Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crimson & Gold Tavern Is Now Open

The Crimson & Gold Tavern opened three days ago. Located at 2017 South University Boulevard, it is the closest restaurant & bar to Magness Arena. Open 11 am to 2 am every day, they should do a brisk business during hockey season.

Boone is even featured on the Menu.

To contact C & G call (720) 379-5454.

DU Picked 4th In WCHA Coaches Poll

The WCHA Coaches Poll and Media Poll were released yesterday. Both were similar, but the media has Duluth in second and St. Cloud third.
Grand Forks Herald Coaches Poll
(1st-place votes in parentheses)

1. North Dakota (10), 120
2. St. Cloud State (2), 105
3. Minnesota Duluth, 100
4. Denver, 88
5. Minnesota, 82
6. Colorado College, 67
7. Wisconsin, 64
8. Nebraska Omaha, 55
9. Bemidji State 46
10. Minnesota State, 41
11. Alaska Anchorage, 19
12. Michigan Tech

Boone Necklaces Available Online

Problem: You want to wear your $125 DU hockey jersey to the games, but feel guilty about not supporting Boone in case you run into Chancellor Coombe in the Magness bathroom?

Problem solved.

Boone supporter Anne Franklin has created two necklaces with Boone on them. The necklaces ($15) are repurposed scrabble tiles on one side, and Boone on the other. Anne lives near DU and couldn't let her favorite unofficial mascot go unnoticed. Visit annefranklindesigns.com and you can have one or two of your very own.

Boone's Facebook Page Has Over 2,750 Friends

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bad Boyz: Vermont Player Kicked Off Team

(above) The University of Vermont has kicked David Pacan off the team

From: Burlington Free Press

by Ted Ryan

The University of Vermont opens its regular season at home against Denver on Oct. 10-11, but they will be without one of their best players last season. Sophomore forward David Pacan has been dismissed from the University of Vermont men’s hockey team, head coach Kevin Sneddon announced.

Sneddon confirmed Tuesday that Pacan was cut from the roster for a violation of the UVM student-athlete code of conduct. No details about the violation were released.

According to an e-mail from UVM’s athletic communications office, Pacan had no comment about the disciplinary action.

“We have a clearly defined set of expectations as a hockey program here that the players are very well aware of,” Sneddon said. “On top of that, we have the UVM code of conduct, which the guys sign and are obliged to uphold.

“(Pacan) violated that student-athlete code of conduct to a point where we felt it was in everybody’s best interest to release him from the team,” Sneddon said.

A sixth-round 2009 draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, Pacan is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward from Ottawa, Ontario. He led UVM freshmen with seven goals last year. He also had seven assists and played in all 39 games, amassing 22 penalty minutes.

The highlight of Pacan’s career was the game’s only goal, scored at 5:16 of the third period, in the second game of the Hockey East quarterfinal series at New Hampshire. UVM won the next night to eliminate the top-seeded Wildcats and move into the Hockey East semifinals and eventually into the NCAA tournament.

Asked how Pacan’s departure affects the Catamounts, Sneddon said, “Depth, and hey, he was one of our top young scorers. We already lost a lot of offense; we didn’t need to lose one more, but I’ve always been a firm believer that somebody will step up ... and fill a void.”

Pacan’s departure puts another crimp in UVM’s offensive game. The team’s top four scorers have graduated and Pacan was among the younger players expected to pick up the slack.

Pacan’s case is the second in which a top-scoring forward for the Catamounts has been dismissed from the team this year. Justin Milo, a junior forward, was dismissed in February in what Sneddon said was “the best interests of the team” and not a violation of team or school policy.

The Catamounts begin official practice Friday and face their first competition with an exhibition game Sunday against New Brunswick at Gutterson Fieldhouse at 4 p.m. UVM opens its regular season at home against Denver on Oct. 10-11.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gwozdecky Buys Two Freshmen Season Tickets

(above) DU hockey players were on hand Saturday morning to pass out donuts to fans who had camped out overnight

From: DU Clarion
by Alex Payne


Freshmen Bryant Wolf and Grant Dupart camped outside the north gate of the Ritchie Center on Friday with the intention of buying hockey student season tickets. Despite their intentions, they never bought the tickets. Head coach George Gwozdecky did.

Gwozdecky wasn't there at 8 a.m. Saturday when the tickets went on sale, but he left his credit card with David Tenzer, the director of hockey operations, to purchase the pair of season tickets for the first two students in line.

"He [Gwozdecky] wasn't actually there," said Wolf "The director of the hockey program [Tenzer] was though and he introduced us to the crowd and told us our tickets were paid for by the coach."

The student ticket package cost $72, featuring 18 home games.

Wolf and Dupart, who attended high school together, were not the only ones to get their student season tickets, more than 300 season tickets were sold in the 10th year of the campout.

The box office did not sell out the student ticket package, but individual tickets went on sale yesterday and will be sold at $5 starting on the Monday of a home series at the Ritchie Center box office.

Behind Wolf and Dupart in line were more than 30 tents that litered the north entrance of the Ritchie Center, where the majority of ticket buyers spent the night.

The number of tents was slightly down from last year.

According to Dupart, the majority of campers were freshmen.

"I think that this is mainly a freshmen thing," said Dupart on Friday night before receiving his free tickets. "I mean we are all freshmen here."

Despite Gwozdecky's absence, members of the hockey team were in attendance before the ticket windows and doors opened on Saturday.

"Some players were out here taking pictures before anyone got out here," Wolf said.

In addition to admiring the support, the team fed the sleep-deprived fans, handing out more than a dozen boxes of cinnamon rolls.

According to Dupart, the experience was a success and he will be back next season.

Monday, September 27, 2010

DU #11 In Opening USA Today Poll

(above) DU is #11

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Freshman Singing Debut Goes Horribly Wrong


(above) Ouch. This is painful to listen to.

Successful DU Student Season Ticket Campout

(above) DU students turned out in numbers to purchase student season tickets to the DU hockey games this season


From: DU Athletics Website

The University of Denver hockey student season ticket campout was successful for the 10th consecutive year. The Pioneers sold over 300 student season hockey tickets in an on-sale event that featured may students sleeping in tents.

DU students began their campout outside of the Daniel L. Ritchie Center North Box Office campout at 8 a.m. on Friday to secure their coveted tickets that went on sale at 8 a.m. this morning.

DU Director of Hockey Operations David Tenzer, volunteer assistant coach Steve Palmer and student assistant coach David Carle and the entire 2010-11 Pioneer hockey team greeted the students with doughnuts. Freshmen Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Dan Olszewski (Janesville, Wis.) serenaded the crowd with their rendition of the DU fight song "Fairest of Colleges" with help from the DU Pep Band.

"The student support for our hockey program is awesome," Pioneer senior captain Kyle Ostrow said. "This was the biggest turnout in my four years at DU. Their dedication and excitement for DU hockey makes this a cool event every year."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

DU Alum Tyler Bozak Named 1st Line Center


(above) Tyler Bozak's 1st NHL goal last season was named Toronto's "Goal Of The Year" by the team

From: Toronto Observer

by Tyler Edwards

While Nazem Kadri has hogged the majority of the spotlight heading into the 2010 NHL season, another young center is quietly slipping under the radar in Toronto.

In a market where the Maple Leafs are under constant scrutiny, it is rare to see a player with less than 40 games experience named to the first line.

However, Tyler Bozak will do just that as he begins this season centering the top line between Phil Kessel, and Nikolai Kulemin.

The 24-year-old from Regina has risen to the top of the world’s hockey capital faster than anyone expected.

After scoring 27 points in his first 37 NHL games last season, and showing plenty of chemistry with the team’s new sniper [Kessel] down the stretch, Bozak is suddenly expected to play a major role in bringing the blue-and-white back into Stanley Cup contention.

Coach Ron Wilson, not known for making predictions, has already pointed to Bozak and Kessel as the team’s most offensive dynamic duo heading into the season.

“Bozak is stronger, he’s more prepared for the battle … if Phil scores 40, then Tyler should be in on a lot of them,” Wilson said to the Toronto Star, Wednesday. “So maybe 50, 60 points would be a good season for Tyler. And I’m sure he can build on that too.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

AHL Team To Honor Murray Armstrong

(above) 75 years ago former DU coach Murray Armstrong was the leading scorer in the AHL playoffs

From: Syracuse.com
by Tom Kirst

The young players on the Syracuse Crunch hockey team are preparing for a new season. Their time here offers a chance to prove they are worthy of the National Hockey League. Few envision this city as a place that might alter their lives in a deeper way.

Take it from Freda Armstrong: You never know.

The American Hockey League, which includes the Crunch, is about to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Freda is a living bridge to the beginning. In 1936, Syracuse was among a handful of cities in the original AHL. The team, known as the Stars, won the first championship, still the only league title in city history. The leading scorer in the playoffs was Murray Armstrong, who handled the puck for Syracuse with memorable grace.

At 94, Murray is the last surviving Star. Yet Syracuse has a meaning for him that transcends hockey. He used to go into a downtown five and dime with his buddies. A young woman with a job in a nearby loan company found the nerve to strike up a conversation. She was accompanied by a co-worker. Murray perked up when he saw the friend. He asked her to go dancing at the Hotel Syracuse.

They clicked. Sixty-eight years ago, he married the former Freda Hosler.

“That was a very nice time in our lives,” she said this week, from the couple’s home in Florida.

Rob Armstrong, their only child, understands the against-the-odds magic of that romance. Rare enough that a player on any minor league team ends up marrying someone from the local community. Not only did the leading playoff scorer on the first AHL champion fall in love with a young woman from the North Side, they’re both around to remember it all these years later.

“Syracuse,” Rob said, “played a major role for our family.”

During his childhood, he would spend summers with his grandmother, in her Briggs Street home. He often visited a pharmacy called Hosler’s, owned by an uncle. He also watched television for the first time in Syracuse. That’s significant, because Rob went on to become an award-winning radio and television correspondent for CBS. At 61, he teaches at Flagler College in Florida, where he stays in close touch with his parents.

“They’re fiercely independent,” said Rob, whose dad spent parts of three seasons in Syracuse, later played for several seasons in the NHL, and eventually became a coaching legend at the University of Denver. Murray led the school to five NCAA championships. When he retired, they built a statue of him on campus. He and Freda settled in Florida, where they had plenty of time for their beloved golf.

The Crunch would like to bring them to Syracuse for the team’s Oct. 9 home opener. Freda said that will be impossible. Two months ago, her husband had a stroke. He is not in any condition to travel, and Freda’s energy is focused on Murray.

“I’m not too sad,” she said, “because we’ve had a wonderful life.”

She was raised in a German-American neighborhood in Syracuse. She attended Webster Elementary School and the old North High School, and she had scant interest in hockey until she met Murray. Their wedding reception was at a downtown restaurant. In an interview 16 years ago, Murray said that marrying Freda “was the best move I ever made.”

As the decades rolled by, the couple stayed in touch with a few teammates from Syracuse. In 1996, the Crunch brought back George “Cannonball” Parsons, another fine player on the 1937-37 league champion. While a sellout crowd applauded, Parsons went to center ice at the War Memorial. The team rolled down a banner from the rafters to honor the old Stars.

Parsons died in 1998. Murray is the last surviving member of the title-winning team, and his health will not allow him to be at next month’s opener. As for Freda, she is pleased to know the Crunch is even aware of her husband. Club officials say the players will open the season in throwback jerseys, in the fashion of the Stars, thus honoring the first champions of the AHL.

“Lovely,” said Freda, whose marriage joins a city and a sport, as family.

NW Ontario HOF Award For Gwozdecky

(above) Coach Gwozdecky will be inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Hall of Fame this weekend

From: The Chronicle Journal
by Rueben Villagracia

George Gwozdecky plans to step up to the podium Saturday at the Valhalla Inn to officially enter the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame as a builder.

He‘ll say his thank-yous, get a good night sleep and fly out the next morning with his thoughts on preparing for a 25th season as a U.S. college men‘s hockey head coach.

Step up, yes. Step down any time soon? Not a chance.

“My wife asks me that every couple of years,” said Gwozdecky, 57, last week from his office in Denver. “I don‘t know. I think when you start thinking about it, that‘s the time you start stepping aside. And it really never crosses my mind.”

The Thunder Bay native adds the induction to an impressive career that has seen him win national titles as a player, assistant coach and a head coach; most recently with the University of Denver Pioneers. But this weekend‘s honour is just as important to Gwozdecky, who cut his hockey teeth here in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“I‘m certainly glad I‘m not retired, or worse, not around to not accept the award,” he said. “It‘s a huge honour. I see on (the hall‘s) website all the tremendous athletes and builders and the people when was a kid. Names that I looked up to, it kind of makes you think, ‘How am I at the same level as these (people)?‘ They‘re all tremendous and successful.”

One of those people is Albert Cava, who coached Gwozdecky on a talent-laded Thunder Bay Vulcans (formerly Port Arthur Marrs) junior team. Gwozdecky turned his junior resume into a playing career at the University of Wisconsin and jumped into coaching after graduation. Cava is in some fine company when Gwozdecky lists his all-time hockey mentors. The others are the late (Badger) Bob Johnson, who coached Gwozdecky at the University of Wisconsin, and Ron Mason, the winningest coach in U.S. college hockey and Gwozdecky‘s boss at Michigan State University for his first taste of Division I coaching as an assistant.

“Those three guys were primarily the guys that really influenced me in my coaching career,” said Gwozdecky. “I continually think back when I‘m faced with challenges and ask, ‘How would one of these guys handle it?‘”

Of course, there has been much Gwozdecky has had to learn on his own in keeping his methods fresh through his three decades of coaching.

“Of the many things, you have to be able to adapt,” he said. “Adapt with the times, adapt with the culture and every generation is a little more unique or different.

“You still maintain your integrity, principles and values. . . . The successful people are the ones who are willing to adapt to make necessary adjustments to continue that success.”

Upon his induction, Gwozdecky will join his father, Dr. George Sr., in the hall. The elder Gwozdecky was inducted as a builder in 1988. Unfortunately, Gwozdecky‘s wife, Bonnie and their daughter, Adrienne, who‘s a senior at high school (and a diehard field, not ice, hockey player), won‘t be able to make the trip due to schedules.

A little face time with his hometown won‘t get in the way of the Gwozdecky and the Pioneers‘ first non-conference games – slated the week after the dinner.

“The timing couldn‘t have been better,” he said.

Crimson & Gold Tavern Opens Before Season

From: Westword
by Jon Solomon

When brothers Kevin and Craig Caldwell took over the former Aroma Cafe (and Pita Jungle before that) at 2017 South University Boulevard near the end of 2009, they'd hoped to reopen the spot as the Crimson & Gold Tavern in the spring. But in February, they were denied a liquor license; turns out the address was within 500 feet of the Ricks Center for Gifted Children at the University of Denver.

Andy Caldwell, Craig's son, is Crimson & Gold's general manager. A University of Denver graduate, he thinks the neighborhood could use a good sports bar/restaurant; his father and uncle, who grew up near the school and went to DU football and hockey games, agree. The Caldwells are also the folks behind Brooklyn's, so this family knows their sports bars -- and they're counting on the DU-themed tavern to draw pre- and post-game crowds, whether the game is hockey, basketball, soccer or lacrosse.

Andy says they might occasionally bring in bands and DJs, too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

St. Cloud Police Arrest "The Stop Sign Bandit"

(above) St. Cloud State hockey player Tony Mosey, "The Stop Sign Bandit," was nabbed by police in the wee hours of Monday morning

Nothing good ever happens after midnight as St. Cloud forward Tony Mosey found out in the early hours on Monday morning this week. He was arrested at 1:25 AM by St. Cloud police for reportedly stealing a Stop Sign.

He's been charged with a felony.
Last Name: MOSEY
First Name: TONY
Middle Name: JOSEPH
Gender: Male
Age: 22 years
Arrest Date/Time: 09/20/2010 01:25 AM
Charge Level: Felony
Charge: PROP DAMAGE-FE-PRIVATE-UNK INTENT/CRIM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY-FE
Statute Number: 609-595-1

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FSN-RM To Release DU TV Schedule Soon

FSN-Rocky Mountain will release the DU TV Schedule probably in the upcoming week.

College hockey fans around the United States can watch DU games on FSN-Rocky Mountain via DirecTV (#683), Dish Network (#414) and any local cable provider that carries the Fox Sports Expanded Sports Tier.

Goaltender From Colorado Making Waves In USHL

(above) Ryan Massa from the Denver suburb of Littleton is expected to be one of the top goaltenders in the USHL this season

From: Fargo Forum
by Ryan S. Clark

Quick reflexes are what most hockey coaches and scouts look for in a goalie.

Fargo Force net-minder Ryan Massa (6'0 170 lbs.) has those reflexes. His 18 wins en route to the Force’s Clark Cup Finals appearance last season is proof. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Massa hopes to play for the University of Denver or University of Michigan some day.

Patience, however, is what has allowed Massa to become the league’s premier goalie. It has also become a theme for him heading into the upcoming season.

Massa said patience will help a young Force team advance and perhaps win that elusive title. The Force will begin their six-month season tonight as they open the preseason by playing in the United States Hockey League Fall Classic in Sioux City, Iowa.

Patience could also see Massa take a step forward toward his dream of playing college hockey.

“The best advice I’ve ever received is to stay patient,” the 20-year-old Massa said. “Patience, I have learned, is the key to success. Now I just hope we can capture that championship.”

Having patience was a necessity for the Force when it came to the goaltending situation. The Force went through six goalies last year including Massa.

Massa was traded to the team in late November. He recorded a shutout in his first game and the Force’s goalie situation quickly became a non-issue.

“When Ryan came he brought consistency to the club,” said third-year center Chad Demers. “We were comfortable with Ryan back there. We weren’t as scared to make mistakes because we knew he’d be there.”

The need to be better is what inspired Massa to spend most of his summer working out at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

He was a goalie instructor during the summer for the various camps at the school. When he wasn’t teaching he spent time in the weight room.

Ryan’s father, Mark, said his son spent around six days a week at the Air Force Academy.

“I think I only saw him once on the ice this summer,” Mark Massa said. “He did more work off the ice than he did on the ice.”

If everything goes as planned, the offseason work will turn into a college scholarship for Massa.

He’s talked to quite a few schools.

Massa said if he gets a scholarship offer, he’ll be at a school after the USHL season ends. But if that doesn’t happen, he realizes there is life after hockey.

“Playing college hockey has been a dream of mine and I want it to happen,” Massa said. “But if it doesn’t, I’ll go back home, attend Colorado and get a business degree.”

DU Alumni Pregame Party In Colorado Springs

DU vs. Colorado College Hockey

The University of Denver Office of Alumni Relations will be hosting a pre-game reception in Colorado Springs on the 6th of November.

Space is limited so reserve your ticket today (limit 4 tickets).
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Cost: $25 per person*
5:30 p.m. Pre-Game Reception
7:07 p.m. Puck Drops
* Includes game ticket and pre-game food and drinks

Colorado Springs World Arena, Arena Bar
3185 Venetucci Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spanky's & LetsGoDU To Host Parking Lot Party

(above) LetsGoDU & Spanky's Roadhouse on East Evans will co-host a Pregame Pep Rally on Saturday, Oct. 23rd

For the past month the management over at Spanky's Roadhouse, several DU alums and students have been working together to host a pregame party in October. Agreeing on a mutually beneficial date and securing a permit from the City of Denver were just two of the obstacles to overcome.

We were able to secure the Permit today for Saturday, October 23rd before the DU-Wisconsin game.

The party will be held in Spanky's parking lot and will feature outdoor grilling and fun hockey related activities. Budweiser, Coors, Red Bull and other possible companies have been contacted about sponsorship. We're going to be working for the next month on building and promoting the event.

Keep reading LetsGoDU and we'll keep you updated on the party. We hope to host other events at local restaurants throughout the season.

Student Season Ticket Campout Begins Friday

(above) The DU Student Season Ticket Campout kicks off on Friday

From: DU Clarion
by Alex Payne


Its time for DU students to prepare their tents. It’s that time of year again.

This Saturday, at 8 a.m., student hockey season tickets go on sale for the upcoming 2010-2011 ice hockey season.

This season’s Student Season Ticket Package includes a total of 18 games against some of the best teams in the nation.

The cost of the package will be $72 with a valid Pioneer Card.

This is an annual festivity that gathered more than 40 total tents last year as 350 student season passes were sold. At that time, the Pioneers were several days away from being ranked No. 1 in the nation, starting the preseason.

For students who plan to buy indiviudal tickets throughout the season, the cost of a single game ticket will be $5 prior to Monday beginning a home series. Students who fail to buy an individual ticket before Thursday will have to pay regular admission, $18, to get into the game and tickets will be sold on a limited basis.

As for the students who know they will be attending every home game, there shouldn’t be any hesitation —make sure you have a tent by Friday.
Who: All DU Students

What: Hockey Ticket Campout.

Where: North Gate of the Ritchie Center.

When: Get there ASAP Friday afternoon. First come, first served. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 8 p.m.

Why: Nothing beats a sold out Magness Arena.

How: Bring your Pioneer Card and $72.

ESPN.com Looks At DU Joining The WAC

As if the University of Denver doesn't have enough problems with the WCHA imploding, they are trying to get into the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) or West Coast Conference (WCC) in the other sports. Primarily this is driven my the needs of the basketball program to find a more high profile home.

According to ESPN.com the University of Denver has a meeting on Sept. 28 in Dallas to convince the WAC that the Pioneers need to be a member of the league. The odds of the non-football playing Pioneers being invited to the league in time for the 2012-13 season are unclear (read rest of article).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Video: Coach Gwozdecky Talks About DU Hockey


(above) This video was filmed at the "Lunch with the Coaches" event on campus of Coach Gwozdecky addressing the students

DU Charter Flight Cost $60,000 Last Season

Mike Chambers Blog has an interesting tidbit on flying the hockey team to Albany last season. Turns out the charter flight cost $60,000 and DU wasn't reimbursed by the NCAA.

New Look WCHA Could Feature 8 or 9 Teams

This article about Western Michigan hockey suggests that the CCHA & WCHA will split teams accordingly.
CCHA
Western Michigan
Northern Michigan
Ferris State
Lake State
Michigan Tech
Bowling Green
UAA
Alaska

WCHA
North Dakota
Minnesota State-Mankato
St. Cloud
Minnesota-Duluth
Denver
Colorado College
Bemidji State
Nebraska-Omaha
(I guess Miami????)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chambers Looks At Gwozdecky Contract Mess

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post theorizes that Penn State's fledgling hockey program may try and make a splash by signing DU coach George Gwozdecky. Gwozdecky has four years remaining on the 12-year contract he signed in 2002. With an $88 million donation in hand and Penn State looking to raise another $20 million, having a big name coach would seem like the way to go (read entire article).

Penn State is looking to get a new coach signed fairly soon.

Penn State Shakes Up College Hockey World

(above) Penn State's arrival on the scene will shake up the college hockey landscape

Some of the interesting rumors that are swirling around the college hockey message boards don't paint a pretty picture for the University of Denver hockey program.

Wisconsin and Minnesota will leave the WCHA for the Big 10 Hockey Coneference. Joining them will be Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State. Supposedly Notre Dame will join the conference as well and an announcement is expected within a month.

Indiana and Illinois are considering building multipurpose hockey/basketball arenas and would be potential candidates for the new conference. Supposedly Indiana has a big donor lined up.

Miami (Ohio) has inquired about joining the "new" WCHA and has been rebuffed.

Lake Superior State and Ferris State based in Michigan may consider dropping hockey, if the Big Ten powers leave the WCHA.

Friday, September 17, 2010

John Lee Spends Summer Working Out With NHLers

(above) John Lee (#5) will play a major role for the Pioneers this season

University of Denver Junior defenseman John Lee spent the Summer working out with Minnesota based NHLers. Veteran NHL pros Matt Cullen (Minnesota Wild), Mark Cullen (Florida Panthers) & Brian Lee (Ottawa Senators) were just some of the locals working out in Moorhead with John.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chambers Blog Talks To DU AD About Big 10

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post spoke to DU Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes about the potential membership changes in the WCHA.

In his meeting with Bradley-Doppes recently, she said she is concerned about the future conference of the hockey team, the school’s flagship program. The Pioneers have been with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association since the program began in 1949, and the league is considered the best in the business. But marquee members Minnesota and Wisconsin could ultimately bolt the WCHA and join Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State in a six-team Big Ten hockey conference, backed by the almighty dollar of the Big Ten’s TV deal (read entire article).

DU Alum Joe Colborne Breaks Nose, Chips Tooth

From: WEEI.com
by DJ Bean

The former University of Denver center and 2008 16th overall pick didn't hold back when expressing his excitement to play on the same ice as the Bruins, but his night was cut a bit short when he broke his nose and chipped his tooth on a crowded play more than halfway through the the third period (read entire article).
Joe Colborne Update
The first thing that Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli did during his postgame press conference on Wednesday was talk about Joe Colborne.

Colborne, hurt during a collision in the third period of the new B's 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders rookies, had to be helped off the ice with an obvious facial laceration.

"I just spoke with Joe, it looks like he’s got a broken nose he took some stitches," said Chiarelli with a gesture to his nose and upper lip. "I think there’s a chipped tooth.

"He was lucid, and he’s going to go to the hospital to get it checked out.

"He was good spirits actually, so I think he’ll be okay."

At that point, Chiarelli hadn't seen the replay.

"I was told that it was our own stick," said Chiarelli.

That said, New York's Justin Dibenedetto was given a 5-minute elbowing penalty and a game misconduct.

"It didn’t seem like it [was a concussion] based on what [the B's training staff] told me now and based on what I saw," said Chiarelli. "[But] my guess is he won’t be playing [tonight]."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lucia Confirms Likelihood of Big-10 Conference

(above) University of Minnesota coach Don Lucia confirms likelihood of a Big-10 Hockey Conference

From: Pioneer Press
by John Shipley

The University of Minnesota men's hockey team has been a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association since the league was founded in 1951. It has been a good relationship, helping the Gophers build traditional rivalries and win five national championships.

But the relationship might be coming to an end.

If Penn State adds Division I men's and women's hockey, the Big Ten will have enough teams under NCAA rules to form a men's hockey conference. That might be too much for any conference — particularly one looking for programming on its own cable network — to ignore.

"I think it's safe to say that if Penn State is adding hockey, it's to play other Big Ten schools," Minnesota coach Don Lucia said Tuesday.

Those schools would be Minnesota and Wisconsin of the WCHA, and Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. It all hinges on whether Penn State makes the jump from the club level to Division I, an unlikely move for most schools.

Lucia, whose Gophers begin practice today, is entering his 18th season as a WCHA head coach, starting at Colorado College in 1993. He has been with Minnesota since 1999. He said Minnesota has "resisted as much as we've been able, but it's looking more likely — if Penn State adds hockey — that we'll get together and play more often."

"Who knows?" he added. "It's up to the athletic directors and commissioner to determine that. If Wisconsin and Minnesota leave, the WCHA still has 10 great schools committed to hockey. That does not change."

WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod said he is waiting to hear from Penn State, and subsequently the Big Ten, before making any detailed comments.

"Having said that," he added, "we're well aware of developing circumstances at Penn State, and we've definitely done our homework regarding several scenarios that could play out."

None of this would happen overnight, of course, with most speculation resting on the 2014-15 season. "It's years from happening," Lucia said. "They have to build a facility and get the program up to status quo, and that will take a number of years."

There is some concern, however, that a new conference would fracture a delicate balance. While the WCHA would suffer from losing Minnesota and Wisconsin, the CCHA could be devastated by the loss of Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, the league's biggest schools and biggest names outside of 2008 national runner-up Notre Dame.

Players With Ties To DU Make USNDT-Under17

USA Hockey announced the roster for the USNDP-Under 17 Team yesterday. Three players with ties to DU were selected to the team.

2012 DU recruit Dakota Mermis (5'10 165) was selected as one of the eight defensemen. Mermis has been mentioned as a possible 1st Round Draft Choice in the 2012 NHL Draft. Dakota's older brother Jarrod will suit up as a Freshman at DU this season.

Quentin Shore (6'0 165), younger brother of DU players Drew and Nick Shore was selected as a forward. Quentin has been offered a scholarship by DU, but he is still weighing his options.

Lastly, Seth Jones (6'3 183), considered by many to be a surefire NHL 1st Round pick in 2012 was also selected to the team. Jones' older brother, Justin, will be a Freshman forward at DU this season. Both brothers started playing youth hockey in Denver, while their father Popeye Jones played for the Denver Nuggets.

Some were surprised that DU recruit Tyler Pham wasn't selected to the Under-17 team. He was one of 47 players invited to tryout for the team over the summer. We're guessing he'll play in the USHL for the next two seasons. It is often mentioned that a developing player is better off playing on the top two lines in the USHL that being shuffled down the bench on the USNDT.
2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-18)
F Garrett Allen (Fargo, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (U.S. Under-18)
D Daniel Doremus (Colorado Thunderbirds, AAA)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Team Illinios)
D Dakota Mermis (U.S. Under 17)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)

Joe Colborne Video Interview At Bruins Camp


(above) Joe Colborne is making the adjustment from college to the pros

Chances are, DU Alum Joe Colborne will start the season in the AHL with Providence. But if the 6-foot-5, 216-pound forward continues on the career path he's currently on, it won't be long before he joins the Bruins in Boston.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

News & Notes From Around PioNation


(above) The DU Ski Team at the White House yesterday

An interesting article about Oklahoma youth ice hockey that mentions DU star defenseman Matt Donovan prominently. DU will have players on the roster this season from nontraditional ice hockey areas such as California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska. Ice hockey's growth in the western United States has been due in no small part to an incredible network of volunteers and parents.
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Two University of Denver recruits have been named to the USNDT-Under 18 team for the upcoming season. Zac Larraza (6'2 192 lbs) forward from Scotsdale, Arizona and Matt Van Voorhis (5'7 162 lbs) defenseman from Edina, Minnesota. Once again the USNDT will play USHL games and various international tournaments around the world.
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The University of Denver ski team visited President Obama at the White House yesterday. The President welcomed to the White House more than 650 student athletes and 150 coaches and staff members, from 32 schools across the nation. Gathering on the South Lawn, he offered his congratulations on their 2009-10 Division I NCAA Championships.

Monday, September 13, 2010

If Big Ten Forms; DU Needs To Bolt WCHA ASAP

The long-rumored addition of Penn State to the Division I hockey lineup appears to be near reality. Penn State will add varsity hockey programs, sources have confirmed.

That news, first reported Sunday by Insidecollegehockey.com, does not merely add a 59th program to the Division I men’s landscape. It adds a sixth Big Ten Conference team, a development that has set other wheels in motion.

At a meeting late last week, WCHA coaches discussed the potential of a Big Ten hockey league starting in the near future, and how that would impact their league, sources said. Sources indicated that the hot topic of speculation at the WCHA meeting was that the 2014-15 season is a potential start date for the Big Ten in hockey.

The best scenario is for DU, North Dakota, Miami, Notre Dame, CC and Duluth to unite and cut loose the other Minnesota schools.

Another possibility to entice Minnesota & Wisconsin to remain out west, would be to form an eight team Western Conference with Minnesota, Wisconsin, CC, DU, Duluth, Minnesota State, North Dakota and SCSU. This would free up non-conference slots for the Big Ten schools to play each other.

As I said all along, bringing in Bemidji State was a HUGE mistake for the WCHA, and especially for DU and CC. Diluting the league has put DU in a really tenuous position trying work a deal to prevent the Gophers and Badgers from leaving.

Credit: USCHO.com

Matt Carle Fishes In Alaska With DU Friends

(above) DU Alum Matt Carle this summer in Alaska

From: NHL.com
by Joe Siville

Matt Carle had a fishing trip for the ages this offseason.

After playing 109 games from September through the first week of June for the Philadelphia Flyers, the last thing you would the expect the former DU hockey star to do is travel 4,406 miles to Alaska and another 6,000 miles to Bora Bora in the South Pacific.

But that’s exactly what he did this summer.

“Right after the season was over I went on a fishing trip to Alaska,” said Carle. “It was kind of a bachelor’s party with nine of my buddies.”

Oh yeah, that’s the other little piece of information we forgot to include about Carle’s summer. He got married.

On July 16 in Minnesota, where the couple happens to own their own summer lake house, Carle wed his girlfriend Clancey.

Immediately following the wedding, the two traveled to the other side of the equator to the tiny island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia of the South Pacific.

“It was unreal,” added Carle. “I had never been that far away really. I didn’t know a whole lot about it. It’s an eight hour flight from Los Angeles past Hawaii. There are a lot of French people there and we were staying on one of those little huts that are right over the water. It was an unreal time and I would go back in a heart beat.”

Part of the Tahitian islands, and although very tiny, Bora Bora is a well-known hot spot for newlyweds. Its main attractions are the overwater bungalows and the magnificent views from snorkeling, waterskiing and hiking on the island. However, the newly minted Mr. & Mrs. Carle chose more peaceful activities to partake in.

“We didn’t too much. I had been working out for quite a while, so we wanted to go relax, enjoy the spa and lay by the pool. We went kayaking a day and pretty much hung out and swam most of the time.”

Prior to getting hitched, he spent a good amount of time in his native Alaska. Born in Anchorage, most of his friends and family still live there, which led to his big Alaskan fishing bachelor party in the wilderness.

“We were fortunate enough to be hosted by Brian Craft at the Alaska Sportsman Lodge,” explained Carle. “We would stay at the lodge and then every morning we would take float planes out and go little remote places, so you’re basically fishing in places that are very rarely fished, so its pretty cool to be out in the wilderness like that.”

Craft and the lodge are located on the Kvichak River (Kwee-Jak), which is approximately 3-4 miles that leads into Lake Iliamna, Alaska’s largest body of water. It is also noted to host a large natural supply of Salmon.

“[It was] maybe an hour’s flight. It was nine of my college buddies, guys I grew up with. We were fishing for Salmon and Trout. It was really a great time to get away and have some laughs and share a few adult beverages.”

Only one real question remains then. What did you do with the fish that you caught?

“At the end of the trip we took all the meat and split it up and took it home for the summer. It was very tasty.”

Thursday, September 09, 2010

DU Freshman Pep Rally Video

Based on this video, it looks like on campus School Spirit is building at the University of Denver. The Freshman Pep Rally looks like it was a huge step in the right direction.

We've been banging the school spirit drum for the past six years at LetsGoDU. Looks like a good start for the upcoming hockey season.

The Pioneer Pub Adds Boone Mural

(above) The Boone Mural at the Pioneer Bar is sure to become a tourist attraction for disaffected DU alumni

Drivers passing by the Pioneer Bar at 2401 S. University now can see a six foot high mural of DU's embattled mascot Boone. Stop by the Pioneer and tell them "Job well done."

And speaking of Boone, viewers can catch a glimpse of Boone in DU Athletics' new 2009-10 Highlight Video that came out this week.

DU Adds Steven Palmer To Coaching Staff

(left) DU's newest coach, Steven Palmer, played 10 years of professional hockey

From: Denver Pioneers.com

Steven Palmer has joined the University of Denver hockey staff as the volunteer assistant coach. Palmer joins the seven-time NCAA champions after a 13-year professional playing career in Europe and four-year career at Clarkson University.

Palmer's responsibilities at DU will include assisting in practice planning, breaking down and analyzing game video, individual teaching and on-ice skill development.

"We are excited to add Steven Palmer to our coaching staff," Coach Gwozdecky said. "For the first time in several years, we are filling the volunteer coaching position with a person who has major college and professional playing experience. Steven will do a tremendous job with 1-on-1 player development and special teams."

Palmer netted 131 career points at Clarkson from 1992-96 and enjoyed a 13-year professional career which ended after the 2008-09 season with EV Duisburg and Kassel of the German Elite League. He was a two-time Academic All-American and Rhodes Scholarship nominee at Clarkson. Palmer earned his B.S. degree in engineering and management.

Matt Glasser Signs With Colorado Eagles

(above) Matt Glasser signed a professional contract on Wednesday

From: Coloradoan.com

The Colorado Eagles (CHL) announced Wednesday that they have signed rookie forward Matthew Glasser, a product of the University of Denver and a 7th-round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2005.

Glasser joins the CHL’s reigning MVP, Kevin Ulanski, as a former Pioneer on the Eagles’ roster.

In 133 games over four seasons at DU, the 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound two-way forward collected 21 points (13-8-21) and 60 penalty minutes. Glasser was named an alternate captain last season, adding leadership to a resume that reflects strong academic success as well — highlighted by winning the Dr. Art Mason Award.

The Eagles, founded and owned by former DU coach Ralph Backstrom, have sold out every home game in the Budweiser Events Center (Loveland, CO) since the team was founded in 2003.as DU hockey’s top scholar/athlete the past two years (co-winning last season).

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Adam Murray Profiled By INCH

(above) Adam Murray

After backing up Hobey Baker finalist Marc Cheverie last season, Adam Murray takes over as the veteran goaltender this season for the Pioneers. Inside College Hockey takes a detailed look at the DU netminder.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

News & Notes From Around PioNation

(above) DU alum Joe Colborne is competing for a slot on the Boston Bruins roster this Fall

College Hockey News ranked the Top 10 teams for the upcoming season. No mention of DU in the ranking or even "teams to watch." Some of the teams that CHN think are better than DU? Yale, RPI, Alaska & Merrimack to name just a few. What a joke.
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The Star in Toronto has an excellent article on Tyler Bozak. Tyler talks about hitting the fast food during his DU days.
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Two articles on former DU star Joe Colborne this week. The first deals with his Junior A days in Camrose and the second talks about his time at DU.

The Hockey News Profiles Shore Family

(left) L to R Nick, Drew, Baker & Quentin Shore

From: The Hockey News
by Ryan Kennedy

Hockey has always been a family game, from the Howes to the Sutters to the Staals. Now a clan from Colorado is staking its claim. The Shore boys – Drew (19), Nick (17), Quentin (16) and Baker (11) are quickly establishing a pedigree for excellence in the Rocky Mountain State.

And while hockey has taken the boys all over America in the past few years, the family did get a chance to bond together again in Ontario’s Muskoka region this summer – the province’s premier cottage country.

“We haven’t done it in a while,” Nick said. “It was pretty chaotic.”

Not that growing up in a household of four boys was ever quiet, but there were also some fun benefits.

“It was definitely enough for my parents,” Drew laughed. “There was always something to do, always someone to shoot pucks with.”

Drew, entering his sophomore season with the University of Denver Pioneers, is a second round draft pick of the Florida Panthers (44th overall in 2009) and will be joined on the Pios this year by brother Nick. And while Drew let Nick choose his own path, he’s certainly happy to have his brother joining the team.

“Secretly I wanted him at Denver,” Drew said. “Not just because he’s a great player, but he’s one of my best friends.”

The two both went through the U.S. national team development program, though they played on different squads. Nonetheless, the Shore boys did team up as roommates one year.

“It made the transition easier,” Nick said.

And while the pair enjoyed each other’s company, brothers will be brothers.

“I tried to control the TV remote, but he tried to control it, too,” Drew said. “And we would play ping-pong to see who got to drive the next day.”

Nick and Drew stayed with billets in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the NTDP is headquartered, and, ironically, brother Quentin will also bunk with that family this year when he joins the program.

But this being Nick’s draft year, the focus will shift to the second eldest. Finishing with a solid 20 points in 26 games against United States League competition last year, Nick also boasted a nice plus-14 rating. Much like Drew, he has decent size (six-foot, 190 pounds) and offensive capabilities. How does he excel on the ice?

“I’d say my shot and my hockey sense,” Nick noted. “I’ve always tried to work on my skating and I think it’s improving a lot, too.”

At the NHL’s research and development camp this August, Nick was put on essentially the top line for his squad, playing with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landeskog. Though he played on the wing there, he is most comfortable as a center.

“It was pretty cool to try out the new rules,” Nick said.

But the big stage is still waiting. As a late birthday, Nick will get to impress NHL scouts against NCAA competition, some of which will be several years older than him. And fortunately, he won’t have to do everything himself. Other incoming freshmen include Nick’s future dorm roommate and Pittsburgh first-rounder Beau Bennett (20th overall, 2010), world juniors gold medalist Jason Zucker (Minnesota, 59th overall, ’10) and goaltender Sam Brittain (Florida, 92nd overall, ’10). He’ll also have a motivated older brother, still stinging from an opening round upset last year at the hands of RIT at the Frozen Four.

“Last season didn’t end up the way we wanted,” Drew said, adding a silver lining: “I didn’t put up the offensive numbers I wanted to, but I benefited from the veterans who passed their experience on to me.”

As for advice for brother Nick, Drew is already on top of it.

“It’s his draft year and that can make you uptight and nervous,” Drew said. “He just needs to focus on what he can control.”

Meanwhile, Nick offers up a scouting report on the next Shore lined up for the spotlight, incoming NTDPer Quentin.

“He’s a tall center who’s good at both ends of the ice,” Nick said.

And in a couple years from now, we can ask Quentin what the hockey world can expect from Baker. It’s all in the family for the Shores.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Coach Gwozdecky continues to see former players and coaches earn full time positions in the coaching profession. The Omaha Lancers (USHL) announced that Michael Zucker will join the Lancers as an Assistant Coach. Zucker spent each of the last two seasons as an Assistant Coach at the University of Denver.
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The University of Alabama-Huntsville made it official and announced the hiring DU alum Gavin Morgan as an assistant coach, rounding out incoming head coach Chris Luongo’s staff. Morgan, a former University of Denver forward, played 11 years in the pros before turning to coaching with the Chargers.
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DU had fared really well in recent seasons in the Director's Cup, thanks in large part to successes in Skiing, Men's Ice Hockey and Women's Golf. But that may soon change as the NCAA is going to a new formula with corporate sponsor Capital One announcing creation of the Capital One Cup, which will be awarded to best all-around men's and women's Division I programs. Standings will be released at the end of the fall, winter and spring seasons, with the overall winners announced in July at the ESPY Awards.

Points will be awarded in 13 men's sports and 13 women's sports. Schools will earn points, much like a track meet, for finishing among the nation's top 10 in NCAA championships and media polls. Sports like football, basketball and baseball will be more heavily weighted.

DU Individual Game Tickets Go On Sale Saturday

Single game tickets for the 2010-11 Denver Pioneer hockey team go on sale Saturday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Daniel L. Ritchie Center North Box Office or online at Ticketmaster.com.

Individual ticket prices range from $18-$35.

2010-11 DU Hockey Schedule

Oct. 2 U.S. National Development Team (Exhibition)
Oct. 3 University of Lethbridge (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