Sunday, January 31, 2010

DU 4 - UND 2 FINAL


(above) Video highlights of game
The home locker room in Ralph Engelstad Arena was full of frustration, disappointment and anger late Saturday night, consumed with a feeling that only two players inside of it have ever experienced. For the first time in 37 months — a span of more than three years and 25 series — the UND men’s hockey team was swept at home.
-Grand Forks Herald
The University of Denver came storming back from a 2-0 deficit in the second period to score four unanswered goals tonight in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The pivotal second period saw the Pioneers score three goals in the final ten minutes of the period.

With the victory DU, went 4-0-0 against North Dakota for the first four game regular season sweep since 1992-93.

Thanks to upsets by Colorado College 6-4 over St. Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth over Wisconsin 4-0, DU is all alone in first place in the WCHA.
Box Score

Denver Post Game Recap

Grand Forks Herald Game Recap

USCHO.com Game Recap


Pairwise Rankings

WCHA Standings


DU's Remaining Schedule

2/5 Mercyhurst
2/6 @ Air Force
2/12 Minnesota
2/13 Minnesota
2/19 Michigan Tech
2/ 20 Michigan Tech
2/26 @ Minnesota State
2/27 @ Minnesota State
3/5 Colorado College
3/6 @ Colorado College

3/12-14 WCHA 1st Round Playoffs
3/18-20 WCHA Final Five-St. Paul, MN

3/26-28 NCAA Regionals (Worcester, St. Paul, Ft. Wayne, Albany)
4/8 & 10 Frozen Four (Detroit)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

DU vs. UND - TV Info & Score Updates

TV INFO: Saturday's game against North Dakota will be available on DirecTV 623 and Fox College Sports-Atlantic. The game will not be telecast on Fox Sports-Rocky Mountain. For those in Denver, with Comcast Digital Receivers: Saturday's game is on 413 (FCS-Atlantic). You can order the "Sports Pack" from Comcast for $4.99 per month. (You gotta like Boone in the FCS promo)

Mike Chambers Blog Has Grand Forks Updates

Denver Post reporter Mike Chambers is traveling with the team again this weekend and filed three reports in his blog today with up to the minute articles on the team. Props to the Denver Post for sending Chambers on two consecutive road trips in these tough economic times for the newspaper industry.

If you read this blog with any regularity you know what a great job Chambers does covering the team. Fact of the matter is that he has unparalleled access to the team and the coaching staff based on a twelve year relationship covering the hockey program.

As DU's flagship sport, the hockey team needs more coverage in the Post if we are going to continue to prosper in the competitive Denver sports marketplace. By leaving a comment after his blog postings or articles, you are sending a clear message to the Post sports editors that college hockey is relevant and important.
Gwozdecky & Chevy Talk About Friday's Win

Update From Grand Forks

Jesse Martin Injury Update

Friday, January 29, 2010

DU 2 - North Dakota 0 FINAL

(above) Chevy recorded his second shutout of the season against North Dakota

The University of Denver scored two goals in the first 3:18 seconds of the game and then held on for a shutout victory over the University of North Dakota. Joe Colborne & Tyler Ruegsegger scored a couple of nice goals for the Pioneers.

Marc Cheverie was the story of the game coming up with big save after save.

North Dakota had a goal disallowed early in the third period, Corban Knight was called for interference just after Carter Rowney beat Cheverie. Officials waved off the goal, accusing Knight of taking down DU defenseman Patrick Wiercioch. Needless to say Sioux Nation will be crying about it on their way back to the Trailer Park tonight.

TV INFO: Saturday's game against North Dakota will be available on DirecTV 623 and Fox College Sports-Atlantic. The game will not be telecast on Fox Sports-Rocky Mountain. For those in Denver, with Comcast Digital Receivers: Saturday's game is on 413 (FCS-Atlantic). You can order the "Sports Pack" from Comcast for $4.99 per month. (You gotta like Boone in the FCS promo)
Box Score
.
Denver Post Game Recap

Grand Forks Herald Game Recap

USCHO.com Game Recap

WCHA Standings


Matt Carle Poses With DU Alum & Sons

(above) Matt Carle with DU Alum Andrew Aerenson and sons Cale & Travis after the Flyers-Thrashers game last night

When DU Alum Andrew Aerenson ('85) told us he was visiting the Philadelphia Flyers locker room with his sons, we said take a photo with DU hockey alum Matt Carle for us. Andy reported that Matt is a great guy and checks out LetsGoDU from time to time to see what's going on with DU hockey.

DU recruiting coordinator Steve Miller better keep an eye out for Cale & Travis Aerenson. They will be coming to DU in 2014 & 2015. Growing up as Flyer fans they'll probably have a physical edge to their games that would be quite useful against the University of North Dakota.

DU vs. UND Series Kicks Off Tonight

Friday's hockey game between the University of Denver @ North Dakota will be televised by the NHL Network, DirecTV 617 and Fox College Sports-Central. Saturday's game is available on DirecTV 623 and Fox College Sports-Atlantic. Neither game will be telecast on Fox Sports-Rocky Mountain.

For those in Denver, with Comcast Digital Receivers: Tonight's game is on both channels 414 (FCS-Central) and 419 (NHL Network). Tomorrow night's game is on 413 (FCS-Atlantic).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

DU Alumni Party In Colorado Springs

DU Pioneers vs. Colorado College Tigers
in Colorado Springs

The University of Denver Office of Alumni Relations invites you to join us for a pre-game reception followed by an exciting evening of DU hockey action.

Come cheer on the Pioneers as they take on their WCHA rivals, the Colorado College Tigers!

Space is limited so reserve your ticket today.

Saturday, March 6, 2010
5:30 p.m. Pre-Game Reception
7:07 p.m. Puck Drops
Colorado Springs World Arena, Arena Bar
3185 Venetucci Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Cost: $20 per person
Includes game ticket and pre-game food and drinks

Register Online

Coach Tierney Discusses DU Lacrosse

(above) DU's Lacrosse team is ranked #17 in the preseason poll.

DU Alum Stastny Living Up To Family Legacy

(above) DU Alum Paul Stastny hopes to lead the USA to Gold at the Winter Olympics

From: NHL.com
by Rick Sadowski


Living up to a family legacy can be an extremely difficult endeavor, one filled with a great deal of pressure, yet Paul Stastny is making it look relatively easy.

The 24-year-old Colorado Avalanche center chose to follow in the skate marks of his famous father, Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, and uncles Anton and Marian Stastny, and he's developed into a star in his own right.

A second-round pick (No. 44) in the 2005 Entry Draft, Paul Stastny helped the University of Denver win an NCAA championship as a freshman in 2005; signed with the Avalanche after his sophomore season and finished second to Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin in voting for the Calder Trophy in 2006-07; was named to the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, but couldn't play after undergoing an appendectomy; led Colorado in scoring in 2007-08 despite missing 16 games for health reasons.

"Paul obviously has the bloodlines of hockey in him,'' Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "Everybody knows the Stastny name is a big name in the hockey world. But the thing Paul has done is create an identity for himself as a player. He's not just a legacy, not just a Stastny. He's a tough, hard-working, quality guy who's carved out his own niche. He's a big, big part of this hockey team."

Paul Stastny also is expected to play a pivotal role while skating for Team USA in next month's Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"It's an honor, something I never imagined in my wildest dreams when I was younger," said Stastny, who leads the Avalanche in scoring with 43 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 49 games. "You're always focused on making the NHL, and making the Olympics is really special. To be able to represent the USA means a lot to me.

"We'll have a fast, puck-moving team. We'll be exciting and I really think people will enjoy watching us. I hope we can make America proud."

Unlike his father, who defected from what was then Czechoslovakia to Quebec in 1980 under circumstances that could have been included in a John Le Carre spy novel, Paul's path to the NHL was fairly routine.

But this wasn't quite the case for his inclusion on Team USA.

Paul's parents are Slovakian, and he was born in Quebec City in 1985 when Peter and Anton were playing for the Nordiques (Marian spent his first four seasons in Quebec and went to Toronto in 1985-86).

So how come he'll be wearing a red, white and blue sweater next month?

Paul grew up mostly in St. Louis after Peter moved on to the Blues. He owns dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship, played for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the 2004 Viking Cup and for the U.S. national team in the 2007 World Championship tournament.

"I've been living in the States since I was five," said Stastny, who moved to New Jersey with his family when Peter was traded to the Devils, and to St. Louis when he was nine. "I was raised and grew up (in the U.S.). All my friends and everyone I played hockey with are in the U.S., so at heart I was always American.

"I always knew if it came down to a situation like this, I'd love to play for the U.S. and represent them."

Stastny still spends much of his time in St. Louis after hockey season, maintaining a home in Denver when the Avalanche is playing.

"My family is still there," he said of St. Louis. "My brothers are there and we work out there. It's still one of my main homes."

Paul's older brother, Yan, is in the Blues organization and has split time between St. Louis and the Peoria Rivermen in the American Hockey League.

Paul said neither he nor Yan was pushed to play hockey. On the contrary, he said, all of the Stastny children were encouraged to carve their own stations in life.

"I was lucky to have my dad," said Paul, who wears the No. 26 his father donned in Quebec and was retired by the Nordiques. "He never put pressure on us. He knew we we're going to be ourselves, that we were going to make our own reputations as people. I think he's the perfect role model to look up to. He never pushed us into hockey. We played every sport growing up, but (hockey) came natural because of my dad and uncles.

"Being born in Quebec, it just came natural that I wanted to play hockey. I remember the place where we lived and the pond hockey that we always played; it was probably a half mile away from our house. I don't really remember going to (NHL) rinks until later, in St. Louis. But I was always around the cold weather and always around the ice."

Paul knows all about the harrowing defection undertaken by Peter and Anton (Marian joined them a couple of years later), but only because he asked his dad several years ago.

"He doesn't talk about stuff like that," Paul said. "My father was really quiet and never said much. He's humble and doesn't say too much unless you ask him. He kept everything quiet."

Peter played for Czechoslovakia in the 1980 Olympics, and twice more for Slovakia, but Paul hasn't asked him for any advice about playing on the Olympics stage.

"I think he's excited for me, but I haven't really talked to him about it or his experience," Paul said.

Like father, Paul isn't the most talkative player in the Avalanche dressing room, but he leads by example and is serving as an assistant captain this season.

Also like father, who represents Slovakia in the European Parliament, Paul has some interest in politics. But he won't be running for office when his playing days are over.

"I pay attention to that stuff and you learn things as you get older," he said. "You start making money and making decisions for yourself, so you watch and read about a lot of stuff. I like what my dad does in politics and in business, but I keep things to myself. I'd just rather lay low and keep my thoughts inside."

That's actually a fairly shrewd political statement in itself.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chancellor Coombe Raises Tuition Again

(left) Rather than cut costs and raise fundraising revenue, Chancellor Coombe will once again raise tuition

From: DU Clarion
by Arianna Ranahosseini

President Obama's Speech last night...

"And it’s time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs – because they too have a responsibility to help solve this problem."
Keeping his perfect record intact, Chancellor Coombe will once again raise tuition at the University of Denver. Tuition will be increasing for the next academic year, the Board of Trustees decided Friday. Since taking over as Chancellor in 2005 Robert Coombe has managed to raise tuition every year he has been running the school.

Last year the tuition was "only" raised 4.9% making DU one of the more expensive schools in the country. According to the Princeton Review Tuition alone was $34,596 last year not counting room, board or books.

“There will be an increase,” said Claire Brownell, assistant to the chancellor.

Although the amount has been decided, the chancellor’s office declined to say by how much.

Zucker & Colborne Receive Hockey News Props

(above) The Hockey News loves DU recruit Jason Zucker

From: Hockey News Hot List
by Ryan Kennedy


1. Jason Zucker, LW – U.S. NTDP (USHL): As one of the few draft-eligible Americans at the world juniors, Zucker definitely put himself on the map with a great tourney filled with speed, hands and hard work. And yes, he was born and raised in Las Vegas. So how did he get into hockey?

“My brother Evan got me started when I was young,” Zucker noted. “Then I moved to L.A. when I was 10 years old and went from there.”

Zucker also played for Detroit Compuware before joining the NTDP, where he has soaked in the experience. The gritty winger also believes the team’s global schedule (which includes tournaments against European squads) helped prepare him for the WJC.

“It’s big for me because we play international teams over there as well,” Zucker said. “So we learn how to play the international style. You learn the teams.”

And the U.S. certainly did that in Saskatoon. But what can NHL teams expect from the youngster?

“I think I’m a fast, skilled player that can score goals and I’m a gritty player,” he said. “I’m gonna get in the corners and hit and do everything I can to help my team win.”

So far, so good on that account.
Draft eligible in 2010.

5. Joe Colborne, C – Denver Pioneers (WCHA): It may not be a great season to be a Boston Bruins fan, but how about this: Colborne is now running at a point-per-game clip for the Pios. That’s great news for followers of the 6-foot-5 power forward, who is also closing in on the 200-pound mark (that’s a good thing). Drafted 16th overall by Boston in 2008.

DU Recruit Beau Bennett Tearing It Up

(above) Beau Bennett is inching towards becoming a first rounder this Summer in the NHL Draft
photo credit: Ryan Pinder

From: Penticton Vees Blog
by Ryan Pinder

Two weeks after teammate Denver Manderson got the nod, DU recruit Beau Bennett was named the BCHL’s Player of the Week this week. Beau was credited with eight points over the Vees three game Northern road trip and now has 86 points in 44 games.

Beau’s rookie season in the BCHL has been nothing short of sensational. The draft eligible L.A. product is ranked 48th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, won a gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge in PEI with Team USA, secured a scholarship to the University of Denver, helped Team West win the CJHL Prospects Game in Winkler Manitoba, and currently leads all BCHL rookies in goals, assists and points (obviously).

Beau is on pace to finish the season with 109 points, and looks like a lock for BCHL Rookie of the Year.

DU Recruiting Roundup

(left) Possible 2011 recruit Austin Czarnik was seen on campus Monday taking a tour

Possible 2011 recruit Austin Czarnik was spotted taking a tour around the University of Denver Monday afternoon. He's been mentioned being interested in Michigan, DU, Boston University and the Ontarion Hockey League in Canada.

Below is a short note on a couple of DU recruits we haven't covered lately. Seems like they are all having very good seasons playing Junior Hockey.

2010 Recruits

David Makowski D (Green Bay Gamblers-USHL) - Leads the USHL in Defenseman goals with 13 goals. Third in the league in Defenseman points with 26. Is +11 on the season and his team has the best record in the USHL.

Beau Bennett F (Penntictin Vees-BCHL) - Bennett was named BCHL Player Of The Week this week. He had a goal and six assists in just three games this week. He is third in the league in scoring with 29 goals and 57 assists in just 44 games. His team has the second best record in the BCHL.

Dan Olszewski F (St. Louis Bandits-NAHL) - "Ozzie" leads his team in scoring with 15 goals and 18 assists in 36 games. The Bandits have the second best record in the NAHL.

2011 Recruits

Sam Brittain G (Canmore Eagles-AJHL) - Had played in every game except one for the Eagles this season. Led Team to 17-16-4 record and has NHL scouts hot on his heels. 3.42 GAA & .892 Save Percentage.

Scott Mayfield D (Youngstown Phantoms-USHL) - Having a nice season with the Phantoms with 6 goals and 7 assists. Had huge upside potential as he develops his game in the USHL.
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)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ostrow's Goal Made ESPN's Plays Of The Day


(above) It took us a little while to find the video, but Kyle Ostrow's goal against Wisconsin on Friday was ESPN's #3 Play Of The Day

From Boonetown To Motown Logo

(above) Hockey sticks have been serendipitously Photoshopped into the golf bag behind Boone

Thanks to Stephen Younger we now have our "From Boonetown To Motown" Logo. Look for T-shirts and posters benefiting a DU student organization by the Minnesota Gopher series. The merchandise will be the first products ever available with our new Boone Mascot.

Collectors items to be sure.

Denver Post: DU Faces North Dakota Challenge

(above) DU will go from one hostile playground to another this weekend

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers


Last Saturday, the then-No. 1-ranked University of Denver hockey team was greeted by the first Kohl Center sellout of the season, losing 4-3 at Wisconsin before a relatively good-natured gathering of 15,237.

The Badgers' lively student section undoubtedly made it a difficult place to play for the Pioneers. But the atmosphere in Madison will be considered tame compared with the expected antics that will unfold this weekend against North Dakota in Grand Forks. (read rest of article)

Decision On UND Nickname Delayed Again

From: NBC Sports.com
by Dave Kolpack


The fate of the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname has gone into triple overtime.

North Dakota's Board of Higher Education voted 5-3 last Thursday to delay a decision on retiring the nickname and Indian head logo so the state can find out if it can speed up an appeal to the state Supreme Court by some Spirit Lake Sioux members who sued to keep the moniker and symbol. The board hopes to have an answer in 30 days on the progress of the appeal.

The board is trying to drop the nickname and logo before a November deadline set as part of a settlement with the NCAA, which considers them hostile to American Indians. A state judge ruled last month that the board had the authority to do what it wants, but the Spirit Lake Sioux group appealed to the state's highest court.

Border Bar Near DU To Reopen Today

(above) Brian Haddad is one of the Border's new owners

From: DU Clarion
by Laura Hathaway

Tuesday at 3 p.m. the Border will reopen, after being shut down last fall for a liquor-licensing violation fraction.

The new owners are Brian Haddad, 34 and David Weiss, 30, who operate two poolside bars in metro Denver.

“We definitely knew about the Border and we know that it’s had a long history here,” Haddad said. “We’d like to continue that history as the Border.”

The previous owners, REM Capital Corp., had to sell the Border after their liquor license was suspended for 30 days. The suspension resulted from an undercover police operation last summer where the bar was accused of selling liquor to an underage person, according to a stipulation released by the Denver Police Department.

This was the bar’s fourth violation of the Colorado Liquor Code since Feb. 12, 2006, according to City Attorney John Poley.

“The reason that led to the sale is four underage liquor violations in two years. Denver PD is out here all the time, to all of these different bars,” said Haddad. “We obviously want to be here for a long time and our goal, of course, is 21 and up.”

According to Haddad, all the systems are in place to prevent underage drinking.

The stipulation also stated that the former owners had to sell the business by Dec. 1, 2010, which is when their liquor license would have come up for renewal. With so many anxious buyers, REM Capital Corp. was able to sell much sooner than that.

Haddad and Weiss finalized the purchase of the Border on last Friday. The listing price was $195,000 and included the bar and kitchen equipment of the 3,866-square-foot establishment at 2014 South University Boulevard.

Shawn Sanborn of Sanborn & Co. brokered the deal and it all happened pretty quickly. “We learned about the opportunity in December and we were very excited about the opportunity and within a couple weeks we were negotiating the process,” Haddad said.

With new owners also come a completely new management and staff.

“We had more than 700 applications from Craigslist in five days. We conducted about 125 interviews and from that we picked 25 people,” said Haddad.

However, owning a bar is nothing new for Haddad and Weiss. They own the Breakers Café inside the Breakers Resort in Denver and the Parkside Café inside Palomino Park Resort in Highlands Ranch, both of which are poolside bars within apartment complexes.

One of the goals they have for The Border is for it to be a place for more than just late-night college drinking.

“We are really trying to appeal to faculty, staff, the local community and of course all the students at DU,” Haddad said. “Our goal is to really build that whole lunch component here.”

Menu items include nothing costing more than $9, except for the Pioneer Challenge. The Pioneer Challenge is a $20 burger that comes with nine patties, nine pieces of cheese, toppings, coleslaw and fries. The challenge is that if someone can eat the burger in 20 minutes, they get their picture framed on the Burger Wall of Fame. A variety of menu items is available, but most of the options are comfort bar food, such as burgers, wings and sandwiches. There also are several Mexican food options.

Happy hour will be Monday to Thursday from 3 - 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 - 8 p.m. Happy hour includes $2 domestic drafts, wells and wines; and $3 long islands, microbrews and imports.

There will be a $3 menu available during happy hour, which consists of fries, chips and salsa, chicken fingers, vegetable with hummus and more. There also will be an emphasis on trying to have live music and get some big name musicians to come play at The Border on weekends.

“We’d love to host DU bands here all the time. We’d love to see if we could get The Flobots or Kinetix,” he said.

So far only minor changes have been made to the interior, such as painting and removing the wall between the bar and the booths. This summer, they plan on making some bigger renovations.

“We’ll probably make some more renovations, like making the rest rooms better and we’re looking at a rooftop patio,” said Haddad.

The Border will be open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

“You’ll see Dave and I here a lot. We are looking forward to meeting the students and turning this into an awesome hotspot,” said Haddad.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Boone's Photoshoot At Wisconsin Auto Museum

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Boone @ Auto Museum
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The plan was simple but ambitious. Wake up early on Saturday morning in Madison, Wisconsin and drive 90 miles to take a few photos of Boone in front of some antique automobiles.

Five hearty soles responded to the challenge.

Why do it? We want to make T-shirts and posters to kick off our "From Boonetown to Motown" Campaign to support the University of Denver hockey team on its quest to reach the Frozen Four in Detroit.

The trip was a blast and we visited the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford, Wisconsin. The 90 mile trip each-way blazed by as we saw America's Dairyland covered in snow and ice.

The trip concluded with a hearty lunch at State Street Brats back in Madison.

USCHO: Badger Series Featured Playoff Intensity

(above) Click on picture to see Boone in a Sea Of Wisconsin Red

From: USCHO.com
by Todd Milewski


The term playoff atmosphere gets thrown around after weekends like these, but the reality is this type of game most often doesn’t get played in front of partisan crowds.

You usually see college hockey at this level on neutral ice in a conference or NCAA tournament, not when there’s still almost two months until things really get interesting.

What No. 1 Denver and No. 3 Wisconsin brought to the Kohl Center ice in two games, however, had as much intensity as any of those one-off postseason showdowns.

Never mind that it pushed the top five teams in the WCHA standings into a clump where the top is just two points ahead of the bottom.

Never mind that the Badgers had just a little bit more than the Pioneers at the end to come away with three points in the series.

If there was one thing to take away, it was that it doesn’t take the bright lights and national television of the postseason to showcase the top end of college hockey.

“That’s championship level in terms of college hockey,” Badgers coach Mike Eaves said after his team emerged with a 4-3 victory. “The intensity, the battle of two teams that have skill, that have strong will, have a strong work ethic, good goaltending. What better way to prepare yourself for the end of the year by playing these types of games.”

A crowd of 15,237 — Wisconsin’s first home sellout this season — saw the Badgers push, the Pioneers push back and the hosts give one last burst of energy: first to go ahead and then to hold the lead in the final minutes.

“The pace was unbelievable the whole weekend,” Wisconsin captain Ben Street said. “You could never really let up; if you had a bad shift, they were going to make you pay for it. That’s the way it is in playoffs. It felt a lot like a tournament game, where there’s a lot on the line. … That’s why I think we’re so happy that we came out with the ‘W’ at the end.”

Being on the losing end had to sting, especially because the Pioneers were able to point pretty clearly at their downfall Saturday — a start that didn’t match what Wisconsin put forth.

They rallied from two goals down to tie things in the third, but Wisconsin’s Michael Davies got the winner with 6:30 remaining.

“The intensity was great,” Pioneers captain Rhett Rakhshani said. “That’s what makes college hockey so much fun. You’ve got to enjoy weekends like this.”

Probably a little bit more when you get three points instead of one.

“Good to see our kids win these type of games,” Eaves said. “That gives us confidence. We understand from the inside out the type of things you need to do to win these type of games.”

News & Notes Around Pioneer Nation

DU recruits Nick Shore & Jason Zucker scored goals as the USNDT Under-18 Team defeated Southern Maine University 5-2 on Saturday night. Shore's goal gave him 30 points for the season which is second on the team.

DU remained tied for first in the PWR Rankings with Miami-Ohio. Miami tied and lost to the University of Alaska. Miami's schedule is very easy the remainder of the season. Any losses along the way will really affect their RPI & PWR rankings.

DU is 3rd in both the USA Today & USCHO.com Polls. Miami & Wisconsin are #1 & #2.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

WI 4 DU 3 Final

(above) It was a rough weekend for the Pioneers

DU dropped the second game of the Wisconsin series 4-3. Although DU battled back from being down 3-1 to tie the game in the 3rd period, Wisconsin was able to get the game winner late in the game to get 3 big WCHA points. DU left Madison with 1 point.

Ben Street beat Marc Cheverie on a slap shot in the latter part of the 1st period to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead. DU being out shot 15-4 as they have taken 4 penalties to the Badgers 1.

Matt Donovan scored a power play goal early in the 2nd period to tie the game at 1. Wisconsin come right back moments later on a Craig Smith goal and took a 2-1 lead. Jordy Murray scored on a wraparound almost midway through the 2nd period to give Wisconsin a 3-1 lead. Rhett Rakhshani put DU within one at about the 14 minute mark of the 2nd period.

Tyler Ruegsegger tied the game almost midway in the 3rd period on the power play. Matt Donovan had 1 goal and 2 assists in the game. Michael Davies put Wisconsin ahead 4-3 with just over 6 minutes to go in the 3rd period. Davies got the game winner.

Wisconsin outplayed DU early in the game and DU clawed their way back to tie it in the 3rd period. DU had trouble finishing around the net all night and had several chances late to tie the game.

Box Score

Friday, January 22, 2010

DU 3 WI 3 Final OT

Big Joe Colborne scored a power play goal just past the halfway mark of the 1st period to give DU the 1-0 lead. Wisconisn controlled most of the play for the first 10 minutes and then DU got their legs under them. Marc Cheverie made some nice saves early. Wisconsin hit the pipe early in the game and the goal light went on. The review showed it clearly hit the pipe.

No scoring in the 2nd period. DU killed off all of Wisconsin's power plays and Cheverie was solid.

Kyle Ostrow tipped one in the Badger net to make it 2-0 DU early in the 3rd period. Blake Geoffrion scored a power play goal for Wisconsin on a tip in in front of Chevy 5 minutes into the 3rd period to cut DU's lead to one. Michael Davies tied the game at 2 on a nice shot with just over 12 minutes remaining. Blake Geoffrion then gavs the Badgers a 3-2 lead near the midway mark of the period. Anthony Maiani tied the score at 3 with 2 minutes left in the 3rd. That sent the game into overtime.

An exciting overtime in which both teams had multiple chances to win it but the game ended in a 3-3 tie. DU was able to put 4 shots on goal in the OT and blocked a couple of Badger shots that never made it to the goal. Good game by both teams. DU stays in 2nd in the WCHA, 1 point behind UMD with a game in hand. CC is in 3rd 1 point behind DU, SCSU is in 4th 2 points behind and Wisconsin is in 5th place 3 points behind. CC has played 2 more games than DU. With Miami tying Alaska-Fairbanks last night, DU and Miami stay tied for 1st in the Pairwise.

Box Score




DU @ University of Wisconsin This Weekend .... Go DU .... Beat Them Badgers .... Friday Night's Game Televised On Fox Sports-Rocky Mountain --- NHL Network --- Fox Sports-Wisconsin @ 6:05 PM MST .... Saturday Night's Game Will Not Be Televised .... Go DU

Denver Post: DU Has Room For Improvement

(above) The Wisconsin Badgers will provide a stern test for the Pioneers this weekend

From Denver Post

by Mike Chambers


As college hockey's top-ranked team and a legitimate favorite to win the national title, the University of Denver sure has plenty of statistical pimples.

Rated 24th nationally in scoring and 17th in defense, the Pioneers have occasionally been accused of not playing up to their potential.

Perhaps that's a product of beginning the season No. 1 and playing the country's second- most-difficult schedule. But in any case, it's a good problem to have when you're No. 1 with room to improve (read rest of article).

ESPN.com: Rakhshani Early Favorite To Win Hobey

(above) Rhett Rakhshani receives props from ESPN.com

From: ESPN.com
by Mike Eidelbes

1. Rhett Rakhshani
Denver | Senior | Forward
To Date:
22 GP, 15-14--29, 5 PPG, 3 GWG, plus-9

The Skinny: Rakhshani has been a model of consistency for the nation's top-ranked team. He's scored at least one point in 17 of the Pioneers' 22 games -- in fact, he's got as many multiple-goal games as scoreless games -- and hasn't been held scoreless in back-to-back games. He's already matched his single-season high for goals without sacrificing his playmaking touch; he's assisted on 14 goals this season, earning the first assist on 10 of them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

DU In The Hunt For Big-Time Recruit

(left) Austin Czarnik is weighing offers from the Ontario Hockey League plus college hockey powers Michigan, DU & Boston University

Austin Czarnik, a 5'7 155 lbs. forward from Washington, Michigan is the focus of a renewed recruiting battle. He originally committed to Michigan State in 2008 when he was 16 years-old, but has changed his mind. According to Rivals.com, Czarnik retracted his verbal commitment to Michigan State and is reviewing his future development with Windsor in the OHL (Major Juniors) or NCAA hockey with Michigan, Denver or Boston University.
"I just felt like Michigan State wasn't the place for me; like maybe I was rushed into my decision and that's not what I wanted if I could have taken my time," he said. "But I'm still talking to Michigan State and they'll have a spot for me if I want it."
- Austin Czarnik
Czarnik is eligible for the 2011 NHL Draft and currently plays on the USNDT with DU recruits Jason Zucker and Nick Shore. Because Czarnik is almost a year younger than Zucker he would enroll in college in 2011.

Currently Czarnik is the fifth leading scorer on the USNDT with 7 goals and 18 assists in 33 games. Shore has 13 goals & 16 assists in 37 games (2nd) and Zucker has 12 goals & 9 assists in 32 games (8th).

If Czarnik decides to follow the college route he would play for the Green Bay Gamblers next season in the USHL.
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)

Wisconsin Not Buying DU "Underdog" Theory

(above) DU will need all hands on deck this weekend if they are going to compete with the Wisconsin Badgers

From: Madison.com
by Andy Baggot


The news prompted a snicker from University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves.

Top-ranked Denver comes to the Kohl Center for a pivotal Western Collegiate Hockey Association series Friday and Saturday, bringing with it an odd sense of perspective.

In an interview on WIBA-AM/1310 earlier this week, Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky said his club was the underdog against UW, which is ranked third in the latest U.S. College Hockey Online poll.

“Good for George,” Eaves said, laughing at the chutzpah of his former Badgers teammate. “I’d like to hear his logic on that because of the fact that they come in No. 1 and we’re No. 3.”

Underdog? Denver has won seven straight regular-season games at the Kohl Center dating to 2004-05.

Underdog? The Pioneers are 9-1 in regular-season games at the Kohl Center during the Eaves Era, which dates to 2002-03.

Underdog? Denver is a remarkable 13-2-2 at the Kohl Center since it opened for hockey in 1998-99. That includes a 6-2 loss to the Badgers in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals in 2008.

Underdog? UW hasn’t scored against standout Pioneers goaltender Marc Cheverie in the past 138 minutes, 39 seconds spanning three previous meetings.

Gwozdecky latched onto the fact UW has averaged nearly a goal a game more this season than the Pioneers (4.05 to 3.14) and ranks either first or second in the WCHA in offense (first), defense (second) and penalty killing (first).

Some more logic for Gwozdecky: The Badgers are 5-1-1 against top-ranked opponents at the Kohl Center during the Eaves Era.

Why have the Pioneers had so much success in Madison of late?

“They’re a good team,” said UW senior right winger Michael Davies, who has 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in 14 career outings against Denver. “They’re fast. They’re skilled. They take advantage of every opportunity they have.

“They’re going to try to do that this weekend. They’re going to come in here and try and push us around. We can’t let that happen.”

Bleacher Report Has Article About Joe Colborne

The Bleacher Report has an article about Joe Colborne and how he might fit into the future plans of the Boston Bruins.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coach Gwozdecky Weekly Press Conference

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

Drew Shore has a video interview on HockeyBuzz.com.

DU's youngest recruit, 15 year-old Tyler Pham, won't be coming to DU until 2012. But fans can keep abreast of his progress on the Facebook Wall, "Tyler Pham Fan Club." We'd go with the catchier "Tyler Phan Club" for marketing purposes, but that's just us. Pham currently has 7 goals and 13 assists in 31 games for Team Illinois Under-16 Team this season.

Speaking of Facebook, Denver Boone has 2,500+ "friends." Look for Boone on Friday night on TV on the NHL Network, Fox Sports Rocky Mountain & Fox Sports Wisconsin. Boone will be "In The House" at the Kohl Center in Madison as DU takes on the University of Wisconsin.

Former University of Denver Pioneer sniper Jason Elders pocketed 3 goals and 1 assist Monday night as the Teale Utility Canucks iced the M&K Ready-Mix Bruins 8-5 in Interior Hockey League action in Vernon, British Columbia. Elders, who racked up 80 goals in four NCAA seasons, scored three of the Bruins’ first four goals, with Neil Jones drawing assists on two.

Westword Names Denver's Best Coonskin Cap Store

(above) Westward named The Wizard's Chest as the Best Store To Buy A Coonskin Cap in Denver
Best Store for a Coonskin Cap
The Wizard's Chest
230 Fillmore St.
303-321-4304

www.wizardschest.com


The coonskin cap is an icon of American frontier history (tell that to Chancellor Coombe), and for many decades was a mainstay in any kid's toy chest. But you don't see them around much anymore, which can be a problem when you really need one — because there's simply no easy substitute. Thankfully, you can count on the Wizard's Chest, the Cherry Creek North toy and costume shop (an icon in itself) that carries the iconic caps year-round.

Wisconsin Player on Thin Ice Academically

Andy Baggot's Blog at Madison.com is reporting that University of Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz has run into academic difficulties with regards to his first semester grades.

Needless to say the Badger Athletic Department will be doing everything in their power to turn those "D's into C's" or else Schultz will be wearing a suit this weekend in the press box.

Schultz is just one of Wisconsin's elite defensemen that makes the power play hum and opens up the ice for the forwards. Recently he has been paired on the blueline with Cody Goloubef.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Denver Post: DU vs. Badgers Is Marquee Matchup

(left) Wisconsin's Derek Stepan was the leading goal scorer for Team USA at the World Junior Championships

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers


Billed as college hockey's premier series this weekend, the top-ranked University of Denver visits No. 3 Wisconsin at the Kohl Center.

It's as close to a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup as you can get, but when looking at recent history, it could be deemed a mysterious mismatch (read rest of article).

DU #1 In All College Hockey Polls & Rankings

The University of Denver holds the No. 1 ranking in this week's USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll. The Pioneers, who were idle last week, hold the top spot for the second straight week after accumulating 500 points and 24 of 34 first-place votes.
USCHO.com Poll

Pairwaise Rankings

Monday, January 18, 2010

ESPN To Air Special on Hyperthropic Cardiomyopathy

(left) ESPN is televising a special on HCM today at 1 PM MT


Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common congenital heart disorder (affecting almost 1 in 500 people) that causes several varieties of heart problems – not the least of which is sudden death. DU student assistant hockey coach David Carle has been on the forefront promoting the disease since he was diagnosed with HCM after the NHL Combine in 2008.

Two athletes recently passed from enlarged heart, thought to be HCM. Jeron Lewis was a Div 2 basketball player, collapsed late last week and the other Chicago Bears player Gaines Adams who passed away yesterday morning. ESPN is having a special on HCM today at 1 PM MT.

As these recent tragedies illustrate, much still needs to be done to diagnose and prevent future deaths through testing of athletes at all levels of sport. David's battle with HCM illustrates that a full healthy life is possible, but precautions and participation in elite level sport must be monitored or restricted.

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

DU students are hosting an event on Tuesday to raise money & awareness for the Haitian earthquake victims. Many DU clubs and organizations are working together to host the event on the Driscoll Lawn from 11 am - 2 pm. Several student organizations will be on hand to provide information about volunteering or donating to relief efforts. The DU Grilling Society will provide food.

Only single individual tickets remain for the Minnesota Gopher game on Saturday, Feb 13th via Ticketmaster. Their are still a few tickets left for the Friday night game on Feb. 12th. If you're willing to pay above face value, StubHub.com has some good tickets.

Hockey's Future has a blurb about DU goaltender Marc Cheverie and his Hobey Baker prospects.


DU recruits Nick Shore & Jason Zucker scored goals as the US National Development Team defeated the Youngtown Phantoms 6-1 on Friday night. Shore also recorded two assists and is the second leading scorer on the team. Both players will be Freshmen at DU next season.

Madison Roadtrip Picking Up Steam

(above) Boone will make his first WCHA Roadtrip in two weeks
photo credit: Brooke Rawlins

There should be 50+ DU fans in Madtown in two weeks. DU hockey fans, Chicago area alumni, family and friends have already made arrangements.

With a Bye next week, DU should still be #1 in the country heading into the series with the University of Wisconsin. Our Denver Boone mascot will be making his first WCHA road-trip to punctuate the festivities.

Airfares from Denver to Milwaukee are $326 RT on Airtran. Rental cars are available on Hotwire for under $15 per day. Rooms at the Sheraton in Madison are $59 per night on Hotwire.

Don't miss out on the trip of the season.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bozak's 1st NHL Goal Makes ESPN Top Plays

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(above) DU Alum Tyler Bozak's goal is #3 on ESPN's "Top 10 Plays Of The Day"

Video Clip: Bozak's First NHL Goal Is Incredible


(above) DU Alum Tyler Bozak's first NHL goal was sick

From: Toronto Star
by Paul Hunter

Tyler Bozak's first NHL goal is one he won't have to exaggerate in the re-telling. It was a beauty when it happened and will remain that way whenever he busts out the video for future generations of little Bozaks.

In his third NHL game, Bozak swept in off the wing, tucked the puck between the legs of Flyers defenceman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen with a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't deke and then roofed it from in close. That it stood up as the winner in an impressive 4-0 victory over the dreaded Flyers Thursday, well, the script doesn't get much better.

"What a goal," praised linemate Phil Kessel. "Highlight of the night probably. It's got to be."

It was the kind of night, one that included four pretty goals and strong efforts the Leafs' kiddie corps to lighten the mood around a team that had been staggered by four consecutive losses.

Bozak, a rookie free agent signed out of the University of Denver, revelled in being at the receiving end of some verbal jabs.

"The guys were joking with me saying I won't have to lie to my kids and when I'm a grandparent, I won't have to lie about my first goal. It's nice to get a nice one like that," the smiling freshman said.

And, based on the way the 23-year-old skittered around the ice, this is just the beginning of what could become a rather lengthy big-league highlight reel.

Bozak picked up a goal and an assist and maybe - we tend to get ahead of ourselves here in Toronto - showed himself to be the centre that can match skills and speed with flashy Phil Kessel.

Kessel didn't find the back of the net, although he did pick up a couple of assists, but Bozak fed him enough nifty passes that he easily could have busted out of a slump that has him stuck at one goal in the last 14 games.

"It's a high level of skill and a high of level of hockey sense that matches together," coach Ron Wilson said of the Bozak-Kessel pairing.

"(Bozak) is just as fast as Phil and that helps. He makes smart plays around the net because of his quickness. I don't think Phil understands yet how quick the kid can deliver can the puck. When Phil figures that out, he's going to start to score on the line."

Nikolai Kulemin, the left winger on the new No. 1 unit, put together when Bozak was promoted from the Marlies two games ago, scored another of Toronto's goals on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Kessel.

Sixteen of Bozak's 20 points with the Marlies were assists and his pass-first mentality should allow Kessel to start sniping again.

"I usually like to play with the guys that have got the big shots and the guys that can score and just try to get them the puck as much as possible," Bozak said.

CC vs. Wisconsin Series Has WCHA Implications

Colorado College was swept last weekend. With two games in hand, Wisconsin might be the best team in the WCHA, but trail Denver by five points in the standings. When the two teams meet this weekend in Colorado Springs, a sweep by either team will most likely cost the loser a shot at the MacNaughton Cup. With DU having a week of this series is the most intriguing series in the nation.

From: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What: Wisconsin (12-5-3, 8-4-2 WCHA) at Colorado College (12-7-3, 8-5-3) in a WCHA two-game set.

When: 7:30 PM MT Friday and 7 PM MT Saturday at Colorado Springs World Arena.

About the Tigers: Colorado College, ranked No. 3 nationally according to USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com, took three of four points against UW on Oct. 16 and 17 in Madison with a 3-2 victory and a 1-1 tie and was 10-2-1 through 13 games. Since then, the Tigers are 2-5-2, with three consecutive losses. Senior forward Bill Sweatt leads Colorado College with 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists). Goaltender Joe Howe, who stopped 65 of 68 shots in the two games against UW earlier this season, has a 2.48 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

About the Badgers: UW returns to league play for the first time since Dec. 12, when it completed a three-point weekend at North Dakota with a 4-3 victory. The Badgers, No. 4 in both major polls, are 4-0-2 in their last six games. They welcome back sophomore defenseman Jake Gardiner, sophomore forward Derek Stepan and freshman defenseman John Ramage. That trio helped the US win the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship last week in Saskatchewan. Stepan was the team's captain and scored a tournament-best 14 points. UW leads the nation in goals-against average (2.2) and is second nationally in goals scored per game (4.0)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

(above) Las Vegas native Jason Zucker will be attending DU next Fall


ESPNU chose the University of Denver men's lacrosse team to be part of the inaugural Warrior Classic, a doubleheader in East Hartford, Conn., that will feature two other ranked teams besides the No. 17 Pioneers. DU will face Eastern College Athletic Conference rival Fairfield in the first game April 24, followed by No. 13 Georgetown vs. No. 18 Massachusetts. Both games will be televised on ESNPU.
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The Toronto Star has a feature article on Tyler Bozak's first game back in the NHL for the Maple Leafs. Although Bozak had an assist, he didn't lead the Maple Leafs to victory as many of their fans were hoping. Bozak will face Matt Carle and the Philadelphia Flyers tonight.
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The Las Vegas Review Journal has a feature length article on DU's other Golden Boy, recruit Jason Zucker. Zucker expects to be the first Nevadan taken in the NHL Draft next Summer.
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Denver Post coloumnist Terry Frei has an article on former DU radio announcer Norm Jones who is retiring from the Avs radio broadcasts. Jones was a graduate of DU and starting doing Pioneer hockey broadcasts in 1982.
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The DU Men's basketball game at Louisana-Monroe will be shown on FCS-Rocky Mountain on Tape-Delay at 9 PM on Saturday night (Jan. 16).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DU's Golden Boy Is Big Star In Sooner Country

(above) Oklahoma's most famous hockey player graces the cover of "Edmond Life & Leisure"

From: Edmond Life & Leisure
by Justin Neely

What a start to 2010!

Last week Edmond, Oklahoma native, Matt Donovan, and U.S. junior hockey teammates brought home the first gold medal of the year and only second in history. In a sport dominated by Canada and Russia, when the words ‘U.S. hockey’ and ‘gold medal’ are associated, it has been called a “Miracle”.

The win snapped Canada’s five-year run of World Championship golds.

“Matt learned to skate and walk right around the same time, and could skate really well by the age of three,” said Matt’s father, Larry.

Matt’s mentor and father, Larry, grew up playing hockey in Boston and moved to Oklahoma in 1984 to attend East Central in Ada. He continued to carry his own passion of hockey with him working at various ice rinks and is currently the assistant coach/general manager of the University of Oklahoma Hockey team.

Matt grew up in Edmond public schools and left Edmond North his sophomore year to attend Coppell High School in Dallas and play for the Dallas Star’s AAA team. He then went on to play for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and was selected by the New York Islanders in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

In August, Donovan and 43 others were invited to Lake Placid to tryout for the U.S. junior team, which was narrowed down to 22 over the course of four months. This was the first time the U.S. went through a selection process as opposed to just picking players.

The World Junior Championship is played every year at various sites around the world. It pits the top under-20 year old hockey players in the world. This year, the U.S. and Canada were joined by Sweden, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Latvia, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Next year, the World Junior Championship will be played in Buffalo.

On Dec. 26, U.S. played Slovakia at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada, which they won 7-3. They went on to defeat Switzerland and Latvia but would lose to defending champs, Canada on New Year’s Eve. They proceeded to the quarterfinals where they beat Finland and reached the finals after a 5-2 win against Sweden in the Semis.

The final would be Canada vs. the United States. Prior to the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship, the U.S. junior team won their first and only gold medal in 2004 since the championship’s official inception in 1977. The Canadian team had won the five previous gold’s and a record 15 total in the championship’s history.

Together Russia and Canada had 27 out of 33 gold medals.

A familiar story much like the one-time gold medalist men’s U.S. Olympic Hockey team faced in 1980 when playing a Russian team whom had on won four previous Olympic gold medals known as the “Miracle on Ice.”

“The atmosphere was very nerve-racking playing Canada in their country with 15,000 people cheering against you,” said Donovan.

The match would go back and forth with a score of 5–5 at the end of regulation. At the end, John Carlson would score the overtime winner to give Team USA the 6-5 victory and its second ever gold medal.

So how does a group of 18 and 19-year-olds beat a Canadian team that has remained unbeaten for five years in a “tournament that Canada ranks as one of the most important events in the sporting calendar” on their own ice with 15,000 people cheering against them?

“We played Canadian hockey,” said coach Dean Blais. “We played gritty. We learned from the best.”

Both Matt and Larry admit the win still hasn’t fully sunk in but in the mean time, Matt is concentrating on helping to take the No. 1-ranked University of Denver Pioneers to an NCAA Frozen Four championship.

Zucker Trying To Be First NHLer From Nevada

(above) DU recruit Jason Zucker won Gold at the WJT

From: NHL.com
by Adam Kimelman

It used to be that American hockey came from a few very specific locations -- Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin mostly, with a few other New England or northern states thrown in.

That's started to change as the NHL has spread its footprint to more non-traditional markets in the west and south. Players from California, Virginia and Georgia have gone through the U.S. National Team Development Program, and this year's World Junior Championship roster featured a player from Oklahoma (Matt Donovan) and two from Missouri (Philip McRae, John Ramage).

And then there's Jason Zucker, who grew up in a hockey desert -- literally. Zucker hails from Las Vegas.

"Knowing that there weren't many people from Las Vegas who played hockey and were big in that sport made me determined to keep it going," Zucker told reporters.

Zucker got his start in the game thanks to his older brother, Adam. He began skating when he just 2 1/2-years-old, and developed fast. He moved to California when he was 10 to play for a club team for two years. He returned to Las Vegas for two seasons, and then jumped to the famed Detroit Compuware program. He joined the USNTDP in Ann Arbor, Mich., last season. In 64 games with the U-17 and U-18 teams, he had 21 goals and 38 points. He also had 6 points in seven games to help the U.S. team win the gold at the World Under-18 Championship last spring.

In 28 games this season with the U-18 team, he has 11 goals and 20 points.

While Las Vegas often is mentioned as a destination if the NHL ever expands and began hosting the NHL Awards Show in 2009, there never has been an NHL player from the state of Nevada.

Zucker, though, is on his way to changing that. The 5-foot-10 1/2, 174-pound forward was ranked 18th by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary ranking of USHL players (the USNTDP plays in the league). Zucker also was a surprise addition to the U.S. WJC team. He was the youngest player on the squad, but worked his way up to first-line duty, skating at left wing on a line with NHL draft picks Jordan Schroeder and Ryan Bourque, and finished with 2 goals en route to helping his team win the gold medal.

"I think I'm a fast skater, I have a good shot," Zucker told NHL.com. "Smart in the defensive zone, and offensive zone I try not to make too many mistakes. Just gritty, try going 100 percent all the time."

That crash-bang style has made quite an impression on his coaches and NHL scouts.

"If he didn't have the U.S. crest on he'd clearly look like a Canadian player," one Eastern Conference scout told NHL.com. "He goes up and down the ice, does all the little things, takes the body, if he has to block shots he blocks them. He might not be the highest-skill guy out there, but he might just get you that big goal sometime because he goes to the paint and the tough spots and he'll probably get it."

"He's just an honest kid who's in a lot of plays, plays above his size," added a scout from Western Conference team. "He does a lot of things during a game you probably expect out of a bigger guy. He's a competitive kid."

Zucker certainly has no problem with the rough stuff. In his first game at the WJC, his first-period head-high hit on a Slovakia player earned a game-misconduct -- wrongly given to Tyler Johnson -- but he also did enough to earn a promotion the top line.

Not bad for a kid who U.S. coach Dean Blais admittedly wasn't planning on putting on the roster. Zucker wasn't invited to the Lake Placid summer evaluation camp, and was a surprise addition to the final camp in North Dakota.

"We didn't want to take him, but he made it," Blais told NHL.com. "He played with good energy, good size, good instincts. He made the team on his ability. He deserved it."

"I trained really hard all summer and tried to have the best first half of the season I could," Zucker said. "It just worked out for the best for me."

Making the team allowed him an extended audition in front of NHL scouts. The World Juniors stage already is a tough one for any 17-year-old -- Zucker was the youngest player on the U.S. team -- but knowing your NHL future is at stake can make even the strongest players wilt.

"I live for big games," said Zucker. "It's what I've always lived for. Knowing that they're there, doing everything I can to help my team win is all I want."

ESPN.com: Child Actor Now WCHA Referee

(Above) WCHA Referee Max Battimo

From: ESPN.com
by Mark Simon


(left) Max Battimo bottom right

College hockey official Max Battimo was officiating a game not long ago when he skated over to the University of Denver bench to explain a series of penalty calls to the head coach.

Battimo was expecting some kind of retort, or an attempt by the coach to get into his head, so that the next call would be more favorable.

Instead, coach George Gwozdecky just smiled and said, "'Saved by the Bell,' huh?"

You never know who the ref might be at your next collegiate hockey game. It might be Battimo, a former child actor, who spent a year on the popular children's television show before it became this generation's "The Brady Bunch."

But unlike Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who became successful Hollywood personalities as adults, Battimo went a different route. And he doesn't have a tell-all about the show's success like Dustin Diamond, aka "Screech," does with the recent release of his tawdry autobiography.

Battimo was on the show in its first year when it aired on The Disney Channel and was known as "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." He played the curly-haired Mikey Gonzalez, a classmate of Zack Morris and his friend Screech (read rest of article).