Monday, July 30, 2007

Seabrook Leaves DU For Major Juniors

DU Rocked By Third Defection Of 2007

From: USCHO & Calgary Hitmen Website

In what has got to be a major blow to the prestige of the DU Hockey program, the University of Denver has been rocked by a third player defection since Christmas.

Sophomore defenseman Keith Seabrook (Delta, British Columbia) has left DU to begin his professional career and forfeited his remaining three years of college hockey eligibility, DU head coach George Gwozdecky announced Monday. Seabrook has signed a major junior A contract with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.

"Keith and his family felt the U.S. college hockey development model of practice and games combined with rigorous academics would not benefit his hockey career," Gwozdecky said. "Our development model has proven to be successful and rewarding, and we're looking forward to the 2007-08 season."

Seabrook tallied 13 points on two goals and 11 assists in 37 games as a freshman in 2006-07. Seabrook finished with a -3 plus/minus rating. He was a 2006 NHL second round draft pick of the Washington Capitals.

On facebook.com Seabrook called it a "hard decision to leave DU."

In May recruit Jason Gregoire reneged on his verbal commitment to DU and announced that he would attend the University of North Dakota in 2008. Over Christmas break T.J. Fast left DU at mid-season for the Tri-Cities Americans of the WHL.

Calgary Hitmen General Manager and Head Coach Kelly Kisio announced Seabrook's signing on the Hitmen's website.
“Keith is going to be a great addition to our defensive corps and we’re very excited to have him join our hockey team, said Kisio. “He’s a very good puck moving defenceman who is going to help our powerplay a great deal. Since we drafted Seabrook in 2003, we’ve kept him on our protected list always hoping this day would come.”


DU Signs Norwegian Goaltender
Lars Paulgaard Will Arrive This Fall

From: Owatonna People's Press
By IAN STAUFFER



LetsGoDU Update:
It appears that Lars Paulgaard will enroll at DU but may not play for the Pioneers until sometime in 2008. - 9/3/2008



(left) Lars Paulgaard was on fire in the NAHL playoffs last season

OWATONNA - No one at the Southern Minnesota Express tryout camp had anything bad to say about former goalie Lars Paulgaard. Well, except that they didn't want him to leave.


Paulgaard, who is from Oslo, Norway, was eligible to play one more season of junior hockey. But the goalie will not be in Owatonna this winter. Southern Minnesota head coach Pat Cullen said Paulgaard signed a letter of intent last week to play at the University of Denver.

Paulgaard is the 14th player and third goalie in team history to sign a Division I letter of intent. Earlier this spring, Dusty Jackson became the first Express player to sign with Denver.

"It will be a lot different around here without (Paulgaard), not having that accent in the locker room" said Faribault native Matt Lapinski, who forged a strong friendship with Paulgaard last season. "We hung out all the time last year.

"We liked to watch TV. His favorite show was Cops. He always got a kick out of watching the stupid Americans."

Paulgaard will be in a similar situation in Denver this season that he faced in Owatonna last season. When the first puck dropped last year, he sat on the bench waiting for an opportunity to play.

That chance finally came less than 10 games into the season when starting goalie Blake Bashor chose to leave the team, putting Paulgaard at the top of the depth chart.

"What I really liked about him is that he just accepted his role as the second goalie and never complained," forward Andy Inderieden said. "When his time came, he just played hard and stood on his head all season."

Paulgaard ended up playing in 51 games and spent nearly 90 percent of the season's minutes in the crease.

He finished with a 30-18 record, including a North American Hockey League-leading eight shutouts, and compiled a 91.6 save percentage.

Lapinski compared last season's experience to what Paulgaard will see this season.

"When he first came here, he thought he'd just ride the year out," Lapinski said. "But then he picked it up and he was the starting goalie. I told him that's the way he's got to go into Denver.

"He's still got a shot. He'll be ready to play if he gets an opportunity."

Paulgaard will start this season as the backup to Peter Mannino, who compiled an 8-6-2 record last season with three shutouts in the tough Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

"Denver is one of the premier Division I college programs in the country," Express coach Pat Cullen said. "He's probably not going to get a lot of minutes right away because they've got Mannino, who is one of the better goalies in the country."

Even so, if Paulgaard brings anywhere near the same attitude to the Pioneers that he brought to the Express, Denver is getting its money's worth.

"He worked tirelessly in practice and in games," Cullen said. "He was a great goalie, but he was an even better person. His teammates loved him, and guys played hard in front of him because they liked him so much.

"We're sad that he's leaving because he was such a good goalie and person, but we're excited that he's going off to college."

Friday, July 27, 2007

Internet Rumor: Is Keith Seabrook Bound for WHL?

Its only an internet rumor for now, but if true DU's depth a defense just took a major hit.

The following comment was posted in the Maiani article below. Since this was how we found out about the Gregoire situation, we'll just have to wait for confirmation.

"Rumor has it according to facebook... Keith Seabrook is going to the WHL as per his wall. Maini commitment makes me think a forward might be leaving... is Pauko getting renewed late summer interest from Edmonton?"
The Calgary Hitmen in the WHL had Seabrook's rights last year.

DU Receives Last Minute Commitment For 2007
Anthony Maiani To Join Pioneers

WCHA Blog & Chris Heisenberg are reporting that DU has received a last minute commitment for next season from Anthony Maiani. He is from Shelby Township, Michigan and played the last two seasons for the Sioux City Musketeers. He is the youngest player in DU's 2007 Recruiting Class at 18 years 5 months.

Maiani is descibed as a "nifty playmaker," had 16 goals and 32 assists for the Musketeers last season. He was tied for the team lead in +/- with +20 (11th in the USHL tied with fellow DU recruit Jesse Martin).


Redline Report had this to say about Maiani when he tried out for the USNDP in 2005:
"Anthony Maiani/LC - Honeybaked. 5-9/165. 2/24/89. Tiny, but has an excellent release. Scored a beauty with snap shot going against the grain. Had trouble with physical play. Very skilled, but plays too much on the perimeter."

DU's 2007 Recruiting Class


Lars Paulgaard - G So. Minnesota (NAHL)
Anthony Maiani - LW Sioux City (USHL) 5'9" 160 2/24/89
Jon Cook - D Camrose (AJHL) 6'1 195 4-8-86
Chris Nutini - D Wichita Falls (NAHL) 6'1 205 9-12-87
Steve Cunningham - LW Burnaby (BCHL) 6'1 195 3-28-86
Dusty Jackson - LW So. Minnesota (NAHL) 6'3 195 6-20-86
Tyler Bozak - RC Victoria (BCHL) 6' 175 3-19-86
Marc Cheverie - G Nanaimo (BCHL) 6'2 195 2-22-87
Jesse Martin - RC Tri-City (USHL) 5'10 170 9-7-88
Kyle Ostrow - LC Nanaimo (BCHL) 5'9 160 9-5-87

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

2007 DU Pioneers Senior Hockey Tournament Roster

#1 Ron Grahame (DU 1969-73)
#2 Wayne Smith (DU 1963-66)
#3 Bob Peers (DU 1963-66)
#4 Bob Brawley (Michigan State University 1964-67)
#5 Bob McDowell
#7 Bill Goodacre (Colorado College 1958-62)
#8 Blake Emery
#9 Peter McEwen
#10 Cliff Koroll (DU 1965-68)
#11 Jim Fieldy
#12 Don "Cammy" Cameron (DU 1964-67)

Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament - Part 4


Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament - Part 4

Link: Part 1 - DU vs. Central Massachusetts
Link: Part 2 - DU vs. Univ. of Michigan Alums
Link: Part 3 - DU vs. Canterbury Ghosts (Canada)

Link: DU Pioneers Team Roster

Editor's Note:
DJ Powers of Hockey's Future was in California last week covering the Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament. She agreed to write a series of articles for LetsGoDU about the DU Pioneers, an alumni team made up of former University of Denver hockey players from the Murray Armstrong era. We can't thank DJ enough for her outstanding coverage of the event.

The Tournament was founded by Peanuts creator Charles Schultz in 1975 and brings together hockey players between the ages of 40-75. (Video Link about Tournament)

(above) The "DU Cheerleaders" (clockwise from top right: Lynnae Koroll (Cliff Koroll's wife), Marie Harrison (Don Cameron's wife), Dolly Schneider (Bob Peers' wife) and Chris Kushner (Bill Goodacre's girlfriend). Between them is the original 1968 DU National Championship banner.

Pioneer Pride: A Portrait Of Camaraderie

by DJ Powers
Staff Writer - NCAA Hockey
HockeysFuture.com

Santa Rosa, CA. - Ask anyone who plays the sport of hockey what makes it so great and the reply you'll likely get is the family bond that is born from the lifelong friendships forged through the many battles together.

While each hockey family is unique in its own way, you'd be hard pressed to find one that is as closely knit as the Denver Pioneers that recently played in Santa Rosa, CA.

No, these University of Denver players don't have names like Peter Mannino, Geoff Paukovich or Keith Seabrook. Instead, you'll find names like Ron Grahame, Don Cameron and Bob Peers. It is a group of men that consists of mostly members of DU's Original Dynasty that played under the legendary Murray Armstrong.

These Pioneers played in the weeklong Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament that took place at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena (aka Snoopy's Home Ice) in Santa Rosa, CA on July 15-21. The Pioneers won two games, but lost a heartbreaker to the University of Michigan Alums in overtime 5-4.

Tournament History

The Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament, now in its 31st year, is the brainchild of the late "Peanuts" creator and hockey devotee Charles M. "Sparky" Schulz (1922-2000). Schulz himself played in this tournament as a member of the Diamond Icers. Since it's inception in 1975, the tournament has been played every year except in 2001.

Over the years, the tournament has drawn participants from not only across North America, but also from around the world as well. This year, the tournament featured a team from Austria. In past years, countries such as Australia, Finland, Japan, Norway and Switzerland have all been represented at the tournament.

The tournament is comprised of teams ranging in age from 40-75 (with a few exceptions). The teams are placed in age divisions (40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70-plus) named after the various "Peanuts" characters. Each division is made up of four teams. If there is more than one division in a particular age group then they are classified according to playing level, with "A" being the highest level. This year, the tournament featured 52 teams playing in 13 divisions.

Among those who have participated in this tournament over the years include many former National Hockey League players, such as current University of Michigan head coach Red Berenson, former Philadelphia Flyers great Mel Bridgman and DU alum Cliff Koroll.

Denver in the Snoopy Tournament

The current Denver Pioneers were originally called the Denver Centennial Stars. They were among the tournament's original teams back in 1975. In their inaugural appearance, they finished third in what was then known as Division I.

"We were called the Denver (Centennial) Stars before we were the Pioneers," said Bob Peers. "We became the Pioneers four years ago in 2004."

Today, the "new" Denver Centennial Stars also play in this tournament. This year, they competed in the 45-49 "Schroeder" Division and featured two DU alumni in Bill White and Bill Young. Like their elder Denver counterparts who played in the 60-64 "Marcie" Division, the Centennial Stars also captured silver in their age division.

The driving force behind the Denver Pioneers team is Don "Cammy" Cameron, who has played with the Denver team for over two decades. Bob Peers, another longtime Denver player, has also been instrumental in the recruiting aspects for the team.

The idea behind the Denver team for the tournament was actually derived from the original University of Michigan team (now known as the 60's) that the Pioneers have competed against for a number of years. Cameron says that he would like to continue to build the Denver Pioneers team from within the DU hockey alumni community and achieve what the Michigan 60's have both on and off the ice. But as he explains, the process is long and sometimes frustrating.

"What happened a few years ago was that there wasn't enough commitment in the 55 year old group. I thought that maybe I could do something with the alumni at DU that were in that age category and put a team together. We had 12 guys in that group and maybe about five or six guys were DU alumni. That's been the focus from here on out, to try and have DU alumni play in this group. That's been probably five years ago and it continues to grow. Ultimately, we want to raise money for the DU hockey program. That's what we're trying to do. It allows us to give back to the program. It's evolving and all of us on the team feel good about what we're doing.

What I would like to see us do is to somewhat emulate what Michigan has been able to do. They have a good number of their guys who are alumni and they have some ringers that they've brought in. One thing that Michigan has done so well is that they're a totally endowed program. I think when you see the Michigan team altogether with their fans and the camaraderie that they have, it's pretty special. We feel that we have the same thing. Our camaraderie takes a backseat to no one."

While the majority of players are DU alumni, there are players that were brought in from other teams and leagues. Some have even played in previous Snoopy Tournaments with other teams. Newest addition Bob McDowell is one such example. McDowell, who is from Calgary, joined the DU team about a week before the tournament started. McDowell previously played for two Snoopy Tournament teams from his home city – the Waisters and the Old Buffaloes. The latter team also participated in this year's tournament.

Defensemen Bob Brawley (who played at Michigan State) and Blake Emery, along with forwards Peter McEwen and Jim Fieldy have all previously played with the Pioneers and have played with many of the DU alumni in other hockey tournaments over the years.

One of the more intriguing team recruiting accounts is the one behind how former adversary Bill Goodacre came to join the Pioneers.

There are opponents and then there are the Colorado College Tigers. As any DU fan is well aware of, no team is loathed more than their archrivals from down I-25. So to have a former enemy wearing your team's colors makes one wonder how it's possible. However, Goodacre isn't your average former CC Tiger.

"I love the DU guys. They're all great," Goodacre proudly intoned. "It's a heckuva compliment that they asked me to play with them."

This is not the first year that Goodacre has played on DU's tournament team. In fact, his tenure with the team goes back to the Centennial Stars days. What may further surprise both DU and CC fans alike is the fact that Goodacre is an ardent supporter of both programs.

Being given the opportunity to be a part of the DU hockey family during the weeklong tournament offered glimpses into what makes the Denver Pioneers so unique. The many fascinating and sometimes hilarious stories and recollections that were shared made it all the more incredible.

One of the funniest stories had to do with former Spartan Bob Brawley. One evening, while talking about the next day's golf game, he tossed around some par and handicap numbers that no one else seemed to understand and could only be deciphered by a Michigan State-educated statistician. The following morning, Brawley went out and won the golf game.

Then there was Wayne Smith, who could always be counted on to lighten and liven up any gathering. If it wasn't a story that he was entertaining everyone with, then it was his rendition of Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman".

While there were many light-hearted moments throughout the week, there was also a few that made you take pause. The most moving moment was listening to Cliff Koroll when he spoke about his best friend and teammate, Keith Magnuson. "Maggy", as Magnuson was affectionately called, was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 2003. The two men played hockey together for many years and were even best man at each other's weddings.

As Koroll lovingly spoke of Maggy, his face lit up while at the same time it seemed to mask a very personal sadness.

"He would've loved to play in this tournament. Our hockey careers paralleled each other's because we both played in the Saskatchewan Junior League together, then at DU and then again with the Chicago Blackhawks. We were closer than brothers."

In addition to the hockey, the tournament also provided a chance to reunite with old friends and teammates both on and off the ice, make some new friends, and simply have fun and enjoy life.

"For me, playing with these guys that I didn't have a chance to play with, and learning from them and about their skills and their reputations is the best part about it," said goaltender Ron Grahame, the youngest member of the team.

"This is the finest group of post-collegian teammates that I've ever been associated with," added Smith.

"I think it was excellent. It was a chance to renew friendships," said Blake Emery. "The fact that we're still alive for the next one is a good thing. Hopefully we're all here next year because once you get past 60, some of us are on borrowed time."

One of the more interesting discoveries was the fact that very few wives and girlfriends made the trip to Santa Rosa. The ones who were there made the tournament even more enjoyable for everyone.

" It's been really good," said Marie Harrison, the wife of Don Cameron and a DU alum herself. "I always end up being the 'hockey mom'."

" It's better than last year," added Bob Peers' wife, Dolly. "I love hockey. It's competitive and I don't like to see them lose."

One of the most memorable events was the Wednesday game between DU and their tournament nemesis, the University of Michigan. Since becoming the Pioneers, DU has beaten the Wolverines only one once in 2004, so revenge was very much on the minds of the Pioneers.

In the stands near the players benches was the Michigan cheering section complete with choreographed cheers, a chorus of kazoos playing "(Hail to) the Victors", and an obnoxiously sweaky noisemaker that eventually got on everyone's nerves.

Sitting in the stands across the ice, and not to be outdone was the DU cheering section. A slightly smaller but no less raucous group proudly clad in crimson and gold jerseys and waving matching pom-poms with the original 1968 National Championship banner draped on the wall behind them for all to see.

Both cheering sections had no shortage of enthusiasm or energy. And insults directed at the other team were abundant throughout the game. If you didn't know otherwise, you'd think that the game was being played at either Magness or Yost. The only thing missing were the respective schools' bands.

The scene on the ice was as electric as it was off of it. This was the game that both teams wanted equally to win and it showed. Short of a player ejection and maybe an all-out brawl, it had just about everything that one would expect from a fiercely contested game between two of college hockey's most celebrated teams. There was a lot of end-to-end action, great goaltending, many goals scored and of course, some bad blood.

In terms of the tournament itself, it was truly one of the best and most exciting matches. It also drew one of the largest crowds for a game that did not involve a locally based team.

It is often said that experience is the best teacher. But when the lessons taught are as unforgettable as the process of learning them, it makes the experience that much more special. The time spent with this group of remarkable men, along with their wives and girlfriends, was about far more than just getting a DU hockey history lesson. It was about having a better understanding of and appreciation for what it means to be alive and to be a Denver Pioneer. It's the preservation of a storied tradition that started over two generations ago. It's about the passion and respect for the game, the team and each other. It's about the camaraderie and the competitive spirit within. Never did its players in 'me, myself and I' terms describe the team. It was always in 'we, our and us' terms.

Perhaps Ron Grahame summed it up best in the simplest yet most eloquent term – "Pioneer Pride".

That's what it's all about. And to the men who don the DU colors in this tournament each year, that's the way it should be because anything less would be unacceptable.

Author's Note: Special thanks to Lisa Monhoff and the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center for their cooperation in the gathering of historical tournament information for this article.

A very special thank you to Bob Peers for his invaluable insights and assistance that helped make this article possible.
--
"It's a great day for hockey" - "Badger" Bob Johnson

Who's Up For A Little Snipe Hunting?
DU Alum Keith Magnuson Still Remembered

Editors Note: Keith Magnuson died in an automobile accident in 2003. This article appeared soon thereafter. Magnuson won two National Championships at DU before playing for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1969-1980.

By MIKE ULMER -- Toronto Sun

Thirty plus years later, Maggy is still there, right in the cornfield where DU Alum Cliff Koroll left him.

"The thing about snipes," Stan Mikita had told the young Keith Magnuson, "is they only come when you call them."

They probably broke in Howie Morenz with the snipe gag. NHL veterans speak knowledgeably of the hunt. Rookies, eager to be accepted, are volunteered.

Snipes don't exist, of course, but the cops brought in on the gag to bust the rookies for trespassing are real enough.

"I was about six rows of corn behind him," Koroll was saying, "just killing myself laughing. You could hear Maggy for miles, yelling 'Here snipes. Here snipes.'

"That was the thing about Maggy. He was so competitive, and so gullible."

They grew up in Saskatoon. Koroll was the goal scorer, Magnuson the red-headed barbarian, whose face always held out longer than the fists punching it.

"I brought Maggy to the University of Denver the year after I got there and I was responsible for keeping him there," Koroll said. "We knew each other for 45 years.

"Maggy was a guy who wrote himself a lot of notes. We would sneak into his room and read the notes and they were things like, 'wake up,' or 'brush teeth.' One day, he came out and asked us if we knew anyone named Bill. We racked our brains trying to remember who Bill was until we looked at the note. It said 'phone bill.' "

As rare as the snipe was the fight Keith Magnuson won.

"Maggy told me about the time we were playing Philadelphia," said Troy Murray, a longtime Chicago Blackhawk. "The Flyers were a pretty bad bunch and we were winning big.

''Every Flyer who came over the boards wanted to fight Maggy. Back in those days, you could go from fight to fight. Anyway, Maggy would fight one guy, get through, and there would be another guy waiting for him. He would finish and it would be 'Next.' ''

When an attempt was made to knock down the great Bobby Hull or bait the once-combustible Mikita, the men on the Blackhawks bench knew what was next.

The record book shows 11 seasons, 14 goals, 1,442 penalty minutes for Keith Magnuson. Koroll put Magnuson's career fighting record at 2-97.

"If you would have asked Maggy, he would have told you it was 97-2," Murray said. "He knew it wasn't whether you won or lost the fight. What mattered was showing up."

Keith Magnuson showed up every time. When Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz asked him to coach in 1980, he took the job and lasted a respectable two years.

Magnuson, Koroll, Dennis Hull and a few others organized the Hawks alumni association.

The alumni have awarded 54 scholarships to Chicago-and-area hockey players. The kid's skill level did not matter, only that he played.
.
NOBLE WARRIOR

Magnuson was a sales executive with Coca-Cola, but it was in the service to the game that he died Monday. He was in the Toronto area for the funeral of an ex-NHLer, Keith McCreary, when a car driven by one-time Maple Leaf Rob Ramage was involved in a horrific accident. The passenger side of the car was obliterated. So died a noble warrior, on a trip to pay respects to a player who never wore the Blackhawks red.

Keith Magnuson was a Blackhawk, and if that sounds quaint, patriarchal and outdated, well, it is.

But the warrior was important to Magnuson and to the acre-wide field of comrades he called his friends.

"That symbol, the Indian warrior, meant more to Maggy than to anyone else I've ever known," Murray said.

Now, from outside the fishbowl, the Chicago Blackhawks are a dysfunctional mess headed by Wirtz, the last pillar of the old-guard NHL, and Bob Pulford, his silver-haired gofer.

But you should know that four men -- Wirtz, broadcaster Dale Tallon, Pulford and Koroll -- arrived at Cindy Magnuson's door a few minutes behind the news of her husband's death.

Wirtz worked the phones, spoke to police and hospital staff, called funeral homes and arranged to bring Keith Magnuson, a Prairie son, home to Chicago.

The delegation left the Magnuson home at 3 a.m. when Cindy had safely passed into sleep.

Cliff Koroll left for work and his first day in 45 years without the redhead in the cornfield, the one who fought many and hated none.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

(Above) Jim and former DU and NHL hockey great Kevin Dineen pal around before the decisive 5th game of the Stanley Cup Finals

(Above) DU Hockey fan Jim Glabman samples a little Ducks backwash

DU Fan Sips From Lord Stanley's Chalice

Longtime DU Hockey fan Jim Glabman was able to squeeze his way into the Anaheim Ducks locker room after the Ducks clinched the Stanley Cup over the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks became the first Californian team to win the Stanley Cup Trophy.

How Jim was able to get past the obviously lax Honda Center security staff and get sloppy sixty-fifths that evening is obviously a story we will be hearing countless times over the next few decades.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament - Part 3

Link: Part 1 - DU vs. Central Massachusetts


Link: Part 2 - DU vs. Michigan Alums

Link: DU Pioneers Roster

Editor's Note: DJ Powers of Hockey's Future was in California this week covering the Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament. She agreed to write a series of articles for LetsGoDU about the DU Pioneers, an alumni team made up of former DU players from the Murray Armstrong era.

The Tournament was founded by Peanuts creator Charles Schultz in 1975 and brings together hockey players between the ages of 40-75. The Snoopy Tournament attracts 60 adult hockey teams from around the world. Skill levels span recreational senior hockey to former collegiate and professional players. (Video Link about Tournament)

Koroll's Hat Trick Leads DU Alums
DU Wins Final Game Of Tourney 7-2


(left) Ron Grahame played in the NHL for the Bruins and Kings was the DU Pioneers netminder this week


by DJ Powers
Staff Writer - NCAA Hockey
HockeysFuture.com

After the heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss on Wednesday to Michigan, the Denver Pioneers bounced back in convincing style to rout the Canterbury Ghosts 7-2 thanks in part to Cliff Koroll's hat trick.

Despite the painfully early 6am start time; the Pioneers had little trouble getting things going.

Just 41 seconds in, Peter McEwen got Denver on the board first, banging home a shot through the five-hole on Canterbury's goaltender.

Unlike the hard-fought match that took place against Michigan on Wednesday, this game didn't have the same level of intensity and featured relatively few penalties.

The first penalty of the game was assessed to Denver at the 4:01 mark when Don Cameron was called for boarding. The Pioneers had little trouble killing off the penalty and Bob McDowell had gotten off a couple of good shorthanded chances in the process.

Where Denver was particularly good, especially early on, was in winning the battles to and for the puck.

At the 7:42 mark, Koroll put the Pioneers ahead 2-0 when he tipped in Cameron's shot from the blueline.

About the midway point of the period, Canterbury began to generate some good pressure in the Pioneers zone, but goaltender Ron Grahame was up to the task. One of his notable saves of the period came around the seven-minute mark when two Pioneer players collided near center ice creating a partial breakaway opportunity for the Ghosts.

Denver would further extend their lead at the 15:28 mark, when Koroll netted his second goal on a nice wrist shot that went top-shelf.

Canterbury had pressed forward continuing to put pressure on Grahame and the Pioneers defense as the period winded down, but it was their inability to slow Denver's relentless attack and momentum that would eventually be their demise.

At the 17:04, defenseman Bob Brawley made it 4-0 Denver when he flipped a shot into the net off of a rebound. In the waning seconds of the period, Koroll almost made it 5-0 but a whistle prevented the score.

The second period opened with some good pressure early on by Canterbury, but it wouldn't be long before Denver got going again. One area where the Ghosts improved from the opening stanza was their ability to take space away from the Pioneers around their net. The effort however, did little to stop the Pioneers attack.

At the 10:05 mark, Koroll completed the hat trick when he walked in and flipped a shot over the Canterbury netminder.

The Ghosts would get their chance to cut into Denver's lead at the 13:56 mark thanks to a holding call assessed to Jim Fieldy. But once again, the stingy Pioneers defense held the Ghosts off the board.

The Denver defense excelled throughout the game, partially due to some great shot blocking that relieved some of the pressure on Grahame. While Grahame didn't have quite as much work as he did in the Michigan, he gave Denver very solid goaltending throughout the contest, and came up big when he had to.

Canterbury would finally get on the board at the 19:05 mark, when a shot off of a rebound found its way to the back of the Pioneers net.

By the time third period got underway, the pace of the game had slowed down. Denver continued to dominate territorially and winning the puck battles but was snake-bitten on a few good scoring opportunities early on.

That would change at the 4:07 mark. Cameron restored the Pioneers five-goal cushion when he put home a shot off of a rebound.

Canterbury continued to pressure Denver in spurts but the Pioneers defense held.

Bob Peers made it 7-1 at the 14:31 mark when he tapped home a rebound that finished an outstanding play started by Koroll.

As regulation time winded down and victory was in sight, Denver went into a bit of a prevent defense, but Canterbury would net one more goal at the 18:49 mark to close out the scoring. The Pioneers successfully killed both penalties they were assessed in the game. They did not have a power play in this contest.

TOURNAMENT WRAP-UP: The Denver Pioneers finish their 2007 Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament participation with a 2-1 record to capture the Silver Medal (2nd Place) in the Marcie Division (The top 60-64 age group). Despite the University of Michigan finishing with a perfect 3-0 record and winning the Marcie Division, the Pioneers finished the tournament as one of the top scoring teams with 20 total goals. Their goal differential was also one of the tournament's highest (+12). Denver outscored their opponents by a combined score of 20-8. Denver's total goals, goal differential and combined margin of victory all bettered their collegiate counterparts from Ann Arbor.

Cliff Koroll led the Pioneers in tournament points (10) and goals (5). Defenseman-turned-Forward Bob Peers led Denver in tournament assists with six. With the exception of goaltender Ron Grahame, all Pioneers players posted at least one point in tournament play.

The Denver Stars, who are playing in the 45-49 "Schroeder" Division are not affiliated with DU as far as I know. Many of the Stars players and their entourage came out and rooted for the Pioneers on Wednesday against Michigan. Many even came in their DU jerseys. Definitely provided a great turnout for DU and provided some competition for the Wolverine faithful in the raucous cheering department.

Friday, July 20, 2007

DU Hockey Legends

Cliff Koroll

From: Chicago Blackhawks Legends

Editors Note: As the Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament (see below) winds down tomorrow, one of DU's key contributors has been Cliff Koroll. While at DU, Cliff scored over 100 points and helped lead DU to the 1968 National Championship. Today we celebrate his hockey career and a man who is a true DU Hockey Legend.


A native of Conora, Saskatchewan, Cliff Koroll held a special relationship with the much more famous DU & Chicago Blackhawk teammate Keith Magnuson. Together they won a National Championship at DU in 1968 (Maggie won again in '69) and then played and coached together in the NHL. Together they changed college hockey at the University of Denver and then remained lifelong friends until Magnuson's untimely death in 2003.

Koroll and Magnuson had been best friends since youth hockey. Though both dreamed of playing in the NHL, they skipped junior hockey for the NHL road much less travelled at that time. The duo attended the University of Denver where Koroll was a high scoring wing and centerman.

"I brought Maggy to the University of Denver the year after I got there and I was responsible for keeping him there," Koroll said. "We knew each other for 45 years.

In 1969-70 both players cracked the Chicago Blackhawks lineup, and would become mainstays through the 1970s. Magnuson, with his great looks and ultra-aggressive style of play, became an instant fan favorite. Koroll went about his work much in a much more unheralded fashion.

Koroll was brought in to replace Kenny Wharram, who had to retire in 1969 with heart problems. After scoring an early season hat trick, Koroll permanently took over Wharram's spot on Stan Mikita's right wing.

Mikita would play a pivotal role in Koroll's career.

"Mikita was my road roomie for 20 years. "Stosh" taught me how to play on the ice and how to live off of it."

Mikita had nothing but praise for the young Koroll, too.

"I had a bad back for most of the time Cliff was breaking in. He knew this and did more of the dirty work in the corners than anyone realizes. And he listens and learns and works hard, harder than most people believe. He practices longer than many and never stops trying to improve his shot and other phases of the game.

To Koroll's own admission, the hard work paid off.

"I think I was the type of player that could do a lot of things. I was an offensive player. I scored quite a few goals in college. But I think the strong point was the defensive play which was taught to us by (University of Denver coach) Murray Armstrong. I think that really helped me make it in the National Hockey League. I always played the power play and I killed penalties all the time so I was sort of an all-around type player. I wasn't going to be a 50 goal scorer by any means, but I certainly had some great years. Thirty three goals was the highest I had the one year (1972-73). But I had several 20-plus seasons.

"As my career went on, I got into more of a defensive mode, our line having to play the top lines on other teams, becoming a checking line so to speak, and spending a lot of time penalty kill. So the goal production dropped off because of more emphasis on stopping the opposition as opposed to doing all the scoring."

One of Koroll's admirers was Vic Hadfield, the New York Rangers sniper who had to fend off the tenacious checking of Koroll whenever the Rangers played Chicago.

"I will tell you what he reminds me of," Hadfield told The Hockey News in January, 1976. "You know those big table hockey games where you pull the knob and the players just go up and down the wing? Well that's Cliff Koroll. Up and down, never strays, always there, nothing flashy."

Koroll went on to score 208 goals and 462 points in 814 games. Twice helped lead the Hawks to the Stanley Cup finals, in 1971 and 1973. Both times they lost to the Montreal Canadiens, but the '71 loss was the toughest to take.

"We were ahead 2-0 in the Chicago Stadium, but they won 3-2. I still have nightmares over that. It's the one void in my life."

After retiring, Koroll became an assistant coach with the Hawks for another seven seasons. He would also work in the front office before leaving to become an executive with Cargill, the major supplier to McDonald's fast food restaurants.

Though he was very successful off the ice and raised a wonderful family, his off ice devotion became the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Association. The Alumni was the baby of Magnuson, but Koroll took it upon himself to over see the continuation of Magnuson's vision after tragedy claimed his best friends life in 2003.

"His death was the worst thing to happen -- not just to me, but everybody who knew this wonderful, funny, unselfish man, husband and parent. I spent 15 hours at Cindy's house with her, son Kevin and daughter Molly after the accident. Not an hour goes by that I don't think of him."

Koroll delivered the eulogy for the ever-popular hockey star.

"The toughest thing I've ever had to do. I bawled my eyes out practicing it and thought, How am I ever going to get through this?' But Kevin was so strong speaking ahead of me that I got through my part without breaking down. I was proud of myself for that, but not nearly as proud as I was for Kevin."

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament - Part 2

Link: DU Pioneers Roster

Editor's Note:
DJ Powers of Hockey's Future is in California this week covering the Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament. She agreed to write a series of articles for LetsGoDU about the DU Pioneers, an alumni team made up of former DU players from the Murray Armstrong era.

The Tournament was founded by Peanuts creator Charles Schultz in 1975 and brings together hockey players between the ages of 40-75. The Snoopy Tournament attracts 60 adult hockey teams from around the world. Skill levels span recreational senior hockey to former collegiate and professional players. (Video Link about Tournament)

The Clash of the Titans
DU vs. University Of Michigan Alums

by DJ Powers
Staff Writer - NCAA Hockey
HockeysFuture.com

Santa Rosa, CA - It is one of the marquee matchups in the Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament each year and this year it lived up to it's billing. Two of college hockey's storied programs went head-to-head on Wednesday as the Denver Pioneers faced the University of Michigan 60's team in a game that was played in front of a boisterous crowd representing both teams.

Michigan got to off to a strong start early but it didn't take long before Denver matched their pace. The Wolverines got off several good chances in the early stages of the game but Denver goaltender Ron Grahame (1970-73) was up to the task.

At the 17:31 mark, Denver's Cliff Koroll (1966-68) was assessed a hooking penalty, putting Michigan on their first power play of the game. At the 19:50 mark, Red Berenson got the Wolverines on the board first, poking home a rebound.

Michigan dominated a good portion of the opening period and was particularly strong in winning the battles to pucks.

The second period saw the Pioneers come out with good pressure early and at the 26-second mark it would pay off. Denver's Bob Peers (1964-66) fired a shot from the blueline through traffic to net the equalizer.

The Pioneers would once again find themselves in penalty trouble when Denver's Blake Emery was called for a high-stick at the 5:15 mark. And once again, the Wolverines would manage to find the back of the net. At the 7:30 mark, Berenson tallied his second goal of the game unassisted to give Michigan the lead once again. He tapped home a rebound with traffic around Grahame for the score. [Note: In the tournament, minor penalties are three minutes long].

It didn't take long before Denver would even things up again. At the 8:48 mark, Koroll fired a high shot that beat Michigan goaltender Eric Hall for the score.

The remainder of the period saw some outstanding goaltending by both netminders, with Grahame being busier of the two. Both teams generated some quality chances at both ends.

The third period opened with the Pioneers shorthanded, having to kill off the remaining 27 seconds of Peers' roughing minor.

Denver successfully killed off their first penalty of the game and began to pick up the momentum. At the 1:03 mark, Bob McDowell gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game on a rising shot that Eric Hall had difficulty corralling it.

The goal shifted the momentum in Denver's favor and the intensity would really start to pick up. At approximately the three-minute mark of the period, Emery nearly extended the Pioneers lead when he fired a shot from the left faceoff circle that just missed going into the Michigan net.

At approximately the seven-minute mark with the Wolverines buzzing around the Denver net on a power play, Berenson made several attempts at banging in the puck underneath Grahame's pads but was denied. All the while the whistle never blew. It wasn't until Berenson appeared to be pushed into Grahame by Peers that play was halted. The end result was a scary situation for the Pioneers as Grahame remained down in the Pioneers net for several moments. The intensity that had built up to that point came to blows as both teams were exchanging words, while Grahame was being tended to. The Pioneers netminder took quite a
beating in the game and was still able to hold the fort for his team.

When play was set to resume again, Denver came out on the short end. With Don Cameron (1965-67) already in on an interference call, the Pioneers penalty box quickly filled up as Peers and defenseman Wayne Smith (1964-66) joined their teammate.

On the ensuing five-on-three Michigan power play, Grahame stood tall in net, making some key saves to keep the Wolverines off of the board.

That would all change at the 11:00 mark when Michigan's Doug Roberts was credited for a fluky goal after it had bounced off of the skates of McDowell and Grahame and into the net to knot the game at 3-3.

At the 14:34 mark, the Pioneers would get their second power play opportunity of the game when Michigan's Dean Lucier was called for charging. Less than 30 seconds into the power play at the 15:00 mark, Denver would net their first (and only) power play tally of the game when Peter McEwen tapped home the rebound into a wide open net to restore the Pioneers lead.

The lead would be jeopardized once again when McDowell was called for a hold at the 16:26 mark, giving Michigan yet another power play. At the 17:54 mark, Michigan would tie the game with their fourth power play tally off of the stick of Bob Boysen.

With less than two minutes left in regulation time, the Pioneers stepped up their efforts to tally the game-winner before the buzzer. In the waning seconds of regulation time, Koroll almost did just that on a two-on-one situation that just missed the target.

In the tournament, overtime is played three-on-three and with no penalties being carried over, it came down to the next goal.

Just 23 seconds in, former NHLer Dennis Hextall would tally the game-winner to give Michigan the win and handing the Pioneers a hard-fought yet disappointing loss. The game-winner was the only goal of the game that the Wolverines did not score on the power play. Michigan went 4-for-7 on the power play, while Denver went 1-for-2.

Despite the loss, the Pioneers played extremely well. The fact that they played with a depleted lineup (one goaltender and ten skaters) made the effort all the more remarkable. Denver was without the services of tournament regulars Lyle Bradley (1965-66) and John MacMillan (1958-60) due to injuries and Wayne Wiste (1965-67) due to a family commitment.

The Denver Pioneers will wrap up their tournament play on Friday morning versus the Canterbury Ghosts.

-- "It's a great day for hockey" - "Badger" Bob Johnson

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

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Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament - Part 1
DU Hockey Alums Play In California Hockey Tourney

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Link: DU Pioneers Roster

Editor's Note:
DJ Powers of Hockey's Future contacted LetsGoDU to report the DU Pioneers, a team made up of mostly former players from the Murray Armstrong era (1960's), participates in the Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament every year.

The Tournament was founded by Peanuts creator Charles Schultz in 1975 and brings together hockey players between the ages of 40-75.
The Snoopy Tournament attracts 60 adult hockey teams from around the world. Skill levels span recreational senior hockey to former collegiate and professional players. (Video Link about Tournament)

Last year DJ covered the University of Michigan Alums. This week she will write a series of articles in LetsGoDU about "our boys."

Pioneer Alums Open Tournament With 9-1 Victory

by DJ Powers
Staff Writer - NCAA
Hockey
http://www.hockeysfuture.com

Santa Rosa, CA - The Denver Pioneers opened play in the Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament on Sunday and were victorious in the opening match versus Central Mass, handing the Rusty Blades a crushing 9-1 loss.

The Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament is a weeklong tournament that is made up of players between the ages of 40-75. The tournament is held every July at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena (aka Snoopy's Home Ice) in Santa Rosa, CA.

The Pioneers dominated this game in nearly every respect, but were held scoreless in the opening period thanks to some stellar goaltending from Central Mass.

The second period saw the Pioneers explode for five goals, four of which came in a span of five minutes in the latter stages of the period. DU alum Don Cameron (Class of 1967) opened the scoring at 8:08 mark. He later added the game-winner at the 12:03 mark of the period.

Ron Grahame, who currently serves as DU's Senior Associate Athletic Director, was nearly perfect between the pipes. The lone tally of the game that he and the Pioneers allowed came at the 18:30 mark of the middle period.

Denver would go on to add four more goals in the third period. DU alum Cliff Koroll, a member of the Pioneers 1968 NCAA Championship team, chipped in a goal and three assists in the win.

The Denver Pioneers are playing in the "Marcie" Division (60-64 age group) in this tournament. In addition to Central Mass, the other two teams in their division got their tournament play underway on Monday afternoon.

The University of Michigan 60's faced off against the Canterbury Ghosts (out of British Columbia, Canada). Current Michigan head coach Red Berenson posted a hat-trick in the Wolverines 4-1 win.

The Denver Pioneers will meet the University of Michigan 60's on Wednesday morning in one of the marquee matchups of the tournament. The Pioneers will look to avenge last year's loss to the Wolverines.

-- "It's a great day for hockey" - "Badger" Bob Johnson

Monday, July 16, 2007

NCAA Tweaks Playoff Selection Formula Again
DU Would Have Made NCAA Playoffs Last Season

From: College Hockey News

It's happening a year too late for Denver, but the committee is making changes again.
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The NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Committee has voted to do away with the RPI "bonus" that has been in place the last two seasons as part of the NCAA tournament selection criteria.
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Without the bonus last season, the only change to the field would have been the inclusion of Denver over Maine. The Black Bears jumped ahead of Denver, ultimately, on the strength of some impressive early-season road wins. With the bonus, that was enough to make up the difference in RPI and flip enough "comparisons." (read rest of article)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Another Hockey Coach Joins Bad Boyz List

Lowell Hockey Coach Arrested For DUI

(left) Blaise MacDonald in the standard "crossed arms hockey coach pose"

Its been a busy off season for the Bad Boyz Research Team. However its the hockey coaches and administrators that have kept us busy for a change, while the players have been keeping their noses clean (Good Job Boyz).

The trouble started when the BC womens Head Hockey Coach was accused of having an improper relationship with a star Freshman player. Then the Greg Shephard incident surfaced this week.

Now we have word that Lowell's head coach blew a .023 and preformed badly on the alphabet and numbers quiz administered by the cops back in May. This story might have slipped under the radar, but luckily Goon's Blog brought it to our attention.

From: Lowell Sun

UMass Lowell head hockey coach Blaise MacDonald was suspended indefinitely yesterday as the result of his Friday arrest on drunken-driving charges.

MacDonald's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent when he was found sleeping in the driver's seat of his Toyota Land Cruiser at 8:58 p.m. in Chelmsford, according to police. The vehicle was blocking the entrance to the Woodland Square Condominiums at 262 Littleton Road.

Although his suspension is effective immediately, MacDonald, who lives in Westford, will still receive an internal university disciplinary hearing.
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Chelmsford police spotted MacDonald's vehicle after another driver reported it crossing over the oncoming lane of traffic several times on Littleton Road. The motorist also reported seeing MacDonald turning around near the trailer park at 270 Littleton Road.

According to police, MacDonald's speech was slurred and he had difficulty standing up. His eyes were red and glassy and his breath smelled of alcohol.

There was also fresh damage to the front bumper of his vehicle, which police said looked like it had been struck by a small tree or shrub. Police also found four beers and a 750 milliliter bottle of Absolut vodka inside the vehicle.

The police report further details MacDonald's failure to perform a series of field sobriety tests.

According to the report, when arresting Officer Timothy Bourque asked MacDonald if he knew where he was, MacDonald answered "Rochester" in a slurred, drawn-out voice.

Bourque then asked MacDonald to recite the alphabet. MacDonald started at "A" and "B" before pausing, repeating "B," then going to "D." He did not go further, according to the police report.

After that, the report states that Bourque asked MacDonald to count from 38 to 21 backwards. MacDonald started at 38, went up to 39, then down to 37 before counting up to 40.

Finally, Bourque asked MacDonald to balance himself on one foot. MacDonald lifted his left foot up and then put it back down on the ground. He proceeded to count to six with both of his feet on the ground, according to the report.

Given his observations, Bourque concluded that MacDonald was intoxicated and he was arrested.

At the Chelmsford police station, MacDonald was given two Breathalyzer tests. He blew .23 percent on the first and .25 percent on the second, according to police. The legal limit is .08.

MacDonald was held overnight and released early Saturday evening on personal recognizance, said Chelmsford Police Chief Kevin Murphy. He was arraigned yesterday morning in Lowell District Court.

A native of Billerica, MacDonald was named the fifth coach of the UMass Lowell hockey team on April 6, 2001. He came to Lowell from Niagara University in New York, where he was a head hockey coach for five years. MacDonald earned $167,209 from UMass Lowell in 2006.

Messages left on MacDonald's cell phone, at his home and office were not returned yesterday.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

WCHA Director Of Officials Disrupts Baseball Game

Greg Shepherd Makes 2007-08 Bad Boyz List

From: Southwestern Review News
by Seth Loy


Greg Shepherd, 58, a former West St. Paul city council member & currect WCHA Director of Officials, apologized last week for offensive remarks made during a Little League baseball game.


The grandfather of eight, a former member of the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, disrupted the 9 and 10 year-old boy's championship at the West St. Paul Sports Complex on Father's Day, June 17, when he yelled at an umpire.

"I got just a little carried away with my mouth to an umpire that made a call," Shepherd said. "I was embarrassed and I wanted to apologize to everybody. I said it was my fault, and I should know better."

Shepherd wrote a letter to the South-West Review in which he apologizes to the fans and both baseball teams. However, this isn't the first time he's caused a public disturbance on the baseball diamond.

On June 3, 1998, Shepherd, then a sitting council member, interrupted a team of 11- and 12-year-old boys practicing on a freshly chalked and lined field at the sports complex. He reportedly yelled and cursed at the teams' coaches to get the children off the field because there was a men's fastpitch ballgame scheduled for 6 p.m.

He later offered a public apology for his behavior.

"[The players] were told to stay off the fields, and they would repreatedly ignore instructions," Shepherd explained. "At the time, given the position I was in, I took the hit. I still to this day don't believe I was wrong, but I still know I have to apologize."

Blown out of proportion?
"The problem is, it's a tournament, and tensions and emotions can get raised - beyond a point that is reasonable, frankly," he said.

John Pelano, co-commissioner of baseball, said in Shepherd's defense that the umpire's delayed call that prompted Shepherd's outburst frustrated other fans, too. Pelano said he thought the incident was resolved quickly and may have been blown out of proportion.

"It wasn't where there was going to be fisticuffs," Pelano said. "There were a few people that weren't happy with the way they handled the call. Mr. Shepherd wasn't the only one. The coaches had a normal discussion. I took control of the situation and got involved."

Letter: 'Sorry' for rude ballfield behavior
To the editor:

I, Greg Shepherd, would like to apologize to all the parents and grandparents that were at the West St. Paul Complex for the ball game between the West St. Paul and Mendota Heights 9- and 10-year-olds. The was I acted was very uncalled for. To both teams' players and coaches I am truly sorry. You try to teach sportsmanship and here is myself acting like a complete idiot. And to the umpires I am very, very sorry for any remarks I made toward you. It was uncalled for. I am truly sorry.

Greg Shepherd
West St. Paul