Chris Knowlton's Fan Club Is Based In Albany

(above) Chris Knowlton will have his cheering section in Albany this weekend

From: Troy Record
by Ed Weaver

DU Freshman forward Chris Knowlton will be a proud guest of his father this weekend.

The University of Denver player will be on the Times Union Center ice as the Pioneers compete in the NCAA Tournament’s East Regional; which is hosted by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; where his father Jim Knowlton is the Athletic Director.

“I’m pretty stoked,” Chris Knowlton said from Denver on Tuesday. “Can’t wait. I had talked to my parents about (the possibility) for a couple of weeks. It’s real exciting.

“It’s pretty hard for them to come see me play,” Chris said, noting the WCHA schedule brings the Pioneers no further East than

The No. 2-ranked Pioneers (27-9-4), the Region’s top seed, play unranked Rochester Inst. of Technology (26-11-1) at 3 p.m. Friday, the Cornell meets New Hampshire at 6:30.

When Chris Knowlton heard that Denver was in the Albany Region, he said, “we had just landing, coming back from our league (WCHA) Tournament in Minnesota. Everyone got on his phone. I texted my dad, then I texted my mom. She called back first, so I talked to her first.

“I guess I know which one cares more about me,” he said with a laugh.

He said “as many as 20,” family members will be in town for the tournament and he’ll need help from teammates with ticket allocations.

“My mom (Corey) told me right away to get on that,” he said.

Knowlton’s rookie season didn’t begin with a bang but he credits head coach George Gwozdecky and his staff for both instruction and encouragement.

“I think I’ve definitely improved a lot,” he said. “The coaching here is so fantastic, you can’t help but get better. Early in the year, being in and out of the lineup, it’s hard to find a niche and that makes it hard to prove yourself.

“But I got in for couple games and obviously coach saw something in me to keep me in the lineup. As a freshman, I haven’t put up big numbers (he has three goals, three assists) but I think I’ve definitely progressed.”

The Pioneers were ranked No. 1 in the nation at times during the season. They took a 27-7-4 record into the WCHA playoffs semifinals but were beaten by North Dakota, 4-3, then lost the consolation game to Wisconsin, 6-3.

Do they have something to prove in the NCAA event coming off two losses, or were the two defeats just a testament to the brutal competition of the rugged WCHA playoffs? And do the Pioneers have something to prove?

“You know, I think it’s a little bit of both,” Knowlton said. “Obviously we wanted to win both games but losing to (No. 4) North Dakota and (No. 5) Wisconsin … I think they’re both in the Top 5 … isn’t anything to get alarmed with. North Dakota had something to prove against us; we had beaten them four times (in four games) in the regular season.

“All we have to prove is maybe to ourselves,” he added. “People have been writing us off and (ESPN analyst) Barry Melrose was giving grief, saying we’re done, we don’t have the goaltending. But I think we’ll be alright.”

1 comment:

Twister said...

Knowlton gets my vote for most improved player.