Boone Gets His First Taste Of NHL Action

(Above) Peter Mannino was between the pipes in a mop-up role for the New York Islanders on Friday

(left) You can just see Boone in his rain slicker on the right side of Mannino's helmet above the lighthouse

Peter Mannino made his first NHL appearance between the pipes on Friday as the New York Islanders were being blown out by the Boston Bruins. Mannino relieved Joey MacDonald who was taken out after giving up two goals in a 10 second span in the 3rd period.

Unfortunately for the rookie netminder, stopping the Bruins was going to be a tough task on this day. Trent Hunter got whistled for slashing, putting the Bruins on their third power play. Matt Hunwick started the play by handing the puck off for Phil Kessel on the left side. Kessel glided into the middle of the ice, before dishing over to Dennis Wideman inside the right circle. Wideman kept it simple, beating Mannino with a wrist shot into the top part of the net on the power play.

Phil Kessel capped the scoring for the home team by finishing off a play with 2:33 to go, giving the Bruins a 7-2 victory.

Mannino stopped five of the eight shots he saw in his NHL debut. After the game he was reassigned to Bridgeport of the AHL, where he is in the middle of a sensational rookie season.

DU Looks For A Better Result On Next Road Trip

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

The University of Denver hockey team did not respond well in its first, and thus far only, out-of-state trip of the season.

If the Pioneers hope to start climbing the standings in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, they will have to start packing their "A" game along with their skates and sticks.

DU will endure the always-challenging trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula this week to face Michigan Tech in a league series that begins Friday. The Pioneers struggled during their trip to St. Cloud State a few weeks ago, losing two games by a combined 6-3 score, but coach George Gwozdecky believes that had more to do with his team's overall lackluster play than any adjustment that needs to be made on the road.

"We just weren't playing well at that point and St. Cloud played really well," Gwozdecky said. "We got a little too full of ourselves at that point. But I think we have gotten over that, and we have played better the last few games."

DU returned home and suffered a 5-2 loss to Minnesota, but the Pioneers have since won three consecutive games.

DU will leave for Houghton, Mich., on Wednesday, a day earlier than usual for a trip, in order to take a direct flight and avoid a four-hour bus ride.

"We did that last year and it worked pretty well for us," Gwozdecky said.

DU Alum Aaron MacKenzie Recalled To NHL

(above) DU Alum Aaron MacKenzie was called up to the Colorado Avalanche due to Adam Foote's injury

Avs on Versus Network @ Minnesota Wild - 6 PM Monday

DENVER - The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that defenseman & Aaron MacKenzie has been recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate.

This is MacKenzie’s first NHL call-up after compiling six points in 16 games played (3g/3a) with the Monsters. He signed with the Avalanche as a free agent last July.

The 6-0, 193-pound University of Denver graduate appeared in 173 games with Peoria (AHL) over the last three seasons. Prior to that, MacKenzie played in 141 games with Worcester (AHL). He originally signed with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent on June 29, 2004.

Photos from Around "Boone Nation"

(above) Who's next?

(above) UND Blogger "Goon" poses in front of a North Dakota hockey mural in Grand Forks

(above) Boone T-shirts are even being worn in Ralph Englestad Arena

Air Force Still #1 In College Hockey Formulas

(above) DU has jumped up 17 spots in the last two weeks, but still trail Air Force
-photo credit

DU 4 - Air Force 1

(above) Matt Glasser & Rhett Rakhshani look for a rebound

(above) Brian Gifford introduces himself to Air Force's Blake Page

(above) Rhett Rakhshani scored two goals against Air Force
We want to put ourselves in position to make up ground on the conference leaders with two difficult road trips in the next two weekends.
- Coach Gwozdecky
There are no unbeaten teams left in college hockey this season. DU put the Air Force Academy to the sword with a 4-1 victory in Magness Arena on Saturday night.

DU blew open a tightly fought contest, after Air Force tied the game 1-1 with less than 18 minutes to go in the game. Kyle Ostrow's goal less than a minute after Air Force had knotted the score, turned the tide.

Rhett Rakhshani added two goals for the Pioneers and Brandon Vossberg added an empty netter. Air Force coach Frank Serratore called Rakhshani's second goal, "A sick, skilled goal. That was a tough one to swallow."

Air Force played a great game and was an even match for DU throughout the night.

Marc Cheverie made 38 saves to earn player of the game honors.
Box Score Game Recap

Denver Post game recap by Mike Chambers

Theresa Spisak's game recap for Game Recap
First Star: Marc Cheverie (Denver)
Second Star: Rhett Rakhshani (Denver)
Third Star: Andrew Volkening (Air Force)

Air Force 4 Colorado College 1 - Final

“I expected that from them. I was disappointed with us,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “Other than the first seven minutes, I thought they took it to us virtually the entire game. I knew they’d be fired up. I knew they’d be skating hard, winning battles. But I didn’t think that they would out-compete us as hard as they did.”
For the first time since 1985 the Air Force hockey team has beaten Colorado College. The Falcons scored 3 goals in the second period on their way to a 4-1 win over the Tigers Friday night at the Cadet Ice Arena.

The Falcons win adds another chapter to what has been a storybook start. Air Force is the only unbeaten, untied team in the country with a record of 13-0-0.

The 11th ranked Falcons travel to Denver to take on DU Saturday night. Last year Air Force beat the Pioneers at the Academy.
Box Score

Rocky Mountain News Game Recap by Pat Rooney Game Recap by Theresa Spisak

DU 6 Colgate 1 - Final

(above) The Rubberband Man scores for DU last night

Tyler Rugsegger had two goals for DU tonight
“Now we have to get ready for the big match-up tomorrow night,” said Gwozdecky. “This might be the first time ever that we’ve been the underdog in this game.”
Tyler Ruegsegger had two goals for the Pioneers to lead them to a 6-1 win over visting Colgate. DU also got goals from Kyle Ostrow, Luke "The Goal Czar" Salazar, Patrick Wiercioch and Patrick Mullen. Anthony Maiani with 3 assists and Joe Colborne and Tyler Bozak each with 2 assists. DU faces the 13-0-0 Air Force Falcons tomorrow night at 7:00 PM MST.

Recap from

Denver Post game recap by Mike Chambers game recap by Candace Horgan

Heisenberg's Website Reveals Military Secrets

We were amused to find that the Air Force Academy doesn't reveal the birth dates of its hockey players, according to an article by Mike Chambers in today's Denver Post.

The military is probably afraid that al-Qaeda will send the players birthday cards.

It only took LetsGoDU 30 seconds to find all the players ages on Chris Heisenberg's Recruiting Website (we'd give you the link to Heisenberg's site, but then we'd have to eliminate you).

From Denver Post:
Birth dates are missing beside Air Force hockey players' names for a reason, but no, it has nothing to do with hiding "old" age. It is classified information throughout the military, from an Army general to an Air Force cadet.

However, the Falcons had no problem releasing the average age of their 25-man roster, a figure that reveals one of the secrets behind the program's All-American success.

Average age: 23.6, and nobody under 20. [read rest of article]
Puck Swami's Know Your Foe Blog breaks down the Colgate University Raiders & United State Air Force Academy Falcons this week. As usual Swami has done a through job of of researching our opponents.

Don't 'cha hate it when a school thats supposed to be as prestigious as Colgate, most famous alum is Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame.

Swami's Air Force Academy review might be his best work yet. Check it out.

Boone Powered Ski Racing Helmet

(above) Boone graces the top of a DU student's ski racing helmet

Gwozdecky Playing The "Underdog" Card

"I don't recall the last time Denver was the underdog going into a game like that, but we are certainly the underdog going into that game against Air Force," DU coach George Gwozdecky said.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Springs Coffee Shop Unites CC & AFA Hockey

(above) Hockey coach wives Sally Owens, left, and Carol Serratore work together at It’s A Grind in Colorado Springs

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by Kate Crendall

For Carol Serratore, the decision to hire Sally Owens was a no-brainer.

Friends since their sons played for the Jr. Tigers in 2003 and the Colorado Thunderbirds in 2004-05, the pair bonded in the countless hours spent rink-side.

As the wives of Colorado Springs' two Division I hockey coaches, Carol and Sally found their lives have share a common pattern, unified by the game of hockey.

"It seems like I've known her forever," said Carol, who has been married to Air Force coach Frank Serratore since 1987. "We have the same lives, kinda."

So when Carol was looking for help at the coffee shop she has managed since January 2005 - she and Frank co-own "It's A Grind" on Fillmore and Centennial - she turned to Sally, who shared her philosophy on customer service and work ethic.

Sally and Carol are looking forward to Friday's game between No. 3 Colorado College and No. 11 Air Force.

It's a date, starting with dinner at La Casa, a Mexican restaurant in Monument, and ending at Cadet Ice Arena, where they'll sit together and watch as their husbands, who also are friends, try to outmaneuver each other.

When it's at CC, the dinner moves down south and "I sit with her in her seats," Carol said. "It's more fun. It's hard to play against your friend."

"I was just about to say the exact same thing," said Sally, who married Colorado College coach Scott Owens on New Year's Eve in 2001, "the Harvard series weekend," she recalled.

They easily swap stories about how the sport of hockey has become part of the fabric of their lives.

On Carol's and Frank's honeymoon in Hawaii, "he found the only rink in Oahu," she said. "He said he needed some fresh air."

Sally met Owens when they both worked for the Des Moines Buccaneers, a United States Hockey League team. She says their TiVo gets put to work early in the week as Owens reviews the previous weekend's college hockey games. (Carol just nodded, knowingly.)

Sally is worried about how she and Scott will fare in August, when they have to dance in front of the crowd at her eldest son's wedding, Carol cheered her on.

"Keep watching ‘Dancing With The Stars'!" Carol said. "Wouldn't it be fun to go out there and cut a rug?"

"Something tells me Scott just might not go for that," Sally said, laughing. [read entire article]

Colborne Interviewed On The Pipeline Show

(above) Joe Colborne appeared on the Pipeline Show tonight

Joe Colborne joined the Pipeline Show on the air from Edmonton on Tuesday night.

Interview Highlights:
  • Is getting stronger and bulking up.
  • He enjoys playing in front of the DU student section and some of the signs that the students hold up to the glass are pretty funny.
  • Coaches and teammates are everything he could of hoped for.

DSC Needs Your Help To Secure Lacrosse NCAAs

(above) The Denver Sports Commission needs your help to help bring the NCAA Lacrosse Championships to Denver in 2010, 2011 or 2012

The Denver Sports Commission, after a successfully hosting the Frozen Four and recently being named the host for the 2012 Women's Hoops Final Four, are now a finalist to host the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships. They contacted LetsGoDU to solicit our readers to help write messages to the NCAA. They must of heard about our successful email campaign to Bring Back Boone. :-)

Denver is a finalist to host the 2010, 2011, or 2012 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships. The bid team is headed to make the final presentation on December 11 in Baltimore and they want to bring the support of the Denver/Colorado/Western US Lacrosse Community.

The Denver Sports Commission is looking to bring over 1000 messages from our community to the NCAA Committee during their presentation. They want to know why LetsGoDU readers think the championships should be in Denver and that they have our support. Go to their website to leave a message and tell the NCAA what bringing their championship to Denver will personally mean to you (Write "DU Lacrosse Fan" for "Lacrosse Club")

Showing that they have the support of the DU Community is an important aspect of their pitch to the NCAA; please take a few moments to fill out the form online.

Thanks for helping to bring the NCAA Lacrosse Championships to Denver!!

DU Announces The Signing Of 6 Players To LOIs

(above) Matt Donovan (#5) was one of six players who signed National Letters of Intent to join DU next season

No real surprise to regular readers of our blog, but the University of Denver hockey team announced the signing six players to national letters of intent. The players are Matt Donovan, Edmond, Okla.; Adam Murray, Anchorage, Alaska; Shawn Ostrow, Calgary, Alberta; Paul Phillips, Darien, Ill.; Drew Shore, Denver; and William Wrenn, Anchorage, Alaska.

Donovan was picked in the fourth round, 96th overall, by the New York Islanders in this year's NHL draft. The other players will be eligible for the 2009 NHL Draft in June.

The six players are expected to be joined by recruited walk-on Chris Knowlton next Fall at DU.

DU's Recruiting Classes

D William Wrenn (U.S. Under-18)
D Matt Donovan (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
D Paul Phillips (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
G Adam Murray (U.S. Under-18)
F Drew Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Shawn Ostrow (Camrose, AJHL)
F Chris Knowlton (Des Moines, USHL)

F Jason Zucker (U.S. Under-17)

Air Force Power Play Is Best In The Nation

(left) Air Force coach Frank Serratore is suddenly an evil genius

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by Kate Crandall

Air Force's power play is clicking at a nation-best 27.7 percent, nearly 4 percentage points better than Boston University (23.8).

The Falcons are 10 for 19 with the man-advantage in the past three games, including a 5-for-6 performance against Sacred Heart last Saturday.

At the beginning of the season, the Falcons' top power-play line was steered by forwards Josh Frider, Brent Olson and Jacques Lamoureux.

But the trio of Jeff Hajner, Matt Fairchild and Derrick Burnett has taken over as of late.

"We started Hajner's line first on the power play on Saturday night," coach Frank Serratore said. "Being the brilliant coach that I am, after they went 2 for 2, I kept putting them out there. There was just something that told me, ‘Maybe you should just keep putting them out there, Frank.' "

Chancellor Coombe Slaps Daniel Boone Around

Gwozdecky's Weekly Press Conference Highlights

(above) Coach Gwozdecky's weekly hockey press conference today

  • Don't know much about Colgate because they've only just started their season. They've had some good results against good teams.
  • Air Force will be very tough. DU is the underdog and Air Force should have been ranked in the Top 10 by the pollsters this week.
  • Competition for positions and lines are "wide open." No decisions have been made at this time, but Chevy will start in goal.
  • Gwozdecky admires the job that Frank Serratore has done building the Air Force program. Air Force assistant coach and DU alum Mike Corbett has done a great job of recruiting. They've added good players to the fold and having "four-year" players is an advantage.
  • Wiercioch will play for DU this weekend in a similar role as last weekend. On the Power Play, ect. Has a "slow healing" injury.

Ottawa Senators Looking At Tyler Bozak?

(Above) More than a few eyes were on Patrick Wiercioch this past weekend

"Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray was in Denver on the weekend to take a look at Denver University defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, a 2008 entry draft choice, and another free agent assistant general manager Tim Murray had recommended."
Murray caught quite a show as Wiercioch was only able to appear on the power play unit on Saturday night due to a previous injury. Nonetheless, it was his pass to Anthony Maiani that broke open a tight game and gave DU some breathing room against the Gophers.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the mysterious free agent was probably Tyler Bozak. Bozak was easily the most dominant player on the ice all weekend.

There has been a steady stream of NHL General Managers in Magness Arena this season. Vancouver's GM Lorne Henning was in the barn on Saturday night as well. Two weeks ago Calgary's Darryl Sutter visited Magness when DU played Minnesota Duluth. Coincidence? We think not. Let the bidding for Bozak begin.

Chamber's Blog With More News & Quotes

“We’re fortunate to have such a great program, where we can recruit these great players that would be playing at any other school,” Cheverie said. “Your job is never safe, and that’s a good thing. It pushes everyone to be their best, and I think this team is going to be scary to play in the long run, with all our depth.”
A half-healthy Patrick Wiercioch and a complete healthy dose of scratches appear to have been the keys in the University of Denver’s 4-0 upset of No. 1 Minnesota on Saturday.

The victory that snapped a three-game losing streak might serve the Pioneers the rest of the season, reminding them that Wiercioch could be the team’s only hard-to-replace part. [read rest of article]

DU Fans Not Happy With Post's Sunday Coverage

The Denver Post has done a great job in recent seasons of covering the Pioneers. As the University of Denver's flagship sport, its imperative that DU continue to receive newsprint in the Post's sports section.

At LetsGoDU, we keep track of all Pioneer hockey coverage and it has grown exponentially in recent years despite downsizing in the newspaper industry. The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News are to be commended for their coverage of DU hockey. Mike Chambers and Pat Rooney have done a terrific job of covering the team and highlighting our student athletes.

Nonetheless, the Post "short-shifted" the DU-Minnesota coverage on Sunday morning and Denver readers were quick to drop a few comments in Mike Chambers Blog on Sunday.

Chambers did a follow-up article on Tuesday, so the notes to the Post did the trick. We always encourage our readers to comment on Chamber's Blog entries, to let the editors know that DU hockey draws readers to the paper and the Post Website.
Mike, you politically-correctly state that there is only so much room in the paper, but since I am only a subscriber and not an employee, I`ll say it: There was not sufficient space allotted for that game in Sunday`s paper! The nation`s top ranked team is in town to play our local team which has 80-something straight sellouts… That deserves at least a half page of coverage, with a couple of photos.

Your story is well-written and accurate, as usual. I did want to comment on the use of the term “major upset.” While Saturday`s result was a surprise, given the way Friday`s game went, I would not use the term “major upset,” or even plain “upset” to describe any win by the Pioneers in their own building, unless they drop off the national rankings. A ‘major upset” to me is when Holy Cross beats Minnesota in the NCAA`s.

Thanks for the news stories and the blog!

Comment by JLSinGJ — November 24, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

I also want to echo Mr. B’s comments. Come on Denver Post, please give DU hockey the space it deserves in the paper. There are a lot of people who follow Pioneer hockey and would like to start the weekend by reading a nice sized article over a cup of Joe.

Comment by CO14ers — November 24, 2008 @ 8:55 pm Profiles Newest Islander Peter Mannino

(above) Peter Mannino was called up to the New York Islanders last week while Rick DiPietro recovers from an injury
"The one thing when I think of when Peter Mannino comes to mind is his work ethic and competitiveness. He's a student of the game. He likes to watch a lot of video of himself during the week."
- Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano
Before Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano got to the bottom of the matter, he had just one question as he'd run his team through drills in the neutral zone and offensive end in practice: What's up with all these loose pucks flying my way?

The Sound Tigers would be following Capuano's marching orders on a previously clean stretch of ice when all of sudden pucks would zip by. Lots of them, and at great speed. Capuano traced the trail of the projectiles back to his rookie goalie, Peter Mannino. The youngster gets so upset when he gives up a goal, even in practice, that he unloads them all down the ice after shooting drills. They cannot rest in his net. [read rest of article]

This Week's Polls

DU remains #8 DU in Inside College Hockey's Power Rankings. Minnesota #1, CC #4.

DU is #23 in the Pairwise Rankings. Air Force is #1.

DU moves up one spot to #9 in the Poll

DU is #10 in the USA Today Poll
LetsGoDU Top 10 SuperPoll®

1). Denver - DU now holds college hockey's mythical "Championship Belt"
2). Air Force - Its #1 vs. #2 this weekend
3). Minnesota - Has one game losing streak
4). Notre Dame - Early season loss to DU now in rear view mirror
5). Northeastern - We still think Northeastern is more like a Chrysler 300. You know, a poser that thinks it's a Bentley.
6). Miami - Swept Michigan over the weekend
7). Princeton - We're not actually buying any of this "Princeton is really good" crap the national college publications are selling, we just think it would be funny to see another ECAC #1 seed get trounced the Tourney
8). Wisconsin - May be the best 5-7-2 team in college hockey history. Who selected their schedule? Attila the Hun or the guy who thought that Patrick Wiercioch (5 goals, 6 assists in 11 games) wasn't ready for NCAA hockey
9). Alaska Anchorage - Anyone who beats CC is "OK" with with us
Last). Colorado College - Lost to #9 UAA over the weekend

The LetsGoDU Super Poll® is a scientific analysis factoring strength of schedule, player statistics and coaching tendencies. Then Denver is automatically placed in the one hole, CC is placed last and the rest of the teams more or less settle where they might likely finish.

Rocky Mountain News Calls Air Force "Top Gun"

The Air Force hockey team gets a shot at its Front Range rivals once every season.

In years past, the annual matchups usually meant two lopsided losses for the Falcons. Now, though, it's AFA that routinely is giving its opponents healthy drubbings, and it's Colorado College and the University of Denver that have reasons to be wary of the state showdown.

Air Force, the only unbeaten and untied team in the nation and the top-scoring club in college hockey, hosts Colorado College on Friday and visits DU's Magness Arena on Saturday for the most anticipated edition ever of the annual rivalry. [read rest of article]

Vossberg's Shortie Validates Gwozdecky's Lineup

(above) Brandon Vossberg celebrates while Alex Kangas looks like a Gopher caught in a humane trap (No gophers were harmed in the shooting of this photograph)

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

When Coach Gwozdecky benched four regulars Saturday, one of the players he turned to in hopes of finding a spark was junior forward Brandon Vossberg.

Vossberg appeared in 60 games during his first two seasons at DU, but with the addition of freshmen forwards Luke Salazar, Joe Colborne and Nate Dewhurst, he has struggled for playing time this season.

Vossberg's appearance Saturday was only his second this season, but he provided a short- handed goal and finished with a plus-2 rating.

"Short-handed, I didn't even know I had that in me," Vossberg said. "It has been (frustrating), but we have a great team here. Any opportunity I have, that's great." Has Relaunched Website

(above) has relaunched their website has relaunched its website with new Forum software and a better design. Check it out.

Chambers' Blog Looks At Testwuide DQ

(above) Lets Goooooo DU

Mike Chambers' Denver Post Blog looks at JP Testwuides suspension for the Colgate game next Friday. He also recaps the showdown with the Gophers on Saturday night and Rhett Rakhshani's amazing goal.

Chambers also has details on the DU Cheerleading Clinic for children 5-14 on December 13th.

Jim White Obituary

The Denver Post obituary for veteran DU Off-Ice Official Jim White.

A memorial service will be held from 1-4 PM on Saturday, December 27, in the Gottesfeld Room on the 4th floor of Magness Arena, on the University of Denver Campus.

DU Regains Hockey's Mythical Championship Belt


Rocky Balboa - Brandon Vossberg

Apollo Creed - Gopher Hockey Team

Burgess Meredith - George Gwozdecky

Paulie - Steve Miller

Adrian - Theresa Spisak

Gophers Lose Games By Combined Score 59-0

(above) The University of Iowa squeaked by UM 55-0 on Saturday

DU defeated the University of Minnesota hockey team 4-0 on Saturday night. Not to be outdone, the Gopher football team lost to the University of Iowa 55-0.

They were epic, historic losses-- the fifth-worst for the football team in school history and the second-worst at home, to the 84-13 loss to Nebraska in 1983 -- and the worst ever in conference play. You have to go back to 1989 to find the last Gophers team shut out at home.

The LetsGoDU crack research staff is still researching to find out the last time both the football and hockey teams were shut out on the same day.

Minnesota should be thrown out of the Big Ten to make room for DU.

DU 4 - Minnesota 0 FINAL

(above) Anthony Maiani celebrates after scoring DU's first power play goal since the Bush administration

(above) Chevy had it all going on Saturday night
“We felt we had to make some changes, and those changes turned out to be very effective. The players we inserted into the lineup (Cunningham, Marcuzzi, Vossberg) really brought us some energy and enthusiasm, especially in the locker room. Obviously, Brandon Vossberg scored a big short-handed goal for us. They really were the glue, I thought, for our team tonight,” Gwozdecky said.
Coach Gwozdecky pulled the old "Bench Four Starters To Lull The Other Team To Sleep" Trick tonight in Magness Arena. Goaltender Marc Cheverie recorded his first career shutout as DU rolled to an improbable 4-0 victory over the #1 ranked Minnesota Gophers.

DU Soccer Loses To UC-Davis In NCAA Tourney

Don Lucia Warns The Nation About Hockey Blogs

(above) Is this the thanks we get for naming Don Lucia "Let'sGoDU's Man Of The Year?"

Don Lucia and Doug Woog sat down for an hour and a half interview. The highlights were telecast on Fox Sports North's "Gopher Live Pregame Show" last night. The purpose of the talk appeared to be a lively back and forth about Gopher hockey and to blow smoke up each other's ass. As it turned out, Lucia took control of the conversation and performed his specialty, blowing smoke up his own ass.

He told several stories about what a great athlete he was; a two sport star in high school, hockey scholarship at Notre Dame, his rise through the coaching ranks in Alaska. Luckily there was only a scant mention of his career at Colorado College, where he resurected CC's hockey progarm from the garbage dump.

We were pleasantly surprised when Lucia turned his venom on the media, the internet and even bloggers didn't escape his wrath.
"The biggest change in my ten years at Minnesota is the exposure. Gopher games on TV, pre & post game shows & talk radio. "

"The internet has probably had the biggest impact, because it is a sounding board for people. They want the instant gratification. Maybe they think they understand what is going on and they really don't."

"The internet is a way for people to get together and say how great our program is or how bad our program is. I always say its never as great as you think our program is or as bad as you think it is."

"I think you need to not get caught up with what people say on a talk radio show. Not what somebody's saying in a newspaper. Not what somebody's saying on a blog."

Chistensen Leads DU Soccer Into NCAA's Today

(left) Kyle Christensen spent two years in Argentina on a Morman Mission

From: DU Athletics Website & DU Clarion

DAVIS, Calif. – The University of Denver men’s soccer team takes on UC Davis in the First Round of the 2008 NCAA National Tournament at Aggie Soccer Stadium this weekend. The Pioneers kick off against the Aggies on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT.

Denver (10-6-2) makes its second overall NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 1970. The Pioneers earned their first ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title and the conference’s automatic national tournament berth this season.

Senior forward Kyle Christensen (Layton, Utah), the MPSF Player of the Year, leads the Pioneers with six goals, including three game-winners, and 15 points. Christensen missed the 2005 & 2006 seasons while on a Morman Mission in Argentina.

The transition from not playing soccer for two full years was difficult for Kyle.

"For those two years, I didn't play at all," Kyle said. "So when I got back and hopped in at spring season, it was bad. I was out of shape, my skills were gone and it took a long time to get it all back."

Everything appears to be back on track now. Besides winning a plethora of awards this season, Kyle was named a Academic All-MPSF selection.

With the restraints of his religion, the Kyle's daily life tends to be much different from many of his peers. As a Mormon, he is not allowed to drink, smoke or swear, among other things, and attends church services every week.

DU coach head Bobby Muus sees Kyle's lifestyle as a good thing: "I think, if anything, it may help some of their teammates to maybe make better decisions in their lives from being around him and seeing the kind of person that he is." [read the full Clarion article about Kyle and his brother Kellen]

Minnesota 5 - Denver 2 Final

(above) A picture tells a thousand words
“I’m concerned about some of the things happening with our team. There certainly is a different sense within the locker room,” Denver head coach George Gwozdecky said.
The Gopher's top line of Jordan Schroeder, Ryan Stoa & Jay Berriball were too much for the Pioneers tonight, scoring four out of Minnesota's five goals.
Box Score Game recap

Mike Chambers' Game recap from the Denver Post Game Recap by Candace Horgan

Gopher Sports Website's Game Recap

First Star: Jordan Schroeder (Minnesota)
Second Star: Ryan Stoa (Minnesota)
Third Star: Alex Kangas (Minnesota)
Minnesota 5 - DU 2 Final .... Get To The Game Early On Saturday To Avoid Traffic & Support The Team .... BE LOUD .... Go DU
"We are going to need our fans to be out in full force against the University of Minnesota this weekend."
- Coach Gwozdecky

Alright, I'm fired up for tonight. Last week's games have put me in a bad mood all week and I quit smoking on Sunday so the aggression level is definitely elevated.

I'm ready to be loud tonight. Who's with me? I hate being out cheered at home. The team needs at least 2 points this weekend and they need our help to get them so let's get pumped up.

- PioneerPhanatic

Massive Line Changes For Tonight's Game

Eric Bacher's Blog has all the details on tonights line changes for DU. Coach Gwozdecky gave some hints yesterday that something was brewing on the defensive pairings and we should have picked up on the fact that might mean that Patrick Wiercioch would miss tonights game.




Media Roundup-Pioneers Face #1 Ranked Gophers

(above) DU hopes to continue their success from last season against Alex Kangas

Articles from around the country touting the big series.
Mike Chambers of the Denver Post talks to Coach Gwozdecky about the #1 ranked Gophers.

Pat Rooney of the Rocky Mountain News looks at Minnesota goaltender Alex Kangas.

Roman Augustoviz of the twin cities Star-Tribune looks at the #1 ranked Gophers propensity to tie games on Friday night.

Puck Swami's Know Your Foe Blog looks at the history of the #1 ranked Gopher hockey program.

Gopher Puck Live breaks down the showdown in Magness.

When: 7:30 (MST) tonight and 7 p.m. Saturday at Magness Arena

Records: Gophers, 6-0-4, 5-0-3 WCHA; Denver, 6-4-1, 4-3-1

TV: FSN, FSRM & FCS both nights,

Quick fact: Denver was the only team the #1 Ranked Gophers did not beat last season. The Pioneers were 4-0-1 and, in their last of five meetings, beat the #1 ranked Gophers 2-1 for the WCHA Final Five title.

DU Alum Has Three Game Shutout Streak In AHL

(left) DU Alum Adam Berkhoel

from: WBSpenguins Website

WILKES-BARRE, PA – Adam Berkhoel is only nine games into his Penguins career, but has already written himself into the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton record books.

Berkheol became the first Penguins netminder to record three consecutive shutouts as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton posted a 3-0 win against the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza. The victory upped the Pens record to 9-6-0-1 on the season, while Syracuse suffered just its fourth loss of the year, dropping to 12-4-0-1.

"I’ve been pretty fortunate. I’ve never had this happen before," said Berkhoel, who entered the season with just one AHL shutout to his credit. "Guys are keeping pucks to the outside and I’m seeing everything. Everything’s hitting me. So it’s just fortunate we’re getting wins and shutting them out when we’re doing it. It feels good.

"Right now I’ve got luck on my side. I don’t know what I did to deserve it. But first and foremost, get the win, and it’s a luxury to get a shutout along with it."

The shutout was also the fourth in Berkhoel’s last five starts, during which time he has stopped 155 of 158 shots (.981 save percentage), and posted a 0.60 goals against average.

“I played four years with him in college, so I kind of knew what kind of goalie he was,” said Connor James, who suited up alongside Berkhoel at the University of Denver, winning an NCAA title in 2004. “When he signed here, I was really happy, because I knew that he could win us games. He’s been playing great the last couple of games, I think people are really starting to notice how good he is.”

James hasn’t been playing too poorly, either. About 21 minutes after Ryan Stone opened the scoring at the start of the second period, James jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone, then skated in alone against Dan LaCosta for his league-leading third shorthanded tally of the season.

“It hit my skate and bounced forward. I was going in and I kind of changed my mind at the very last second,” said James. “Maybe that messed with the goalie, because I didn’t know where I was going, so hopefully he didn’t either. It squeezed in and I was definitely happy to get it."

“That was a full team effort. Every player in the lineup did a lot of good things, and Adam was there to back them up when they did have quality scoring chances,” said Bylsma. “Right now he’s a big part of why we’re winning. When you keep it at zero, it’s pretty easy to win.”

DU To Honor Jim White Before The Game Friday

DU will honor long-time WCHA Off-Ice Official Jim White in a pre-game ceremony on Nov. 21. White passed away earlier this season after more than 30 years of service to DU hockey.

DU vs. Minnesota Tussle From The Mid-90s

Mannino Called Up To NHL In Backup Role

(above) DU Alum Peter Mannino was called up to the NY Islanders on Thursday night

From: NY Islanders Website

The New York Islanders announced Thursday that goaltender Peter Mannino has been recalled from Bridgeport. Meanwhile goaltender Yann Danis has been re-assigned to Bridgeport probably to get some work.

Expect regular goaltender Joey MacDonald to start all three games on the upcoming road trip. In all likelihood Mannino will be sent back down to Bridgeport in a couple of days when Danis shakes the rust off.

Since Mannino began his professional career with the Bridgeport Sound this season he has been one of the hottest goaltenders in the AHL (6-1-1 with a 2.46 Goals Against Average).

DU Eliminated From Sunbelt Volleyball Playoffs

(above) Dang it! LetsGoDU had this terrific photo of DU Freshman volleyball player Jordan Raines all ready to go, when Western Kentucky crashed our victory party

The University of Denver volleyball team (25-7) lost 25-19, 25-19, 25-18 to Western Kentucky (24-9) in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament Thursday in Miami.

The Pioneers’ 25-7 overall record marks the best record in program history through 32 matches. Denver also boasts an impressive 16-1 record in Hamilton Gymnasium, which sets another program mark for best home record since becoming Division I.

“I am very happy with the way this team has handled itself throughout the entire season and the successes that we were able to accomplish,” said head coach Beth Kuwata.

Gopher Player Back After A Year Off From Hockey

(left) A back injury forced Nick Larson of the Gophers to give up hockey before his Freshman season last year

Nick Larson's back [LetsGoDU: not the "old" DU Nick Larson, who won 2 National Championships with Denver].

And what a difference a year makes, he said with a smile.

Larson, who was forced to quit hockey for a year because of a bad back, not only has returned to the sport as a freshman for the Gophers this season, but in less than two months he has begun to fit in.[read rest of article]
Puck Swami's Know Your Foe Blog breaks down the University Of Minnesota Gophers this week. As usual Swami has done a through job of of reseaching our opponents.

If you knew that Loni Anderson, Yanni & Kevin McHale went to Minnesota, go to the head of the class.

Online Chat With Gwozdecky Finished On High Note

(above) Online chat with Coach Gwozdecky on Thursday at 2 PM MST

University of Denver head coach George Gwozdecky was featured in the first installment of the 2008 Pioneer Chats" on Thursday afternoon on the DU Athletics Website. It featured several technical glitches, but finished on a high note for Boone fans.

Moderator:: Good afternoon DU hockey fans and welcome to today's online chat with head coach George Gwozdecky. Coach is ready to take your questions for the next 30 minutes.

Otto:Denver: Can you share any discussions between the NCAA and the NHL, specifically about players leaving during the season. No other sport would put up with something like that.

Moderator:: Technical difficulties fans, please stand by.

GG:DU: There are three entities that need to agree on this important issue; the NHL, the NHL Players Association and College Hockey. Unfortunately negotiation on this issue will not become serious until three years from now when the new CBA is re-negotiated.

Otto:Denver: Is this the youngest team you have ever coached and do you think that having this many Fresh and Sophs will become the norm?

GG:DU: Our team relies heavily on our sophomores and freshmen however we have key players from our senior and junior class that are expected to provide leadership on and off the ice. This has become the norm for many of the top teams in college hockey.

Gene:NYC: How would you assess the team after the first few weeks of the season?

GG:DU: Our team is showing the kind of steady growth that we expected however because of our youth we knew there would be challenges with consistency from game to game.

vizoroo:san jacinto, ca.: Please compare super freshmen Luke Salazar and Jordan Schroeder

GG:DU: Luke and Jordan have contributed a great deal to their team's success throughout the early part of the season. Luke's contributions are probably more of a surprise because of his non-scholarship recruit status.

dggoddard:Houston, TX: When you play a team like Minnesota, with such an explosive top line, will it force you to come up with a defensive line to counterbalance their attack?

Bring Back Boone.

GG:: A majority of WCHA teams have top offensive lines. I feel we have three lines that can match up on either end of the ice. However, I'm more concerned about the proper match-ups for our defensive pairings.

Boone is my guy as well.

Moderator:: Sorry for the technical difficulties DU fans. We'll be back soon with another chat. Coach has to get to practice and appreciates all of the questions and hopes you log on next time. See you at the rink Friday!

Univ. Of Minnesota In Recruiting Battle With Itself

From: Star-Tribune
by Sid Hartman

Chalk this story up to, "This Could Only Happen In Minnesota."

It could be an interesting recruiting battle between the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota for the services of Anders Lee, the outstanding quarterback and hockey player for Edina. Lee was named Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year in football. There is a better chance he would be offered a hockey scholarship from the Gophers than a football one, because the Gophers are loaded with quarterbacks. The Gophers, as usual, have a losing record in the Big Ten this season (3-4-0).