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New Gold Pan Trophy On The Way
DU Has "Mole" In CC Locker Room
Pioneers, Avalanche & Beers...Oh My
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
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.
DU vs. CC Flashback...1984
DU is 151-99-9 Against CC
DU Throttles Robert Morris University
AFA Possesses Offense To Scare DU
DU Hockey Alum Passes Away
UAA Blog Savagely Attacks Its Readers
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."
Fisher Named WCHA Co-Defensive Player Of The Week
DU Recruit Ostrow Continues to Shine
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?
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.
DU Struggles In 3-3 Tie With Tech
From: DU Athletics Website
Winning Ugly Never Felt So Good
(left) Fish makes a save in the First Period Friday night against Michigan TechBox Score
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