Texas A & M has the "12th Man," Notre Dame has the legend of "Rudy" and the University of Denver hockey team has Zack Hope (5'7" 145 lbs.).
Hope, a Junior at the University of Denver, watched DU hockey games in the stands as a fan last season, never imagining that one day he would be playing for the seven-time national champion Pioneers. This time last year he was staying fit by playing on the University of Denver club rugby team.
This weekend Zack Hope will be in Boston backing up Adam Murray, while two other DU goaltenders, Sam Brittain and Juno Olkinuora, stay home in Denver and watch the games on TV. Brittain is rehabbing a knee injury and Olkinuora is serving a three game NCAA mandated suspension for playing in a semi-professional Finnish hockey league several years ago.
But the story may not end there. Adam Murray, DU's starting goaltender this weekend, is not 100%, and there is an ever so slim chance that Hope could see action this weekend against the #1 ranked Boston College Eagles or five-time national champion Boston University Terriers.
Mike Chambers Blog has details on Murray's injury and why the DU coaching staff may not have slept too well over the weekend. Murray practiced on Monday, but he didn't go through his normal practice routine and the coaching staff kept his workload lighter than usual.
Which brings us back to Zack Hope. He played four years of Prep School Hockey at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. And he did see five minutes of exhibition action last Friday night against the U.S. National Development team, while facing no shots in mop-up duty.
The Zack Hope Saga continues on Friday night in Boston against BC. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network at 5:30 PM MT.