Wednesday, March 31, 2010

DU's Expected 2010-11 Roster

Assuming that Chevy goes pro this summer, the Pioneers still have a lot of horses in the barn. DU has 7 premier defensemen, competition at forward, and two goaltenders that have potential. We expect Wiercioch to sign with Ottawa in the very near future.

G       Sam Brittain      Fr.
D David Makowski Fr.
F Jason Zucker Fr.
F Nick Shore Fr.
F Beau Bennett Fr.
F Dan Olszewski Fr.
F Jarrod Mermis Fr.
G Adam Murray So.
D Matt Donovan So.
D Paul Phillips So.
D William Wrenn So.
F Chris Knowlton So.
F Shawn Ostrow So.
F Drew Shore So.
D John Lee Jr.
F Nate Dewhurst Jr.
F Luke Salazar Jr.
F Dustin Jackson Jr.-RS
G Lars Paulgaard Sr.
D Chris Nutini Sr.
D John Ryder Sr.
D Joey Brehm Sr.
D Jon Cook Sr.
F Anthony Maiani Sr.
F Jesse Martin Sr.
F Kyle Ostrow Sr.

Cheverie Named CHN Player Of The Year

(above) More accolades for DU goaltender Marc Cheverie

In perhaps the closest call in College Hockey News' five years, Denver goaltender Marc Cheverie has been named CHN Player of the Year.

Cheverie has been considered a Hobey Baker Award favorite for a large part of the year, but with his team losing its last three games, his status has been thrown into question. (read rest of article)

Denver Post: Colborne Signs With Bruins

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post is reporting that University of Denver star forward Joe Colborne signed a contract with the Boston Bruins for slightly less than the Rookie maximum.

Colborne will report to the AHL Providence Bruins today.


CC's AD Ken Ralph Responds To David Ramsey

(left) Colorado College's Athletic Director Ken Ralph responded to Colorado Springs Gazette columnist David Ramsey this evening

From: Ken Ralph
Director of Athletics, Colorado College

It is my understanding that a quote attributed to me in a recent article has caused concern with members of this group [DU hockey fans]. My response when asked to comment in recent e-mails was to respond that I did not believe that quote was correct. The author of the article, Dave Ramsey, insists that the quote is accurate and should be attributed to me. He reminded me that during our phone interview he was the one writing things down and taking notes, not me. On this he is accurate, I did not take notes during our interview so I have no defense as to what I did or did not say during our exchange.

In preparing for the interview, I knew the question of Scott Owens's bench demeanor would be called into question. Mr Ramsey has criticized him before for being too passive on the bench. In speaking with people in the department prior to the interview we talked about several coaches with loud bench demeanors, most frequently mentioning Frank Martin (BB coach at Kansas State). Mr Ramsey called about 15 minutes early and I left this conversation to take his call.

Mr Ramsey did indeed ask about Coach Owens's bench demeanor. My recollection is mentioning Frank Martin but Mr Ramsey insists from his notes that I mentioned George at that time. That is true as well but the context and initiation has me confused. What made me think that the quote could not have been accurate is the description if the incident. As I remember it, George mouthed the words "really?" when he realized he'd been ejected, walked across the ice to speak with a linesman, and then walked back across the ice to the bench and eventually the locker room. When I saw the words "race across the ice" it didn't look right because that is not how I remembered it. I may be wrong. I only saw the tape once and that was a year ago. That being said, Mr Ramsey insists that his notes are accurate as to our conversation. Since I do not have any notes, I'll have to take him at his word. Since, from Mr Ramsey's notes, I made such a statement, I alone must bear the brunt of any criticism. I am willing to do that.

What this teaches me is that I should ask to see any copy of my quotes that will be used in future newspaper articles prior to publication. That is my fault. In my heart I do not believe that Mr Ramsey would ever intentionally misquote someone. I have seen him enough and read enough of his work to feel this way. That being said, in the future I will ask to see what quotes of mine will be used in future articles. I believe that Mr Ramsey is reasonable enough to accommodate such a request. He is a professional and would want accuracy at all times.

I hope everyone understands by now the deep respect I have not only for George but for the entire DU staff. They have done the toughest thing in sports, not only build a championship program, but also maintain it.

Everyone should be talking about the tremendous season the Pioneers just accomplished. Earning more than 40 points and the MacNaughton Cup this year when the WCHA was at the top of its game is an amazing accomplishment and should be celebrated. Both fans bases should be proud that year after year each school manages to put a highly competitive team on the ice, allowing us to have this wonderful rivalry. Certainly we are both fortunate to have outstanding coaching staffs and vibrant fan bases.

Also, please know that I will speak with George personally about this situation as I do not want anything to put a rift in our relationship.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I appreciate your passionate support of the DU program. I'm already looking forward to November 5th when the Tigers will head to Magness to renew our rivalry.

Have a wonderful summer.

Sincerely,

Ken

Ken Ralph
Director of Athletics
Colorado College
(719) 389-6945
ken.ralph@coloradocollege.edu
www.cctigers.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ramsey Responds To CC's Athletic Director

(left) Colorado Springs Gazette columnist David Ramsey responded to LetsGoDU about quotes attributed to Colorado College Athletic Director Ken Ralph

DG:

I spoke with Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph yesterday about his assertion that he had been misquoted. I told him I had a typed transcript of our conversation and reminded him that it was him, not me, who brought up George Gwozdecky. I had to do some research to find out when and where George took his walk across the ice.

After our conversation, which was friendly, Ken Ralph agreed the quote was, in fact, accurate.

I take accuracy seriously. I’ve never met a journalist who didn’t take accuracy seriously. I’ve covered CC hockey for seven seasons. Coach Scott Owens and I have had our disagreements about my opinions – that’s inevitable – but he has never questioned my accuracy with facts or use of quotes. The same is true of my working relationship with Air Force’s Troy Calhoun and Fisher DeBerry and many, many others.

Ken Ralph’s quote about Coach Gwozdecky was accurate and was taken in context.

And, no, I’m not going to talk to any lawyers about this incident. And for those who have commented on earlier posts, I appreciate all your thoughts and observations about my work. Those observations were good for a few laughs.

Thanks for this opportunity to clarify this matter,

David Ramsey
Sports Columnist
The Gazette of Colorado Springs

Springs Columnist Not A Fan Of LetsGoDU

(above) Colorado Springs Gazette columnist David Ramsey won't be sending LetsGoDU any Christmas cards this winter


David Ramsey of the Colorado Springs Gazette sent LetsGoDU the following email (photo below).
In the article Mr. Ramsey claimed Ken Ralph (CC AD) said, “I think far too many coaches are not acting appropriately,” Ralph said. “You see George Gwozdecky running across the ice to yell at an official.”

In an email to DU hockey fans Mr. Ralph denied using Coach Gwozdecky as an example of a coach acting inappropriately.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Denver Post: Joe & Pat Have Not Signed Contacts

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post is reporting this evening that Joe Colborne and Patrick Wiercioch have not signed contracts with the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators.

Bruins sources have told CSN.com
, despite reports to the contrary, that a contract with first-round pick Joe Colborne isn’t a done deal.
"It’s up to him to decide if he’s ready” to play pro hockey. There’s virtually no shot Colborne would play with the Boston Bruins should he sign before the regular season is over. That’s never been the modus operandi of the current B’s front office crew, who develop players with patience, care and a willingness to wait until they’re truly ready for NHL action. Colborne ain’t ready."

Joe Colborne Signs With Boston Bruins...Maybe

A source emailed LetsGoDU that the Boston Bruins just signed Joe Colborne to a contract on Monday afternoon. Later in the day, the Denver Post reported that the contract had not been signed. Perhaps a deal had been agreed to, but as of Monday afternoon nothing was signed.

Then the DU Clarion newspaper reported that Colborne signed on Monday evening.
Sophomore Joe Colborne signed a contract with the Boston Bruins Monday evening and junior Marc Cheverie and sophomore Patrick Wiercioch also are expected to sign NHL contracts.
“I felt like I’ve had two years of great development down here,” Colborne said Monday afternoon. “I have my coaches teammates to thank for that. Boston said they definitely thought it was good for me to come now. They have been really impressed with what’s one on here and the help I’ve gotten here. A decision here as a group, my family and my agents in Boston as well thought it was a great time to make a move.”
Colborne said he is leaving Denver Wednesday morning.

Patrick Wiercioch May Sign With Ottawa Senators


Ottawa will play the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. It is possible that if Wiercioch signed a contract, he may be in the lineup, but no official word as of yet.

Patrick is still trying to decide whether or not to accept the offer. The Ottawa Citizen article is not correct. He hasn't signed a contract yet.

On Monday, Wiercioch told the DU Clarion student newspaper.

Discounting rumors, Wiercioch said he has not yet made a decision about next season. He was the Ottawa Senators second-round draft pick in 2008, No. 42 overall.

“It was news to me,” he said Monday afternoon. “I got a few text messages saying ‘Congratulations.’ It’s not true as of yet."

Colorado College AD Supports Coach Owens

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by David Ramsey


Scott Owens is in a slump.

But if you’re a fan of Owens and his coaching style, there’s no reason to worry. He’s in good standing – make that great standing – with his athletic director.

No doubt, times have been tough, or at least relatively tough in Tiger-land.

Colorado College hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2005, and in three of the past four seasons the team has failed to play in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Final Five.

Under Owens' direction, the Tigers twice won 30 games. In three of the past four seasons, they haven’t won 20.

I asked CC athletic director Ken Ralph if recent struggles alarm him.

“No,” he said. “I would love to say that it does because it would make good copy.

“We have expectations and we’re going to hold Scott accountable for those expectations but the expectations we have for our hockey program are deeper than just wins and losses.”

Even after two stormy seasons, Ralph remains fiercely supportive of Owens. This makes sense. Owens can construct elite teams. He averaged 27 wins from 2000-2005 and during that breezy five-season sprint he won five NCAA Tournament games and traveled to the Frozen Four.

Ralph believes good days are ahead. Freshmen goaltender Joe Howe and forward Rylan Schwartz return, and heralded recruit Jaden Schwartz (Rylan’s brother) is on the way to rescue the offense.

Jaden, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward, has collected 78 points (31 goals and 47 assists) this season for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL, and he’s expected to go as high as the first round of the upcoming NHL draft.

He’s only 17.

“A super talent,” Owens said.

With Howe and the Schwartz brothers leading the way, the wins and the trips to the NCAA Tournament will return, Ralph said.

His optimism has weight. Owens, a master recruiter, hasn’t gone anywhere. This is, remember, the same coach who recruited Mark Stuart, Peter Sejna, Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling and Richard Bachman.

Yet the future isn’t the main anchor for Ralph’s support. Ralph dislikes talking about Owens strictly in the context of CC’s record.

“To just say wins and losses are your primary criterion is too narrow for an academic institution like Colorado College,” Ralph said.

To Ralph’s eyes, Owens walks the proper path. The AD wonders about coaches who shout at officials or players in public.

“I think far too many coaches are not acting appropriately,” Ralph said. “You see George Gwozdecky running across the ice to yell at an official.”

Gwozdecky is, of course, coach of the Denver Pioneers. He earned a reprimand in the 2008-2009 season from his athletic director after taking a long walk across the ice at North Dakota to express displeasure with officials.

Ralph wants everyone to remember Owens declines to indulge in such impolite behavior.

“First and foremost,” Ralph said, “coaches are educators. … I appreciate his demeanor. It’s the approach of an educator. He’s not going to berate officials. He’s not going to berate kids in public.

“As an educator, I think that’s incredibly important to do, and yet some people look at it as a sign of weakness.”

I agree with Ralph.

Owens is steady. He keeps a tight grip on his emotions. He believes in the power and value of education. All of this is quite impressive.

Still, he needs to end his drought in the NCAA Tournament. He needs to travel to the Final Five. He needs more victories next season.

He’s not teaching chemistry. He’s coaching a hockey team.

And he’s paid, first and foremost, to win.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

News & Notes From Around PioNation

(above) Yale shocked the University of North Dakota hockey team yesterday

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has an article in Sunday's paper about DU's late season slide.
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The Yale Bulldogs, a third seed, jumped to a three-goal lead after two periods and survived the third period to win 3-2 at the Northeast Regional in Worcester’s DCU Center.
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DU's TV play-by-play announcer Dan Kelly is adding pro soccer to his resume: He'll be calling televised games for the MLS Chicago Fire this season. Kelly just finished his second season announcing for University of Denver hockey games. Without a doubt Kelly is the best TV announer in college hockey. He was formerly the voice of the St. Louis Blues.
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LetsGoDU had a record number of visitors in March, over 30,000 visits. We will also average over 1,000 visits per day for the first time ever. Thanks to all of our readers.

Friday, March 26, 2010

RIT Upsets DU 2-1 in Albany

RIT upset DU 2-1 the first semi-final regional game in Albany. RIT took a 1-0 lead at about the 5 minute mark of the 1st period. There was no scoring in the 2nd period. RIT got a 2-0 lead on the PP just past the midway point of the 3rd and Joe Colborne of DU cut it in half on the PP with about 5 minutes to go. DU pulled Marc Cheverie with 2 minutes left and DU couldn't get the tying goal.

DU vs. Rochester Institute of Technology Friday @ 3 PM ET, 1 PM MT .... Live TV Coverage on ESPN-U .... Go DU .... DU Viewing Party @ Campus Lounge in Denver

Post Not Impressed By 1st Line Disappearing Act

(above) Detroit or disgrace - there can be no middle ground

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers


Those around the Denver hockey program call it the RRC Line, based on the players' last names. Geographically, though, it's the CCC Line — a Coloradan, a Californian and a Canadian.

However you spell it, it's widely considered college hockey's top offensive line. But if senior center Tyler Ruegsegger, senior left wing Rhett Rakhshani and sophomore right wing Joe Colborne don't collectively lead the Pioneers to the Frozen Four, the trio might be remembered more for their playoff failure — perhaps the "Flameout Line?" (read rest of article)

College Hockey News Recognizes Three Pioneers

The recognition keeps rolling in for Rhett Rakhshani, Marc Cheverie and Matt Donovan. All three players were named to post season awards by College Hockey News.

All-CHN First Team

F Gustav Nyquist, So., Maine
F Rhett Rakhshani, Sr., Denver
F Blake Geoffrion, Sr., Wisconsin
D Brendan Smith, Jr., Wisconsin
D Carl Sneep, Sr., Boston College
G Marc Cheverie, Jr., Denver

All-CHN Second Team

F Chase Polacek, Jr., Rensselaer
F Jarod Palmer, Sr., Miami
F Bobby Butler, Sr., New Hampshire
D Erik Gustafsson, Jr., Northern Michigan
D Cameron Schilling, So., Miami
G Ben Scrivens, Sr., Cornell

All-CHN Rookie Team

G Joe Howe, Colorado College
F Stephane Da Costa, Merrimack
F Danny Kristo, North Dakota
F Andy Taranto, Alaska
D Matt Donovan, Denver
D Brian Dumoulin, Boston College

R.I.T. Not Intimidated By DU

(above) R.I.T. has nothing to lose on Friday afternoon

From: Troy Record
by Ed Weaver

Rochester Institute of Technology vs. University of Denver in the first round of the NCAA Hockey Tournament appears like a good-sized mismatch on paper; it’s David vs. Goliath.

Remember, though, Goliath has won previous such meetings in recent seasons.

The Tigers, 26-11-1 and the 2nd-ranked Pioneers (27-9-6) clash at 3 p.m. today in the East Region opener at the Times Union Center.

Sixth-ranked Cornell at No. 12 New Hampshire clash at 6:30

The unranked Tigers, Atlantic Hockey conference champions of both the regular-season and playoffs, don’t view themselves as a ‘David’, don’t look upon top-seeded Denver as a ‘Goliath’ and is loose and confident coming into the event.

“I’m not really looking at it like ‘David and Goliath’”, said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “I don’t think we can look at it that way. We think we have a good hockey team and we know we’re playing an exceptional team. They weren’t ranked that high (No. 2 nationally, formerly No. 1) for nothing.

“We’re worried about ourselves,” Wilson said. “How are we going to play and what can we do and are we going to be able to execute and do the things we like to do. If we start focusing too much on what Denver is doing, (then) we're trying to be a different team and we don’t want to do that.”

Remember, again, some of the big upsets and near upsets of the past:

Fifteen seed Holy Cross shocked No. 2 Minnesota in 2006; Niagara, the 12th seed, whipped fifth seed New Hampshire, 4-1 in 2000, the first season the smaller conferences, College Hockey America Atlantic Hockey were awarded automatic bids to the NCAA tourney; Bemidji State whipped No. 1 Notre Dame, 5-1 last season (then beat Cornell, 4-1);

Second overall seed Miami had to go overtime to beat Air Force, 3-2 in 2008;

Mercyhurst lost by one goal to two highly-ranked teams — Michigan (4-3) in 2001, and 5-4 to No. 1-ranked Boston College in 2005.

And also, in 2005, long before Bemidji became the Top 10 team the Beavers are now, Denver needed overtime to dispatch them, 4-3.

Center Cameron Burt, RIT’s leading scorer, echoed Wilson, saying, “We’re just 16 hockey teams (in the entire tournament). We all made it to the same place. I think we’re just really worried about ourselves, the game and what we’re going to bring. If we win, it’s great.”

Longtime Denver head coach George Gwozdecky also addressed the above question and said his players “respect the heck out of” RIT and will not be over-confident.

“I think everyone who follows college hockey, whether you’re a fan, a coach or a player, understands that in the final 16, every team is good, competitive, and has earned their way in here. There may be big schools versus small schools or non-traditional schools against well-known schools but every game is challenging. There is no easy game.

“We’ve watched and played against teams from Atlantic Hockey (the Pioneers needed overtime to beat Air Force, 2-1) and we know how good RIT is,” Gwozdecky added. “We watched them play on tape and (have) endless scouting reports. We’re old enough and experienced enough to know that ... every game is a challenge and if you don’t show up (focused and intense), you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s one of the things this team had learned over the course of this year.”

Be sure; the Tigers, the only unranked team in the East Regional, are a clear underdog but they come in loose, relaxed and on a 10-game winning streak.

“I think our mindset has been tremendous,” Wilson said. “Monday, I wasn’t sure if we were going to be so full of ourselves, giddy or just (plain) excited about this weekend, or if we were going to be nervous, scared or what … but it was really business as usual. The guys have been very level-headed.”

“We’re very relaxed, and we’re excited to be here” RIT captain Dan Ringwold said. “We’ve had a great stretch the past couple months, playing our best hockey. We've had great practices this week. So, we’re just excited and we're going to bring our best this weekend.”

Thursday, March 25, 2010

DU News And Notes From Albany

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has been very busy in Albany with the University of Denver hockey team team. He posted four reports today.

First, both DU and RIT had/have 10-game win streaks this season. He compares the two in his first report.

Second, Jesse Martin did not practice today but is likely to play tomorrow. Chris Nutini went through a full practice and appears ready to go. Mike posted this second report.

Third, he went through the various machinations of DU's potential Friday line-up depending upon who plays. Here is his third report.

Lastly, he has some notes about the teams in the regional and a quick interview with Patrick Wiercioch. Here is the last report.

Denver Post Video Interview Of DU's Top Line

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cornell Hockey Team Performs Bye, Bye, Bye

(above) Bye, Bye, Bye

Campus Lounge Adds ESPN-U For DU Fans

DU vs. RIT Friday @ 1 PM MT

Perhaps the oldest and most famous DU hockey watering hole added a new wrinkle yesterday. The Campus Lounge ordered ESPN-U so University of Denver hockey fans could watch all the exciting NCAA hockey action this weekend.

The Campus is owned by DU hockey legend and former Chicago Blackhawk Jim Wiste. He twice was an All-American at DU, scoring 139 career points. With Wiste and Cliff Koroll as captains, the 1968 Pioneers won the NCAA championship, beating North Dakota 4-0 with Gerry Powers in goal in the title game.

Wiste played for the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks and earned a ring when Chicago won its first Original Six championship. His professional career included stops with Vancouver and the New York Rangers, and Cleveland and Indianapolis in the World Hockey Association.

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.”

Boston.com: Colborne To Sign With Bruins

(above) Boston.com says Joe Colborne will be developing in the AHL next season

From: Boston.com
by Fluto Shinzawa


Joe Colborne is still a sophomore at the University of Denver, which kicks off NCAA Tournament play Friday. The Pioneers, the top seed in the East Regional, will take on RIT. Colborne, the Bruins’ first-round pick in 2008, is hoping he’ll still be playing come April 10, the date of the NCAA title match at Detroit’s Ford Field.

But there’s a good possibility that once Denver’s season concludes, the 19-year-old center will sign with the Bruins and forgo the last two years of his college career. The Bruins have yet to discuss the situation with Colborne, his family, and Denver coach George Gwozdecky. Given Colborne’s development and how he projects as an NHL player, however, he should be ready to turn pro and most likely be a full-time AHLer in 2010-11.

Colborne, the 16th overall pick in 2008, has 21 goals and 19 assists in 41 games this season, second in team scoring behind Rhett Rakhshani (21-29—50). Colborne entered the draft with a pass-first reputation, but the 6-foot-5-inch, 210-pound center leads the WCHA with eight game-winning goals.

“He’s had a really good year,’’ said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli.

Colborne will sign a three-year, entry-level contract. Because of his draft position, he most likely will earn $875,000 in base salary, the maximum that players picked in 2009 can earn. Colborne will also be eligible for bonuses that could add several millions to his contract.

Albany Regional Features Steller Goaltenders

(above) New Hampshire Senior goaltender Brian Foster

From: Seacoast Online
by Mike Zhe


Maybe it's not a group of death out in Albany, N.Y., this weekend. But you could easily call it a group of goalies.

In Cornell senior Ben Scrivens, Denver junior Marc Cheverie and RIT senior Jared DeMichiel, the Division I hockey tournament's East Regional features three of the top seven in goals-against average in Division I, and three of the top nine in save percentage.

The one goalie from the quartet who isn't near the top of those rankings — University of New Hampshire senior Brian Foster — was still a first-team All-Star in Hockey East.

Of course, with a big, red, first-round roadblock in Cornell (21-8-4) starting them in the face, the Wildcats (17-13-7) aren't spending a lot of time thinking about Denver and RIT these days. It's Cornell and Scrivens, and whether Foster can stay hot, match his counterpart and give the 'Cats a chance to win.

"I think they're the two best goalies in the East, to be honest with you," said UNH coach Dick Umile. "I think it'll be a good match-up."

Foster has won back his confidence and improved his numbers by rebounding from an ugly first month of the season, one that mirrored his team's.

After a 6-3 loss at UMass-Lowell on Nov. 8, Foster owned a 4.19 goals-against average and .871 save percentage. Since then, those two numbers have gone steadily down and up, respectively.

After stopping 105 of 111 shots in a Hockey East quarterfinals series loss to Vermont — 74 of 76 in the pair of 1-0 losses that closed the series — he checks in at a respectable 2.95 and .910.

"He's a special goaltender," said Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon, whose team will play Wisconsin in its NCAA first-round game Friday in St. Paul, Minn. "He had my vote for All-League and he certainly played that way this weekend."

One of three New Hampshire natives on the team, Foster ranks among the Division 1 leaders in just one goaltending category — minutes played. Handed the job prior to 2008-09, after Kevin Regan wrapped up his decorated career, he's enjoyed the luxury — or curse — of never being pushed. The two other goalies in the program these past two years, sophomores Matt DiGirolamo and Tyler Scott, have played a grand total of 312 minutes.

Scrivens' season has been steadier. He leads Division I in GAA (1.78), save percentage (.937) and shutouts (seven), and presents a formidable last line of defense on a Cornell team that's made good defense a trademark.

"All our lines have to be ready to play," said right wing Bobby Butler, UNH's leading scorer. "We've got to pepper him with shots. ... He's playing very well. We've just got to crack him once and go from there and keep the puck out of our net."

Scrivens isn't Superman. He was yanked in a 5-3 loss to Princeton on Feb. 6 after allowing four goals in 27 minutes. But he's had many, many more good nights than bad ones, including in the ECAC Hockey tournament, when he let in just one goal in four games and made 32 saves in a 3-0 win over Union in the championship.

Of course, UNH knows all about facing touted Cornell goalies in the NCAAs. Flash back seven years to the Frozen Four in Buffalo, N.Y., and there was Cornell senior David LeNeveu — a Hobey Baker finalist that year — getting outdueled by Mike Ayers in a 3-2 classic that sent the 'Cats on to the national championship game.

Now they face Scrivens.

"I think they have the best goaltender in the country," Union coach Nate Leaman said after Saturday's ECAC final. "I've seen (David) McKee and I've seen LeNeveu and I believe he's better than both those guys."

Friday's early game in Albany will pit top-seeded Denver (27-9-4) against underdog RIT (26-11-1), the regular-season and tournament champion in Atlantic Hockey. If the fourth-seeded Tigers are to advance, they'll likely need a huge game from DeMichiel, whose 25 wins are the most in Division I.

Like Scrivens, Denver goalie Cheverie is a Hobey Baker top-10 finalist, with a 24-5-3 record, 2.08 GAA and .932 save percentage. Like Foster, his professional rights are owned by the Florida Panthers. He was a seventh-round draft pick in 2006, while Foster was chosen in the fifth round one summer earlier.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

News & Notes From Around PioNation

University of Denver Alum Kevin Ulanski, who scored more points than any other player in the Central Hockey League this season, was named the league's most valuable player Monday. He scored 34 goals and assisted on 75 others to finish the season with 109 points.
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University of Denver recruit Dan Olszewski is the leading scorer for the NAHL St. Louis Bandits. The Bandits franchise is owned and coached by several former and current NHL players.
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Last week the WCHA revealed it’s new post-season tournament format beginning in 2010-11, unveiled a new Broadmoor Trophy to go to the league’s annual playoff champion and welcomed new Association-members Bemidji State University and the University of Nebraska Omaha into the conference family. The new bronze cast trophy, created by Blue Ribbon Trophies & Awards of Colorado Springs, Colo., is a recreation of the famous Broadmoor Hotel.

Denver Post: Maiani To Have Surgery Today

(above) Anthony Maiani's season may be over

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post is reporting that Anthony Maiani, DU's second leading assist leader, will have surgery on his injured finger today.

The article also has some interesting quotes from Air Force coach Frank Serratore who's team faced Rochester Institute of Technology four times this season.

Monday, March 22, 2010

DU Hockey Tickets On Sale For Albany

(above) DU fans will be in Section 122 of the Times-Union Arena

The University of Denver Ticket Office now has the school's ticket allotment for the NCAA Regional in Albany.

Contact the DU Ticket Office M-F (9 AM - 5 PM MT) 303-871-2336. The Tickets are $82 for all three games of the Regionals.

Recommended Hotels & Restaurants In Albany

(above) Albany, NY is a long way from the Rocky Mountains

A few tips for those traveling to Albany.

It's a lot more convenient to stay at one of the downtown hotels. Its an easy walk to the Times Union Center where the games will be played.
Hotels

The Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza was swarming with Cornell fans last weekend.

The Hampton Inn is fairly new & has a restaurant.

The Holiday Inn Express is conveniently located.

74 State, a boutique hotel around the corner from the arena with a nice restaurant (Marche) great bar and wonderfully appointed rooms.

Restaurants

Albany Pump Station - Casual, highly recommended, brew pub.

Jillian's - Bar, music, hockey fan hangout

677 Prime, Dale Miller's and The Brown Derby are upscale, walkable to and from the arena. Reservations on game nights suggested.

NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament Bracket

(above) Click on Bracket to enlarge

Who Is Rochester Institute Of Technology?

(above) DU's opponents this weekend may not be well known, but they have been winning recently

Nickname: Tigers - Pioneers hate Tigers
Location: Rochester, N.Y. - Home of Kodak a company that used to make stuff called "film"
Founded: 1829 - Older than DU
Enrollment: 15,000 - The 9th largest private college in US
Colors: Burnt Umber,Orange,White - Umber?
The Rochester Institute of Technology hockey team had an interesting season. The Tigers started the year 0-5-0 before righting the ship and going 26-11-1.

Of interest to DU fans; R.I.T. was waxed twice by WCHA near-cellar dweller Minnesota State Mankato 6-1 & 3-0 over New Year's holiday.

R.I.T. has won 10 games in a row and were an impressive 15-3-0 at home, but only 9-8-1 on the road. They play in the American Hockey Association, statistically the worst conference in college hockey. The Tigers were 0-6-0 in non-conference games.

If not for all the NCAA upsets last year and DU's ongoing problems with Air Force, who play in the same league, the Pioneers might be taking R.I.T. lightly.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

NCAA Ice Hockey Regionals Determined

The NCAA set the field for the 2010 Ice Hockey Tournament. They shuffled the four #3 seed teams for attendance and geographical reasons. The University of Denver will face the Rochester Institute of Technology in Albany, New York next Friday afternoon.
2010 NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament

Midwest (Fort Wayne)

1. Miami vs. 16. Alabama-Huntsville - 2 PM MT Sat. (ESPN-U)
8. Bemidji State vs. 12. Michigan - 5:30 PM MT Sat. (ESPN-U Tape Delay)

East (Albany)
2. Denver vs. 15. RIT - 1:00 PM MT Fri. (ESPN-U)
7. Cornell vs. 11. New Hampshire - 4:30 PM MT Fri. (ESPN-U)
East Regional Championship - Sat. @ 4:30 PM MT (ESPN-U)

DU Ticket Office M-F for DU Regional Tickets 303-871-2336
Purchase Tickets for East Regional $82 (3-Game Package)

West (St. Paul)
3. Wisconsin vs. 14. Vermont - 7 PM MT Fri. (ESPN-U Tape Delay)
6. St. Cloud State vs. 10. Northern Michigan - 3:30 PM MT Fri. (ESPN-U)

Northeast (Worcester)
4. Boston College vs. 13. Alaska - 11:30 AM MT Sat. (ESPN-U Tape Delay)
5. North Dakota vs. 9. Yale - 3 PM MT Sat. (ESPN-U)

Ice Hockey NCAA Selection Show On ESPN2

From: NCAA.com


Sunday morning the NCAA Ice Hockey Selection Show will be on at 9:30 AM MT on ESPN2.

Yesterday, NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament Chairman Bill Bellerose traveled to Indianapolis to watch the games with the NCAA national office staff and select the teams and put together the NCAA Tournament bracket once the games were over last night. His Committee will then discuss the Regional Brackets via Conference Call.

The Committee will take the conference champions from each of the six conferences and then go down the Pairwise computer rankings and determine the 10 best at-large teams. DU is the #2 team in the Pairwise Rankings.

The goal of the Committee is to put together the bracket trying to have the best tournament possible. This entails building attendance at each of the venues, while trying to enhance the student-athlete experience. None of the four schools that are hosting regionals will make the tournament, therefore they will try and protect the top four seeds as much as possible.

The Committee will get on a conference call on Saturday night to go through all of these discussions in order to bracket the 16 teams. On Sunday morning they will wake up early to review what was discussed Saturday night to see if anyone thought of a way to tweak the bracket that we didn't think of the night before. Once we are finished with the bracket, They will get on a conference call, along with the NCAA national office staff, with the talent for the ESPN selection show and explain to them how we arrived at the bracket. This gives us a chance to educate the talent and at the same time enable them to ask any questions which will ultimately inform the viewers.

2010 NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament

Midwest (Fort Wayne)
1. Miami vs. 16. Alabama-Huntsville
8. Bemidji State vs. 12. Michigan

East (Albany)
2. Denver vs. 15. RIT
7. Cornell vs. 11. New Hampshire

West (St. Paul)
3. Wisconsin vs. 14. Vermont
6. St. Cloud State vs. 10. Northern Michigan

Northeast (Worcester)
4. Boston College vs. 13. Alaska
5. North Dakota vs. 9. Yale

Denver Post: Anthony Maiani Injury Update

(left) Anthony Maiani's injury may take a while to heal

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has an injury update on University of Denver forward Anthony Maiani.

In other news...

The Good News: Chambers points out that DU is not the first MacNaughton Cup champ to get swept out of the Final 5. The last two MacNuaghton Cup champs suffered a similar fate; UND in 2009 & CC in 2008.

The Bad News: UND lost in the first round of the NCAA playoffs to New Hampshire 6-5 in overtime last year. CC lost to eventual NCAA champions Michigan State 3-1 in the first round in Colorado Springs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

College Hockey News Projects DU To Albany

There are many projected NCAA Brackets out there, but College Hockey News projects a straight bracket based on Pairwise seedings. With DU almost certainly chartering a plane to Albany, travel won't be an issue.

The NCAA will announce the four Regional Brackets on Sunday on the NCAA Hockey Selection Show at 9:30 AM MT on ESPN2.
College Hockey News' Projected Bracket

Midwest (Fort Wayne)

1. Miami vs. 16. Alabama-Huntsville
8. Bemidji State vs. 9. Yale

East (Albany)
2. Denver vs. 15. RIT
7. Cornell vs. 10. Northern Michigan

West (St. Paul)
3. Wisconsin vs. 14. Vermont
6. St. Cloud State vs. 11. New Hampshire

Northeast (Worcester)
4. Boston College vs. 13. Alaska
5. North Dakota vs. 12. Michigan

DU vs. Wisconsin Live Scoreboard Link

WCHA Final Five Results: Wisconsin 6 - DU 3 FINAL .... North Dakota 5 - St. Cloud 3 .... Go DU .... Congrats to Chevy & Rakhshani - Hobey Baker Award Finalists .... Go DU

Friday, March 19, 2010

North Dakota 4 - Denver 3 FINAL

(above) Tyler Ruegsegger runs into North Dakota goalie Brad Eidsness on Friday night

The University of North Dakota did everything possible to take the Pioneers out of their rhythm on Friday night and won a thrilling 4-3 game in St. Paul. DU fell behind in the first period and spent the rest of the game playing catch up.

Miami lost to the University of Michigan 5-2, so DU is still #1 overall in the Pairwise Rankings.

DU will face Wisconsin at 1 PM MST tomorrow. The game will be televised on Fox Sports-North live and tape delayed in Colorado on Fox Sports-Rocky Mountain.

.
1st Period

7:59 UND 1 - DU 0 Goal: Chris VandeVelde (15) PP Assists: Knight (6), Frattin (7)

2nd Period

4:41 UND 2 - DU 0 Goal: Evan Trupp (7) Assists: Malone (14), Frattin (8)

18:25 UND 2 - DU 1 Goal: Matt Donovan (7) Assists: Ostrow (10), Martin (8)

19:14 UND 3 - DU 1 Goal: Evan Trupp (8) PP Assists: Marto (12), Kristo (21)

3rd Period

4:15 UND 3 - DU 2 Goal: John Lee (2) PP Assists: Philllips (4), Shore (12)

13:59 UND 4 - DU 2 Goal: Brad Malone (10) SH Assists: Trupp

19:23 UND 4 - DU 3 Goal: Knowlton (3) SH

Pilot Makes DU Hockey Freshman Sing D-Rah

Some DU fans were on the flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul that the University of Denver hockey team was was on.

The pilot made the freshmen sing the school fight song! Everyone had fun with that.

One comment overheard was "I hope they play better hockey than they sing!"

DU Will Be Pairwise #1 Or #2 At NCAA Tourney

No matter what happens tonight against North Dakota or on Saturday against either Wisconsin or St, Cloud State, the University of Denver hockey team will be the #1 or #2 Pairwise team in the Tournament. More than likely DU will either be playing in Albany, New York or St. Paul, Minnesota next week in the NCAA Regionals.

Almost certainly DU will face either Alabama-Huntsville or the champion of the Atlantic Hockey Association in the first round next weekend.

Finally Denver, Miami-Ohio, Wisconsin, Boston College, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Bemidji State, Yale & Alabama-Huntsville have clinched spots in the NCAA Tournament. The champions of the ECAC and the Atlantic Hockey Tournament are also guaranteed spots. Every other team will be battling for the five remaining invites to the Tourney.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

LetsGoDU Welcomes Sioux Fans To Blogosphere

(above) Dave Hakstol was "Booned" four times this season

LetsGoDU is thrilled to welcome North Dakota's residents and ex-pats to our blogging community this weekend. However, we need to go over a few basic ground rules to keep things on the up-and-up here at America's Favorite College Hockey Blog™.

LetsGoDU has set up extra servers to handle the additional traffic this weekend and look forward to your patronage. Please limit yourselves to no more that three profanity-laced comments per hour so other Sioux fans can get on board a spew their earthy messages. Any language that UND's Brent Hextall uses in a game that is OK with WCHA referees (homophobic, vulgar & profanity laced tirades) are OK with us.

Finally to all fans out there, with all the drinking going on this weekend at the Final Five, please don't be like several North Dakota hockey players and get behind the wheel while loaded.

Chambers Blog Has Details on DU Hobey Finalists

Mike Chambers Blog has the details on DU's two Hobey Baker finalists. He also has quotes from Coach Gwozdecky whom he caught up with at the WCHA Awards banquet this afternoon.

Needless to say its been a big day of collecting hardware for some of DU's finest players. Lets hope they bring home a big prize on Saturday night in St. Paul.

The Hobey Finalists

  • F Bobby Butler, New Hampshire
  • G Marc Cheverie, Denver
  • F Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin
  • F Gustav Nyquist, Maine
  • F Mark Olver, Northern Michigan
  • F Chase Polacek, Rensselaer
  • F Rhett Rakhshani, Denver
  • G Cody Reichard, Miami
  • G Ben Scrivens, Cornell
  • D Brendan Smith, Wisconsin

WCHA Announces End Of Season Award Winners

(above) Marc Cheverie was named WCHA Player of the Year today

From: WCHA Website

The University of Denver had four individual award winners to highlight the annual WCHA Awards Banquet and Ceremony today at RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minn.
Marc Cheverie (Denver) - WCHA Player of the Year

Eli Vlaisavljevich (Michigan Tech) - WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year

Brendan Smith (Wisconsin) - WCHA Defensive Player of the Year,

Danny Kristo (North Dakota) - WCHA Rookie of the Year

Rhett Rakhshani (Denver) - WCHA Scoring Champion

Marc Cheverie (Denver) - WCHA Goaltending Champion

George Gwozdecky (Denver) - WCHA Coach of the Year

University of Denver All-WCHA Selections
1st Team
Marc Cheverie - G
Patrick Wiercioch - D
Rhett Rakhshani - F

2nd Team
Tyler Ruegsegger - F

3rd Team
Joe Colbourne - F

Rookie Team
Matt Donovan - D

North Dakota & Duluth Kick Off Final Five Tonight

The University of North Dakota are slated to take on Minnesota Duluth tonight at 7 PM (6 PM MST) at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association has suspended North Dakota forward Matt Frattin for tonight's game. Frattin, who was arrested twice earlier this season (disorderly conduct, fleeing from police & DUI), was suspended after he knocked out Minnesota's Kevin Wehrs with a blow to the head.

The Thursday game can be seen live on Fox Sports-Rocky Mountain in Colorado and around the country. The winner will face WCHA champion University of Denver on Friday night in the semifinals.

Redline Report Touts 2 DU Recruits For NHL Draft

(above) DU recruits Beau Bennett & Sam Brittain were mentioned as hot prospects for the NHL Draft this summer in Los Angeles

From: USA Today
by Kyle Woodlief-Former NHL Scout Nashville Predators

Just a few odds and ends we noticed in our rankings this month. First, in a continuation of the trend we've seen developing over the last six or seven years, Canada's various Jr. A loops are producing a steady stream of quality prospects.

This year's batch includes two players that will be heading to the University of Denver. Topping that group is California winger Beau Bennett, a speed demon who has been such a dominant force for Penticton in the British Columbia Hockey League that he basically has made a complete farce of the competition.

Leading the league with 41-79-120 scoring totals in 56 games, Bennett has catapulted himself into Red Line Report's first round. We certainly liked him back at the World Jr. A Challenge in November, but even we are surprised at just how quickly he has developed, and the improvements in his game over the past four months have been staggering.

Huge netminder Sam Brittain of Canmore in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. is another future Pioneer. Though he led his team to a first-round playoff upset, we expect that Canmore's season will come to an end well before the world U-18 championships get underway in Minsk next month, and we'd love to plant a bug in Hockey Canada's ear right now so they don't forget to add him to the roster. We'd love to see how he handles higher-caliber shooters on the international stage.

The other thing we noticed is that, with Bennett elevating himself to first-round status, we now have two southern California natives ranked in our first round: Bennett and Medicine Hat's Emerson Etem. That has got to be a first in Red Line's 17-year history.

Throw in Kelowna's Shane McColgan, a likely Top 10 overall pick at the 2011 draft, and California is truly becoming a hotbed of talent. What does it say about the changing face of hockey development in the United States that these three young stars represent a higher talent level than any player produced in the last five years out of a traditional hockey state such as Massachusetts?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chambers Blog Features LetsGoDU Checklist

(above) Chambers check list is longer than ours

Mike Chambers liked our checklist so much he mentioned it in his blog yesterday. It just goes to show you how handy it is to make a list before you go shopping so you don't forget anything.

News & Notes From Around PioNation

The Toronto Star.Com has a blurb about incoming DU recruit Beau Bennett. In an article about DU Alum Tyler Bozak, The Star called Bennet, "The next Tyler Bozak." Of course the Maple Leafs may need to make a trade to get back into the First Round.

If you want to read about Tyler Bozak in Canada this week all you have to do is pick up a newspaper. It doesn't matter which one, because it seems like he is featured in just about all of the them. The National Post, CBC.com, Metro Canada, plus another 100 sites mention Bozak and the University of Denver hockey program.

The DU hockey team will fly to Minneapolis-St. Paul today. Tonight on the agenda is the WCHA awards banquet. Mike Chambers Blog is predicting a steady stream of Pioneers making their way to the podium. According to Chambers, the ten Hobey Baker finalists will be announced tonight as well. DU has a couple of candidates.

Kevin Pates of the Duluth News Tribune has a very good WCHA Final Five preview. It featues a quote from Coach Gwozdecky from Tuesday's Media Conference Call.

DU Senior Video Profile: Cody Brookwell


(above) DU Senior Defenseman Cody Brookwell discusses his college years

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FSN-Rocky Mountain To Air DU Semi-Final Live

FSN ROCKY MOUNTAIN TO BROADCAST DU's SEMIFINAL OF 2010 RED BARON WCHA FINAL FIVE LIVE

The University of Denver hockey team will face the winner of North Dakota / Minnesota-Duluth game on Friday night at 6 PM MT.

FSN-Rocky Mountain will air the second semifinal of the 2010 Red Baron WCHA Final Five live from St. Paul, Minn., it was announced today.

DU earned the No. 1 overall seed after winning the WCHA regular-season title and defeating Michigan Tech in two games last week. North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth start the Final Five competition live on FSN Rocky Mountain on Thursday, March 18 at 6 p.m. Wisconsin will take on St. Cloud State in the first semifinal on Fri., March 19 at 2 p.m. The game will air via tape delay at 1:30 a.m. DU's semifinal game will be shown live at 6 p.m. on FSN Rocky Mountain. The championship game will also be televised live on Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m., followed by the third-place game later that evening at 10 p.m.

Play-by-play duties for the three-day tournament will be split between Frank Mazzocco, Anthony LaPlanta and Jim Rich. Doug Woog and Darby Hendrickson serve as the color analysts, with LaPlanta and Kevin Gorg providing rink-side reporting throughout the tournament.

The Curse of '57 is 53 Years Old Today

Colorado College won its last National Championship 53 years ago today. But the Championship was marred by an act of poor sportsmanship that offers clues as to why CC hasn't won another championship in the past 53 years. The crack research staff at LetsGoDU looked into reports that Colorado College's hockey program is under a "Curse" that would explain why they haven't won a National Championship since 1957.

A sports-related curse is the effective action of some power or evil, that is used to explain the failures or misfortunes of specific sports teams, players, or even cities.

DU graduate students thoroughly reviewed Wikipedia's List of Sports Curses to find similarities or clues to CC's misfortune. Sports Illustrated is considered by many to be a breeding ground of curses, so a bulk of the research was conducted on back issues of SI.

Last year our researches found two possible clues in the March 10, 1958 issue of Sports Illustrated. Just five days before the University of Denver would defeat North Dakota to win the 1958 National Championship, Colorado College's then president Dr. Louis T. Benezet, threatened to revamp his school's hockey program to "reduce the number of Canadians on CC's roster." Its interesting to note that Colorado College was the defending national champion at the time.

However the DU researchers point to March 1957, when Colorado College raised a question regarding the eligibility of three University of Michigan players—John Randall, Neill Buchanan and Wally Maxwell—all of whom were declared ineligible by the NCAA eligibility committee on the eve of the national tournament in Colorado Springs. CC would go on to defeat a shorthanded Michigan team in the championship game 13-6.

The hockey gods, obviously, were not amused.

WCHA Final Five Schedule

WCHA Final Five
Xcel Energy Center
Saint Paul, MN

Thursday, March 18: No. 5 Minnesota Duluth (22-16-1) vs No. 4 North Dakota (22-12-5), 6:07 pm MT (TV - FS North, FSN - Rocky Mountain).

Games for Friday, March 19: Semi-Final: No. 3 St. Cloud State (22-12-5) vs No. 2 Wisconsin (24-9-4), 1:07 pm MT (TV - FS North); Semi-Final: Thursday’s Winner vs No. 1 Denver (27-7-4), 6:07 pm MT (TV - FS North, FSN - Rocky Mountain).

Games for Saturday, March 20: Third Place Game, 1:07 pm MT (TV - FS North, Tape Delay @ 10 PM FSN-Rocky Mountain); Broadmoor Trophy Championship Game, 6:07 pm MT (TV - FS North, FS - Rocky Mountain).

Colorado Producing Many Elite Hockey Prospects

(left) DU recruit Tyler Pham is expected to be selected for the USNDP Under-17 Team in two weeks

This weekend USA announced that 47 players born in 1994 have been invited to the U.S. Development Camp (March 27-30 Ann Arbor, Michigan). From these players, those selected will play for the USDNP-Under 17 Team next season. A couple of the invited players have University of Denver connections.

Tyler Pham has already committed to DU and will play for the Pioneers in 2012. Originally from Ft. Collins, Pham played for Team Illinois this past season. Most observers expect Pham to make the USNDT.

Hiesenberg's Website now has Dakota Mermis committing to play for DU in 2010. He plays for the St. Louis Jr. Blues and will come to DU to play with his brother, Jarrod. Dakota is considered a lock to make the USNDT.

One of Drew & Nick Shore's younger brothers, Quentin has also been invited to the Camp. Nick will play for the Pioneers next season and who doesn't want to see all three brothers in Crimson & Gold on the "Shore Line" in 2012.

Three other players invited to the Camp play for the Colorado Thunderbirds Junior program. Bradley Hawkinson is a forward from Aurora, Matais Cleland is a defenseman from Boulder and Gavin Stoick is a forward from Portland, Oregon.

Mike Chambers Blog has details on another former Thurderbird player who is now playing in Dallas. That's 7 out of 47 players that have Colorado or DU connections at the Camp.