Denver Cup Kicks Off On Friday Afternoon

Boston College vs. St. Lawrence
- 4:30 PM MT
DU vs. Nebraska-Omaha - 7:30 PM MT

Nebraska-Omaha vs. St. Lawrence - 4 PM MT
DU vs. Boston College - 7 PM MT

The University Denver hosts the 18th annual Wells Fargo Denver Cup tournament this weekend at Magness Arena. Denver plays Nebraska Omaha on Friday at 7:30 pm and Boston College on Saturday at 7 pm Both games will be televised live on FSN Rocky Mountain. The games will be broadcast on AM 950 (Friday) and 104.3 FM (Saturday) with live stats available at each night.

For more info about the Denver Cup and participating teams check out &

Canada Defeats USA In Shootout

(above) It was a sea of Canada red on New Year's Eve in Saskatoon

by Chris Stanford

It was perhaps fitting that it went all the way to a shootout as Canada battled back from a two-goal deficit and triumphed 5-4 in an absolute thriller of a game against Team USA in the round-robin of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatoon Thursday night. Two players with University of Denver connections played well but did not figure in the scoring.

In front of a sea of red jerseys worn by the home-town crowd, Jordan Eberle had a pair for Canada and made good on his shootout attempt, but Canadian turnovers, US shorthanded goals and stellar goaltending were really the story on the night.

Although Team Canada got on the board first, as they have done in every game so far in the tournament, their sloppy powerplay proved to be their own undoing and the USA took advantage of their opportunities.

Stefan Della Rovere got Canada up quickly with his second of the tournament, banging a rebound in the low slot past American goaltender Jack Campbell at the 2:03 mark of the first, but Team USA had a reply for that a minute and a half later.

With Canada's Brayden Schenn in the box for boarding, Philip McRae snapped a loose puck past Jake Allen to even it up with only 3:40 played in what may have been the theme of the game.

The two evenly-matched teams played to a stalemate for some 20-plus minutes until Jordan Schroeder of a short-handed Team USA grabbed a puck as center ice and streaking in alone, went five-hole on Allen to put Canada down one, Canada’s best player on the night,Jordan Eberle, made sure that didn’t last long as he took a Schenn pass and beat Campbell at the 11:15 mark of the frame.

Allen stood on his head to keep Canada in it, causing Team USA’s Chris Kreider to shoot wide on a penalty shot past midway and then burning Kyle Palmieri on a breakaway three minutes after that.

Canada’s troubles continued and Tyler Johnson got the second shorthanded Team USA goal of the night, putting in a rebound off a Jerry D’ Amigo shot with 11 second left in the second to put the USA ahead for the second time in the game.

With another Team Canada powerplay just expired, Danny Kristo’s solo effort on a Canadian neutral-zone turnover put USA up 4-2 with a minute gone in the third, but Team Canada and the drama was not done yet.

With Brandon McMillan moved back onto defense, when his point shot went off Eberle at the halfway mark of the third, the comeback was on. Alex Pietrangelo sent the crowd into ecstasy when he added his own shorthanded goal to tie it up a few minutes later and Team Canada looked to have pulled ahead wirth 2:10 left as Travis Hamonic’s point shot beat Campbell, but it was disallowed with Brayden Schenn having been judged to have interfered with the goalie.

After the four-on-four five-minute overtime proved nothing, other than that the WHL should seriously look at doing that for the excitement alone, it was left to the dramatic goaltender-shooter showdown to decide matters.

The first five shooters, including Eberle, Nazim Kadri and Brandon Kozun for Canada, along with Kristo and Morin for USA all made good on their attempts, so when Allen closed the five-hole on Schroeder, who had to make his, the arena in Saskatoon erupted.

The #2 seed USA will face #3 Finland in the Medal round.

Economic Downturn Affects CC Hockey

(above) The World Arena parking lot before the DU-CC game

The Economic downturn has hit Colorado Springs and Colorado College particularly hard. The CC Tiger was recently observed shovelling the World Arena parking lot to make ends meet.

Zucker's Goals Pace USA Twelve Goal Onslaught

(above) The Latvian goaltender had trouble keeping anything out of the nets

From: The Star Phoenix
by Darren Zary

Incoming DU recruit Jason Zucker displayed his considerable skill on Tuesday afternoon at the IIHF world hockey championships. Zucker scored two highlight reel goals after being promoted to the American first line. The Americans simply overpowered the Latvians, putting the game out of reach early thanks to three power play goals in the opening frame to take a 6-0 lead.

DU freshman Matt Donovan was credited with an assist on Zucker's first goal.

Chris Kreider led the U.S. with a hat trick, capitalizing on a penalty shot awarded late in the game.

Danny Kristo, Zucker and Derek Stepan each tallied twice. A.J. Jenks, Tyler Johnson and Jeremy Morin added singles for the United States, which outshot Latvia 62-19 and led 6-0 and 7-1 by periods.

Gvido Kauss scored the lone goal, on the power play at 7:00 of the second period, for the lovable Latvians. That prompted a standing ovation from the anti-American crowd following the goal.

USA Lineup
29 Jerry D'Amigo - 21 Derek Stepan (C) - 10 Tyler Johnson
16 Jason Zucker - 17 Ryan Bourque - 19 Jordan Schroeder (A)
20 Chris Kreider - 22 A.J. Jenks - 26 Jeremy Morin
23 Kyle Palmieri - 9 Philip McRae - 8 Danny Kristo
14 Luke Walker

5 David Warsofsky (A) - 11 John Carlson
4 Matt Donovan - 24 Cam Fowler
18 Brian Lashoff - 2 John Ramage
28 Jake Gardiner

30 Mike Lee
1 Jack Campbell

Chambers Compares US/Canadian Youth Hockey

(left) The Denver Post's Mike Chambers maintains that youth players in Canada have several advantages over their U.S. counterparts

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

The epicenter of amateur hockey right now is Saskatchewan, Canada, where the IIHF World Junior Championship is unfolding in Saskatoon and Regina.

Great hockey towns, eh?

A question mark doesn't really belong after that sentence, but after making a pre-Christmas trip to Regina and its small suburbs of Weyburn, Odessa, Arcola and Estevan with my son's Littleton Hawks squirt team, I've expanded my vocabulary while gaining a great appreciation for Canadians' passion for the World Juniors and youth hockey in general.

Among the endless toddler-to-teen story lines in Saskatoon and Regina is the Colorado connection of U.S. teammates Ryan Bourque, Matt Donovan and Jason Zucker (read rest of article).

World Under-17 Challenge Kicks Off Tuesday

(above) DU recruit Zac Larraza will play for the US Under-17 Team in Canada

On Tuesday the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will begin in Ontario. This will be our first chance to see DU's 2011 recruit Zac Larraza play on the world stage since announcing his verbal commitment to DU three weeks ago.

Larraza is a big kid (6'3"" - 178 lbs.) from Arizona who has huge upside potential. We'll see how he does against this level of competition and follow his progress throughout the Tournament.

Canada will have five teams entered in the Tournament.
Group A
FIN - Finland
ONT - Ontario Canada
QUE - Qu├ębec Canada
- Sweden
WST - Canada West

Group B
ATL - Canada Atlantic
- Czech Republic
PAC - Canada Pacific
- Russia
USA - United States

Donovan's Goal Paces USA Past Swiss 3-0

(above) Goaltender Jack Campbell shut out the Swiss on Sunday 3-0

From: The Toronto Globe & Mail

Jack Campbell turned aside 22 shots as the U.S., remained unbeaten at the world junior hockey championship Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Switzerland.

Jack Kreider, Matt Donovan and A.J. Jenks had goals for the Americans (2-0), who opened the tournament with an equally impressive 7-3 win over Slovakia on Saturday.

Benjamin Conz made 46 saves for Switzerland (0-1).

With a partisan crowd in Saskatoon behind them, the Swiss were the stronger side in the opening period, generating more scoring chances than the Americans. Sven Ryser had a chance to put Switzerland up 1-0, but was denied by Campbell on a partial breakaway with six minutes remaining in the period.

Kreider was the only player to beat Conz in the opening 40 minutes when he deflected in a Cam Fowler point shot on the power play at 5:51 of the second period. Conz appeared to not have seen the puck until it was in the net.

Conz was sensational from that point on as the Americans rifled 38 shots on goal over the final two periods. But the Swiss couldn't convert their chances, and Donovan gave the U.S., a 2-0 lead with seven minutes left. Jenks put the game out of reach four minutes later.

The Americans' next game is Tuesday against Latvia.
Box Score
USA Lineup
29 Jerry D'Amigo - 21 Derek Stepan (C) - 8 Danny Kristo
23 Kyle Palmieri - 17 Ryan Bourque - 19 Jordan Schroeder (A)
20 Chris Kreider - 22 A.J. Jenks - 26 Jeremy Morin
14 Luke Walker - 10 Tyler Johnson - 16 Jason Zucker
9 Philip McRae

5 David Warsofsky - 11 John Carlson (A)
4 Matt Donovan - 24 Cam Fowler
28 Jake Gardiner - 2 John Ramage
18 Brian Lashoff

1 Jack Campbell
30 Mike Lee

Injury Continues To Keep Butler Out Of Lineup

(above) Former DU defenseman Chris Butler has had an ankle injury that has kept him out of the Buffalo Sabres lineup since Dec. 3rd

From: St. Louis
by Jeremy Rutherford

There are many stories of hockey players from St. Louis moving to Canada to advance their careers. There are probably fewer examples of Canadian players transplanting to St. Louis to do the same, but they do exist.

And while Doug Butler, who moved here from Souris, Manitoba in 1975, never played a game in the NHL, his story is a success. Proof of that will come tonight when his son, Chris Butler, visits Scottrade Center as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

Chris Butler, now 23, has been out of the Buffalo lineup since Dec. 3 with an ankle injury, but even if it's not on the ice against the Blues tonight, the family will be celebrate a fate that has "far exceeded" its expectations (read rest of article).

Matt Donovan's GWG Helps USA To 7-3 Victory

(above) The USA celebrates a first period goal

From: Our Sports

SASKATOON, Sask. - University of Denver Freshman Matt Donovan scored the game winning goal in the second period to help lead Team USA to a 7-3 victory over Slovakia on Saturday night. Team USA overcame an early two-goal deficit in its first game at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

"I was happy with our resiliancy after falling behind early," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We created a lot of scoring chances, and showed a lot of poise after those two quick goals."

A pair of penalties put the U.S. behind 2-0 just 5:33 into the game. Incoming DU recruit Jason Zucker drilled Slovakia's Martin Stajnoch with a high hit as the Slovak defenseman was bringing the puck out of his own end. Stajnoch was cut badly and was taken to the hospital, and a five-minute major and game misconduct was assessed -- although the referees erroneously gave the penalty to Tyler Johnson.

Team USA cut the Slovakia lead in half midway through the period when John Carlson fired a slap shot through traffic and past goalie Marek Ciliak. Then, just two minutes into the second period, Jeremy Morin knotted the score, 2-2, when he drove to the net, collected his own rebound and fired a shot high over Ciliak's glove.

U.S. captain Derek Stepan gave Team USA the lead when he fired a shot from the slot past Ciliak five minutes into the middle frame. The U.S. took a 4-2 lead on the power play when Donovan's shot from the high slot found the back of the net.

Following a Slovakia power-play goal, Danny Kristo restored Team USA's two-goal lead heading into the third period when he buried a post-to-post pass from Stepan.

Jordan Schroeder extended Team USA's advantage to 6-3, chipping a centering pass from Kyle Palmieri over Ciliak's blocker less than a minute into the third. Jerry D'Amigo, who was named Team USA's Player of the Game, completed the night's scoring on a give-and-go play with Kristo.

Team USA goalie Mike Lee turned aside 17 shots in the win, while Ciliak stopped 39 shots in a losing effort.

Next action for Team USA comes tomorrow (Dec. 27) at 3 p.m. CST against Switzerland. The game can be seen live in the U.S. on the NHL Network. It will also be streamed live in the U.S. on
Box Score Game Recap

USA vs. Slovakia Game Photos

US Junior National Team Kicks Off Tourney Today

by Brad Elliott Schlossman

When Ralph Engelstad Arena was built nine years ago, Dean Blais had one of his main philosophies posted just outside of University of North Dakota’s locker room: Speed kills.

Blais left the school five years ago, but the saying still stands. And it appears, so does his philosophy.

The 2010 U.S. World Junior team opens play at 6 PM (MT) tonight with a preliminary game against Slovakia. If there’s one thing that highlights the Blais-led Americans, it is their speed.

Forwards Danny Kristo, Jordan Schroeder and Tyler Johnson — the three returning members from last year’s fifth-place squad — all are speed burners.

The Americans also added Ryan Bourque, Kyle Palmieri, Jason Zucker and Chris Kreider to the forward group. Although only one player in those players is taller than 6 feet, they all have dynamic speed.

They showed that during last Saturday’s 4-2 exhibition against the Sioux. Team USA’s goals were scored by Kreider (two), Zucker and Kristo.

They were favorites in that game. But once the U.S. team starts play in Saskatoon, Sask., they will be underdogs.

The Americans have won only two medals in the past 12 years (gold in 2004, bronze in 2007) and five medals in the history of the tournament. Winning another one will be the team’s goal this year.

“We’re not going up there just to drink Molson Canadian,” said Blais, who is taking a month-long hiatus from his job coaching Nebraska-Omaha to join the Americans. “We’re going up there to medal. I think the talent is there.”

Blais has been working on the team’s cohesion during the past week. For the first time ever, the Americans held a pre-tournament camp in Grand Forks. During the camp, Blais limited cell phone use and didn’t allow his players to listen to headphones in the locker room, because he wanted them to interact.

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

Goaltending recruit Sam Brittian who is slated to come to DU in 2011, was a unanimous selection for the Alberta Junior Hockey League All-Star Team. The vote was taken by the league's head coaches and general managers. The AJHL All-Star Weekend will be held in Fort McMurray, Alberta on January 29th – 30th, 2010.

A very interesting quote from USA National Junior Coach Dean Blais about DU recruit Jason Zucker, who even Blais didn't think were going to make the team. "We didn't want to take him, but he made it. He played with good energy, good size, good instincts. He made the team on his ability. He deserved it."
(all games televised live on NHL Network-US)

Dec. 26 -- Slovakia, 8 p.m. 6 MT
Dec. 27 -- Switzerland, 2 p.m. MT
Dec. 29 -- Latvia, 2 p.m. MT
Dec. 31 -- Canada, 6 p.m. MT

Merry Christmas To All College Hockey Fans

(above) This photo was taken by a Wisconsin Badger hockey fan this week in Petra, Jordan of two DU & Minnesota hockey fans who just randomly met while sightseeing. If these three people can put aside their differences in one of the most war torn regions on earth, can't we at LetsGoDU do the same during the Holiday Season? ........... Nah, I didn't think so.

DU's Mens & Womens Hoops Fantastic Finishes

(above) Video footage of DU's Men's & Women's basketball "buzzer beaters" this week. The DU Men's highlight made ESPN's Top Ten yesterday

Olszewski Plans To Be "Heart & Soul" In Denver

(above) 2010 DU recruit "Ozzie" Olszewski (#17) will be boarding the "Crazy Train" to Denver next season

From: Janesville Gazette
by Christopher Heimerman

Finally, Dan Olszewski can get back to doing what he loves most.

Last season, the 20-year-old from Janesville, Wisconsin made a name for himself in juniors as a ferocious forechecker in his first year with the North American Hockey League’s St. Louis Bandits. This season, he’s the two-time defending NAHL champion’s captain and leads the team with 25 points on nine goals and 16 assists.

So why go back to making his hay off the bench and by grinding out penalty kills?

Because he’ll be doing it at the University of Denver, a perennial powerhouse that is currently the nation’s second-ranked NCAA Division I hockey program.

“I never thought I’d play at a WCHA school, let alone Denver,” said Olszewski, who grew up a fan of the University of Wisconsin, which also is a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

The former Janesville Bluebird was on the brink of committing to the University of Connecticut, which, along with Denver, noticed him during the first game of the Bandits’ three-game set at Wenatchee, Wash., the first weekend of December. After that, Denver moved slowly, while UConn wanted a decision by Christmas. Olszewski didn’t want to miss out on either a premier education or hockey experience.

“If I got to the point that I was going out (to UConn), I was going to commit,” said Olszewski, who had scheduled a campus visit for Monday, Dec. 28.

But last Thursday, he got good news when he arrived at Bandits practice. His coach, Jeff Brown, told him that Denver had gotten back, and the cost wasn’t too far from that of UConn.

“If they were anywhere in the same ballpark, I was going to pick Denver,” Olszewski said.

He did just that, and plans to be there for four years to earn his degree while earning every inch of ice at Magness Arena.

“I still consider myself an energy guy,” Olszewski said. “I like to talk a lot on the bench, and I like to scream and everything like that, and that’s actually what Denver was looking for. They can get any point guy. But they’re looking for a fourth-line center to come in and be an energy guy—a heart and soul kind of guy.

“For most players, killing penalties sucks, but it’s my favorite part of the game. I can’t wait to find out exactly what they have in store for me.”

Denver won back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005. Olszewski says he’s fortunate to be headed for another championship-caliber team after playing an integral role on the upstart Janesville Bluebirds high school squad that made the WIAA state tournament in 2005.

He’ll fly to Denver on Jan. 6 to make things official from the university’s standpoint. The next day, he’ll fly back for practice before his Bandits welcome the Janesville Jets to St. Louis on Jan. 8.

“Obviously, I wish we could have the game here (in Janesville)—it would’ve been awesome to have one more game here,” Olszewski said. “But I think it’ll be a good game. They’re having a good season.”

He’s relieved that he’s committed to Denver so soon, so that he can focus on the task at hand.

“I’d love to win another championship in St. Louis,” Olszewski said. His Bandits are 21-5-1, good for 43 points and second in the South Division. Riding a six-game winning streak, they have four games in hand on first-place Topeka, which has 49 points.

“Early in the year, I had some doubts, but the team made some moves, and the team is really coming together,” Olszewski said. “With our coaching staff and owners, they expect nothing less than getting another ring on the finger.”

Despite all the success he and his teams have had, Olszewski stayed grounded and even had a safety net in place when the current season opened. He never could’ve planned what transpired.

“It’s better than the plan,” Olszewski said. “Going into this year, I had a Division III school picked out that I was going to go to for a year and figured if something happens, it happens.”

Donovan & Zucker Make Final Team USA Roster

USA Hockey today announced its 22-player roster the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2009-Jan. 5, 2010, in Saskatoon and Regina, Sask.

"This roster includes a significant number of players who have had success in international competition, which will help us as we prepare to play here in Canada," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team. "We had some really tough choices to make to get down to 22, but in the end, that's a positive sign for the state of hockey in our country."

"I'm really excited about this team," said Dean Blais, head coach of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team. "We have a good mixture of speed and grit, and we look forward to the challenge ahead of us."

Stepan, Derek - Univ. of Wisconsin
Kristo, Danny - Univ. of North Dakota
D'Amigo, Jerry - RPI
Schroeder, Jordan - Univ. of Minnesota
Palmieri, Kyle - Univ. of Notre Dame
Kreider, Chris - Boston College
Zucker, Jason - U.S. Under-18 Team (DU Recruit)
Morin, Jeremy - Kitchener Rangers
Jenks, A.J. - Plymouth Whalers
McRae, Philip - London Knights
Walker, Luke - Portland Winterhawks
Johnson, Tyler - Spokane
Bourque, Ryan - Quebec Remparts


Carlson, John - Hershey Bears
Donovan, Matt - Univ. of Denver
Warsofsky, David - Boston Univ.
Ramage, John - Univ. of Wisconsin
Gardiner, Jake - Univ. of Wisconsin
Fowler, Cam - Windsor Spitfires
Lashoff, Brian - Kingston Frontenacs


Campbell, Jack - U.S. Under-18 Team
Lee, Mike - St. Cloud State

Donovan Named To Sporting News' "Hotlist"

DU Freshman Matt Donovan is drawing national attention for his play on the U.S. National Junior Team.

The Sporting News in conjuction with The Hockey News released a list of 10 of the top players in the world they are excited to see in the upcoming World Junior Tournament. The only American player mentioned was Donovan at #7.
7. Matt Donovan, D, University of Denver Pioneers (WCHA)
After a tremendous United States Hockey League career, Donovan has stepped right into an important role with the Denver Pioneers, tallying nine points in 17 games on a veteran-laden team. The U.S. will need similar contributions at the world juniors. Drafted 96th overall by the Islanders in 2008.
Of interest to DU fans; #2 was goaltender Jacob Markstrom of Sweden. He is the first player taken in the 2nd Round of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers. The Panthers also hold the rights to DU goaltender Marc Cheverie, so Markstrom may hold the key to Cheverie's future address next season. Factor in that one of the top goaltenders in the AHL this season is Alexander Salak of the Rochester Americans, who is also property of the Florida Panthers.
2. Jacob Markstrom, G, Brynas IK (Sweden) Canadians may not have liked his antics last year, but Markstrom is back and he's tougher to beat than ever. The Swedish teen is second in the entire Elite League with a .924 save percentage and carries a very stingy 2.10 goals-against average. Oh, and three of his team's eight regulation wins this year came on Markstrom shutouts. Drafted 31st overall by Florida in 2008.

USA Jr. Team Loses Exhibition In Shootout

MOOSE JAW, Sask. - The University of Denver's Matt Donovan had an assist while incoming DU recruit Jason Zucker did not suit up as the U.S. National Junior Team candidates fell to the Czech Republic, 3-2, in a shootout here tonight at a sold-out Moose Jaw Civic Centre (2,821). We can only assume there was nothing better to do in Moose Jaw last night than come out and "boo" America.

The game was the final exhibition for Team USA prior to the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The final U.S. National Junior Team roster will be announced today at 9 a.m. MST. Team USA will play its first game of the tournament on Saturday (Dec. 26) against Slovakia.

"It was a fast-paced game, but I think we got better as it went on," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We've got a few days now before the tournament begins to improve our chemistry and focus in on our goal."

The Czech Republic scored the lone first-period goal just over one minute into the contest when Tomas Kubalik slammed home a rebound during a goalmouth flurry. U.S. goalie Jack Campbell kept Team USA within one with back-to-back highlight-reel saves midway through the period. In the game's 10th minute, he batted down a high snapshot with the blade of his stick from a prone position and, off the next draw, made a post-to-post diving stop to thwart a wraparound attempt.

Chris Kreider's power-play goal two minutes into the second period tied the game, 1-1. The rebound tally marked his third goal in two exhibition games with Team USA. Donovan was credited with an assist on the play.

Campbell kept the game tied halfway through the frame, denying the Czech Republic's Stepan Novotny on a penalty shot before giving way to goalie Mike Lee for the remainder of the game. The Czech Republic retook the lead five minutes later when Michal Hlinka's backhand shot crawled over Lee's glove and into the net.

Team USA tied the game just seconds after its ninth power play of the night expired, as Bourque chipped a rebound over goalie Jakup Sedlacek's shoulder to knot the score, 2-2. The U.S. outshot the Czech Republic, 18-6, in the third period.

A shootout followed the overtime period. Team USA failed to score on its three attempts, while Hlinka buried a quick snapshot to give the Czech Republic the victory. Team USA’s Campbell and Lee combined for a total of 30 saves, while the Czech Republic’s Sedlacek earned his team’s player of the game award after stopping 42 shots.
Box Score

Donovan & Zucker Hope To Survive Last USA Cut

(above) Dean Blais addresses the team

Tonight's exhibition game will not be broadcast

University of Denver Freshman Matt Donovan and DU recruit Jason Zucker hope to avoid being the final two players that will be cut from the U.S. National Junior Team tomorrow.

The U.S. National Junior Team will take on the Czech Republic tonight (Tuesday) in the United States’ second pre-tournament contest leading up to the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The game will be played in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Currently, 24 players remain on the U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster. Team USA must reduce its roster to 22 players for the upcoming World Junior Championship. The final U.S. roster will be announced tomorrow morning following tonight’s contest.

6 On 3 Hockey May Become The Norm

(above) DU's improbable 2004 National Championship against Maine will be forever remembered for the 6 on 3 over the last 1:34 has an article on employing the 6 on 3 power play strategy. Its a pretty interesting article and quotes BU's Coach Parker & Coach Gwozdecky at length.

Denver coach George Gwozdecky is probably the most famous college coach when it comes to defending against a 6-on-3, as the Pioneers hung on for a 1-0 victory over Maine in the 2004 national championship game due to successfully thwarting the Black Bears’ six skaters.

While Gwozdecky has no immediate plans to employ the tactic in the middle of a game, it’s not for lack of enthusiasm about the concept.

“First of all, it’s a real good bet that you’re going to score, and it’s extremely difficult for the other team to score,” he said. “In Europe, they’ve been doing it for many years.”

Gwozdecky remembered hearing about it from coaches at the Huron Hockey School back in the early 1980s because it was popular in Sweden and Finland and Germany.

“There are a number of different schemes that they used,” Gwozdecky said. “In fact, in Sweden it was very popular for three of the six players on the power play to just be used for picking purposes. The other three would be trying to find open ice in the zone, while those three guys would just be there to pick. So it was something that has always been on the back burner with coaches who are aware of the tactic overseas [read entire article].

NHL Network To Televise Two More DU Games

The NHL Network will televise 12 college hockey games over the duration of the season, highlighted by two University of Denver hockey games.
Friday, Jan. 8 Northeastern vs. UNH (women) 2 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 8 Boston College vs. BU 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22 Denver at Wisconsin 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 29 Denver at North Dakota 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 5 Clarkson at Union 5 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12 Minnesota State at Wisconsin 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 19 Nebraska-Omaha at Miami 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 26 RPI at Colgate 5 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 5 Michigan Tech at North Dakota 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 19 ECAC Semifinal #1 2 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 19 ECAC Semifinal #2 5 p.m.
Sunday, Mar. 21 ECAC Championship 9 a.m.*
*Tape Delay

Dan Olszewski Is DU's Newest Recruit

(left) Dan "Ozzie" Olszewski

Sixty Minutes. No Alibis, No Regrets Blog is reporting that Daniel Olszewski will be coming to the University of Denver next season. Since there is no confirmation from Hiesenberg's Recruiting Website, US Hockey Report or the St. Louis Bandits Website, its possible that Olszewski is a recruited walk-on.

DU has had success in recent seasons with players from the NAHL including Luke Salazar, Dusty Jackson, Chris Nutini & Brandon Vossberg. Obviously the Pioneers would be hoping for similar performance from Olszewski.

Olszewski plays for the NAHL St. Louis Bandits and is the team's leading scorer. He has 25 points (9g, 16a) in 27 games and is captain of the team. The Bandits also have the third best record in the NAHL this season.

Olszewski has been a key factor in the Bandits’ quick start. The 6-foot, 190-pounder has already surpassed last season’s point total of 13 and is thriving on the power play unit.

“Ozzie has been great for us,” St. Louis assistant coach Rocky Russo said. “He’s our captain and a leader, on and off the ice. He was a role player for the team last season and has developed into a complete hockey player.

“He has the potential to be an excellent Division I college player.”

Olszewski is from Janesville, Wisconsin and is twenty years old. He's 6'0 188 lbs.
2010 Recruiting Class
F Jason Zucker (U.S. Under-18)
D David Makowski (Green Bay, USHL)
F Nick Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Beau Bennett (Penticton, BCHL)
F Dan Olszewski (St. Louis, NAHL)

2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-17)
G Sam Brittain (Canmore, AJHL)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Team Illinios)

Stastny Expected To Make USA Olympic Team

(above) DU Alum Paul Stastny is expected to be named to the US Olympic Hockey Team on Jan. 1

From: New York Post
by Larry Brooks

The Greatest Generation of American hockey players has all but receded into memory and ceremony. The boys who banded together to win the 1996 World Cup championship and the 2002 silver medal at the Salt Lake Olympics meet and greet these days at various Hall of Fame inductions.

They were big fish in a small U.S. pond of hockey players back then: guys like Brian Leetch, Chris Chelios, Mike Richter, Pat LaFontaine, Mike Modano, Derian Hatcher and Tony Amonte who had been inspired by the 1980 Miracle at Lake Placid.

But that era is gone. Brian Burke, the general manager of the 2010 U.S. squad that will compete in the Vancouver Games, phrases it somewhat more diplomatically, but even he acknowledges that this team will be comprised of smaller fish from a larger pond.

For whatever the reason, there is an absence of elite talent in the gene pool that reflects a missing generation. Kids like Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, DU Alum Paul Stastny, Dustin Brown, Ryan Kesler, David Booth and Erik Johnson are emerging stars who might one day lead Team USA to greater glory, but the 2010 Yanks will largely be devoid of upper-echelon experience.

Which is why when Team USA's Olympic roster is announced during the Jan. 1 Winter Classic at Fenway Park, the USA will be sending out a host of fresh new faces.

Joe Sakic Coaching Littleton Hawks Squirt-B Team

(above) Former Avs Great Joe Sakic is featured in a great article in the Denver Post today

by Terry Frei

At that moment in the "NHL Rink," the coach wearing the parka, standing behind the bench of the Littleton Hawks Squirt-B Black team, and frequently leaning over to instruct or encourage, was none other than Joe Sakic.

Five months after his retirement announcement, Sakic is the head coach of 9-year-old son Chase's Squirt team and co-coach of 13-year-old son Mitchell's Bantam team. (Chase's twin sister, Kamryn, is into dance and gymnastics.) Read rest of article

Zuckers GWG Leads Team USA By North Dakota

(above) The US National Junior Team defeated North Dakota 4-2

The University of Denver had connections to two players on the U.S. National Junior Team and on Saturday evening both players played a prominent role in the USA's 4-2 exhibition victory over University of North Dakota. DU recruit Jason Zucker, who will join the Pioneers next season, scored the game winning goal and Freshman Matt Donovan was on the first power play unit and added an assist.

The USA's power play unit scored the first two American goals with Donovan on the ice for both. On the second USA goal, Donovan faked at the point and carried the puck low toward the dot and sent it to the slot, where Krieder poked it past Dell just as a power play expired.

Zucker scored the next goal on a nifty individual effort when he beat Fienhage at neutral ice to create a rush, then beat Dell with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.

The final US goal was an empty netter.
UND's Lines

17 Jason Gregoire--29 Chris VandeVelde--10 Corban Knight
19 Evan Trupp--22 Brad Malone--26 Brett Hextall
8 Mike Cichy--9 Mario Lamoureux--18 David Toews
13 Brett Bruneteau--27 Carter Rowney--15 Brent Davidson

2 Andrew MacWilliam--24 Ben Blood
3 Derrick LaPoint--25 Jake Marto
20 Joe Gleason--4 Corey Fienhage
28 Ryan Hill

31 Brad Eidsness
32 Aaron Dell
35 Tate Maris

USA's lines

12 Chris Brown--19 Jordan Schroeder--26 Jeremy Morin
29 Jerry D'Amigo--21 Derek Stepan--8 Danny Kristo
20 Chris Kreider--10 Tyler Johnson--27 Vinny Saponari
16 Jason Zucker--22 A.J. Jenks--9 Philip McRae
25 Kenny Ryan

24 Cam Fowler--18 Brian Lashoff
28 Jake Gardiner--2 John Ramage
7 John Moore--4 Matt Donovan
5 David Warsofsky--3 Max Nicastro

30 Mike Lee
1 Jack Campbell

Team USA Exhibition vs North Dakota On TV

(above) Jason Zucker will be the youngest player on the ice tonight as Team USA takes on North Dakota in a tune-up for the World Junior Tournament

Saturday night's hockey game between the U.S. Junior National team and the University of North Dakota, can be seen live on DirecTV channel 617. The game will also be available on The Fighting Sioux Sports Network and Fox College Sports Central. The game will feature University of Denver Freshman Matt Donovan and DU 2010 recruit Jason Zucker.

This will be the first opportunity for DU fans to see Zucker play on TV and get a glimpse of the future. Zucker is a year younger than his USA teammates and will be five years younger than some of the North Dakota players.

Donovan is going to have his work cut out for him to make the team as defensemen are considered to be the strong point for Team USA.

Coach Dean Blais will lead the USA squad against his former team at 6 p.m. MST live from Ralph Engelstad Arena. The game will also be shown on tape delay Sunday at 10 a.m. MST on the NHL Network.

On Sunday Team USA will cut 5 or 6 players from the roster. By Wednesday they will announce the 22 players that will represent the USA in the World Junior Championships in Canada starting on Dec. 26th. If Donovan makes the team he will miss the Denver Cup in January.

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

DU recruits Nick Shore & Jason Zucker play for the USNDT-Under 18 Program. Team USA-U18 plays a schedule consisting of exhibitions against D-I & D-III universities and the USHL. Shore is the team's leading scorer and has 19 of his 21 points against college teams. Zucker has 17 of his 20 points against college teams. Despite all the players being just 17 years-old, their team has defeated Bowling Green and only lost by one to Boston University and two to Michigan this season. Looks like Shore and Zucker will be able to step in and contribute next season for the Pioneers.

Next Summer the 2010 NHL Draft will be held in Los Angeles. DU should have four players or recruits that have a shot at being drafted, according to the NHL Central Scouting Service. The Pioneers newest recruit, goaltender Sam Brittain has been graded as a "A" player. Recruit Beau Bennett is rated "B" and Freshman playmaker Shawn Ostrow is rated a "C" by Central Scouting. Incoming recruit Jason Zucker was graded as one of the Top 20 players playing Junior hockey in the USA.

The preliminary listing is comprised of players who have been identified by NHL Central Scouting using the following criteria: A Rating: A must-see player who is predicted to be a potential first- or second-round draft selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft; B Rating: A player to note if a scout is in the area, a potential selection in the third-to-fifth round; C Rating: A player that Central Scouting is tracking, a potential late-round selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

Despite a somewhat topsy-turvy start to the season, DU is ranked #3 in the Pairwise Rankings. Denver's record against the Top 25 teams in the country (T.U.C.) is an NCAA best 9-4-1. DU also has played the third most difficult schedule in the country. DU's match-up with Boston College (#2 Pairwise) in the Denver Cup on Jan. 2 will have huge ramifications during the NCAA Seeding and Selection Process.

Streakers At DU Hockey Games In 1970's

(above) This month's issue of the DU Alumni Magazine features a photo of DU hockey streakers in the 1970s. Notice Boone on the Zamboni.

Imagine our surprise upon receiving Winter quarterly issue of the University of Denver Alumni Magazine and seeing a photo of two buck naked students splashed across page 37. We can only hope that this signals a new era of journalistic freedom at DU.

Goaltender Sam Brittain Commits To DU

(left) Goaltender Sam Brittain from Calgary committed to DU yesterday

The University of Denver scored another major recruiting coup, receiving a commitment yesterday from top-flight goaltender Sam Brittain. Brittain plays for the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and will enroll at DU in 2011.

Brittain is doing his part to revive the fortunes of the Eagles this season. The team is an early season playoff contender in the South Division of the AJHL. Brittain has carried the lion’s share of the goaltending load in his first full season in the league. Already 6'3 210 lbs. he has the size that NHL teams are looking for.

Brittain’s resume is impressive. He led the Calgary Buffaloes AAA Midget team to the National Championships in Selkirk, Manitoba, last spring, winning a silver medal.

He is eligible for the NHL Draft this summer in Los Angeles. His strong start at Canmore had led to an "A" grade by the NHL Central Scouting Service which usually means a strong possibility of being selected in the first two rounds.

Brittain is a Senior in high school and is described as an "A Student." Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska-Omaha were also reportedly interested in Brittian.
2010 Recruiting Class
F Jason Zucker (U.S. Under-18)
D David Makowski (Green Bay, USHL)
F Nick Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Beau Bennett (Penticton, BCHL)

2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-17)
G Sam Brittain (Canmore, AJHL)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Team Illinios)

Colborne Wanted Shot At Team Canada Camp

(above) Joe Colborne is another DU player who's not happy to be home for the holidays

From: Cochrane Eagle
by Jeremy Nolais

Unlike most people, Joe Colborne was looking forward to working this holiday season.

Unfortunately the Cochranite, who is a first round draft pick of the NHL’s Boston Bruins and former Canadian Junior A hockey player of the year, won’t get the chance as he was left off the recently announced tryout roster for Canada’s world junior hockey championship team. Team Canada will faceoff against the world’s best young hockey talent in the prestigious tournament Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Regina.

“It was painful,” said Colborne of learning he was not invited to the final selection camp. “It sucks because I have been dreaming of playing in the world juniors my whole life, but you have just got to move on I guess.”

Colborne, who currently plays for the University of Denver Pioneers — ranked in the top three in every major poll in NCAA Division 1 hockey — said playing south of the border may have hurt his chances and believes his playing style has always been a point of contention with national hockey scouts.

“Hockey Canada hasn’t really been a big fan of me,” said the 6'6", 190-pound forward. “It just seems like they are pretty set on having small, speedy forwards and then focus on bigger defenseman.

“Obviously I am a bigger guy and I just like to control the puck down low. It just seems like they were going in a different direction and that’s their choice.”

But Al Murray, the head scout for Team Canada, says Colborne was given a fair shot when he, along with 79 other players, was invited to Hockey Canada’s initial assessment summer camp earlier this year, but ultimately didn’t quite measure up.

“The easy answer and the truthful answer is that Joe was simply beat out by other good players,” Murray said. “We have more good players than we have spots when it comes to picking a team or players for a camp because of the depth our country produces.”

Murray added that Colborne is a dominating asset to have on the powerplay, but feels his physical presence needs serious improvement.

“We usually actively look for physical guys,” Murray said. “Joe has some real strengths to his game and some real limitations. He was one guy that was heavily considered, but ultimately got beat out.”

Colborne, meanwhile, is disappointed to say the least, but plans to look past this stumbling block and focus on the second half of his season with the Pioneers.

“We have got a deep team, we have got a strong team and hopefully we will be able to string some wins together near the end of the year and go all the way to the national championship,” said Colborne, who sits third on the Pioneers in scoring with six goals and eight assists in 17 games.

But the 19-year-old’s pursuit of an NCAA title is still a few weeks away and for now Colborne plans to venture home for the holidays to spend time with his family.

“I didn’t really have too many plans because I was really hoping to do the world juniors,” he said.

“Obviously it’s going to be a bittersweet time, I get to go home and be with my family around Christmas, but I would have definitely been OK with missing Christmas if I was playing world juniors.”

Donovan & Zucker Begin USA Camp Tomorrow

(left) DU's Matt Donovan

From: USA

DU defenseman Matt Donovan & 2010 incoming recruit Jason Zucker will begin practice tomorrow in hopes of being two of the 22 players selected to make Team USA. Candidates for the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team will participate in a three-day camp Dec. 17-19 in Grand Forks, N.D., in preparation for the upcoming 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

The camp, which includes 29 players, will feature practices on Thursday (Dec. 17) and Friday (Dec. 18), along with an exhibition game against the University of North Dakota men's ice hockey team on Saturday (Dec. 19). Puck drop is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. CST at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The game will be televised on a tape delayed basis on the NHL Network, Sunday at 10 AM MST.

All practices will be held at Ralph Engelstad Arena and will be open to the public.

The U.S. roster will be trimmed on Sunday before the team travels to Regina, Sask. Team USA will compete in an exhibition game against the Czech Republic on Dec. 22 before announcing its final roster on Dec. 23.

Team Canada Selects Final Roster

Team Canada selected its team for the World Junior Championships and no NCAA players made the final roster. DU's Patrick Wiercioch was an early scratch because of a previous injury. His last minute replacement Tyler Cuma also did not make the team.

Matt Donovan Profiled On NHL Fanhouse

(above) Matt Donovan (#4) has been one of the top Freshmen in college hockey this season
photo credit: Matt Donovan

Every once in a while, you end up hearing about a top freshman player in the college game. It's tough for the highly-touted to meet expectations. For Denver freshman defenseman Matt Donovan (NHL rights: N.Y. Islanders), it's clear that he is well on his way to surpassing the high expectations he brought with him to college.

The fourth-round pick from 2008 hails from Edmond, Okla., hardly a hotbed of hockey talent. Donovan played two seasons with Cedar Rapids (Iowa) of the United States Hockey League, and also has international experience with Team USA. (read rest of article)

More Details Emerge On Wiercioch Situation

(left) DU's Patrick Wiercioch

From: Montreal Gazette
by Allen Panzeri

After playing 30 minutes for Denver against the University of Minnesota-Duluth on Friday, Patrick Wiercioch flew to Regina for the start of the Canadian junior team selection camp. There, doctors ruled him ineligible because of Grade 2 sprain to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, saying they were afraid there would be the risk of greater injury.

Wiercioch, who was replaced at camp by Ottawa 67's defenceman Tyler Cuma, might have been okay if he had time to sit for a day or two, but time isn't a luxury that Hockey Canada has when it has to pick its world junior team. This year's roster is to be named Wednesday.

It's believed the injury occurred during a game against Colorado College on Dec. 5.

The Senators aren't concerned about the injury, general manager Bryan Murray said Monday, though the team wasn't taking any chances.

They flew Wiercioch to Toronto on Monday, and he's to be in Ottawa today for an examination by Dr. Don Chow. If necessary, he'll be assigned a rehab program.

"It's not real serious," Murray said.

"He may have had a Grade 2 a couple of weeks back, but he played on it. The fortunate thing now is that he is not part of the junior team and has a couple of weeks before Denver starts again, so he should be 100-per-cent healthy then, but it's a huge setback for him because he desperately wanted a chance to play for Canada."

Last spring, Wiercioch thought about leaving Denver to turn pro, but the Senators convinced him to stay put, believing he needed more time to develop.

Now he seems more at peace with remaining at Denver than he was last spring and is even talking about staying there for all four years of U.S. college eligibility, though that's unlikely to happen.

"I don't think it's going to hurt me to stay there four years, but, obviously, my goal is to play professional hockey, and that's what I want to do," he said. "It might take one more year. It might take two years or three years before I'm at that level. It's a great situation in Denver."

Donate To DU This Holiday Season

University of Denver Athletics


With the holiday season upon us, who needs more stuff? Give someone on your gift list a present that will support and enhance a student-athlete's experience. Make a donation to DU Athletics in someone's name (ie-Denver Boone), and they will send a holiday card to your recipient acknowledging your gift. All contributions are 100% tax-deductible and apply to the donor.

All donations go to support student-athletes directly. Some examples include:

Up to $250 Pays for textbooks for one quarter
$625 Pays for meals for one student-athlete during off-term on campus
$960 Pays for one credit hour – average class is 4 credit hours x $960

Any donation amount is appreciated and will directly benefit student-athletes


Call 303.871.4045

Complete and mail in the Gift Form

Wiercioch Disappointed in Team Canada

(left) DU's Patrick Wiercioch

From: Ottawa Sun
by Don Brennan

Patrick Wiercioch was so upset when he turned up at the Air Canada Centre on Monday that he wouldn’t talk about the world junior hockey championship or the knee injury that ended his hopes of playing for Canada in the tournament.

He didn’t have to say a word, though. It was written all over his face.

Sitting in the stands at the ACC, 19-year-old Patrick Wiercioch immediately took control of the media scrum that surrounded him.

The highly touted Senators prospect flatly stated he was not going to comment on his knee injury or the world juniors he will now miss.

A few minutes later, he couldn’t help himself.

“Disappointed is probably the best word,” said the 6-foot-4, still-filling-out defenceman chosen by the Senators in the second round of the 2008 draft. “I think if there’s anything I’ll comment on, it’s that I’ve been a Canadian hockey fan since I can remember.

“I remember waking my parents up at 5 in the morning to watch the games that were overseas. I remember taking a bus downtown to watch the games in Vancouver (for the 2006 world juniors), three or four connections on a bus and buying scalpers’ tickets. It was a big part of my life growing up. It’s just tough.”

Somewhat confusing is why Team Canada officials sent him home from selection camp on Sunday, one day after Wiercioch showed up in Regina and less than 48 hours after he played nearly 30 minutes for the University of Denver vs. Minnesota Duluth.

“We think they only want the best players, and therefore if he’s hurt, they don’t have the time to sit around for a day or two to recover,” said Senators GM Bryan Murray. “We’ve looked at him (yesterday). It’s not real serious. He may have had a Grade 2 (injury) a couple weeks back, but he played on it.

“We will have our doctors look at it (in Ottawa today). The fortunate thing now is ... he has a couple of weeks before Denver starts (playing) again. He should be 100% healthy then.”

The Senators love Wiercioch, who had 12 goals and 35 points in 36 games as a freshman, and has two goals and 10 assists in 16 games this season. They see a blue line with Wiercioch, Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen, and they wring their hands with excitement.

“He just happens to be more talented than most prospects,” said assistant GM Tim Murray, who’s also considered a pretty shrewd scout. “He’s one of the best defencemen in college hockey.”

So, when is Wiercioch going to come out? Might this be his last year in college?

“Love it to be,” said Wiercioch. “But I’d also love to get a degree. That’s important to me. I don’t think it’s going to hurt me to stay there four years. But my goal is to play professional hockey. It might take one more year, it might take two years or three years of maturity.

“I don’t think it’s worth it to leave school right now and play in the American Hockey League right away. I’d like to have a legitimate chance to make the (Senators).”

Coach Cory Clouston hasn’t seen Wiercioch play much, but sure likes his attitude.

“He’s confident,” said Clouston. “He wants to be here. He thinks he’s going to be a player. That’s really important. You have to have that inside you.”

A burning desire to show junior officials they made a mistake isn’t bad, either.

Gwozdecky Disagrees With Team Canada

(above) Patrick Wiercioch's dismissal from Team Canada for medical reasons displeases Coach Gwozdecky

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

"Our medical staff had been in direct contact with their medical team over the past four to five weeks. They were very aware of not only Wiercioch's injury, but how it was diagnosed and treated, and obviously the fact he had been practicing and playing. It's very surprising they would bring him up to Regina and decide to not clear him." (read rest of article)
-DU Coach George Gwozdecky

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

Fresh off being named the Most Outstanding Forward in the 2009 CJHL Prospects Game, DU recruit Beau Bennett has been named to the 2010 BCHL All-Star Game. The BCHL All-Stars will take on the Vernon Vipers in Naiamo on January 13, 2010. This will mark the first time that the BCHL All-Stars will square off against the team with the best record in the league.
DU recruits Nick Shore & Jason Zucker contributed to the U.S. National Under-18 Team as it dropped Williams College, 6-1, on Saturday Night at Lansing-Chapman Ice Rink. Shore chipped in with three assists. Zucker gave Team USA a three-goal cushion after he streaked past a defenseman on the left side, cut to the net, put the puck to his backhand and lifted it over goaltender's glove 4:59 into the second stanza.
DU recruit David Makowski is tied for 2nd in the USHL in Defenseman Scoring with 20 points (8 g, 12 a) in 22 games. He is also the 2nd leading scorer for the Green Bay Gamblers this season.
2010 Recruiting Class
F Jason Zucker (U.S. Under-18)
D David Makowski (Green Bay, USHL)
F Nick Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Beau Bennett (Penticton, BCHL)

2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-17)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Team Illinios)

Wiercioch's Injury Forces Him Off Team Canada

(above) DU's Patrick Wiercioch will visit with the Ottawa Senators team doctors today
photo credit: Leanna Lofte

From: Ottawa Sun
by Don Brennan

The University of Denver's Patrick Wiercioch's dream of playing for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships over Christmas Break were ended yesterday by Team Canada doctors. The defending world junior champs yesterday sent Wiercioch home from their selection camp in Regina when the highly regarded Senators prospect showed up with a pre-existing knee injury.

Tyler Cuma, the Ottawa 67’s captain who suffered a knee injury at last year’s selection camp, was overlooked when the invitations were sent out this time around. But apparently, he was first in line in case of an emergency.

“I’m overjoyed at getting another opportunity to try out again,” Cuma said yesterday from Regina. “This time around, I want to make sure I do my best to stick with the team. It’s unfortunate for the player who was let go, but it’s a chance for myself and I need to seize it.”

Wiercioch, who played Friday for the University of Denver, against Minnesota-Duluth, has been playing through what’s believed to be damage to his MCL. He will join the Ottawa Senators in Toronto today, then fly to Ottawa back to the capital with them to be examined by team doctors.

“Cuma’s very worthy of an invite to this camp,” said Hockey Canada scout Al Murray, “but it’s very crushing for Patrick Wiercioch not to be able to continue.”

Team USA Women's Hockey Photo

(above) Team USA Women's hockey players hold up a DU Jersey during an autograph session at Magness Arena on Saturday night

Canada Defeats USA Women In Magness Arena

(above) Canadian goalkeeper Kim St. Pierre, right, covers the puck as Kelli Stack of the USA pressures the goal at Magness Arena on the University of Denver Campus campus Saturday

From: Google News
by Pat Graham

With two months to go before the Vancouver Games, U.S.A. Coach Mark Johnson is still trying to find the right mix.

The U.S. women's coach tweaked his lineup in a 4-2 exhibition loss to Canada on Saturday night, and the new combinations got off to a sluggish start before breaking through in the final period.

"Other than the score, I thought we're making progress," Johnson said.

The Americans rolled out retooled line combinations and played longtime forward Julie Chu on defense. All part of the plan to be better 60 days from now.

"Nobody's giving out report cards or medals in December," said USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean, who was in attendance at the University of Denver's Magness Arena. "This is all part of the process of getting ready for Feb. 14 and beyond."

Marie-Philip Poulin and Caroline Ouellette scored 58 seconds apart in the second period, helping the Canadians beat their top rival for the fourth time in five games.

Gina Kingsbury and Meghan Agosta also scored for the Canadians, and Kim St. Pierre stopped 27 shots.

"I think we're on a good roll," Canadian forward Hayley Wickenheiser said. "We've been playing well and training pretty hard. It's given us a good competitive edge that way."

Canada jumped out to an early lead against an American squad that initially appeared out of sync.

"We got up 3-0, but the U.S. didn't back down," Canada coach Melody Davidson said. "Full credit to them. They made us earn that win for sure."

Canada and the United States, heavy favorites in Vancouver, will play again Tuesday night in Calgary.

Two days later, the United States will trim its roster by two to 21 players.

It's making for some anxious players.

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a concern," said Hilary Knight, who had one of the U.S goals. "It's definitely in the back of your head. You do as much as you can not to think about it. It will weigh you down if you think about cuts and losing two of your best friends, family members."

Johnson knows he has some tough decisions in the next week. And this may have been the last chance to make a final impression.

"We tweaked things around the last three weeks, to give everyone a real fair opportunity in regards to making the final 21," Johnson said. "Tonight, was no different."

Outside of third-period goals from Knight and Karen Thatcher, the Americans couldn't solve St. Pierre. She made one sprawling save after another.

"Like any other goaltender, you have to find their weaknesses," said Knight, who leads the team with nine goals this season. "She played great tonight. They're good contenders — always a fun game when we play them."

That's why it's such an entertaining rivalry.

"I think it's a terrific rivalry and one of the best there is for the sport," Davidson said. "But it's a healthy one."

Ogrean couldn't agree more. It's setting up for good theater in Vancouver.

"I think each country has two really good goaltenders and two really good coaches," Ogrean said. "We're going to go into Canada, perhaps the advantage to them because they're home. We know when we go into the Olympic building, 95 percent of the audience or more is going to be wearing a red-and-white jersey and cheering for Canada. That is both a wind in their sails but also a weight on their shoulders. We'll be going up there with one goal — ready to play."

Minnesota-Duluth 6 - DU 3 FINAL

DU @ Minnesota Duluth - Saturday Night
DU 3
Goal(s) - Ruegsegger
, Glasser, Maiani

Goal(s) - Bordson
(2), J. Connolly (2), Oleksuk, Schmidt
The University of Denver fell behind 3-1 early in the first period tonight against the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Despite two 2nd Period goals by Matt Glasser and Anthony Maiani to tie the game, DU was unable to hold on.

UMD scored two quick goals in the middle of the third period to seal the victory. Marc Cheverie suffered his worst defeat of the season giving up six goals.

Tyler Ruegsegger's first period goal gives him 101 career points at DU.


Connolly (Mike) - Connolly (Jack) - Fontaine
Bordson - Oleksuk - Seidel
Fulton - Akins - Schmidt
Danberg - DeLisle - Grun

Kishel - Montgomery
Bergman - Lamb
Olson - Huttel

Hjelle - Reiter - Crandall


Glasser - Gifford - Dewhurst
Ostrow (Shawn) - Shore - Knowlton
Rakhshani - Martin - Maiani
Ostrow (Kyle) - Ruegsegger - Colborne

Donovan - Nutini
Phillips - Lee
Ryder - Wrenn

Cheverie - Murray