation of the differences in the college and NHL games was akin to Ultimate Fighting and boxing.
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In the NCAA, "you have to worry about someone trying to take your head off with a big hit," Carle said at the time. In the NHL, he said his primary objective was keeping up with everyone else in the "finer points" of the game, more like boxing, where positioning and continuous movement are more worrisome than avoiding the big check.
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Carle didn't enjoy playing Air Force, which traditionally plays the kind of hard-nosed hockey that can frustrate playmakers. But if Carle was still a Pioneer, he might have enjoyed tonight's game against the Falcons (7-6-1).
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"It will come down to the finer points of the game," Air Force coach Frank Serratore said.
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The nonleague game at Magness Arena could again feature a bunch of bone-jarring hits that in-state rivalries typically promote, but the Falcons' offensive talent likely will force DU (7-4-1) to concentrate more on positioning and patience. For once, Air Force might have an advantage in the top-end scoring department in a series that DU has won 26-of-28 games and 18 straight.
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AFA junior center Eric Ehn leads the country with 14 goals and 28 points, and Ehn's wingers - senior Andrew Ramsey (10 goals) and sophomore Mike Phillipich (six) - are among the top-20 NCAA scorers. Only one Pioneer, junior Ryan Dingle (eight goals), has lit the lamp as much as Phillipich, but the Pioneers unquestionably still have more overall talent than the American-made Falcons, who have played just two ranked teams.
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"Anytime you go against what I call the BCS teams, you know they're going to have guys that can win it - the guy in (their) goal or some other guys hanging around (your) goal," Serratore said. "But with Ehn and other guys like Ramsey and Phillipich, so do we."
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DU captain Adrian Veideman, a senior defenseman, said: "For that line, we just have to think defense first, and just try to shut them down, just do the things to prevent them from scoring, opposed to trying to score ourselves."
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DU's big advantage will be in goal. Senior Glenn Fisher has registered shutouts in his past two games and has a 0.75 goals-against average and .975 save percentage in his past four games.
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Serratore will choose from three goalies, none who have been consistently impressive so far.
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For DU, which hosts Robert Morris on Saturday, winning nonleague games at home is crucial. Last season, losses to Princeton and Ferris State at Magness Arena helped ruin the Pioneers' ability to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
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"That definitely has been addressed," Veideman said. "The important thing to realize is we're starting off with Air Force. Every year they play us tough, and we know it's going to be a good game. We won't look past them."
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Game Notes:
DU hosts Robert Morris (4-6) on Saturday night, and Air Force entertains the Colonials on Sunday at the Cadet Ice Arena. ... Denver is on a five-game unbeaten streak, but has scored just four goals in its past two games. ... DU and AFA have had difficult weeks preparing. The Pioneers completed first- quarter exams Wednesday, and the Falcons had mandatory military training, and no hockey practice, Monday and Tuesday. ... DU senior wing Steven Cook of Denver was Air Force's rookie of the year in 2002- 03 before returning to junior-A and then transferring to DU.

DU Hockey Alum Passes Away

Frank Daly, a goaltender on some of DU's greatest teams in the late Sixties passed away several days ago from cancer. Only last month, Frank's 1967-68 National Championship Team was inducted into the University of Denver Hall Of Fame. Sadly, Frank was too ill to attend the ceremony.

Frank was Goaltender Gerry Powers' backup and was a member of the Pioneers Back to Back National Championship Teams teams in 1968 and 1969.

Frank's great claim to fame happened with about 6 minutes remaining in the 1969 NCAA semi-final game. DU was comfortably ahead of Harvard and in cruise control when Murray Armstrong lifted Powers and let Frank play in a game. He faced one shot, saved it and ended his career with a 1.000 saves % and a GAA of 0. Frank was one of the few US players in that era of Pio hockey--he was from the Boston area.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

UAA Blog Savagely Attacks Its Readers

(left) UAA's Nathan Lawson

First of all congratulations to UAA for sweeping North Dakota. As the old saying goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" or translated "Anyone who beats the heck out of UND, CC or the Gophers is cool with me."

So after all the hoopla and euphoria in Anchorage, the awards and props came tumbling in. First they were CHN's Team of the Week. Then they just missed out on cracking the USCHO.com Top 20 Poll. Then UAA's Josh Lundin was named WCHA Rookie of the Week and Nathan Lawson, UAA's fantastic goaltender, was named Co-Defensive Player of the Week with our own Glenn Fisher.
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Now that you have this background, read the blog entry and ESPECIALLY the "Comments" which are hysterical (Anon 4:27 is where things really get rolling).

(Above) Cheap Shot! Wisconsin is 1-7-0 in their last 8.
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The Gods Must Be Angry At Wisconsin
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It sure is nice of College Hockey News to allow me to write the CHN Penalty Box Column. And I have to admit I like writing the stories. But sooner or later I was going to revert back to my old form, and take unnecessary cheap shots at Colorado College, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
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This week I hit all four schools at once under the guise of the "hockey gods." Due to a typographical error, it looks like the article was written by Chris Dilks, who runs the straight laced, but respected Western College Hockey Blog.
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Chris may have a heart attack when he figures all of this out. I think I'm going to sit back and see what happens. Is that wrong?

Serratore Returns Against DU

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers


Frank Serratore's biography in the University of Denver media guide suggests the eighth of nine hockey coaches in the program's history was unquestionably successful at everything but winning.
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That's part of why Serratore, who is in his 10th season at the Air Force helm, would love to finally beat the Pioneers. He'll get his best chance Friday when the state rivals play at Magness Arena in a nonleague game.
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"Yeah, I have to say this is the best team we've had," Serratore said of his Falcons (7-6-1, 5-2-1 Atlantic Hockey Association). "We're going into Denver, and who knows what's going to happen, but we know we'll be able to skate with them."
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Air Force has one of the most productive forward lines in the country and plays great team defense. Junior Eric Ehn leads the country with 14 goals and 28 points, and Air Force is giving up just 22 shots per game.
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Ehn centers a line with senior Andrew Ramsey (10 goals, 19 points) and sophomore Mike Phillipich (11 assists, 17 points).
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"I wouldn't hesitate at all to say that in all the years we've played them, this is the most offensively talented team we'll face," said George Gwozdecky, who succeeded Serratore at DU and is 9-0 against Air Force and 7-0 against Serratore. "It's going to be a big challenge for us, and I'm just happy we've got them at home, because I remember all the times they've had us on the ropes down there."
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Serratore's legacy at DU is strong, despite the fact he won just 49-of-149 games over four seasons.
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"Although his record didn't show it, Serratore began the process of returning Denver to national prominence," his DU bio reads.
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Gwozdecky led the Pioneers to the NCAA Tournament in his first season, which was the final year of Serratore's contract.
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"We took over when it hit rock bottom, not when it was heading that way, but when it couldn't go any lower," Serratore said. "And one of the reasons I got a second chance at the college level was that the hockey community understood that.
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"But, hey, that was a long time ago, and things have changed so much. When I go up there it's not like I walk by my old office or the locker room we used to coach from. It's a different place."
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Footnotes
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Tom May probably won't make his season debut for DU this weekend. May, a junior forward, has been suspended for the first quarter, which ends today. But May has not been practicing with the team, and his grades will dictate whether he is reinstated. Gwozdecky said May's grades likely won't be submitted until next week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fisher Named WCHA Co-Defensive Player Of The Week

Senior goaltender Glenn Fisher, who recorded his second consecutive shutout with 31 saves against Michigan Tech on Friday night, has been named Red Baron WCHA Co-Defensive Player of the Week. He shares the honor with UAA netminder Nathan Lawson who led the Seawolves to their first sweep over North Dakota in 11 years.
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Fisher backstopped the host Pioneers to a 1-0 shutout victory over Michigan Tech at Magness Arena. He recorded his second straight WCHA shutout for DU, stopping all 31 shots on goal and leading a penalty-killing unit that blanked the Huskies on all six of their power-play chances. He stopped 27 saves in his second career shutout at Wisconsin the week before.
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Fisher, now 5-2-0 overall with a 1.81 goals-against average and a WCHA-best .941 saves percentage, sports a 3-1-0 mark, 0.75 GAA and .975 saves percentage over his last four starts.

DU Recruit Ostrow Continues to Shine

Kyle Ostrow made his presence felt last Thursday night playing for the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Columbia Hockey League.
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The Calgary native, fresh off a gold medal performance with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge in Yorkton, Sask., scored twice to lead the Nanaimo Clippers to a 5-2 win over the Merritt Centennials in Merritt, BC.

The win improved Nanaimo's record to 17-3-0-2 on the season and kicked off a three-game Interior road trip on the right foot.

"It was a great effort all the way around," said Clippers GM/head coach Bill Bestwick.

Ostrow opened the scoring just 36 seconds into the game, and capped the scoring with a third-period marker.
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Ostrow continues to lead the team in scoring with 11 goals and 26 assists in 19 games. He has played 5 less games than his teammates due to an injury and playing in the Junior World Championships.
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His teammate, goaltender Marc Cheverie is another DU recruit is doing well with 8 wins and 3 losses, a 3.50 GAA and an .860 save percentage. The other goaltender on the team Michael Garman, from Vail, Colorado is having an exceptional season.
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Cheverie at 6'2, 185 lbs. is considered to be an excellent prospect having already been drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 7th Round of last years NHL Draft.

Ostrow Wins Gold For Canada

Nanaimo Clipper forward Kyle Ostrow returned home a week ago Monday a happy player after helping Team Canada West win gold at the World Junior Championships in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.


Ostrow, a second year forward headed for Denver University next season currently leads the Nanaimo Clippers in scoring.

Ostrow commented, "It was a great experience and one I will remember for the rest of my life. It was awesome wearing the Team Canada jersey and the crowd chanting 'Go Canada Go,' when we were playing Russia."

Monday, November 20, 2006

David Carle Visits DU

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

(left) David Carle (#7) is a defenseman for Shattuck St. Marys

DU honored San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Carle on Friday, giving the former Pioneers defenseman a chance to hoist the Hobey Baker Award he won in the spring in front of the DU faithful.
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There is a possibility it was not the last time a Carle will wear skates on the Magness Arena ice.
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Carle's younger brother David used Matt's appearance as an excuse to make an unofficial visit to the DU campus. David Carle is being courted by, among others, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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David Carle is a junior at Shattuck-St. Mary's, a Minnesota prep school that also produced former DU standouts Ryan Caldwell and Max Bull. This season David, as an 11th grader, has 2 goals and 5 assists for Shattuck. The team sports a 15-1-2 record and are one of the best high school hockey teams in the Nation.

What's For Dinner at Mullen & Mannino's?

(above) The Chicken Parmesan is the specialty of the house

From: Denver Post
by Anthony Cotton

(left) Two DU players "moonlight" as private chef's for the NHL's Paul Stastny

Perhaps it was the shock of sticking with the Avalanche, perhaps it was a hankering for baked ham and cheese sandwiches, but when Paul Stastny hopped from the University of Denver to the NHL this season, he didn't leave his friends behind. Instead, he continues to room with former teammates Peter Mannino and Patrick Mullen. Recently, Mannino, a junior goaltender from Farmington Hills, Mich., and Mullen, a sophomore forward from Pittsburgh and the son of hockey Hall of Famer Joe Mullen, chatted about their home sweet home.

Anthony Cotton: So, I guess I'm making an assumption, but do you guys ever have to buy dinner?

Peter Mannino: Paul hasn't changed at all; it's still the same with him. He doesn't go around flashing his money or buying stuff. We're on our own - we all do our own thing. He's still the same person he was last year.

AC: So he's not big-timing you at all?

Mannino: Absolutely not.

Patrick Mullen: When we go to the grocery store, he may pay a little extra here and there - buy us some candy bars, or something like that.

Mannino: Maybe a magazine ...

Mullen: Everything else is split, pretty much.

Mannino: We split three ways, that's how we've always done it. The year before it was halved and when Mullie moved in, it was three ways. We're all in it together, so to speak.

AC: A typical night at home is what?

Mannino: A lot of TV - the NHL hockey package.

Mullen: We just hang out, probably like they did last year.

Mannino: We're huge "24" fans; "Prison Break ... "

Mullen: "The War at Home ... "

Mannino: The big thing was getting a DVR, so we tape a lot and then catch up later.

AC: I would have thought it might be a little hockey intensive. Or are you trying to get away from it?

Mannino: It's not really, though. When there's a game on, we'll flip through it every now and then - we really just look for shootouts. Mullie will be online, and he'll go, "It's 2-2. Flip back to the game." We're so busy with our different schedules during the day. At night is when we like to sit down and watch TV and hang out together.

AC: So are the two of you puppies at the feet of the big NHL player, or are you nonchalant about it?

Mannino: He's our little puppy, if anything. We run the show because he's gone all the time. No, we're really all the same, the same age, the same common interests. We're just normal, our hockey aside. We just hang out, cook dinner together, maybe make Chicken Parmesan (photo). It's like Paul isn't even in the NHL, it's like he's still in college.

Mullen: He's still watching the NHL with us, looking up college stats with us, asking how everyone's doing on the team. Are we making chicken Parmesan tonight?

Mannino: Yeah.

AC: The idea of a pro hockey life isn't new for you though, is it? What are your memories of Dad playing?

Mullen: I remember the Stanley Cup championships in Pittsburgh ...

Mannino: We watch the Penguins every night!

Mullen: I remember his 500th goal real well. I was sitting in the basement by myself. It happened and I kind of started going nuts and went upstairs to tell my Mom.

AC: She wasn't watching?

Mullen: She was, but she didn't realize that he'd scored. It was kind of like a tip-in in front of the net. I knew right away it was him by his reaction, so I ran upstairs and started partying with her.

AC: He was the first American-born player to score 500 goals; would he say that was his biggest accomplishment?

Mullen: Sure, that and the Stanley Cups and creating a path for other Americans to play, especially given the environment he grew up in. He was pretty poor, so it kind of shows kids who may be underprivileged what can happen if you work hard.

AC: Do your brothers Ryan (24) and Mike (23) play?

Mullen: They used to; they still kind of play. One is in Division III. He used to play at UMass ...

Mannino: I played against his brother.

Mullen: The other one plays club at Robert Morris.

AC: I thought they were older guys; 23, 24 ...

Mullen: They've been in college for a little while ...

Mannino: We don't want to go there ...

Mullen: I think they're on the "Van Wilder" six- or seven-year plan.

AC: Does your sister (15-year-old Erin) play?

Mullen: No. ... She's a cheerleader. (frowns)

AC: How can that be?

Mullen: She was just the little princess growing up; she didn't get too rough with us.

Mannino: My sister plays. My Dad didn't play a lick of hockey, but my sister loves it. She plays in a league with guys in Michigan. She always calls me with the scores. It's awesome.

AC: How old is she?

Mannino: She's ... I don't want to get this wrong - she's 26. She just loves hockey; she's a forward, a center. She goes out there with her boyfriend and gets all the guys on the other teams mad at her. Then I get mad because I don't want her getting hurt doing it.

AC: Her boyfriend is there.

Mannino: But he can't skate very well. She was a figure skater who transitioned over to hockey.

AC: So she was a princess, too?

Mannino: She was a princess ...

Mullen: So there may be hope for mine, then.

AC: What else do I need to know, on or off the ice?

Mannino: Mullen doesn't cook very well, except he makes good baked ham and cheese sandwiches ...

Mullen: And I introduced us to buffalo ranch dip.

Mannino: He did do that.

AC: Is Paul just astounded that he's playing in the NHL?

Mannino: I think we get more excited than he does. I go, "You're playing against Marty Turco tonight!" And he just laughs - or goes back to sleep or something.

Mullen: We're running to him (after games), asking, "What happened, what happened?" And he's like, "What are you guys talking about?"

Mannino: We do leave little good luck cards for Paul; maybe on the door ...

Mullen: They're stupid cards ...

Mannino: "Score on J.S. Giguere tonight!" - stuff like that. We hung streamers up one time with the note, "Go get 'em!" He just laughs; by now he knows that they're coming.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

This Is Sure To Cause Trouble

Obviously our friends in Wisconsin are taking a swipe at the the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
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However, someone forgot to tell Govenor Doyle that the University of Denver has more National Championships in Men's D-1 Ice Hockey than Wisconsin or the entire State of Minnesota. Heck if you count CC's dusty championships in 1950 & 1957 the State of Colorado has nine, compared to Wisconsin's six and Minnesota's five.

The University of Denver: Seven Time National Champions

DU Struggles In 3-3 Tie With Tech

Box Score

From: DU Athletics Website


DENVER - DU never trailed in the game, but the Michigan Tech Huskies kept coming back to salvage a 3-3 tie with the Pioneers.
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Redshirt freshman Brock Trotter and sophomore defenseman Chris Butler both registered a goal and an assist and junior netminder Peter Mannino recorded 30 saves.
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"I thought our start was good and that as a whole we had a much better effort tonight," said Denver Head Coach George Gwozdecky. "We said before this series that our team is continuing to go through a transition phase. They're learning about each other and what they have to do to win games."
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The Pioneers struck first at the 5:51 mark of the opening frame when a second effort by Brandon Vossberg found its way into the back of the net. Junior forward Geoff Paukovich controlled the puck in DU's offensive zone before making a pretty feed to Vossberg, who had his first attempt blocked before beating MTU goaltender Rob Nolan for his first career goal.
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With just over three minutes remaining in the first period Trotter notched a power-play tally to extended DU's lead to 2-0 heading into the first intermission. Trotter took a pass from Tyler Ruegsegger inside the left faceoff circle and shelved a shot over Nolan's left shoulder at the 16:09 mark.
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Michigan Tech dominated the Second Period and came away with two goals in the stanza.
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Butler gave the Pioneers a 3-2 lead 3:51 into the Third Period with his third goal of the season. Ruegsegger started the play by skating into the offensive zone before he was knocked off the puck. Butler then skated in and blasted the loose puck just inside the upper-left hand corner of the net to give the Pioneers a one-goal advantage.
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The Huskies responded 1:09 later when Ryan Angelow snuck past DU's defense and fired a wrister over Mannino's shoulder to tie the game, 3-3.
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Both teams had numerous opportunities on the offensive end over the final 20 minutes of the game, but both Mannino and Nolan kept the opposition in check.
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MTU outshot DU 33-21 on the evening. The Pioneers were 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Huskies were 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
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The Pioneers return to action with a pair of nonconference home games next weekend, hosting Air Force and Robert Morris.

DU's Lineup Vs. Michigan Tech - DU's lineup remained unchanged from the night before with the exception of Mannino in goal. DU's Thomas was ejected for boarding early in the first period which forced Testwuide back to defence and spot shift Cook and Handza.

Trotter - Ruesegger - Mullen
Gifford - Dingle - Rakhshani
Vossberg - Paukovich - Helgason
Cook - Handza -Testwuide
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Veideman - Seabrook
Butler - Brookwell
Thomas - Marcuzzi
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Mannino

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Carle Makes Triumphant Return

From: DU Athletics Website

(left) Matt Carle holds up the Hobey Baker Trophy during the 1st Intermission last night

Matt Carle played three seasons at the University of Denver and left a legacy as one of the greatest defensemen to ever play for the Pioneers. Last season he won the prestigious Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's most outstanding player. Last night he returned to show an appreciative Magness Arena crowd the hardware.

During the first intermission, the Pioneers paid tribute to Carle, who last season became the first player in DU hockey history to win the Hobey Baker Award. Carle received a standing ovation from DU's 38th consecutive regular-season sellout crowd.

"It was great to be back to share the award with the tremendous DU fans," Carle said. "I have great memories of DU and I want to thank the University and the San Jose Sharks for allowing me to take part in the ceremony."

Winning Ugly Never Felt So Good

From: DU Athletics Website & Rocky Mountain News

(left) Fish makes a save in the First Period Friday night against Michigan Tech

Box Score


DENVER - With North Dakota's 6-2 loss to Alaska-Anchorage late last night, DU woke up this morning tied for first place in the WCHA with the University of Minnesota.
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Senior netminder Glenn Fisher recorded his second consecutive shutout with a 31-save effort and redshirt freshman Brock Trotter scored the lone goal on the power play as the Denver Pioneers blanked Michigan Tech 1-0. Fisher, the WCHA's top goaltender, keyed a penalty kill unit that went 6-for-6 on a night when DU honored 2006 Hobey Baker Award winner and current San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Carle.
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"Thank goodness for great goaltending, because Glenn Fisher was the reason we won the game," said Denver Head Coach George Gwozdecky. "His performance tonight really showed why he's the best goaltender in the country. Glenn has really worked hard on his all-around game and is playing with a lot of confidence."
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Denver got on the scoreboard at the 18:41 mark of the First Period when Trotter netted his fourth goal of the season with the Pioneers on the power play. Trotter controlled the puck behind Michigan Tech's net and attempted a centering pass that went off MTU netminder Michael-Lee Teslak's right skate and into the net to give DU a 1-0 lead after one period. Ryan Dingle and Keith Seabrook were credited with assists on the play.
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While Fisher was credited with the victory, it may have been Chris Butler who made the biggest save of the night. At the 16:42 mark of the third period, Fisher stopped a wrister off the stick of Michigan Tech's Geoff Kinrade, but was left out of position on the rebound, leaving Tech's Phil Axtell with a wide-open net. Butler was able to dive into the crease and stop the backhand attempt from crossing the goal line to help preserve the shutout.
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After saying Mannino probably would start in the series finale tonight, Gwozdecky said Fisher's hot streak will force him to "reevaluate the situation" this morning. Fisher has not allowed a goal since he surrendered an overtime winner Oct. 27 at Minnesota Duluth, putting his shutout streak at an even 120 minutes.
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DU's Lineup Vs. Michigan Tech
Gifford - Dingle - Rakhshani
Trotter - Ruesegger - Mullen
Vossberg - Paukovich - Helgason
Cook - Handza -Testwuide

Veideman - Seabrook
Butler - Brookwell
Thomas - Marcuzzi

Fisher

Friday, November 17, 2006

(Above) Rhett Rakhshani celebrates against Finland this summer while playing for the US Junior Team

Freshmen Ready For Home Cooking

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

Fans of the University of Denver hockey team have not enjoyed many opportunities to witness the skills of the Pioneers' talented and productive freshman class.
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Beginning tonight, Rhett Rakhshani and the rest of DU's rookies hope to start showing the home crowd what all the hype is about.
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DU (6-4, 4-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) brings a three-game winning streak into tonight's series opener against Michigan Tech. Tonight's game also begins a stretch in which the Pioneers play eight games in Colorado, seven at Magness Arena.

"I love playing here. This is the place, ever since we committed, we have been looking forward to playing at," said Rakhshani, a native of Huntington Beach, Calif. "Getting some more opportunities to play here is going to be awesome. My uncle lives here, so he's going to be able to come to the games."

Rakhshani, fellow true freshman Tyler Ruegsegger and redshirt freshman Brock Trotter have helped offset the loss of three of DU's top four scorers from last season and an unexpectedly slow start by some of the Pioneers' veterans.

Each of those freshmen has recorded three goals and six assists, producing a three-way tie for second place on DU's scoring list.

Rakhshani led the Pioneers' sweep-clinching victory at Wisconsin on Saturday by recording the first three-point game of his career with one goal and two assists, scoring the winning goal with less than 15 seconds remaining in overtime.

"Our success is a result of everybody beginning to feel comfortable with everyone else," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "Not only the freshmen feeling comfortable but the older players, the experienced players, being comfortable that the freshmen can do their job, that the freshmen are responsible for what they can handle and that they're able to do it. The cohesiveness is coming around."

While the freshmen have contributed four goals and four assists during DU's three-game winning streak, much of that success also can be attributed to the recent play of goaltenders Glenn Fisher and Peter Mannino, as well as improved efficiency on special teams.

DU allowed eight power-play goals during 40 chances by its opponents during the first six games of the season.

Since then, the Pioneers have allowed only four power-play goals in 30 chances and limited Wisconsin to a 1-for-12 effort during their two wins last week.

"I think it's very apparent with our penalty kill from last weekend that we're more effective," junior defenseman Andrew Thomas said. "We changed up our penalty kill, our style and rotations and stuff like that. In the WCHA, you rely a lot more on special teams. We have to try and score more goals on the power play and try to keep our penalty kill consistent."

Fish Steps Up


From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

The University of Denver's goaltending platoon system over the past two seasons seemed to have its flaws. Peter Mannino outperformed Glenn Fisher regularly, and their decisive differences in goals-against averages and save percentages proved it.

With the season on the line in 2005 and 2006, Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky went with the stats, playing Mannino five out of six times. Mannino produced, going 4-1 in elimination playoff games, while Fisher's only big-game appearance was a sketchy 5-4 overtime win against Bemidji State in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

So when Gwozdecky announced before this season that he wanted to scrap the platoon by identifying the No. 1 guy and playing him regularly, Mannino seemed to be the obvious front- runner.

But Fisher has changed things by putting up career numbers, and the senior likely will start tonight against Michigan Tech to begin a two-game series at Magness Arena.

Fisher, who shut out Wisconsin 2-0 last Friday to begin a big two-game road sweep, is 4-2 with a 2.14 goals-against average and a WCHA-leading .931 save percentage. Mannino (2-2), a junior, and has a 2.88 GAA and .901 save percentage. The 2005 Frozen Four MVP likely will start Saturday night - not because Gwozdecky has returned to the platoon system, but because the No. 1 job remains unsettled.

"They have forced my decision to play them both right now, and it's a good decision to have," Gwozdecky said. "The only constant we have is our goaltending. I like how our team is coming around, but we still have our lapses. When we've had our lapses, our goaltenders have been there."

Fisher credits increased confidence and preparation for his stellar play thus far, and said Gwozdecky's decision to take away guaranteed playing time gave him a "wake-up call."

"My mental game has been stronger than (in) my first three years, and I've just been able to play the game and give the team a chance to win with confidence," he said. "When (Gwozdecky) told us about the change of plans in April, it brought a certain level of competitiveness that maybe wasn't here before."

"It kick-started Glenn," Gwozdecky said, "and it motivated both Glenn and Peter. Knowing their role and playing time was at stake, I think it really hammered home to them that they had to get better.

"Right now, both guys are playing very well. It's everything you would want to have with stability in goal."

DU Games Pulled Off TV This Weekend

There will be no TV games for this weekend's series. Fox Sports Rocky Mountain had originally had scheduled Friday's DU/MTU game for telecast on the season TV schedule, but it is being pulled for the Colorado High School Football Tourney. Same thing with the DU/Air Force game on Nov 24 - pulled.

Three DU Alums Anchor Avalanche
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From: DU Clarion Student Newspaper
by Bryce Evans
Media Credit: Jacob Rokeach

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As the Colorado Avalanche finished up their morning skate last Friday, three players continued to circle the ice. Although there would seem to be no similarities among these players when looking at the roster, these three men have one very strong connection: all three are ex-Pioneers.
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Former DU standout players Anti Laaksonen, Mark Rycroft (above left) and Paul Stastny all are regulars in the Avalanche's daily line-up. These three players may have some major differences between them, but all three share in their passion and love of the game and the city that has helped all three to get where they are today.
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Each grew up in a different country, yet these players have all had very different roads that led them to the University of Denver.
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Laaksonen (left), the oldest at 33, was recruited while playing in a men's league in his native Finland. "The coaches just started to talk to me while I was playing in Finland," said Laaksonen of his recruiting process. "I then decided that it would be a really good opportunity and that I would go."
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Getting to DU wasn't so simple for Laaksonen, however. Having to finish serving his 11-month commitment to the Finnish Army, as mandatory for Finland's male citizens, Laaksonen studied English the entire time in order to be able to take entrance exams into DU.
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The hard work did pay off in the end, as Laaksonen joined the Pioneers for the 1993-94 school year.
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The road to DU was a little simpler for the other two DU alumni. Rycroft, coming from British Columbia, Canada, was first contacted by DU while playing junior hockey, and is definitely not shy about his feelings for the school that he would attend, starting in the fall of 1997."I really liked the small school environment," said Raycroft of his reasons for choosing to become a Pioneer. "
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Denver as a city is awesome, DU had just gotten a new rink, the coaches were great; the players too. I could really keep going with this."
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His love for the area and the school allowed Rycroft to make a quick transition from the land of hockey to the Rocky Mountain State, as he said that his adjustment was "the easiest thing ever."
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The path to DU for Stastny was an equally easy decision as with Rycroft. Stastny, son of Hockey Hall-of-Famer Peter Stastny, grew up in St. Louis and played juniors in the U.S. for River City of the U. S. Hockey League, paving the way for a chance to play college hockey."
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I really liked the whole atmosphere of DU," said Stastny regarding his decision to attend DU. "The coaches were great and I was really treated well by all the guys [on the team.]"
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He also credited his relationship with former DU defenseman and last year's Hobey Baker Award winner Matthew Carle as a large reason for becoming a Pioneer.
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Though all three of these players had very different careers at DU, the one thing that they all had in common was an extreme amount of success.
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Both Rycroft and Stastny were named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as freshmen. Stastny won the WCHA and USCHO.com Rookie of the Year Awards as well during his first season in a Pioneer uniform.
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All three players played on winning teams that appeared in the NCAA tournament. Though Stastny was the only one to be on a national championship team (2005), both Laaksonen and Rycroft's teams made it far into the tournament. Rycroft won a WCHA Championship in 1999, with a team that he felt could have "won it all," while Laaksonen and his Pioneer team were one overtime goal away from reaching the Frozen Four.
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Though all three said that the success that they had as Pioneers was fun, they all felt that their time at DU was much more influential on their lives than a chance to hold up trophies.
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"I matured a lot in my two years at DU, as a person as well as an athlete," said Stastny, who turned pro following his All-American sophomore campaign a year ago. "
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I came in [to DU] as a kid, and I changed a lot. I learned a lot from the coaches and being on my own."
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Rycroft said that his experience helped him in a similar way to Stastny, saying that maturity was the thing that he gained most from his time as a Pioneer.
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The time spent at DU had an even bigger impact on Laaksonen's life. As a freshman at DU, Laaksonen had to work hard to adjust to taking classes in English, but the connections he made with the other students is what changed his life the most."
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I met my wife during my freshman year," said Laaksonen, who won a silver medal playing for Finland in the Torino Olympics. "We have been married nine years now, and have two kids. We have such great memories at DU, and come back every summer."
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With all the great past experiences that these players have had in Denver, it has made it even better for them to be able to come back to the city as part of an NHL team."
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It's awesome to get this chance," said Rycroft of coming back to Denver after playing three seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
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"Denver is just a great city, and there is such a good quality of life here."
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For Stastny, who led the Pioneers in scoring last season, being given the chance to play for the Avalanche has a very special meaning to him. In coming to the Avalanche, Stasny gets a chance to play for the same organization that his father (left) is still the second all-time leading scorer for the Avalanche/Nordique organization, only behind his son's teammate, and current Avalanche captain, Joe Sakic.
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"Getting to play in Denver makes everything even better," said Stastny of his rookie season.
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"I have grown up around this organization because of my dad, and playing here is just a dream come true for me." Stastny has had an exceptional start to his rookie season in the Avalanche, as he is currently ranks third on the Avalanche with 12 points, and is quickly earning respect with his teammates and with his coaches."
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We are really happy with his play; he's had a really strong start," said Avalanche head coach Joel Quenneville of his 21-year-old rookie forward. "He's gotten exposed to different situations and responds well to what he is asked to do."
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Laaksonen and Rycroft have both been enjoying a strong start to the season as well, as part of the same forward line together. They have been able to add depth to the Avalance's line-up by producing on penalty kills and recently putting up some points, said Quenneville.
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"They give us a balance that not many teams in this league have," said Quenneville of the two ex-Pioneers. "It was great to see them get on the board with a goal this past week."
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These three players are great examples of how the NHL has had an increasingly larger amount of former college players making it onto team's rosters.
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Currently, 25 percent-30 percent of NHL players once played in the college ranks, according to NHL.com. Some in the NHL credit the rise to the change in the rules two years ago, which allow for smaller and more skilled players to be successful. But, some, including Quenneville, feel that there is no specific reason.
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"College hockey is very competitive," said Quenneville. "It could have to do with the U.S. junior leagues getting much better and bigger with more teams, and also the increase in the number of kids that are playing hockey now [in the U.S.]"
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Though many argue about what the best route to making it into the NHL. Most agree that it depends on the person."I feel that the education route was the way to go for me," Stastny said about his choice to play college hockey rather than playing in a Canadian major junior league.
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"I feel it's important to have an education. It's something to fall back on, because you never know what can happen."What will be happening next for the three DU alums on the Avalanche is that they will continue working towards their goal of a Stanly Cup Championship.
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"All I want to do is help us win," said Rycroft. "I want to help the Avalanche win as much as I can. I love it here and I want to be here for as long as I can."