Saturday, July 31, 2010

Beau Bennett Shines In 1st USA Scrimmage

Incoming DU Freshman Beau Bennett made a big impression in his first day at the USA Evaluation Camp. USA White defeated USA Blue 4-1 in convincing fashion. However USA Blue’s player of the game was Beau Bennett, who not only scored the team’s lone goal but also created a few prime scoring chances. DU players Nick Shore, Drew Shore and Jason Zucker are also participating in the camp.

Boston College has six players at the Camp, Notre Dame (4), North Dakota (3), Boston University (3), Minnesota (3) and Michigan (2).

USA Blue

Kreider (BC) – Watson – Morin
Zucker (DU) – Pitlick (MSUM) – Brown (MI)
Nieto (BU) – Lynch (MI) – Bennett (DU)
Maxwell – N. Shore (DU) – Rust (ND) – Hayes (BC)

Samuelsson (BC) – Wey (BC)
Merrill (MI) – Faulk (UMD)
Tinordi (ND) – Alt (MN)

Iles (Cornell)
Houser

USA White

D’Amigo (RPI) – D. Shore (DU) – Bourque
Whitney (BC) – Budish (MN) – Palmieri (ND)
Etem – Nelson (UND) – Saad
Brickley (VT) – Bjugstad (MN) – Lane – Coyle (BU)

Clendening (BU) – Ramage (WI)
Domoulin (BC) – Johns (ND)
Forbort (UND) – Archibald

Campbell
Gothberg (UND)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Four DU Players Tryout For USA Jr. Team

From: USA Hockey.com

Four DU players have been invited to try-out for the USA Junior National Team. Beau Bennett, Drew Shore, Nick Shore and Jason Zucker are in New York this week.

The four DU players will join forty-two of the top U.S. players under the age of 20, including 29 first- or second-round NHL draft selections, who will descend on Lake Placid, N.Y., beginning today for the 2010 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

The camp, which will continue through Aug. 7, includes practices, intrasquad scrimmages and international competition between teams from the United States, Finland and Sweden.

Mannino Re-signs With Atlanta Thrashers

(above) DU Alum Peter Mannino will probably play in the AHL next season for the Chicago Wolves

From: NHL.com


The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms with restricted free agent goaltender Peter Mannino on a multiple-year contract, according to General Manager Rick Dudley. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mannino, 26, appeared in 38 games with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, posting a 26-5-1 record with two shutouts, a 2.34 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. He set career highs in wins and was named the AHL Goaltender of the Month for January after posting a 6-1-0 record with a 1.28 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage. Mannino earned a 6-5 record with two shutouts in 12 Calder Cup Playoff appearances for the Wolves.

The 6-1, 190-pound goaltender has posted a 43-17-3 record with three shutouts, a 2.63 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 72 career AHL games with Bridgeport and Chicago. He also appeared in three National Hockey League games with the New York Islanders during the 2008-09 season, earning a 1-1-0 mark.

Prior to his professional career, Mannino earned a 63-32-5 record with 15 shutouts, a 2.36 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage in 103 career games with the University of Denver from 2004 to 2008. He helped lead the Pioneers to the 2005 NCAA National Championship and finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in shutouts.

Mannino, who was undrafted, was originally signed by the Islanders as a free agent on July 3, 2008. He signed with the Thrashers as a free agent on July 5, 2009.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GPL Reports Drugs Force Gopher To Leave Program


From: Gopher Puck Live

Having missed the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years and the program on a downward slide, University of Minnesota Head Coach Don Lucia needed all the ammo he could find to hopefully make a return to the field of 16 come this spring. However, the chances of that happening were dealt a major blow as sophomore Nick Leddy will forgo his final three seasons at the U in favor of signing with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Also, fellow sophomore-to-be forward Josh Birkholz has left the team and will resume his hockey career this fall for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL after violating team rules. The former Blake star allegedly failed multiple drug tests this summer.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DU Hockey Season Tickets Available Online

Season tickets for the 2010-11 University of Denver hockey team are now available online at www.DenverPioneers.com. Fans can purchase season tickets by clicking here.

Individual game tickets go on sale Saturday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m., with individual ticket prices ranging from $18-$35.

2010-11 DU Hockey Schedule (Unofficial)

Oct. 2 U.S. National Development Team (Exhibition)
Oct. 8-9 @ Vermont
Oct. 15-16 Boston College
Oct. 22-23 Wisconsin
Oct. 29-30 @ North Dakota
Nov. 5 Colorado College
Nov. 6 @ Colorado College
Nov. 12-13 Minnesota State
Nov. 19-20 Bemidji State
Nov 26-27 Wells Fargo Denver Cup
Lake State vs. Clarkson, Air Force vs. DU
Dec 3-4 @ Minnesota-Duluth
Dec. 10-11 @ Alaska-Anchorage
Dec. 31-1/1 Northern Michigan
Jan. 14-15 @ Minnesota State
Jan. 21-22 Alaska-Anchorage
Feb. 4 @ Colorado College
Feb. 5 Colorado College
Feb. 11-12 @ Minnesota
Feb. 18-19 Michigan Tech
Feb. 25-26 @ Nebraska-Omaha
Mar. 4-5 St. Cloud State

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brock Trotter Off To Latvia To Play In KHL

(above) Brock Trotter is moving to Latvia to play hockey in the Russian League

From: Latvian Hockey.com

Several Canadian internet sources have announced that the 23-year-old former DU hocker star Brock Trotter has signed a one-year contract with Dinamo Riga of the Continental Hockey League in Russia.

It is estimated that the contract could be worth up to $250,000, which is four times more than he made in the AHL last season (plus the significant tax differences). For a comparison, legendary Sandis Ozolinsh contract, who might be the most heavy one for Dinamo Riga, is rumoured to be worth around 840,000 USD.

23-year-old forward became a restricted free agent on July 1, but apparently did not succeed coming to an agreement with the Canadiens.

Trotter has spent several past seasons in Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. In 2009/10 he posted 77 points in 75 regular season games, adding 19 points in 19 games during the playoffs. Last season he also made two Montreal Canadiens appearances.

Dinamo Riga pre-season camp began already on July 23 with team highlights of Chris Holt, Sandis Ozolinsh, Mark Hartigan, Tomas Surovy and others on the roster. Club’s general manager Normunds Sejejs is still desperately working on finding a starting goalie.

Dinamo reached Western Conference Semifinals last season, after eliminating SKA St. Petersburg in the Quarterfinals. The club then proceeded to lose to HC MVD, which became the Western Conference champion later on.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Colorado College Revamps Hockey Marketing

(above) Does the NCAA really want to see their student athletes shlepping hockey tickets in cheesy commercials?

LetsGoDU was able to obtain ten marketing slogans that were rejected by the Colorado College Athletic Department in favor of their new "Lower Ticket Prices Campaign."
10.) Colorado College Hockey: 20 Consecutive Seasons Of Regular Season Excellence

9.) CC Hockey Ticket Prices Are So Low Our Students Roll Joints With Unused Tickets

8.) Early Playoff Exits Frees Up Time For Spring Skiing

7.) World Arena: The Only Venue In The WCHA That Uses Three Zambonis

6.) Colorado College: We'd Offer Levi Palin A Hockey Scholarship If We Thought DU Was After Him

5.) Come See The 2nd Best College Hockey Program In Colorado Springs

4.) Colorado College Hockey Tradition: We Have More National Championships Than Alaska-Anchorage and Minnesota-Duluth Combined

3.)

2.) Colorado College Hockey: The Fastest Midgets On Ice

1.) $149 To See DU Play Twice A Year Is A Bargain

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lame Colorado College Ads Peddle Season Tix


(above) Its hard to believe, but the CC Hockey ads are worse than last year

Top Long Island Lax Recruit To Visit DU

(above) James Burnside is a former hockey player who will visit with DU's Lacrosse coaches next week

From: Garden City Patch
by Jason Molinet

James Burnside isn't even one of the two most heralded defenders at Garden City High School. That title belongs to Stephen Jahelka and Brian Fischer, who decided to play in the Under Armour All-American lacrosse game and with their summer team instead.

That's when Burnside emerged from their considerable shadows by showing off his ability to earn a spot on the Empire State Games' scholastic boys lacrosse team. Interestingly, the Garden City rising senior considered himself more of a hockey player not that long ago.

"Ever since I was little I used to play hockey," Burnside said. "And I always thought I'd go to Empires for hockey. So I always wanted to try out."

With the attention he received from college lacrosse coaches beginning last fall, Burnside dropped the puck and went with lacrosse full time. He took that dedication one step further when he left prom early to play in the Nassau versus Suffolk Top 50 game in June, the final tryout to earn an Empire jersey.

After Burnside teamed with fellow Garden City standout Tom Gordon to help Long Island go 2-0 on Thursday, he's not regretting any of his decisions to follow lacrosse where it takes him. Burnside has been an anchor on defense and Gordon a factor on offense – and both have savored the entire Empire experience.

"I didn't think the opening ceremonies would be as cool as it was, walking out there in front of all those people," Burnside said of the Wednesday night procession of athletes followed by an oath and the lighting of the flame in Olympic fashion. "I was getting chills."

Gordon, a rising senior midfielder committed to Johns Hopkins, made some memories of his own. He scored a goal to open the day with a 10-4 win over host region Western at Canisius College. He added an assist in a 13-7 victory over Hudson Valley.

Long Island has two more games Friday, facing Adirondack at 11 a.m. followed by the highly anticipated showdown versus Central under the lights at 8 p.m. With two winnable games left on the schedule – Adirondack and New York City – Long Island may have already positioned itself to reach the gold medal game.

Burnside's summer lacrosse tour is far from over. Long Island will likely play for an unprecedented fifth straight gold medal Sunday. Then he will fly out on Sunday night to the University of Denver, an NCAA Tournament team, for a recruiting visit.

Burnside always imagined he'd play at the Empire State Games. No one could have guessed it be as one of the top lacrosse stars.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Burger Joint Will Be Close To Magness Arena

(above) The new Crimson & Gold Restaurant will be the closest watering hole to Magness Arena

From: DU Today Blog

The city of Denver has reinstated the liquor license application for the Crimson and Gold restaurant, a steak and burger place preparing to open in the former Aroma Café at 2017 S. University Blvd.

A hearing is set for Aug. 2 to decide whether restaurateurs Kevin and Craig Caldwell should receive a hotel and restaurant liquor license for the business, which is immediately south of the Conoco station at Asbury Avenue.

In the meantime, the restaurateurs are proceeding with extensive renovations to the 3,500-square-foot property, which they leased late last year. Plans call for a DU-theme restaurant that will specialize in burgers at lunch, then add steaks, fish and a nightly special in the evening.

“It’s like Park Burger, a high-end burger with different toppings,” Caldwell says. Park Burger is at 1890 S. Pearl St. in Platt Park.

Caldwell says the restaurant’s primary market is community residents, office workers from Colorado Boulevard, and DU students, faculty and staff.

“We didn’t build this to be a party bar,” Caldwell says. “We built it to serve the whole community — DU and the neighborhood. And hopefully we can pull that off.”

Seating will accommodate nearly 100 customers in booths and tables, and plans are being formed for a backyard patio with a wall as high as the city’s new zoning code will allow. If things go well, Caldwell hopes to open between Aug. 15 and the beginning of fall classes on Sept. 13.

The Crimson and Gold will be managed by Craig Caldwell’s son, Andrew Caldwell, who is just short of a BSBA degree from DU in real estate and construction management. Andrew Caldwell has managed the families’ beach club/restaurant in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

“My brother and I grew up in the DU neighborhood and there is a strong connection there,” Caldwell says. “We’re really psyched.”

Jason Zucker's Hockey Odyssey

(above) Jason Zucker at the Minnesota Wild Development Camp last week

From: NHL.com

On Father's Day last month, Minnesota Wild 2010 second round draft pick Jason Zucker had four phone calls to make.

No, his biological parents are not divorced and remarried a bunch of times. No, he isn't the result of a scientific experiment a la Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito in the movie, Twins. And no, he wasn't a problem child shipped from home to home.

But a youngster with big hockey dreams from a city where there is little ice other than in fruity cocktails was forced at an early age to fly the coup. In the process, he had to acclimate to a wide array of new cities and new families.

"I have many families now," says Zucker with a laugh.

Zucker was born to Scott and Natalie Zucker in Newport Beach, California, but his family moved to Las Vegas when he was two months old. Growing up in the desert in a family of five kids, Zucker started playing roller hockey at the age of three under the tutelage of his older brothers.

Within a few years, Jason took to the ice on one of the rare rinks in Vegas, where he discovered two things: 1. he loved the game, and 2. he was very good at it.

As a 10-year-old, Zucker traveled to Edmonton, Alberta to play in the annual Brick Invitational summer tournament, where he was noticed by Sandy Gasseau, the head coach of the Los Angeles club team. Gasseau wanted Zucker to play a full season in California, but that would mean the 11-year-old Zucker would have to leave his family behind and live with complete strangers in a billet situation.

After talking with his family, they decided it was an opportunity to find out if hockey was really the path Zucker wanted to take with his life.

"Being that young, it was tough not to see my family," he admitted. "I had never been away from my family for more than a couple days. You're used to seeing your mom every day when you wake up. I don't want to say it was a shock for me, but it was a really, really big change."

Jason acclimated to his new surroundings and spent two years in Los Angeles. His game flourished, and the answer to the initial family question was found.

"It really made me realize whether I wanted to play hockey for the rest of my life or not," he said. "That's when I decided that I do."

Zucker's family traveled from Vegas to L.A. as often as possible, but probably not as often as they would have liked.

"They still had to work so it wasn't an every weekend thing," said Zucker.

Jason got to see much more of them when he moved back home to Las Vegas two years after leaving. The team he played for in L.A. decided to play at the Bantam AA level, rather than Bantam AAA. Las Vegas had a AA team, and he decided if he was going to play at that level, he would do it at home with a team of Las Vegas natives.

Ironically, Las Vegas faced Los Angeles in the regional finals to get to nationals. Zucker's team fell in that game, 2-1.

"The level of hockey between L.A. and Vegas wasn't a huge difference," explained Zucker, who was 14 at the time. "At least, not a big enough difference that I felt I needed to move away at that time."

But his moving wasn't over. Moving from Nevada to a neighboring state is one thing. But when he was 15, Zucker again left his family to move across the country.

He found himself in Plymouth, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, playing for the Compuware Midget Minor AAA team, alongside other eventual 2010 draftees like first rounder, Austin Watson and fellow second rounder, Jared Knight.

Zucker had been away from home once, but that doesn't mean it was easy to move across the country.

"It was still a shock," he admitted. "Being 2,000 miles away is a long way away. I didn't get to see my family all but twice that whole year. That was when I realized that this is what life is going to be like from now on."

Once again, Zucker was able to thrive on the ice and feel comfortable off of it, despite the new surroundings. He gave full credit to his billet family in Plymouth, Duane and Kim Knight, the parents of Jared.

"They brought me in like a son," he gushed. "I think that helped a lot - having such a great family to live with there. I still talk to them and I couldn't be more grateful for what they did for me."

The Zucker Show headed back West, but not far. His next two years were spent in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a member of the United States Development Program. Once again, that meant a new family in Bill and Carolyn Van Cleve, who also hosted Stephen Johns, another second rounder in the 2010 Draft.

"They also helped me a lot," he said. "I was getting used to [being away from home] year by year and month by month. At the same time, it was really tough. Having such good families with me helped me a lot along the way."

In his final year in Ann Arbor, Zucker finished second on the Under-18 team in goals (24) and fifth in points (43) in 51 games. He was also the youngest player on the United States World Junior team that shocked Canada in the gold medal game with a 6-5 victory. It was the third gold medal in his short career, having won two others at the 2009 and 2010 World Under-18 championships.

Next year, the Wild prospect will take his game to Denver University, which beat out Michigan and Miami-Ohio, the other two schools that were finalists in the Zucker sweepstakes.

"It's the closest school I could get to home," he joked.

For the first time, he'll be on his own, and not living in the home of a welcoming family. Of course, he'll be in the same situation as all of his other teammates, and now, the laid back kid is old enough to take care of himself. He's sure he wouldn't be able to make an easy adjustment to college if it wasn't for the support of his many families along the way.

"I've been away for five years now, and my parents just keep helping me out through everything," he said. "I've been really fortunate to have the families I've had, and the roommates I've had. There's nothing you can do that can express what they really did for you. They put so much time and effort into just letting you stay in their home."

Zucker hopes to one day be playing in the State of Hockey, where there are players that sometimes skirt the prestige of Minnesota high school hockey to try and further their game in Ann Arbor or with a junior team. Most won't be 11 years old at the time, but Zucker knows it can be tough at any age. He does have some advice for those living with new families.

"Just be open to everything," he advises. "When I first went away, I was a little shy. If I wanted to do something, it was a little hard to ask them, 'Can I go do this?' Be open, and listen to what they say. Make it easy on them, and they'll make it easy on you."

"No billet family is out to get you. They're there to welcome you. You've just got to be thankful for what they've given you and you'll be perfectly fine."

Here's a bit more advice. Make sure you have plenty of cell phone minutes. You could have a lot of future calls to make on the holidays.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nine Notre Dame Hockey Players Busted By Cops

(above) The Natty Lights were flowing in South Bend on Saturday night

(left) Notre Dame hockey player Joe Levine's 21st birthday party resulted in mass arrests

From: South Bend Tribune

Indiana State Excise Police arrested 44 people, 9 of them University of Notre Dame hockey players, on alcohol charges early Saturday morning at a house party in the 1000 block of East Washington Street, police reported. Eight of the hockey players were incoming freshmen. They are: defenseman Jared Beers, forward Jeff Costello, forward David Gerths, forward Anders Lee, goaltender Joe Rogers, goaltender Steven Summerhays, defenseman Shayne Taker and forward Mike Voran.

Another athlete arrested on misdemeanor charges of minor consumption was Nate Montana, a junior backup quarterback on the football team and son of Notre Dame legend Joe Montana, according to St. Joseph County police spokesman Assistant Chief Bill Redman.

Joe Lavin, a junior defenseman last year on the Irish hockey team, and another person were charged with misdemeanors for allegedly providing alcohol to minors, Redman said. Lavin lives at the house where the party was located, and Saturday was his 21st birthday, according to police.

Another eighteen people arrested on minor consumption charges are reportedly members of the Notre Dame football, basketball, cross country, fencing, rowing, swimming, and track and field teams. All but six of the remaining people arrested are Notre Dame students, according to listings in the university phone directory.

'Pandemonium'

South Bend police said they were dispatched to the neighborhood at 1:41 a.m. on the report of about a dozen people fighting, throwing punches near the corner of Washington and Eddy streets, one block north of Jefferson Boulevard.

Upon arrival, officers heard glass breaking from the back of the residence and immediately called for more units. South Bend police said pandemonium began to occur, with numerous men and women jumping out of windows and off the roof of the residence.

Excise Police officers arrived at 1:53 a.m., according to a news release, and 15 or more South Bend police officers left their patrol beats from across the city to assist and catch people who were fleeing, police said.

After about an hour, when the chaos was under control, police said they began gathering, arresting and transporting underage people to the county jail.

South Bend police said the residence is a frequent destination for police dispatches. Several arrests were previously made at the address for underage drinking, narcotics, resisting law enforcement, and attempt to disarm a police officer.

South Bend fire and medics also were called to the house for a woman who cut her arm while breaking a window, trying to get out of the house. She was taken to Memorial Hospital, the news release from Excise Police said. Several other people fled the scene and were not caught, police said.

Redman said bond was set at $150 for each person arrested.

All 44 people arrested had bonded out of the county jail by Saturday afternoon. They are due in court July 30, Redman said.

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said university officials are aware of the incident, gathering facts, and will monitor the situation.

"The safety and welfare of our students is always of utmost concern to the university, and we have an established record of working with them when they face difficulties of any kind, including recommendations about securing legal counsel if needed," he wrote in an e-mail.

"At the same time, we expect our students to be good citizens of the community and hold them accountable when necessary. Beyond that, we won't discuss specifics of any situation, much less one that is still unfolding."

Zucker's GWG Goal Highlights Scrimmage

(left) Incoming DU Freshman Jason Zucker scored the GWG during a scrimmage on Saturday at the Minnesota Wild's Development Camp

From: NHL.com

Among the nine goals scored in Team Green's 5-4 scrimmage over Team White at Minnesota Wild's Development Camp, there were none prettier than the game-winner. Incoming DU Freshman Jason Zucker, the Wild's second-round pick (one of three) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, put his team on top for good in the final 30 seconds.

Nate Prosser, in the corner, flipped the puck to a standing Zucker low in the left circle. Zucker needed to kick the puck to his stick side, then unleashed a furious one-timer that went over Dennis Endras.

The goal completed a comeback from two goals down for Team Green and nearly overshadowed a two-goal game from University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog Justin Fontaine.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DU Alum Helps Foundation Assist Youth Hockey

(left) Dan Brooks was defenseman at the University of Denver from 1987-90. Today he's a financial consultant in Minneapolis

From: NHL.com
by Rocky Bonnano

DU Alum Dan Brooks is the son of legendary coach Herb Brooks who died in an automobile accident in 2003. Today the Herb Brooks Foundation is assisting the children of military parents participate in various hockey programs.

The Herb Brooks Foundation is dedicated to providing more opportunities for kids to play hockey. True to Brooks' words, the Foundation will assist in "making hockey fun for kids and letting them learn to love the game the way we did."

In keeping with this ideal, the Foundation supports programs that emphasize the development of youth hockey players and coaches throughout the country. The Foundation also assists in providing more outdoor hockey facilities and programs, which directly impact the development of youth hockey players.

"The Herb Brooks Foundation really is multi-faceted," Dan Brooks, son of Herb and board member of the foundation, told NHL.com. "We want to make the game of hockey better at all levels, doing things for elite athletes all the way down to the less fortunate. While we want to make the game better, we also want to make people's lives better through the game of hockey.

"This situation came up, and knowing my father, if he was alive today, not only his love of hockey but for his country and the military, he would have been all over this and supporting it. We are fortunate to be partnered with Defending the Blue Line."

"This is our biggest endeavor, without a doubt," said Hudella, who expects 100 to 120 children to benefit from "Herbie's Heroes." "This camp has turned into an incredible event. Multiple television and media outlets will be on hand. It'll be a great time for families to have first-class training on the ice, a picnic, and just enjoy family togetherness.

"Part of the deal going into this is we're soldiers first. Once we accomplish our assigned missions, this is a great way for us on non-duty time to give something back to the next generation of soldiers."

"Herbie's Heroes" takes place on July 23-24 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. Children will receive about an hour and a half of ice time per day. At the conclusion of the skate on the second day, the rink is open to the public for the All-Star game. The contest is free (donations are accepted), and raffles will be sold to win the signed jerseys of celebrity skaters.

Confirmed celebrities are 1980 Olympians Dave Christian, Steve Christoff and Rob McClanahan, and former NHLers Tom Chorske, Darby Hendrickson, Joe Dziedzic and Brian Bellows. Dan Brooks, a former standout defenseman at the University of Denver (1987-90), will also suit up. Coaching the celebrity team will be former Minnesota North Stars defenseman Brad Maxwell.

"I'll give it a whirl, so that should be interesting," Dan Brooks said. "I haven't played in a while, so it'll be interesting for me to go out there. I'm excited to see that line of the three 1980 Olympians. Those are great guys and great players in their own right. It'll be a fun afternoon."

To learn more about these organizations, please visit www.defendingtheblueline.com and www.herbbrooksfoundation.com.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beau Bennett Attends Development Camp

(above) Beau Bennett is in Pittsburgh this week

by Shelly Anderson

Incoming DU Freshman Beau Bennett attended the first day of the Pittsburgh Penguins Development Camp yesterday.

Bennett, the Penguins' first-round draft pick last month, is listed at 6 feet 1, 173 pounds, and the 18-year-old certainly looks slight compared with most of the others at the camp.

"I just come in, work hard, try to do well," he said. "These guys are so good and a lot stronger than me, so just come out and do my best."

He showed a few nice moves in one-on-one drills, but struggled at times to keep from being ridden off the puck.

"I think going the college route, that will be something I'll take to heart," Bennett, who is headed to Denver University, said. "We'll be in the gym four or five times a week."

In addition to having to hold court in interview sessions, Bennett is also looking forward to the training seminars which are a big part of development camp. The University of Denver recruit has his pencil and notebook packed in anticipation of gaining important information concerning nutrition, psychology and off-ice training which he can take with him to college when he enrolls next month.

“I think hearing from the different professionals they are bringing in is going to be a great asset,” Bennett said. “You have to take everything they say in because it all will help you progress and be a better hockey player.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Photos From The DU Archives

(above) Boone on the Caesar's Palace sign in Vegas

(above) Before David Atkins became Sinbad the actor, he was a high flying forward on the DU basketball team for two seasons in the mid-Seventies

(above) Streakers in 1970's had to contend with shrinkage and DU's crack security staff

(above) During the 1980's, the Bleacher Creatures ruled the balcony of DU's Ice Arena

The University of Denver has digitalized over 1500 hockey photos and made them available on the web.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Donovan & Rakhshani At Isles Camp

(above) DU defenseman Matt Donovan was one of the most impressive players this week at the New York Islanders Development Camp in Long Island. DU Alum Rhett Rakhshani was also at the Camp.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Tyler Ruegsegger Likely Heading To AHL

(left) The Toronto Maple Leafs plan on finding an AHL roster spot for Tyler Ruegsegger

From: Toronto Sun
by John Hornby


With six John Ferguson-era draft picks traded the past couple of years, Tyler Ruegsegger might think he is an endangered species in Toronto.

Not getting a contract upon graduation from the University of Denver also seemed to point to the same exit sign as Jiri Tlusty, Viktor Stalberg, Justin Pogge, Robbie Earl, Anton Stralman and Chris DiDomenico.

But there will be a home for him somewhere with the Brian Burke Leafs, based on the centre’s good closing push with Denver (41 points in 41 games) and his enthusiasm through Toronto’s prospect evaluation this week in Etobicoke.

“They wanted me to have a good camp and see where we go after this,” said Ruegsegger after Thursday’s sessions at the MasterCard Centre. “To be honest, I don’t want to look into any of that (contract) stuff. I’m just out here to compete. It’s still a pleasure to be a part of the organization.”

Ruegsegger was picked 166th overall in 2006 from the NHL incubator at

Shattuck-St. Mary’s high school in Minnesota, five spots back of Stalberg.

At 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Ruegsegger doesn’t strike you as having the size Burke wants to see up front the next couple of years, but he’s impressed the brass in other ways.

“Everyone’s going to have their own special qualities,” said Jim Hughes, the Leafs’ player development director. “If they’re not big, they will be packing heavy muscle mass. Some are bigger in height, but some are more strong and fit.

“He’s a high-end character and a very special person. He’s been four years at Denver and played in the world juniors for the U.S. (Denver-born, but half Canadian).

“We’ll probably find a spot for him somewhere in our organization, because of the quality he brings every day, because of his practice habits. You want him around. He’s not an NHL player right now, we’re hoping he’ll be an AHLer. We’ll probably put him into some kind of contract form and see where he fits into the mix.”

Ruegsegger also has a business administration degree he can fall back on.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tyler Ruegsegger Spends Time At Police Academy

(above) The Rubberband Man spent a little time at the Ontario Provincial Police Academy this week

From: Ifpress

by Steve Buffery


For Ontario Provincial Police “officers” Ben Scrivens and former DU hockey star Tyler Ruegsegger, it was more or less a routine call — a late-model car at the side of the road with a few suspicious individuals inside.

But the call turned out to be far from routine.

As Ruegsegger and Scrivens, who was driving the OPP police cruiser, pulled up beside the suspicious vehicle, two of the individuals inside suddenly jumped out and opened fire.

An ambush.

“Officers” Scrivens and Ruegsegger scrambled out of their cruiser amid the gun fire and attempted to fire back, but Scrivens, in his panic, forgot to take the cruiser out of drive, and their car began rolling away.

They were sitting ducks.

Fortunately, Scrivens and Ruegsegger aren’t real officers and the bad guys in the suspicious car were firing blanks.

Nevertheless, it was a surprisingly tense scene.

“How do you think things went?” OPP Academy instructor, Sgt. Jeff Simpkins later asked Scrivens and Ruegsegger as they tried to catch their breath and bring their soaring heart rates back down.

“Not well,” responded Scrivens meekly, prompting nervous laughter from a group of onlookers.

The “suspicious car” scene was one of several scenarios that Scrivens, an outstanding goaltender with Cornell University last season, and Ruegsegger, a forward with the University of Denver last year, and the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs prospects experienced on Wednesday during a trip here to the OPP headquarters and training academy.

What made the scene with Scrivens and Ruegsegger that much more surprising was that, in an earlier scenario, “Officers” Jamie Devane, a rugged forward with Plymouth last season, and Windsor Spitfires forward Kenny Ryan, pulled up behind the same car with the same “suspicious” individuals inside.

But in that case, as they pulled up in the cruiser, the occupants of the suspicious car quickly jumped out and began to flee, all in different directions, prompting a shocked Devane and Ryan to give chase ... in vain, of course.

Nobody was caught, which had their teammates, and even some of the police instructors, in stitches.

Afterwards, all four “officers” took some good-natured ribbing.

“I was asked if that’s how we did it in Alberta,” said Spruce Grove, Alta., native Scrivens, of the rolling police cruiser.

“I told them: ‘No, we put our trucks in park when we’re out there.’ ”

The fleeing part of the two scenarios at the OPP academy was amusing, but the shooting part certainly wasn’t, even if they were using blanks.

Scrivens and Ruegsegger admitted that the sheer surprise of being ambushed and fired upon was a shock to their systems, but also an excellent learning experience — as in how to stay cool when all hell is breaking out.

“I was in a little bit of panic to be honest with you,” said Scrivens, who was signed by the Leafs as a free agent this spring after posting a stellar 1.87 goals against and 21-9-4 record with Cornell.

“That’s why I forgot to put the cruiser in park as I bailed out.

“You knew you weren’t actually going to get hurt,” he added.

“But the heart rate was still up, the adrenalin was still going ... it’s definitely a whole different feeling than watching those things on TV, and hopefully we can translate some of this stuff we learned here to playing back on the ice.”

The young wannabe Leafs, which included the club’s No. 1 prospect, centre Nazem Kadri, also took target practice and tackled an obstacle course, all with the idea of team building.

And even though it was incredibly hot out on the training field, they definitely had a lot of fun.

The prospects arrived at the Academy on Tuesday night and were told that breakfast would be at 8 a.m.

“We set them up a little bit,” said Simpkins, with a laugh.

“We just said breakfast was at 8 a.m. They all assumed they’d be able to get up and have a leisurely breakfast.”

Not so. The prospects received a 5:30 a.m., wakeup call ... and not to easy-listening music on the clock radio.

“We woke them up in typical fashion that we’d wake recruits up,” said Simpkins.

“With whistles, and pounding on the doors, and we gave them essentially five minutes to get up, get dressed and be outside ready to go.”

Before breakfast, the prospects were forced to work out in the heat, then put through their places on the range — with various police scenarios, such as the suspicious car — followed by target practice and the obstacle course.

And then they were hit with a second “surprise” workout when it was all over.

“We worked their asses off,” said Simpkins.

Still, other than some caterpillar pushups, when they were forced to join in a long “combo-style” line with their heads practically buried in the butt of the guy in front, the prospects really seemed to enjoy it. Although they probably didn’t enjoy being called “a bunch of dancers” by one particularly tough-looking female OPP officer as she counted off while they did pushups.

“It’s been a blast, although I could use a shower at this point,” said Scrivens, after spending an hour at the shooting range.

“But it’s been a great day. It’s been exciting. We’ve learned a lot. There’s a lot of parallels between what these guys do (the police) and what we do on the ice. But their jobs are a little more dangerous than what we do.”

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Colborne Wears DU Gear At Development Camp

(above) Joe Colborne wears a DU shirt during workouts at the Boston Bruins Development Camp for prospects and rookies

Bruins To Try Colborne At Wing

(above) Former DU star Joe Colborne's best shot of making the Boston Bruins will be to play wing

From: Boston.com

by Fluto Shinzawa


Joe Colborne’s natural position is center. But if the Bruins approach their 2008 first-round selection and ask him to strap on the pads, the 20-year-old won’t hesitate to inquire about goaltending gear.

“If the Bruins told me they wanted me to play goalie to be on the Bruins,’’ Colborne said with a smile yesterday, “I’d do that.’’

Colborne, who has played center most of his life, stands a good chance of starting his first full season as a pro — he appeared in six games for Providence at the end of 2009-10 — on the wing.

“Without a doubt, this year, playing wing was huge for me,’’ said Colborne, who was a right wing for most of his sophomore season at the University of Denver. “Everyone knows the Bruins have 17 good centermen right now. It’s a definite plus to have the ability to play the wing. If that’s my way to get onto the Bruins, that’s my goal — to play in the NHL and compete. If they’re missing some wingers, I’d jump at the opportunity.’’

Colborne was referring to the traffic jam at center ice, where David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard, and Gregory Campbell are ahead of him on the depth chart. Although Tyler Seguin also could start on the wing, the No. 2 overall draft pick is a natural center. The Bruins are still considering a Savard trade, which would open up one slot, but Colborne still could find himself on the right side because of his size and skill.

Colborne was considered a project when the Bruins selected him with the 16th overall pick in ’08. He was barely tipping past the 200-pound mark. Instead of going the traditional major junior route, the Calgary native had committed to the University of Denver, citing the practice schedule and the ability to grow into his frame. As a freshman, Colborne had 10 goals and 21 assists in 40 games. This past season, he recorded 22 goals and 19 assists.

Colborne signed his three-year, entry-level deal ($875,000 annual base salary, $1.1 million cap hit including bonuses) on March 31. He made his pro debut two days later and had two assists in a 3-1 Providence win over Worcester. Colborne centered Max Sauve during the game.

“They came in that first night, both him and Maxie, and they played very well. Real exciting game,’’ said Providence coach Rob Murray. “We played Worcester on a Friday night. Things happened a lot quicker for him. The pace of the game has to improve. He probably has to pick up his pace.

“If you want to use a comparison — and it’s not a true comparison — but David Krejci, when he was with us originally, one of the things we had to do with David was to get him to pick up the pace of his game. He’d get the puck and slow it down. It’s something that he’s developed very well through the years. That’s one thing we’ve talked about with Joe. He understands it. Having the opportunity to come in and play the games that he did, it’s not, ‘Oh, what’s this going to be like?’ I know what this is going to be like.’’

Yesterday, Colborne kicked off his third development camp. Before arriving in Boston, Colborne asked assistant general manager Don Sweeney if he could contact some first-time campers to provide some insight on the week. Sweeney was glad to provide Colborne with the phone numbers he requested.

“He’s got a real nice foundation and a base going,’’ Sweeney said. “He continues to get better and stronger. Now we’re going to give him an 80-game schedule, be it at the NHL level or the AHL level. That will be a good challenge.’’

Monday, July 05, 2010

Patrick Wiercioch Begins Trek To NHL Stardom

(left) Former DU star Patrick Wiercioch works out in Ottawa

From: Ottawa Senators.com
by Rob Brodie

In Patrick Wiercioch's mind, it was anything but just an educated guess.

When the Ottawa Senators prospect decided to surrender his final two years of college hockey eligibility with the University of Denver to begin his professional career, he did so knowing the timing couldn't have been more right to make the move.

"I felt like I had an opportunity to make the team this year," said the 19-year-old native of Maple Ridge, B.C. "There's a lot of work ahead of me to earn that spot on the team but if there was ever a time in my life that I was prepared to do it, it would be right now.

"So I'm excited for the opportunity ... It's a goal of mine. I wouldn't have left school if I didn't think I had a legitimate chance to make the team."

"If I do get the chance, I have to make the most of it. If it takes me a little while, it'll take me awhile, but I'm going to keep pushing through to stick with (the Senators)."

Nobody in the Senators organization doubts that the 6-4, 185-pound Wiercioch has a major future with the team. Already, the Senators are envisioning a defensive corps that features first-round picks Erik Karlsson (2008) and Jared Cowen (2009), along with Wiercioch (second round, 2008) and Swedish blueliner David Rundblad, who was obtained for Ottawa's top selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

"He definitely makes great passes," said Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson, who patrolled National Hockey League blue lines for two decades. "He’s kind of got that sneaky, spidery skating style to gets around guys, almost like a Brian Leetch the way he joins the play ... (Wiercioch) knows when to get in on the offence, but he also knows when to get back and play good defence."

"I think I’m mentally prepared to make the jump," he said during a break from workouts at the annual Senators development camp. "Last year, I was raw. I was definitely a young kid awed by everyone around me. You get into the organization, you get into the locker room, the history of the fans and the city … it’s a little overwhelming.

"You want to become a professional, but I probably wasn’t ready for it last year. This year I feel, after another year of playing in a couple of big games (at Denver) … it's not quite like in the NHL, but the experience was good for me so hopefully, I can take that with me."

Wiercioch also soaked up everything he could when he spent the final few weeks of the Senators' 2009-10 season hanging around the big club, including their six-game playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"To get that little taste of the regular season and playoff run here was helpful, just to teach me how to be a pro," he said. "Day in and day out, you're no longer a student-athlete. You're a professional and you get paid to do your job. There's a lot of things you need to be aware of to take your game to that next level ... To see what guys do on the road to keep their routines and to keep it going for 82 games was pretty special."

With a grin on his face, Wiercioch admits it's the kind of environment he hopes to reside in regularly sometime very soon.

"It's a nice lifestyle," he said. "I'm not going to lie and beat around the bush. It's a great life to live, but it's not an easy life. There's only 600 or 700 individuals in the world that are privileged enough to do it.

"Hopefully, I'm one of those next year and can work my way into staying there."

Friday, July 02, 2010

DU's Recruiting Guru Gets A Promotion

(above) DU's Steve Miller received a promotion

From: Denver Post

What do you get after assembling perhaps the best recruiting class in DU hockey history? A promotion and a new title. University of Denver hockey coach George Gwozdecky promoted his top recruiter, Steve Miller, from assistant to associate head coach.

DU's 2010 recruiting class features a NHL 1st Round pick (Beau Bennett), 2nd Round selection (Jason Zucker), 4th Round pick (Sam Brittain), the best defenseman in the USHL (David Makowski) and a potential 1st or 2nd Round pick in next year's NHL Draft in Nick Shore.

Miller has been Gwozdecky's assistant coach for all 16 seasons Gwozdecky has been at DU and recruited current NHL players Paul Stastny (Avalanche), Matt Carle (Flyers) and Tyler Bozak (Maple Leafs).

Now if only DU can get Coach Gwozdecky's contract details ironed out.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

DU Releases 2010-11 Ice Hockey Roster

(above) Click to enlarge roster

The only surprising omission from the University of Denver's 2010-11 Ice Hockey Roster is third-string goaltender Lars Paulgaard is no longer on the team. He will be replaced by Senior netminder Josh Rosenholtz.

Paulgaard's departure may explain why Nova Scotian goaltender Justin Collier is considering the University of Denver in this newspaper article published last week.

Drew Shore will wear #15 next season and his old #23 will be worn by his younger brother Nick.

Beau Bennett will wear #9, formerly worn by fellow Californians Rhett Rakhshani and Gabe Gauthier for the past eight seasons.

Best wishes to Lars in his future endeavours. He's quite a character and a great individual.

NHL.com Interviews Gwozdecky About Bennett

(left) Beau knows hockey

From: NHL.com
By Mike Prisuta


Freshman-to-be Beau Bennett’s career at the University of Denver University has yet to begin but Pioneers head coach George Gwozdecky can already envision when it’s going to end.

“I would project Beau is not going to be with us for four years,” Gwozdecky said. “Chances are it will be two years.

“If he continues to develop the way he has it will be two years.”

The Penguins made Bennett, 18, the 20th-overall selection at the NHL Entry Draft.

Such a timeline would place Bennett on the fast track to the professional ranks and the Penguins, but Gwozdecky has plenty of recent firsthand experience with such progressions.

Center Paul Stastny (44th overall, 2005) spent two years at DU prior to joining the Colorado Avalanche.

Center Tyler Bozak (undrafted) spent two years at DU before playing last season in the AHL and with the Toronto Maple Leafs (eight goals and 27 points in 37 NHL games).

Center Joe Colborne (16th overall, 2008) played the last two seasons at DU before signing with Boston on March 31 (he appeared in six games for AHL Providence).

Bennett, a 6-foot-1, 173-pound winger from Gardena, Calif., and the British Columbia Hockey League, lacks physical maturity and strength but not game.

“He’s like a lot of great players in that he has great on-ice vision, he’s dynamic with the puck and he’s extremely creative,” Gwozdecky said. “Right now he’s probably a little more of a playmaker than he is a finisher. He probably gets more excitement out of making plays than finishing them.

“This year he’s started to realize it’s fun to finish, as well. He’s learning and discovering he has great ability to finish.”

Bennett led the BCHL in scoring with 41 goals and 79 assists for 120 points, the most in the BCHL since Bozak had 128 in 2006-07.

“The BCHL is a pretty good league and he led the league in scoring as a rookie,” Gwozdecky said. “It took Bozak three years to lead that league in scoring.”

Playing college hockey, which emphasizes off-ice strength training and conditioning and plays a reduced schedule relative to the junior ranks, should allow Bennett the opportunity to add the bulk he needs.

It did Bozak.

“He wasn’t drafted because he wasn’t strong enough his first two years in the BCHL to fight through traffic,” Gwozdecky said. “Once he matured his true greatness came out. Bo has probably developed a little quicker physically.

“He told me he’s 185. That might be a guy trying to impress his coach, but he’s certainly grown and put on some muscle since early January. He was a pretty thin rail at that time. He certainly has room to grow. He knows that and he’s getting after it.”

Colborne, presently listed at 6-5, 210, followed a similar path prior to turning pro.

“Part of it was to be able to strength train and condition,” Gwozdecky said. “He knew he’d be able to do that at the college level rather than playing every second night in junior. He put on 25 to 30 pounds with us before he signed with Boston.

“The theory in the NHL (regarding such players) seems to be, ‘Let them play a couple years in college and get them bigger and stronger, and then let’s get them in the organization and get them going.’”

Once Bennett gets going his game will likely differ from that of Stastny’s, but might prove every bit as valued.

“Stastny is by far a pass-first player,” Gwozdecky said. “When he gets the puck it’s ‘who can I distribute it to?’ Beau is a little more multi-dimensional. He’ll look to shoot as well as pass and he usually makes the right decision.

“He’ll be a top-six forward, no question. Absolutely, he will be a point producer, a go-to guy, a power-play guy. He’ll be one of the blocks that a team builds around.”

No wonder Gwozdecky, a two-time national champion as the head coach at Denver, is eager to begin a coach-player relationship with Bennett that is perhaps destined to be brief.

“He’s laid back to a certain point but he’s a pretty level-headed kid,” Gwozdecky said. “He certainly has that charm and that twinkle in his eye. He has great energy and he always has a smile on his face.

“Those are things that make people want to be around him.”