LetsGoDU To Continue Coverage Of Frozen Four

The season may be over for the Pioneers, but LetsGoDU will continue to cover our future recruits in their playoff games, Denver based Frozen Four events and hockey news that relates to DU for the next several weeks.

LetsGoDU has many stories from the Madison Regional that need to be told, but will have to be cleared by our Quality Control Coordinator and our crack legal team in Denver.

As the Hobey Baker Committee awards college hockey's highest honor, simultaneously we'll announce its lowest; the 2008 Bad Boy of the Year. In the next two weeks we'll recap the candidates and allow you to comment and vote on their exploits. Unlike the Hobey Baker winner, college hockey fans will decide the "winner."

We have a new Banner and within weeks a our new look will be completed by the boys at Envie Media. If we're going to pretend to cover the Pioneers, we need to look like we know what the heck we're doing.

So stay tuned, lets us know what you think and as always thanks for reading and contributing your comments.

DU Seniors Leave Mighty Legacy

(left) DU's Senior class won the 2005 National Championship in Columbus starting four Freshman against the Fighting Sioux

As DU's senior class skated off the ice at the Kohl Center for the last time Saturday night, they left behind a trophy case that is unmatched in the WCHA over the past four seasons. The tally includes one National Championship, one MacNaughton regular season championship and two Broadmoor Trophies for winning the Final 5.

Andrew Thomas, Peter Mannino, Tom May and Zach Blom not only collected hardware but were leaders on campus, admired by students, fans and alumni alike. They now become one of a select group of DU hockey alums who have won a National Championship. There is no doubt they have left the DU hockey program in better shape than when they arrived on campus in the Fall of 2004. So while we'll miss their poise and class on the ice, they'll join hundreds of DU hockey alums as graduates of one of the most prestigious hockey programs in the country.

So long, but not goodbye. We'll see you at reunions, Frozen Fours and and at the Magness Arena in the future. A sincere thank you from Pioneer Nation.

WCHA Trophies In The Past Four Seasons
Denver: 1 National Championship, 1 MacNaughton, 2 Broadmoors
Wisconsin: 1 National Championship
Minnesota: 2 MacNaughtons, 1 Broadmoor
Colorado College: 2 MacNaughtons
North Dakota: 1 Broadmoor

Has Mannino Played Last Hockey Game?

(above) Denver goalie Peter Mannino keeps his eye on the puck as Wisconsin's Michael Davies tries to maneuver during the second period last night

Its a flimsy, anonymous internet rumor left on the most unreliable of blogs; ours. But someone is claiming that Denver Senior Peter Mannino will finish his degree at DU and pursue another career.
Mannino was the last player off the ice on Saturday night and certainly looked to be disappointed in a playoff loss to the Badgers that ended Denver's season. However he was as he slowly skated towards the tunnel, he was enthusiastically cheered by the small contingent of DU fans that recognized one of the greatest Pioneer goaltenders to ever wear the Crimson & Gold.

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post doubts the rumor is true, having spoken to Mannino about his future, as recently as a few weeks ago. LetsGoDU on the otherhand, sees smoke and where there's smoke, there's an unconfirmed rumor that drives up our visitor count.
Anonymous said...

Apparently this may be Mannino's last ever hockey game. There are rumors he has turned down several AHL and ECHL offers to graduate and pursue another career.

Sunday NCAA Scores

Midwest Regional

#1UND 3 #3Wisconsin 2 Final OT

UND heading to Denver

Northeast Regional

#1Miami 3 #2BC 4 Final OT

BC heading to Denver

#1 Michigan (East), #1 UND (Midwest), #2BC (Northeast) and #4 Notre Dame (West) going to the FF.

Frozen Four Match-Ups

BC vs. UND

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

DU Loses to Badgers in NCAA Midwest Regional

(above) Dustin Jackson scored DU's first goal against Wisconsin

From DU Website

MADISON, Wis. – Michael Davies tallied two goals and an assist and Shane Connelly stopped 30 shots to lead No. 17 Wisconsin to a 6-2 win over No. 4/5 Denver in the NCAA Midwest Regional tonight before 9,968 fans at Kohl Center. The loss ends Denver’s (26-14-1) season and sends the Badgers (17-17-7) into the regional final tomorrow against North Dakota.

Dustin Jackson (Omaha, Neb.) and Tom May (Eagan, Minn.) scored for DU, and Peter Mannino (Farmington Hills, Mich.) made 20 saves in his final game as a Pioneer.

Wisconsin jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals from Davies and Jamie McBain before Jackson put the Pioneers on the scoreboard at 16:40 of the second stanza. Wisconsin outscored Denver 4-1 in the final stanza and rode the rowdy home crowd to its first NCAA tournament win since claiming the national title in 2006.

Denver outshot the Badgers 12-7 in the opening stanza, but hit four pipes through two periods and was stymied all night by the stellar goaltending of Connelly.

“We had a great ride,” DU head coach George Gwozdecky said. “I am extremely proud to coach this team. We gave ourselves a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for in the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin was given a new life in the NCAA tournament and played a great game tonight.”

After Jackson’s goal made it 2-1, Cody Goloubef put Wisconsin up 3-1 when his blast bounced off the back of Mannino and into the net at 9:19 of the final stanza. John Mitchell made it 4-1 with a breakaway tally at 10:19. May’s wrist shot from the high slot made it 4-2, but Davies’ second goal of the night iced the win at 14:38. Davis Drewiske added the final goal with empty-netter at 17:14.

DU outshot Wisconsin 32-26 and went 1-for-6 on the power play. Wisconsin went 1-for-5 with the man-advantage.

Notes: DU falls to 26-15 overall in the NCAA tournament. The Pioneers had won eight consecutive NCAA tournament games prior to tonight’s loss. DU is 11-2-2 all-time at Kohl Center. Mannino and Andrew Thomas (Bow, N.H.) will participate in the NCAA Skills Challenge during the Frozen Four on Friday, April 11.

Saturday NCAA Scores

Midwest Regional

#1UND 5 #4Princeton 1 Final

#3Wisconsin 6 #2DU 2 Final (1ENG)

Wisconsin vs. UND tomorrow

Northeast Regional

#1Miami 3 #4AFA 2 Final OT

#2BC 5 #3Minnesota 2 Final (1 ENG)

BC vs. Miami tomorrow

East Regional

#1Michigan 2 #3Clarkson 0 Final

#1Michigan going to Frozen Four

West Regional

#3MSU 1 #4Notre Dame 3 Final

#4Notre Dame going to Frozen Four

Thank you Seniors Peter Mannino, Andy Thomas, Tom May and Zach Blom for your four years at DU and the 2005 NCAA Championship.

LetsGoDU would like to wish good luck to North Dakota in the NCAA Frozen Four.

Butler Hopes To Lead DU To The Promised Land

(above) DU hopes to begin another miraculous run tonight against the Badgers

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

Chris Butler had to stop and think for a moment.

Last year, the Frozen Four was in Butler's hometown, St. Louis. This year, it's in his new hometown, Denver.

Asked whether it would have been a bigger thrill for the University of Denver to reach college hockey's biggest event back home or at the Pepsi Center in two weeks, Butler paused - but only briefly.

"That's tough to say. I probably would have played in front of more family and friends in St. Louis," said Butler, a junior defenseman and one of DU's alternate captains. "But to play here, in the town where your home school is, it's going to be awesome. Hopefully, we can get there. I can't even tell you how excited I am. This is probably going to be the most fun I've had playing hockey in a long time."

DU's quest to return to the Frozen Four for the first time since it captured its second consecutive national championship in 2005 begins today, as the Pioneers face Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival Wisconsin in the first round of the Midwest Regional on the Badgers' home ice in Madison, Wis. (4:30 p.m. MDT, Comcast Cable-Ch. 5).

Top-seeded North Dakota opens the regional against

Princeton at 1 p.m. MDT today, with the winners vying for a berth in the Frozen Four in the regional final Sunday.

Butler, like the bulk of the players on DU's roster, will be making his NCAA tournament debut today.

Any nerves the Pioneers' youngsters might have been expected to battle were vanquished last week, when DU posted two impressive victories in the WCHA Final Five and won the championship match against Minnesota in front of about 18,000 Golden Gophers fans.

"I think adapting to the Olympic ice (at the Kohl Center) will be very important to us," Butler said. "But I think we have a team that has done well on the Olympic ice, like how we played at Minnesota. Our team speed really showed there. Hopefully, we can do that again this weekend."

DU still retains four players from its 2005 title team, including captain Andrew Thomas, forward Tom May and goaltender Peter Mannino.

Although only Mannino played a leading role on that team, the experience of those three and fellow senior Zach Blom has provided a level of calm and confidence to an otherwise young Pioneers team.

"We just try to pay attention to what they are doing and what they are saying at all times," freshman center Tyler Bozak said. "We know they know what it takes to win the national championship. When they pipe up or have something to say, we listen closely. We're not as experienced as them, so it is good to see how they prepare."

"Fifty-Seven" Its Not A Slogan, Its A Way Of Life

Colorado College defensemen Ryan Lowery (24) and Nate Prosser try and cheer up goalie Richard Bachman last night by telling him about the post game "Swinger Party"

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by Kate Crandall

The silence was deafening in Colorado College's locker room, where the players sat in their stalls, stewing in their sweat-soaked pads and staring into space.

The stars seemed aligned for the Tigers, who won the regular-season Western Collegiate Hockey Association title and were hosts of this weekend's NCAA Tournament West Regional at World Arena, just two wins from the Frozen Four in Denver.

Instead, the dance will rage on in their backyard without them.

Michigan State scored three second-period goals Friday and goal-tender Jeff Lerg made 41 saves to earn a 3-1 win at World Arena.

Spartans center Justin Abdelkader, the 2007 Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player for the defending national champions, had two assists.

"It's tough," left wing Scott McCulloch said in a hushed voice. "You don't think you're going to lose at home."

The third-seeded Spartans advanced to tonight's NCAA West Regional final at World Arena against No. 4 seed Notre Dame, a rematch of last year's Midwest Regional final.

"They went to their strength, and we went to our strength," Spartans coach Rick Comley said. "Defense won over offense."

CC, which also made a first-round tournament exit in 2006, ended with three straight losses - matching its longest skid of the season - and finished 18-3 at World Arena and 28-12-1 overall. With its sixth consecutive NCAA win, Michigan State, which was also a No. 3 seed last season, improved to 25-11-5.

In a scoreless first period, CC mounted a 12-2 shot advantage on mostly outside shots.

Coming off its worst penalty-kill performance of the season against North Dakota in the WCHA Final Five consolation game, the Tigers allowed two power-play goals in the second period - only the second time CC has allowed multiple power-play goals in successive games.

First, the Spartans' Chris Mueller tangled with defenseman Jack Hillen, screening goal-tender Richard Bachman long enough for Michigan State's leading scorer, Tim Kennedy, to sweep in for a backhanded goal.

Then, with less than 2 minutes left in the second, Michigan State defenseman Jeff Dunne beat Bachman with a shot from the right circle.

Mueller capped the 10-minute, 24-second blitz with a one-timer off a faceoff with 7 seconds left.

"They got the third one at the top of the jar, which shouldn't have even happened," center Chad Rau said. "We were kind of scrambling. We didn't have the right amount of guys on the ice."

Left wing Derek Patrosso snapped the Tigers' 75:31 scoreless streak with 8 minutes left, beating Lerg stick side off a faceoff and giving the crowd of 6,287 mostly CC fans something to rally behind. But the Tigers ran out of time.

"The season has gone so fast," Bachman said. "You can't even think about it."

Wisconsin Looks To Prove They Belong

(above) UW netminder Shane Connolly

From: Wisconsin State Journal by Andy Baggot

It probably qualifies as an exaggeration, but not by much.

In the process of outlining why the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team is worthy of its NCAA tournament berth, junior goaltender Shane Connelly acknowledged that the line of detractors is a long one.

"Everyone in the country basically doesn't think we belong here," he said.

Not everyone believes third-seeded UW will be in over its head when it takes on second-seeded Denver in the Midwest Regional semifinals Saturday at the Kohl Center, but based on Internet rhetoric, e-mail volume and casual conversations with those in the college hockey world, the consensus seems very one-sided.

"Everyone doesn't think we belong here," Connelly repeated. "We know we belong here."

It's one thing to say that with conviction. It's another to back it up with performance.

"I believe, and everyone in the locker room believes, that we belong here," Connelly said. "Now we just (need) to go out and show them."

The Badgers (15-16-7) are the first losing team to get an at-large berth for the NCAA tournament since the field was expanded from 12 to 16 teams in 2003. You can count on one hand the number of schools to previously qualify with a record under .500 since the tournament began in 1948: Alabama-Huntsville (13-19-3) in 2007; Colorado College (18-21-1) in 1978; Minnesota (13-16-2) in 1971.

UW sophomore center Aaron Bendickson said he's had numerous chats in the last week in which someone asked how it all happened. He tries to keep it simple.

"That Pairwise (ranking) is confusing to me as well as a lot of people," Bendickson said. "I just tell them that the strength of our schedule and the conference we play in allowed us to get in to it.

"Everyone is always like, 'You guys are lucky. How did you guys get in there?' I say, 'To be honest, that's what you get when you play top level teams all season long.' We deserve it; that's what I say."

The Badgers finished 12th in the final Pairwise ranking, which uses four statistical measures — power rating, record vs. teams under consideration, record vs. common opponents and head-to-head results - to compare schools vying for the national tournament.

Aside from the losing record, what has most people chiding the berth is the fact a fellow Western Collegiate Hockey Association school, Minnesota State-Mankato, was left out of the mix.

Mankato won 19 games, finished ahead of the Badgers in the WCHA regular season, was 2-1-1 in their head-to-head meetings and won the Pairwise comparison between the teams.

But overall the Mavericks won fewer Pairwise comparisons with UW and saw Notre Dame slip past them for the final at-large spot.

UW sophomore defenseman Jamie McBain sent a text message to Shattuck St. Mary's (Minn.) High School chum and current Mankato winger Zach Harrison when the NCAA bracket was announced. When he got no answer, McBain called Harrison.

"He said, 'We're not friends anymore,'" McBain said. "He was kidding, but he's bitter about it."

A year from now, it's expected the NCAA will have a provision requiring at-large qualifiers to have a .500 record or better.

"I could see somebody writing that in saying, 'That can't happen again,'" UW coach Mike Eaves said.

The Badgers not only are in the tournament — despite a 7-11-3 record against the field; despite the fact they never won more than two games in a row during the regular season; despite owning a three-game losing streak — they are playing at the Kohl Center as the host school.

While that's a huge opportunity — two wins and you're in the NCAA Frozen Four — that's also a lot of pressure on UW to prove it belongs.

"People are looking for us to lose to Denver in this first round and we're going to go out there and hopefully prove them otherwise," McBain said.

"We need to make a statement," Bendickson said.

Friday NCAA Scores

East Region

(#3)Clarkson 2 (#2)SCSU 1 Final

(#1)Michigan 5 (#4)Niagara 1 Final (Porter with 4 goals, 1 an ENG)

West Region

(#4)Notre Dame 7 (#1)UNH 3 Final (2 late ENGs for ND)

(#3)MSU 3 (#2)CC 1 Final

Denver Post Looks At DU's NCAA Winning Streak

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Winning streaks never have been so patient.

After a two-year hiatus, the University of Denver is back in the NCAA Tournament and on the verge of breaking the record for consecutive victories in the national tournament.

The 2004 and 2005 NCAA champions, the Pioneers take a record-tying, eight-game NCAA Tournament winning streak into Saturday's Midwest Regional against Wisconsin.

DU coach George Gwozdecky never has paid much attention to streaks and statistics. But in this case, he knows how the program's eight wins will benefit his team this weekend.

Even though DU features 12 freshmen and just one upperclassman at forward, Gwozdecky, most of his staff and four seniors know how to get to the Frozen Four and win it.

"Successful experiences benefit everybody," Gwozdecky said. "It benefits the staff, and it carries over to the team. There are certain expectations that we have, that I have, that our assistant coaches have, and that carries over. Do we have great expectations for this weekend? Absolutely."

For now, forget the Frozen Four at the Pepsi Center. The Pioneers, who have won four consecutive games and appear to be playing as well as they have all season, don't want to come home until Monday — after winning Sunday's regional title game.

If that happens, the Pioneers will be two wins away from their eighth national title, one behind the record held by Michigan.

Since the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs began March 14, Gwozdecky has been leaning on his four seniors: goalie Peter Mannino, defensemen Andrew Thomas and Zach Blom, and forward Tom May. All own 2005 NCAA championship rings.

"It's all about how our older guys carry themselves," Gwozdecky said of playoff hockey. "When you get to the national stage like we're in now, there are an awful lot of distractions.

"For us, the WCHA Final Five was such a good preparatory tournament for the national tournament. I think our older guys — Peter and Andy, Zach and Tommy — having been through it will be very valuable from here on out."

The senior class could have been stronger. Avalanche star Paul Stastny would have been a senior if he hadn't signed an NHL deal two years ago. Stastny's freshman class also included Ryan Dingle and Geoff Paukovich, both of whom signed NHL deals after last year.

"We definitely would have been a very, very good team with those guys, but at the same time, changing personnel isn't a bad thing, either," May said. "The young guys have come in and have had great impact. We don't think of having 12 freshmen anymore. We think of having one big group of guys."

That group of guys has transformed itself from a run-and-gun team to a systems-oriented, defense-first squad. After losing leading scorer Brock Trotter in January, the Pioneers realized they needed to focus on protecting their net and avoid getting in shootouts.

"Our team defense, especially last weekend against North Dakota, was exceptional," Thomas said. "We were so aggressive in the neutral zone, from our forwards to our 'D.' We smothered them.

"We played like we did in the 2005 Frozen Four. We played great team defense, and that's what will get us back there."

This Week In Mike Chamber's Blog

DU Freshman Tyler Bozak is 22 years old, so its no surprise that he might leave at the end of the season if the NHL comes knocking.

Does Hollywood script this stuff? Anthony Maiani's parents and sister were involved in a car accident on their way to St. Paul to see the Final Five. Maiani finds out about the accident just before the game...(rest of the story)

More Testwuide brother rivalry info.

Brian Gifford is out this week again with the ankle injury.

Hide The Women & Children Madison-UND Is'a Comin'

With precious little time to gather up their belongings, North Dakota hockey fans loaded up the wagons, fed the horses and embarked on the 580 mile journey from Grand Forks to Madison. They'll resupply in Minneapolis where they'll hit the Minnesota welfare office, receive state funded medical care, dental checkups and steal some fresh horses.

We Don't Need No Stinking Badgers

This Week's PioneerCast

PioneerCast hosted by Conor McGahey is up on PioneerFans.com. This week they interview "The Rubberband Man" Tyler Ruegsegger.

Check it out.

DU To Share Charter Flight With Air Force

According to Mike Chambers at the Denver Post, DU will avoid long connections, baggage snafu's and surly flight attendants by chartering a flight today with an unlikely travel partner.

Air Force and the University of Denver, which opens the NCAA Tournament at the Midwest Regional in Madison, Wis., on Saturday, will share a charter flight today.

"We'll be dropping Denver off in Madison and then going to Boston," Air Force coach Frank Serratore said.

NCAA To Offer Student Vouchers At Championships

(above) The Cornell student section is one of the best in college hockey

The NCAA is finally doing something to allow students to attend the championships and sit courtside. Lets hope they carry this great idea over to the Frozen Four.

The NCAA Executive Committee approved a new seating configuration that will increase capacity to about 70,000 at the Men’s Final Four beginning in 2009, creating sections that will put thousands of students courtside for the national championship.

The Executive Committee authorized the purchase of temporary seating to be transported and installed at all Final Four sites. The system will be used at various regional dome sites as dress rehearsals for the following year’s Final Four.

The plan provides each of the four teams with student-body representation immediately adjoining the court at the end lines — through the use of a heavily discounted voucher system that is being developed — which officials say will enhance the collegiate atmosphere at the Final Four. The voucher will allow students to attend the games at reduced rates and eliminate the possibility of resale (since the voucher is not a ticket).

The configuration also retains the current media sideline seating.

Denver Post Looks At Mannino & Berkhoel

(above) Peter Mannino's season has mirrored former goaltender Adam Berkhoel's 2004 campaign

As Frozen Four MVPs in 2004 and 2005, respectively, Adam Berkhoel and Peter Mannino will forever be linked as University of Denver heroes.

The goaltenders also share this: As seniors, they got hot at just the right time, with Mannino's legacy yet to be finalized.

Four years after Berkhoel backstopped the Pioneers to the first of two consecutive NCAA titles, Mannino is on track to upstage the 2004 USA Hockey player of the year. (read rest of article)

Wisconsin Plans To Enjoy The Home Cooking

From: The Capital Times
by Todd Milewski

(left) Wisconsin is gonig to need a strong weekend from netminder Shane Connelly to advance to the Frozen Four

There are all sorts of comforts in being at home, especially when it comes to a high-pressure situation like the NCAA tournament.

So what's the biggest advantage for the University of Wisconsin in playing the NCAA Midwest Regional at the Kohl Center?

Coach Mike Eaves pointed to the rink itself.

"You know what? It's being able to practice right out here [in the kohl Center]," Eaves said after a recent practice inside the regional site. "We haven't been here very much other than games our whole second semester. It's just the world in which we live. And being able to walk from there (the locker room) to there (the ice) and practice and get used to our boards and the ice and the air in this building, that's a very nice thing to have."

Wisconsin opens the NCAA tournament against Denver in a regional semifinal game Saturday in front of what should be a friendly crowd at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers were 10-6-2 on home ice in the regular season, the program's sixth winning home record in 10 years at the Kohl Center. They've barely skated on the ice in the last month, however -- they practiced there for three days two weeks ago but they haven't played there since Feb. 16.

Gwozdecky's Comments On UND Coaches Show

George Gwozdecky, head coach of the Denver Pioneers joined the Sioux Coaches Show last night via telephone. The transcript was provided by Patrick Miller from The Boards Room Blog. Go to the link to find the entire transcript of UND Coach Hakstol's comments.

On winning the Broadmoor Trophy at the WCHA Final Five last weekend:
We played well. It’s become such an event that every player on every team has a desire to get there. The Final Five is the highlight to cap the regular season. Everyone was very concerned when the event was first taken to the Xcel Energy Center. Everyone just assumes that if the Gophers are playing, they’ll have an advantage. That Minnesota doesn’t win every year is a testament to the parity of the league. League parity also shows in how many teams the WCHA placed in the NCAA tournament. Next to the Frozen Four, the WCHA Final Five is the best college hockey event in the country.

On whether Wisconsin should have been included:
They met the criteria and they’re in. They’re a quality team. We had our issues at some parts of the season and were struggling. It will be a terrific regional. Three of the teams playing in Madison have a lot of experience in the national tournament.

On the importance of goaltending in the playoffs:
This tournament is all about goaltending. If your goaltending is suspect, you’re not going to win all four games. Last season, Michigan State came out of nowhere because Lerg was phenomenal. Peter Mannino is playing well for us right now and he has experience playing in the NCAA tournament.

On how the Pioneers got through the adversity they faced this season:
We had some challenges, such as when Brock Trotter, our leading scorer, left the team and when Tyler Ruegsegger went down with an injury. We were challenged to figure a better way to play to give us a chance. We had to because we weren’t a team that scored a lot. We had to tweak the playing philosophy a little bit. Certain guys were able to get back into the roles they were good at. We’ve been able to score enough games and Peter’s played well enough to keep us in games. We’re playing well, but we’re not the kind of offensive team we were the first two-thirds of the season.

On the WCHA’s declining trend in goal scoring:
The problem is that the league's top goal scorers are playing in the NHL. If guys like Jonathan Toews and Paul Stastny were playing in the league, scoring wouldn’t be down as much. We’d still have Ryan Dingle and Geoff Paukovitch. The top-end players have left way early. Our team has to rely on freshmen to score. I think that’s part of the reason scoring is down. Wouldn’t you like to see Toews and Brian Lee playing for UND? There’s a ton of firepower in the NHL that could be playing in the WCHA right now.

On whether WCHA officiating is part of the problem with lack of scoring:
I think the officiating is a lot tighter in the NHL. I think the officiating in our league is similar to the way it is in other leagues across the country. It would be different if the NHL let college players get to their senior years. It used to happen in the old days when we were scoring a lot of goals. It’s a sophomore league now.

Last Minute Airfare Deals To Madison Regional

www.LastMinute.com has several deals to Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis & Chicago that include a rental car and fall in the $300-$450 per person range based on two travelers. Its not too late to make a mad dash for beers, brats & pucks.

DU will have tickets available until Noon Wednesday when they will return unsold tickets to Wisconsin. The Madison Regional will not be soldout & individual tickets go on sale Thursday.

This Week In Mike Chamber's Blog

Every Denver player has a "pre-game ritual" and quite a few involve calling their parents back home. This week Mike Chamber's Blog takes a look at DU defenseman Cody Brookwell and his relationship with his father. Its one of Chamber's best articles this season so don't miss it.

DU Looks To Break NCAA Tournament Record

Source: USCHO Message Board

DU will look to break the NCAA Tournament winning streak record they currently share with Minnesota & North Dakota with a 9th straight Tourney win against Wisconsin. DU has also won an amazing 8 straight Final 5 games in a row.

The last three national champions, Denver (8), Wisconsin (4) and Michigan State (4) enter this year's tournament with consecutive win streaks.

NCAA Tournament Win Streaks Of 4 Or More

8 North Dakota (1980-84)
8 Minnesota (2002-04)
8 Denver (2004-05)
7 Michigan (1950-53)**
7 Denver (1958-63)
7 Wisconsin (1981-82)
7 Michigan State (1986-87)
6 Michigan (1954-57)**
6 Minnesota (1979-81 )
6 North Dakota (1984-90)**
6 Lake Superior State (1992-93)
5 Denver (1966-69)**
5 Wisconsin (1970-77)**
5 Minnesota (1976-79)
5 Boston University (1977-84)**
5 Lake Superior State (1988-89)
5 Northern Michigan (1991-92)
5 Maine (1993-95)
5 Lake Superior State (1994-95)
5 Michigan (1998-99)
5 Maine (1999-2000)
5 North Dakota (2000-01)
4 North Dakota (1959-63)
4 Michigan Tech (1962-65)
4 Boston University (1971-72)
4 Boston University (1995-96)
4 Michigan (1996-97)
4 Boston College (2001-03)

** Consecutive wins started with victory in consolation game

Madison Regional Tix Slowly But Surely Selling

(left) DU hopes to put Bucky's season on ice this Saturday night

From: The Capital Times
by Jim Polzin

A low turnout at this weekend's Midwest Regional hosted by Wisconsin appeared likely until everything broke just right for the Badgers last weekend and they were included in the 16-team NCAA tournament field despite a losing record. As the host institution, UW automatically was placed at the Kohl Center.

According to UW assistant ticket director Andy Zywicki, 8,900 tickets had been sold to the two sessions -- two semifinals will be played on Saturday, followed by a final on Sunday -- as of Tuesday afternoon. Zywicki said about 2,400 tickets, or more than 25 percent of the current total, have been sold since the NCAA field was announced Sunday morning. Those figures don't take into account an allotment of 400 tickets each to North Dakota, Denver and Princeton, the other three schools participating in the regional.

"A lot of our fans were waiting to see what happened," Zywicki said, "and fortunately for us, things broke our way."

Sean Frazier, UW's associate athletic director for event management and services, said he expects the ticket sales to keep rising this week. He's optimistic the final totals will exceed UW's goal of 11,000 tickets sold. The Kohl Center holds 15,200 people for hockey.

"We use that number as a threshold, but obviously we're rapidly approaching and will pass that by game time," Frazier said. "I'm confident it will happen just because of the fact I'm confident in our fan base. Our fans are dedicated, they're supportive. We love our college hockey here."

UW officials no doubt were keeping their fingers crossed last weekend for two reasons as the Badgers awaited word on their postseason fate. Clearly, it was good for the program to avoid missing the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. Also, it may have put future bids to host in jeopardy had UW not been able to fill seats at the Kohl Center for the regional.

"That is obviously something that we were looking forward to," Frazier said of the Badgers earning a berth in the tourney. "I think that with our fans, they're the best in the country, they want to see the Badgers, and they want to see them at home. And that obviously is going to help the whole ticket situation."

Frazier also was quick to point out that institutions don't make bids to host an NCAA event strictly to make money.

"There's a financial element to it," he said, "but there's also an exposure element to it, which is critical for an institution as well as a community such as ours."

Madison Regional Notebook

(left) Mmmmm...Brats. DU will look for a little home cookin' in the Kohl Center where DU is 11-1-2 since the building opened in 1998

DU will play the Univ. of Wisconsin in the 1st round of the NCAA playoffs in Madison on Sat. @ 4:30 PM MST. If DU advances, the Midwest Regional Final will be on Sunday at 5 PM MST.
* USCHO Tournament Printable Bracket with dates and times. (Adobe format)

* The game will be available live via Altitude 2, available on both Dish Network 446 and Direct TV 661, and in Denver on Comcast 5 and other Colorado/Wyoming cable stations.

* DU will look to break the NCAA Tournament winning streak they currently share with Minnesota & UND with a 9th Tournament win in a row against Wisconsin. DU has also won an amazing 8 straight Final 5 games in a row.

* For those that missed it, the YouTube Video of Anthony Maiani's game winning goal against North Dakota.

* Desperate times call for desperate measures. The "DU Road Trip Assistance Team" has been convened and will be hitting Madison this weekend. LetsGoDU will be there in force giving you live updates from the bars on State Street on a blow by blow basis.

* If you're thinking about jumping on a plane at the last minute there were a few reasonable fares from Denver to Milwaukee in the $400 range this morning. Also check fares to Chicago. Flights to Madison were pretty steep. If you hear of a good airfare post the details in the "Comments Section."

* If you are a DU fan and need tickets I might be able to help you get some choice seats in the DU section (I believe its sec. 110, but not 100% sure). Email me before Noon on Wed. - dggoddard@aol.com

Badger Blog Stirs Up Controversial Goal Issue

From: Badger Blog
by Andy Baggot

Irony drips from the news that Wisconsin will face WCHA rival Denver in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers, who host the NCAA Midwest regional, face Denver at 5:30 p.m. Saturday (local time).

The inclusion of UW in the 16-team field is controversial because it received one of 10 at-large bids despite a losing record (15-16-7) and the fact it failed to get out of the first round of the WCHA playoffs.

But the Badgers will point to a 3-2 loss to Denver Jan. 11 as a reason for their ills.

A tying, last-second goal by senior winger Matthew Ford was wrongly disallowed by referee Randy Schmidt, who ignored video evidence that the goal should have counted.

WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod acknowledged that a mistake was made, but declined to remedy the situation beyond suspending Schmidt for the rest of the season.

UW officials subsequently filed an unprecedented appeal that was denied by a vote of WCHA faculty representatives.

If that game finishes in a tie, the Badgers not only get home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs, their NCAA resume is not nearly as controversial.

Badgers Look To Shake Off Rust Against DU

(left) Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves ratcheted up the practice on Monday to take the rust off the Badgers

From: Wisconsin State Journal
by Andy Baggot

How do you create a violent windstorm of momentum from a gentle breeze of good fortune?

If you're members of the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team, you make a change in your approach.

Earlier this month, the Badgers had a week off prior to their Western Collegiate Hockey Association best-of-three playoff series at St. Cloud State.

En route to being swept, they showed a lot of rust in the opener, a 3-0 loss, then dominated the second game before losing 4-3 in overtime.

UW is facing a similar situation now, having had a week off prior to getting a somewhat unlikely berth in the NCAA tournament.

The third-seeded Badgers (15-16-7) face second-seeded Denver (26-13-1) in the Midwest regional semifinals Saturday at the Kohl Center knowing they can't afford mistakes, much less a rusty constitution because of the one-and-done reality.

Question is, what can they do to be better prepared, especially since they're coming in with a rare three-game losing streak and the Pioneers will be coming in fresh off winning the WCHA Final Five playoff title Saturday?

The answer came Sunday night when UW coach Mike Eaves met with his players prior to a 50-minute skate led by senior defenseman and captain Davis Drewiske.

"He gave us forewarning that we were going to get after it this week and we're going to battle a little bit and get some of that rust off," Drewiske said.

That was the case Monday when practice featured a variety of segments the centered around puck possession, 1-on-1 battles and physical play in the corners and in front of the net. More is expected today.

"We've got to get into game mode now," UW junior goaltender Shane Connelly said.

"Down and dirty," is how senior winger Matthew Ford described it.

In reviewing what happened to his team against St. Cloud, Eaves said a critical element was missing.

"Our legs looked good, we played at pace, but the fact is we lost too many battles in the pit areas in front of the net and in the corners," he said. "That's one of the lessons that we can learn from that weekend."

Asked if it was a mistake in judgment -- that perhaps he backed off too much -- Eaves said the practice format prior to the St. Cloud playoff series was no different than previous bye weeks in previous seasons.

"So, is it this group of people?" Eaves asked rhetorically. "I'm not sure what it is, but with this group of people, the lesson that we learned is maybe we have to do more battle stuff."

There didn't seem to be a lot of emotional energy crackling through practice Monday, which seemed odd given the circumstances. The Badgers had a stunning array of circumstances fall their way to get into the NCAA tournament, so conventional wisdom suggested there would be a lot of enthusiasm regarding their second life.

Eaves acknowledged the void, but said the physical nature of practice, coupled with the fact it was the first session since Thursday, made it hard to be openly gung-ho.

"The kids worked hard," he said. "Were we as sharp? Did we do the things that we wanted to do with the puck and that type of stuff? Probably not.

"But overall, you could tell they were right there. They worked through the rough moments and stayed with it."

Asked specifically about the lack of emotion, Eaves smiled.

"I think that was a lack of breath," he said. "It's hard to have emotion and talk when you're trying to catch your breath."

Denver Post Looks At The Weekend In Madison

(above) DU is 11-1-2 in the Kohl Center since it opened in 1998

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

The short straw looks rather long to the University of Denver hockey team.

The Pioneers begin NCAA Tournament play Saturday against Wisconsin, host of the Midwest Regional at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. It's a tough draw for a No. 2 seed playing a No. 3 seed on its home ice. With more than 15,000 seats, the Kohl Center is college hockey's largest regular venue, and it will be packed with Badgers fans.

But check out these numbers: DU is 11-1-2 against the Badgers at the Kohl Center since it opened in 1998, including a four-game winning streak.

"For some reason, our guys love to play there and have had great success," DU coach George Gwozdecky said.

DU might also like the fact Wisconsin (15-16-7) is the only under-.500 team in the tournament and is on a three-game losing streak.

The Badgers, 10-6-2 at home this season, will have had a 14-day break when they face the Pioneers, who appear to be playing their best hockey of the season.

DU, which has won four in a row, appeared unfazed by the partisan North Dakota and Minnesota crowds last weekend at the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minn.

"We're playing with confidence right now," Gwozdecky said. (rest of article)

The Future of DU Hockey

(above) Shawn Ostrow & Joe Colborne (center) celebrate a playoff goal last night

Up in Alberta, Canada, DU's future stars are creating some playoff magic of their own.

This is the first photo we've been able to find of future DU recruits Shawn Ostrow (left) and Joe Colborne (center) together on the ice. They are teammates on the Camrose Kodiaks.

The photo was taken last night after Colborne buried a shot that was assisted by Ostrow. The Kodiaks lead the best of seven series over the Drumheller Dragons 2 games to 0.

Gopher Fan Compliments DU Player & Coach

LetsGoDU Update: Turns out that Peter Mannino played junior hockey with Tom Pohl.

Sometimes fans of other teams can sum things up better than sportswriters and bloggers. This comment was left by a Minnesota fan today and bears repeating.
I want to compliment the entire DU organization for being a 'class act'.

I'm a die hard MN fan and really appreciated a championship game that epitomized what WCHA hockey is all about. More importantly, I wanted to call out Coach Gwozdecky's comments and Peter Mannino's comments after the game. In the time each of them should have been celebrating their championship, each of them took the time to compliment the MN Gopher team for the efforts.

Peter Mannino could not have been more classy during his interview when he specifically gave his best wishes for Tom Pohl (Gopher severely injured in a previous playoff game). Congratulations on your championship and for being a CLASS ORGANIZATION!!!

Photo Commemorates College Hockey In Colorado

(above) The Colorado Springs Gazette ran this photo in today's paper to commemorate three Colorado based universities making the NCAA Hockey Tournament

Articles React To Colorado Hockey In NCAA's

(above) Air Force hockey team members watch the selection show Sunday to find out their spot in the NCAA tournament bracket. The Falcons will take on Miami (Ohio) on Saturday in Worcester, Mass.
Photo Credit: Bryan Oller, The Gazette

It was good to see Colorado's three largest newspaper's devote several excellent articles to college hockey today.

The Denver Post wrote, "Just a few weeks ago, Colorado's three NCAA Division I hockey coaches gathered at the Pepsi Center to promote the April 10-12 Frozen Four at the Pepsi Center...."

The Rocky Mountain News covered, "The good news for local college hockey fans is, all three Front Range teams, who will appear together in the NCAA tournament for the first time..."

The Colorado Springs Gazette talked about, "Coming off a disappointing weekend at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five in St. Paul, Minn., Colorado College just wanted to get home on Sunday..."

The Gazette also has an interesting article about Air Force facing Miami.

College Hockey News
had a nice article with quotes from the Coach Gwozdecky after DU snatched the Broadmoor Trophy.

LetsGoDU Visitor's Guide For Springs Regional

(above) Don't let the large number of banners in World Arena intimidate you, most of them are participation ribbons

This weekend fans of New Hampshire, Michigan State and Notre Dame will descend on Colorado Springs for the NCAA Hockey Regionals. While "The Springs" as the locals refer to it, is situated in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, the natives that inhabit the city aren't like you and me. In other words they aren't law abiding, intelligent or have all their teeth.

When you arrive, consider playing a round of golf. At 6,000 feet above sea level the ball literally explodes off the tee and you can impress your golfing buddies back home with stories of 400 yard drives. Don't be alarmed if the local hockey players are playing in "blackface." They claim its not a racist act, just a sunscreen that prevents damaging UV rays at high altitude.

Perhaps you're looking for a little "alternative" nightlife activities. The local preachers like to drive up to Denver and party with gay prostitutes. While we neither condone nor condemn this type of behavior, if you want big city "conveniences" you'll have to leave town.

On the off-chance that you and your wife/girlfriend are invited to one of Mr. & Mrs. Lampl's "Swinger Parties," by all means accept, but be forewarned that the hockey-player-to-women-ratio will be uncomfortably high. Please drink responsibly, because the Lampl's will be signing affidavits if you get a little tipsy (No ID required).

If you're running a few minutes late to the Michigan State-Colorado College game, don't worry about it. CC will be unfurling their "4th Place" participation banner from last weekend's WCHA Final 5 Tournament.

Don't bother looking for Colorado College's trophy case in World Arena. Its back on campus, next to the janitor's supply closet and it contains two dusty 1950's era trophies that long ago lost their luster. There are only a few Colorado Springs residents still alive that remember the last championship in 1957, so if you want to hear the stories, by-pass the local watering holes and head straight for the nursing homes.

Finally, have fun and remain alert for "shoulder charging" CC fans between periods. Don't forget to chant "Fifty Seven" when CC falls behind in the game.

Go Michigan State, Notre Dame & New Hampshire

College Hockey News Analyses NCAA Field

(left) Joel Maturi, the NCAA Hockey Tournament Selection Committee chairman

Adam Wodon at College Hockey News broke down the NCAA Tournament Selections and interviewed the Tournament Committee Chairman Joel Maturi. Maturi just happens to also be the University of Minnesota Athletic Director and former AD of the University of Denver (1996-98).

"That leaves Denver to get the short straw, so to speak, and be matched up in a 6-3 scenario with North Dakota — which means, of course, that Denver winds up having to play Wisconsin in the first round. A tough matchup, but it also violates the policy on avoiding intra-conference first-round matchups. As we know, however, with five WCHA teams in the 2-3 seed slots, there was going to have to be a first-round all-WCHA matchup.

"If you solve one problem, you create another," Maturi said. "In the end, we feel that we realized there will be some questions, but I welcome anybody to give me the soluition to it."

Like Maturi said, two WCHA teams were going to play each other in the first round. It might as well be Denver — the highest remaining No. 2 seed after CC (which is locked into the West) — against the "lowest" No. 3 seed in Wisconsin.

What has been created, however, is the WCHA Invitational in Madison, with only Princeton spoiling the party." (rest of article)

DU Gets Hosed By Selection Committee

DU will play Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA playoffs in Madison. They will play on Saturday at 4:30 PM MST.
USCHO Printable Bracket with dates and times. (Adobe format)

Albany (East)
No. 1 Michigan
No. 2 St. Cloud State
No. 3 Clarkson
No. 4 Niagara

Colorado Springs (West)
No. 1 New Hampshire
No. 2 Colorado College
No. 3 Michigan State
No. 4 Notre Dame

Madison (Midwest)
No. 1 North Dakota
No. 2 Denver
No. 3 Wisconsin
No. 4 Princeton

Worcester (Northeast)
No. 1 Miami
No. 2 Boston College
No. 3 Minnesota
No. 4 Air Force

NCAA Tournament Selection Show On ESPN2

The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be on ESPN2 on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM MST.

DU is assured of being in the field of 16 by virtue of winning the WCHA playoff championship. There are several different scenarios where Denver would be sent and who they will play.

Saturday Was "May Day" In Minnesota

(above) Denver's bench reaches out to congratulate Tom May after his go-ahead goal in the second period against the Gophers

From: St. Paul Pioneer Press

Denver forward Tom May scored the deciding goal on a rush to the net in the second period as Denver won the WCHA Final Five title Saturday, beating Minnesota 2-1.

"I think I had my own cheering section tonight," May said. "It's great to come back and play in front of family and friends." Tom May wanted to give his friends and family something to remember in his final collegiate game in his home state.

With the game tied 1-1 late in the second period, May blasted past a Gophers defender and pushed a low shot past Minnesota goaltender Alex Kangas as the Pioneers (26-13-1) won their third league playoff title in the past seven seasons.

Lucia Wants To Be Bozak's "Family Advisor"

From: St. Paul Pioneer Press

(left) Add "player agent" to Minnesota head coach Don Lucia's resume

Denver knotted the score at 1-1 on an unintentional tip in front of the net. Tyler Bozak's centering pass from behind the goal line in the corner of the rink hit the skate of Minnesota's Mike Howe and deflected past goaltender Alex Kangas. It was Bozak's team-leading 18th goal of the season, including seven against the Gophers.

"The way it's been with Denver, you knew two things. You knew we were going to score one on Mannino and you knew Bozak was going to score on us, even though it was behind the goal line," Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. "If he could play us 30 times a year, he'd probably be signing a pro contract right now, and he should be giving us part of the bonus."

Your 2008 WCHA Playoff Champions

(above) The WCHA champion Denver Pioneers crowd around the Broadmoor Trophy
Photo Credit: Jason Waldowski (USCHO.com)

DU Wins WCHA Playoff Title Over Minnesota

(above) Moments after winning the Broadmoor Trophy Mannino, Mullen & Thomas get together for a "group hug"

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

ST. PAUL, Minn. — When hockey's NCAA Tournament pairings are revealed this morning, the University of Denver Pioneers will be flying high, loaded with confidence no matter where they play or who they face.

The Pioneers, who will take a four-game winning streak into the national tournament, are playoff champions of America's toughest amateur conference. DU captured its record 15th WCHA Final Five championship Saturday night, defeating Minnesota 2-1 in the Broadmoor Trophy game before 17,907 partisan fans at the Xcel Energy Center.

An NCAA-record six teams from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association are pegged to make today's 16- team field.

DU coach George Gwozdecky said the victory proved his team can be a factor in the NCAA Tournament. The win proves "our ability to play big games on the big stage," he said. "It doesn't get any bigger than this."

Nothing seems to rattle senior goalie Peter Mannino, who as a freshman was named 2005 Frozen Four MVP. He has allowed just five goals in DU's four conference playoff games, all victories.

Mannino was brilliant Saturday, making 34 saves. Senior Tom May, from nearby Eagan, Minn., scored the winner on a semi-breakaway late in the second period.

In January, DU began a 5-9-1 slide. Now, the Pioneers appear as good as any team in the NCAA.

"We've faced a heck of a lot of adversity since the middle of the season, with injuries and departures and stuff like that, but hopefully we're hitting our stride," DU captain Andrew Thomas said.

The Pioneers (26-13-1) always play well in the Final Five since it moved to the Xcel Energy Center in 2001. And they have won the Broadmoor Trophy in four of the past nine years.

"We've had different type of teams that have won it different ways," said Gwozdecky, who previously guided DU to the 1999, 2002 and 2005 playoff crowns. "It's one of the events in every student-athlete's career that he remembers for a lifetime."

"Different guys, same hardware," Mannino said. "It's just as nice."

Minnesota, which was playing in its sixth playoff game in nine nights, was trying to become the first team to win the Final Five from the Thursday play-in game.

"Almost all weekend, we were running on adrenaline," Gophers forward Ben Gordon said.

DU is #1 in the WCHA with 15 playoff championships, one more than Minnesota.

CC Chokes in St. Paul, This Time To UND

(above) UND's Chay Genoway celebrates a goal as he leaps over CC goalie Richard Bachman Saturday
Photo Credit: Eric Hylden

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by Kate Crandall

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Colorado College's penalty kill met its match Saturday.

North Dakota went 3 for 7 on the power play, paving the way to a 4-2 win in the third-place game of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five.

North Dakota, which went 2 of 6 on the power play in its 6-2 win over CC on Nov. 2, is the only team this season to score multiple power-play goals against CC.

"They move it quick," coach Scott Owens said. "We're one of the more aggressive penalty-killing teams in the country. We're going to get beat from time to time but, doggone it, it's going to be on three passes."

North Dakota center T.J. Oshie scored on a botched clear by defenseman Jake Gannon. Center Chris VandeVelde tipped in defenseman Taylor Chorney's shot from the high slot. Defenseman Chay Genoway beat defenseman Kris Fredheim wide before plowing over goaltender Richard Bachman.

"That was as good of a power play as we've seen all year," Owens said.

CC's success ratio dropped to 89.4 percent (143 for 160), tying the Tigers' unit for first in the nation with Miami (Ohio).

Maiani's Goal On YouTube

(left) Anthony Maiani checks out his sick backhanded goal on the Big Screen at the X-cel Energy Center yesterday afternoon

LetsGoDU Video Distribution and the Osaka Television Network have teamed up to release the world premiere of Anthony Maiani's Magnificent Goal on YouTube. Enjoy.

Freshman Anthony Maiani scored with 1:20 left in regulation to lift Denver to a 3-1 win over North Dakota today in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Five.

Maiani raced down the right side with North Dakota defenseman Joe Finley in his path the entire way, and just before getting to the goal line, he scooped a backhanded shot past Fighting Sioux goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureaux.

DU Freshman Anthony Maiani's Back2Back GWGs

From: LetsGoDU
by dggoddard

YouTube of Maiani's game winning goal against UND

Anthony Maiani has scored back to back game winning goals playoff goals against Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota in the past week. Many probably don't know that he was the last player to commit to the University of Denver last summer when Geoff Paukovich signed a pro contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

The irony will probably not be lost on North Dakota fans who considered Paukovich to be Public Enemy Number One. Ironic also that Maiani stands 5'7 165 lbs. while Paukovich was 6'4 220 lbs.

So far this season he has chipped in with 7 goals and 6 assists, but none larger than the backhanded goal yesterday to clinch the Final 5 semifinal showdown against the Fighting Sioux.

Maiani is from Shelby Township, Michigan and played the last two seasons for the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL. He is the youngest player in DU's 2007 Freshman Class at 19 years of age.

Maiani is descibed as a "nifty playmaker" who had 16 goals and 32 assists for the Musketeers in 2006-07. He was tied for the team lead in +/- with +20 (11th in the USHL tied with fellow DU Freshman Jesse Martin).

But perhaps the highest compliment he received after committing to the University of Denver game from a former youth coach who noted.
"As a coach who has coached Anthony in his earlier youth years you are not only getting a very skilled player but, getting one heck of a great kid. He will not do anything to jepordize Denver on or off the ice. In fact he is the type of player most coaches dream about. First in drills, first on the ice and last off the ice. I wish him nothing but the best of luck."

Broadmoor Cup - Minnesota vs. Denver


With Minnesota's defeat of Colorado College in OT last night, the stage has been set for tonight's Broadmoor Cup showdown. The Denver Pioneers will host the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Xcel Center. Game time is 6:07 PM MST.

The game will be carried live on FSN North, FSN Rocky Mountain and FCS Central. Live audio can be heard on Pioneer Vision at http://www.denverpioneers.com/. This was a pay service during the regular season but it didn't ask listeners to log in last night so it appears to be free for this weekend.

CC Reprises Familiar Role Of Bridesmaid

(above) Put on the dress Colorado College. You're going dancing in the Loser's Ball this afternoon against North Dakota.

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by Milo Bryant

This isn't the way this was supposed to happen.

Colorado College and the University of Denver were supposed be in tonight's Final Five championship game.

The Tigers were supposed to have the chance to hoist the Broadmoor Trophy, given to the winner of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament.

The Pioneers held up their end by beating North Dakota. The top-seeded Tigers couldn't do the same, falling to Minnesota 2-1.

The contest with Minnesota was a battle that couldn't be decided in the three periods.

Three periods weren't enough. In the end, after the frustration, oohs and ahhs, groans and screams, the Tigers didn't have enough to defeat the Gophers.

"It had to do with four things," CC coach Scott Owens said. "It had to do with us slow to adjust to the rink - that's the fourth, that's the least. It had to do with us not playing quite as gritty and determined as we need to in certain situations. It had to with where Minnesota is at as a team....They've been playing this way defensively for a long time. And No. 1 is Kangas. He's in a zone right now. He looks big in the net. He's moving well. And he's got things going for him."

Mike Hoeffel sealed the victory when his shot ricocheted off the skate of a CC player, passed Bachman and flew into back of the goal. That was it for the Tigers. The Tigers' consolation - another game, 15 hours after that loss.

"We got the lucky bounce," Gophers coach Don Lucia said.

Minnesota celebrated as its fans, who dominated the crowd, cheered rabidly. The Tigers skated to their bench and watched. And as they skated, they had to wonder what could have been.

And what could have been was a showdown with the Pioneers.

No two teams in the WCHA know each other better. Though their rivalry is bitter, they have tremendous respect for each other. They recruit many of the same players - from the same family even.

The Tigers won the season series 3-1, retaining the Gold Pan. But how good would it have been for DU to have the chance to defeat CC in the championship game of the Final Five? It would've been a repeat of the last time the Tigers and DU met in the Final Five.

The Tigers walked away with the MacNaughton Trophy at the end of the 2004-05 season. Then in the semifinals of the conference tournament, CC beat Minnesota, which played in front a huge home-state crowd, 3-0.

The Pioneers beat North Dakota in the other semifinal.

All-Colorado final.

Pioneers, 1-0.

That won't happen this time. The Tigers play North Dakota in the third place game today and will sit back tomorrow to see what seed they will get in the NCAA Tournament and, more importantly, who will join them at World Arena for the West Regional.

That hardly gives the Tigers any solace when the goal was the Broadmoor Trophy.

All that's left is a slim chance at a No. 1 seed in the West Regional. Win today and those chances might increase. Lose and they're history.

"The kids don't know that much about the No. 1 seed," Owens said. "We didn't talk about it. We just wanted to try to win the Broadmoor Trophy, which we never have, and that's all we've concentrated on."

Time to concentrate on Plan B.