Saturday, April 30, 2011

DU Lacrosse 11 vs. Fairfield University 5 FINAL

Washington Post Profiles DU's Lacrosse Program

From: Washington Post

Rocking in his office chair, Hall of Fame lacrosse coach Bill Tierney quickly looked over the list of nominees for the Tewaaraton Trophy, the sport’s equivalent of the Heisman.

He appeared a little bewildered, a little taken aback that none of his Denver Pioneers was even in the running.

Tierney has turned the Denver lacrosse program around in just two years. Off to the program’s best start (10-2) and a win over reigning NCAA champion Duke on their resume, the Pioneers are starting to gain more notoriety. They’ve joined the ranks of the elite, ascending to the fifth spot in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, even if few know what to make of their success: Are they for real or simply a mirage out West?

With an “Oh, well” kind of shrug, Tierney dismissed the slight.

The longtime coach was used to this. His team has been largely overlooked most of the season.

But now, off to the program’s best start (10-2) and with a win over reigning NCAA champion Duke on their resume, the Pioneers are starting to gain more notice.

They’ve joined the ranks of the elite, ascending to the fifth spot in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, even if few know what to make of their success: Are they for real or simply a mirage out West?

In truth, Tierney’s hoping his team remains disregarded. It makes for a nice motivational tool.

“I get it. I get why. We’re just Denver,” Tierney said. “But we know we’re good and as long as we know that, if no one else cares, so be it. We’ll keep surprising people.”

This degree of success was hardly what Tierney envisioned when he left the security of Princeton nearly two summers ago.

Maybe down the road, just not this soon.

Tierney figured it would take some time to reshape the program, institute his ideas. But the Pioneers have quickly grasped his winning formula, a system — or lack thereof, since he adapts his style to the players — that made him an icon while spending more than two decades with Princeton.

The Pioneers took a big step last season, finishing 12-5 and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament.

This spring, they’ve reeled off seven straight wins since losing a one-goal game to top-ranked Notre Dame on March 12.

And just like that, a school known more for hockey has put itself on the lacrosse map.

Asked if his squad was a possible Final Four contender, Tierney didn’t hesitate, responding with an authoritative, “It is.”

He knows the look of an elite squad, too, having led Princeton to 10 Final Four appearances and six NCAA championships.

This squad, in his estimation, has that kind of feel, that kind of talent.

“We’ve proven we can play with some big boys,” Tierney said. “We feel like we’re in that category.”

The success of the Pioneers has created a buzz around campus, students showing up at home games in droves, even tailgating before they start. The Pioneers are averaging nearly 1,900 fans a game, an improvement over a few years ago when the team averaged just under 900 spectators.

On Saturday, they have a chance to put the finishing touches on a perfect league mark when they host Fairfield. Denver has already wrapped up a second straight Eastern College Athletic Conference title.

“What I keep trying to say to them, is, ‘Fellas, enjoy this, appreciate this, do the right thing, do everything correctly, but understand that you’re going through something very special right now,’” said Tierney, whose team will host the first-ever ECAC tournament next week, with the winner receiving an automatic NCAA tournament bid. “Their heads are definitely spinning.”

Here’s a reality check: Denver has never won an NCAA tournament game. It’s a trend the Pioneers are eager to snap.

“We have Final Four talent across the board,” said attacker Todd Baxter, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn., who spent one season at Fairfield before transferring to DU. “We, as seniors, want to be known as the team that made it the farthest, that accomplished all they could and left a legacy.”

The Pioneers are certainly on the right path, maybe even a little ahead of schedule — at least according to Tierney’s timeline with the Tigers.

When Tierney landed at Princeton, he told his inaugural recruiting class that by the time they were seniors, they’d win a national title.

Bold talk for a program that was 12-46 in the four years prior to his arrival.

Spot on, too, as the Tigers backed up Tierney’s words.

Tierney didn’t offer a similar proposition when he arrived in Denver.

Instead, his message centered on rebuilding confidence and establishing a tradition.

“The guys just bought in,” said Tierney, whose son, Trevor, oversees the defense. “We’re still a work in progress. But I’m still pretty amazed where we are right now.”

The transformation of the program has rejuvenated the 58-year-old Tierney. Maybe once considered on the back nine of his coaching career, he’s now contemplating sticking around for perhaps as long as another decade.

“When I took the job, people said, ‘Why would you do this?’ The reality of it is I just wanted a new challenge,” Tierney explained. “This was a new place with new expectations — to build it and do your own thing.

“With coaching in the twilight of your career, you just want to have fun.”

And he certainly is doing that.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Set Your DVR: DU Lacrosse Special On ESPN-U

(above) DU Lacrosse will be featured on ESPN-U on Satirday night at 7:30 PM MT
From: DU Athletics Website

The University of Denver men's lacrosse team will be featured on ESPNU's All-Access television show at 7:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, April 30. The half-hour special gives fans a behind-the-scenes pass to a "day-in-the-live" of the Pioneers.

"It is an honor for us to have ESPNU do such an amazing story on the University of Denver lacrosse program," said head coach Bill Tierney. "As we continue to try to make an impression in the world of Division I lacrosse, their All-Access presentation of our program tells our story in a professional and humbling manner. Thank you to all who were involved in this project."

Denver is the first NCAA Division I men's lacrosse program to appear on ESPNU's All-Access, which will also feature the Duke University Blue Devils.

The special features behind-the-scenes glimpses of what the coaching staff and players encounter on a daily basis.

Fans will also get an inside look at a practice session, featuring coach Tierney and assistants Trevor Tierney, Matt Brown and Dylan Sheridan, and a post-practice film session where the staff meets with the team to dissect film from their previous game to prepare for their game against the defending national champions Duke University.

Denver's next game is on Saturday, April 30, at 1 p.m., when the Pioneers take on Fairfield University at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The game marks the Pioneers' final regular season ECAC game of the year before Denver hosts the first-ever ECAC Lacrosse Tournament on May 5 and 7.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

DU Club Baseball Team To Honor Joe Lubar

(above) Click on photo to enlarge

DU Gears Up For Student Elections

(above) DU students Milan Chatterjee and Elizabeth Bhappu have a website that makes LetsGoDU look like a Model T Ford
Its election season at the University of Denver, when undergraduates use the electoral process for the privilege of spending tons of student activity fee money.  Here at LetsGoDU we favor spending the money on school spirit activities and parties.  

Lets face it.  School spirit includes all students and at the end of the day supporting our school is what we alums are all about.  And who doesn't like a good party?

Here's a few links to student campaigns.  If you know of others, leave a link in the Comments Section below and I'll add it to the list.
Milan Chatterjee & Elizabeth Bhappu: DenverUnite.com

Samuel White: Samual White For Junior Class Senator

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rainstorm Gives DU Men SBC Golf Championship


The third round of the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Men's Golf Championships in Muscle Shoals, Ala., was canceled due to severe weather on Wednesday, and scores from the first two rounds were used to determine the winner.

As a result, the University of Denver won the championship with a two-round score of 573.
1. Denver - 284 289 - 573
T-2. North Texas - 287 290 - 577
T-2. ULM - 291 286 - 577
4. Arkansas State - 293 291 - 584
5. Louisiana-Lafayette - 299 289 - 588
T-6. Middle Tennessee - 303 288 - 591
T-6. South Alabama - 298 293 - 591
8. UALR - 302 291 - 593
9. Troy - 301 301 - 602
10. Florida Atlantic - 315 295 - 610
11. WKU - 318 298 - 616

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Matt Carle is the lone DU Alum alive in the NHL playoffs now that Philadelphia has advanced to the 2nd Round.  Carle led all NHL defensemen in even-strength points during the regular season.  He's quietly establishing himself as one of the better defensemen in the league.
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Two DU recruits are still alive in the USHL Semi-Finals that kick off on Friday night.  Josiah Didier plays for Cedar Rapids and Daniel Doremus plays for Sioux Falls.  There is a possibility that they could face each other in the finals as their teams are on opposite sides of the bracket.
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Mesa State College trustees voted to change their name to Colorado Mesa University if the Colorado state legislature gives its approval. The college has budgeted $400,000 to make the name change on everything from letterheads to signs.  Metro State last week suspended its plans to rename itself Denver State University after DU objected.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boone Ditches Coonskin Cap For New Lid

(above) Boone looks too cool for school

Pioneer Spirit Day: May 20th, 2011

(above) DU students are gearing up for Pioneer Spirit Day
Several DU students are organizing Pioneer Spirit Day next month.  The Facebook Page attached to the event already has 384 positive responses.  

The event will be held on the Driscoll Green from 2-6 PM.  LetsGoDU will be working with the students on this event and we will coordinate alumni participation and support.

Boone will be there in full force.  Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, April 25, 2011

DU Drops One Spot In Lax Polls

(above) Despite defeating Bellarmine 15-9 DU fell one spot to #6 the LaxPower Poll

Zac Larraza & Under-18 Team Win Gold Medals

(above) The USA Under-18 team won the world championship in overtime

GERMANY - The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team topped Sweden in overtime, 4-3, to win the gold medal at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men's U18 Championship. University of Denver recruit Zac Larraza played a pivotal role during the tournament scoring two shorthanded goals and recording three assists.

Connor Murphy had two goals, including the game-winner at 6:06 of the overtime period, and added an assist, as Team USA captured its third straight gold medal in the tournament.

The U.S. overcame a two-goal third-period deficit to send the game into overtime and eventually emerge with its sixth gold medal in tournament history (2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011).

"We knew how talented Sweden was from past tournaments," said Ron Rolston, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team. "This year, our players fought hard to come from behind and earn this gold medal." [read entire article]

Denver Post Editorial Rips Metro's Name Change

(above) Metro State's name change debate is questioned by the Denver Post's Editorial staff
From: Denver Post
by Denver Post Editorial Board

We're glad to see a pause in the quest to rename Metropolitan State College of Denver the reprieve coming out of concern that the proposed new name would cause confusion with another institution.

During the year-long delay, we hope officials at Metro can better explain to the public and state lawmakers why a name change is necessary.

And they'll need to resolve legitimate concerns raised by the University of Denver that the proposed new name — Denver State University — would step on DU's franchise.

Furthermore, we're still concerned that one of the underlying motivations for the name change, which requires legislative approval, involves mission creep [read entire article].

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chambers Blog: More Stories From Hockey Banquet

(above) Click to enlarge Banquet Sponsors
Mike Chambers Blog goes into more detail about DU's 55th Hockey Banquet held last Friday night.  He has some additional information about Jesse Martin and some memorable quotes from the evening.

He even gives a shout out to LetsGoDU, so check out the article.

Mark Rycroft: Scooters On Broadway [S.O.B.]

(above) Pioneer alum Mark Rycroft and his father Al show off the Schwinns at Scooters on Broadway located near DU

What goes 55 miles per hour and gets 80 miles to the gallon? A brand new Schwinn scooter from Scooters on Broadway. Located less than three miles from the University of Denver campus, former Pioneer legend Mark Rycroft is managing the eco-friendly Schwinn scooter dealership.  The store also stocks  scooter related merchandise, parts, helmets and some very cool Scooters On Broadway [S.O.B.] t-shirts by Sportiqe Apparel.

Rycroft bleeds Crimson and Gold. After a storied career at the University of Denver and in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche, he married DU alum Dominique Cook, the sister of former DU hockey player Steven Cook and Senior Jon Cook.  Rycroft also keeps busy providing color commentary on the Pioneer radio broadcasts with Jay Stickney and Colorado Avalance games on Altitude.

With gas prices hovering around four bucks a gallon and no relief in sight, scooters pay for themselves within a few hundred miles.  Rycroft was drawn to Schwinns because of their reliability, low price points and unheard of four year warranties.

Stop by the dealership located at 2881 S. Broadway between Dartmouth and Yale to check out the products.  There's plenty of DU hockey paraphernalia on the walls from Rycroft's playing days.

DU Lacrosse Victory Clinches ECAC League Title

(above) DU star Mark Matthews recorded seven point on Saturday, one short of the NCAA record
The #5 ranked University of Denver men's lacrosse team defeated Bellarmine, 15-9 on Saturday behind a five-goal school record performance from junior Mark Matthews at Frazier Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The Pioneers clinched the ECAC regular-season title and earned the top seed for the league tournament, scheduled for May 5 and 7 at DU's Peter Barton Stadium.

Matthews also had two assists for seven total points, one short of the NCAA Division I record. Alex Demopoulos finished with two goals and two assists.

Back east University of Virginia coach Dom Starsia sees parity at an all-time high this year.  Gone are the days when a few ACC teams could automatically pencil in an NCAA Final Four appearance on the calender.

"I don't think I've ever seen it quite like this," he said. "I think there's 10 teams right now that probably think to themselves, 'Hey, we've got a shot at this.'

"For fans of the sport, it's probably a healthy development."

There are 16 teams selected to the NCAA tournament, which begins the weekend of May 14.

Larraza's Shortie Helps USA Stun Canada In OT

(above) DU recruit Zac Larraza scored a shorthanded goal against Canada on Saturday night to advance the USA Under-18 Team into the goal medal game against Sweden

GERMANY - Tyler Biggs scored the game-winner 4:22 into overtime, as the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team topped Canada, 5-4, in the semifinals of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men's U18 Championship. University of Denver recruit Zac Larraza who will join the Pioneers this Fall, scored a shorthanded goal, which sent the U.S. to the gold-medal game tomorrow against Sweden at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The game will be streamed live on FASTHockey.com.

Team USA will look to capture its third straight Under-18 gold medal after garnering back-to-back world titles in 2009 and 2010.

"We are fortunate to have held on for the win against such a good Canadian team," said Ron Rolston, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team. "The puck bounced our way in overtime and now we have to prepare for a talented Sweden team."

Canada opened the scoring early in the first period, but J.T. Miller responded for the U.S. midway through the frame. After Team USA blocked a shot, the puck caromed off a U.S. player and into the neutral zone, where Miller picked it up and skated to the net, snapping a shot past Canadian goaltender Malcolm Subban.

Team USA then took a 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission, when Miller sent a pass from behind the net to an open Boucher in the slot, who ripped a shot past the outstretched glove of Subban.

The U.S. opened the third period with back-to-back shorthanded goals to gain a 4-1 edge. Zac Larraza gave the U.S. a two-goal cushion 6:43 into period, when he skated with the puck up the right side boards and wristed a shot under the crossbar for the score. Just 33 seconds later, Boucher wired a shot past Subban for his second goal of the night.

Canada narrowed the margin to 4-2 just 1:59 later. Then, still down two goals with two minutes remaining in regulation, Canada took advantage of a power-play opportunity and sent an extra attacker to the ice, notching a 6-on-4 goal at the 18:25 mark of the third. Forty-four seconds later, Canada struck again with an extra attacker to force overtime.

U.S. goaltender John Gibson stopped five shots in the extra frame, before Biggs snapped a shot past Subban to send Team USA to the gold-medal game.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

DU Hockey Banquet News & Notes

(above) Jesse Martin credited his teammates, friends and family on Friday night
The Denver Post has an article about Jesse Martin's speech at the DU Hockey Banquet held on Friday night at the Cable Center.  Jesse is no longer wearing a neck brace, has put on some weight since his injury and looked great on Friday night.
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DenverPioneers.com has a recap of all the award winners, graduating seniors and DU's 16 All-WCHA Academic recipients.
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Well over 200 people attended the event that was first class all the way.  Coach Gwozdecky was especially proud that many of former DU players showed up including Marc Cheverie, Tyler Bozak, Matt Donovan, Gerry Powers, Bruce Hill, Rod Summers, Mark Rycroft, Steven Cook, Charlie Host, Aaron MacKenzie and many others.

He singled out Rod Summers and the DU Hockey Alumni Association for soliciting over 40 former players to contribute to sponsoring the event.  You can tell Summers leadership is paying big dividends already for the program.

The Senior speeches gave an interesting look at the program and one couldn't help but notice the sacrifices these players made to the university and their teammates.  From the guys who barely saw ice time to Anthony Maiani's video that was taped in West Virginia while his ECHL team is in the playoffs.

Jesse Martin's speech was interesting because he refused to dwell on his injury and instead made a point about talking about his teammates and his experiences at DU.  He spoke about enjoying life and making sure that everyone have fun playing hockey, because you never know when it might end.

Chris Nutini mentioned that he'll miss spending time with the guys in the showers.  That brought nervous laughter from his teammates.  Needless to say, he'll have a hard time living that one down.

Kyle Ostrow gave a terrific speech about leading the guys and playing two seasons with his brother Shawn at DU.  Kyle and Shawn both had 4.0 GPA's this season.  Amazing.

All in all a great evening and well worth the price of admission.  The speeches ran a little long, but that was due to the large Senior class [8 players] and not the content of the messengers.

Michigan To Add Men's & Women's Lacrosse

Sources are telling Inside Lacrosse that the University of Michigan athletics department is preparing to announce the addition of men's and women's lacrosse programs, with the men's team to begin NCAA Division I play in time for the spring 2012 season, and the women's team in 2013.

There is speculation that Michigan would join the ECAC, DU's lacrosse conference.

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Team USA, including DU recruit Zac Larraza, will play Canada today in the semi-finals of the World Under-18 Championships on Saturday at 10:30 AM. Live Updates and online Webcast can be found on the USA Hockey Site.
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More Metro State name change coverage in the Denver PostMetro sensed they lacked needed votes in the legislature and Metro's President claimed that they often get the short end of the stick compared to other institutions in Colorado.
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DU's recent run of success in lacrosse and women's golf continued with the women's tennis team pulling an upset in the Sunbelt Tournament.  It took nearly six hours, but the University of Denver women's tennis team, the No. 7 seed, upset second-seeded Louisiana-Monroe in the quarterfinal.
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#5 ranked DU Lacrosse faces Bellarmine today in Louisville, Kentucky at 11:00 AM MT.  You can follow the Live Chat and Stats at DenverPioneers.com.  The DU Men's Lacrosse Blog has lots of interesting articles and stories about the team and its players.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Congrats To DU's Women's Golf Team .... Sun Belt Conference Champions For The 8th Straight Year .... Good Luck In The NCAA Tournament .... Go DU

Breaking News: Zucker Likely Returning To DU

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Behind The Scenes Of Metro vs. DU Name Battle

(above) Lots of dirty laundry in the 23 pages of documents between DU & Metro

Some very interesting documents are available online for all to read.

The papers include legal letters, correspondence between Chancellor Coombe and Metro's President Jordan, documentation of DU's concerns and all sorts of interesting tidbits.
l.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chambers Blog Has The Lowdown On Boonetown

Our favorite college hockey beat writer has lots of little nuggets this week in two postings.  Tyler Bozak, Marc Cheverie and Terry Frei are just some of the celebrities that will likely attend the DU Hockey Banquet on Friday night.  Sounds like its going to be an epic evening.

Chambers also has some suggestions for DU hockey alum Rod Summers who controls the 50-50 Raffle account.

DU is close to signing another Shore brother according to Chambers.  The last time DU had three brothers who played at DU were the Berry brothers in the Seventies.


Metro Trustees Back Down After Coombe Threat

(above) Bob "Bad Ass" Coombe, seen here in his battle garb, gave the Metro State Trustees a taste of DU's vaunted legal team this week
by Karen Auge

Metropolitan State College of Denver trustees today voted to postpone plans to rename the school Denver State University.

The unanimous vote came in response to claims by the University of Denver that the switch could create confusion and muddy the private school's long-standing brand identity.

Legislation that would have allowed Metro and Mesa State in Grand Junction to change their names was to be introduced by Sen. Michael Johnston next week. The trustees have decided to delay that introduction until the 2012 legislative session [read entire article].

Denver Post: DU Warns Metro Of Legal Battle

(above) Chancellor Coombe comes out swinging today in the Denver Post against the proposed name change at Metro State
From: Denver Post
by Karen Auge

Metropolitan State College of Denver trustees and students may think Denver State University is a great new name for their school, but leaders of the University of Denver say the change could create confusion and muddy the private school's long-standing identity.

In a letter this week to the Colorado legislature — which must authorize the name change — DU attorneys said university officials "strongly oppose" Metro State becoming Denver State.

"The change would interfere with Denver University's essential communication with its many constituents," chancellor Robert Coombe wrote to lawmakers Monday. [read entire article]

DU Womens Golf Wins 8th Straight Sunbelt Title

(above) The DU Women's Golf Team moves on to the NCAA Tournament for the 8th straight year

The No. 44 University of Denver women's golf team claimed its eighth consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship with an 11-over par 875 three-round score at the Schoolmaster Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at the Shoals. The Pioneers shot a 4-over par 292 in the final round to go along with their 289 and 294 in the previous two rounds.

"I am so very happy and proud of this team," said head coach Sammie Chergo. "They have worked hard this year and continue to believe in themselves and each other. The SBC is so improves and the competition was fantastic. The Pioneers played with great passion and purpose for each other and for DU. Three claps for them all." [read rest of article]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Metro State Proposed Name Change Schedule

Metro State Lobbying Dates & Times at the Capitol on the proposed name change to Denver State University. **** Scratch that-Metro has tabled the Bill until 2012 ****
Wed 4/20 Metro

Thurs 4/21 State

Mon 4/25 Gives

Tues 4/26 Up

UMD Writer Mentions "Super 6 Conference" Rumors

Kevin Pates, the Duluth News Tribune beat writer for the Minnesota-Duluth hockey team reported on a rumor circulating at the Frozen Four earlier this month.  Its the same rumor that Mike Chambers of the Denver Post mentioned back in March.

Specifically that Denver, Colorado College, Miami, Notre Dame, North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha would form a new conference when Minnesota and Wisconsin depart the WCHA for the Big Ten Conference.
"Talk centered on more possible fracturing of the WCHA and the CCHA, with speculation on the formation of another six-team league with Notre Dame, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, Denver, Colorado College and Miami of Ohio.

It’s expected that Notre Dame will soon announce intentions to leave the CCHA, without having a spot in another league, yet. WCHA officials did meet with Notre Dame at the Frozen Four."
- Rink & Run Blog

DU's 2011-12 Partial Schedule

Denver will play two WCHA series against Bemidji State (Dates TBD)

DU should have at least one more non-conference series and the Air Force plus-one weekend.
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Oct. 7 US National Development Under-18 [Exhibition]
Oct. 8 Canadian School (Likely McGill) [Exhibition]
Oct. 14 @ Boston College
Oct. 15 @ Boston University
Oct. 21-22 Minnesota State [Homecoming Weekend]
Oct. 28-29 @ Michigan Tech
Nov. 4-5 Minnesota-Duluth
Nov. 11-12 Colorado College [Home & Away]
Nov. 18-19 Nebraska-Omaha
The Denver Cup held around Thanksgiving [Princeton, Providence & Miami]
Dec. 16-17 @ St. Cloud
Jan 27-28 @ UAA
Feb 3-4 Colorado College [Home & Away]
Feb 10-11 Minnesota
Feb 17-18 @ Wisconsin [DU Hockey Alumni Road Trip]
Feb 24-25 North Dakota
Mar 2-3 @ Nebraska-Omaha
Mar 9-11 WCHA Playoffs
Mar 15-17 WCHA Final 5

2011 USHL Futures Draft Held Yesterday

The USHL held its Futures Draft yesterday.  Only one Colorado based player was selected, Griffin Foulk from the Colorado Thunderbirds was drafted in the 3rd Round by the Tri-Cities Storm.

Western College Hockey Blog breaks down the draft and the player development trends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DU Alums & Recruits Still Alive In Playoffs

NHL
Matt Carle--Philadelphia Flyers
Chris Butler--Buffalo Sabres

AHL
Patrick Mullen--Manchester Monarchs
Patrick Weircioch--Binghamton Senators
Keith Seabrook--Manitoba Moose

ECHL
Anthony Maiani - Wheeling Nailers
Ryan Dingle - Victoria Salmon Kings
Geoff Paukovich - Las Vegas Wranglers
Tyler Ruegsegger--Alaska Aces

CHL
Kevin Ulanski--Colorado Eagles
Matt Glasser--Colorado Eagles
Erik Adams--Allen Americans

USHL
Daniel Doremus--Sioux Falls Stampede
Matt Tabrum--Omaha Lancers
Josiah Didier--Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Under-18 World Championships
Zac Larraza--USA

DU Students Boo On-Campus Panda Express Plan


News that Panda Express is considering a location on the DU campus, where the student Pub is currently located, has provoked a minor uproar.

According to responses on the Clarion website and the Clarion Facebook page, students – and the DU community at large – are not receptive to the establishment of Panda Express on campus.

John Nichols, director of the Driscoll Student Center, said that Panda Express does not want to come to campus unless there's strong student support.

In a poll on duclarion.com, 67 percent of students who voted said they want The Pub to stay, while 10 percent opted to switch Panda Express. Eighteen percent of students chose to eliminate both dining options and find something else, while 6 percent said they were indifferent [read entire article].
"Panda Express is to Asian food as Taco Bell is to Mexican food, a horrible miscarriage of cultural expression," said one reader on the Clarion Website.

Monday, April 18, 2011

DU #5 In Nike & Coaches Lacrosse Polls

(above) The DU Lacrosse team is ranked #5 on Monday

USA Undefeated At Under-18 World Championships

The USA Under-18 Team is undefeated in the preliminary round of the World Championships in Germany.  DU recruit Zac Larraza had three assists in the first three games including a shorthanded helper against Slovakia.

USA 2 - Switzerland 1

USA 8 - Slovakia 1

USA 4 - Russia 3

News & Notes From Around PioNation


Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has a feature article on DU Lacrosse player Mark Mathews (6'4 210 lbs).  Mathews scored two goals and added an assist against Ohio State on Saturday to add to his 22 game goal scoring streak.
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The Redline Report lists DU recruits Scott Mayfield, Zac Larraza and Josiah Didier and Freshmen forward Nick Shore as likely NHL Draft candidates this summer.
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University of Denver junior Brianna Springer finished 17th in the all-around competition and freshman Jorie Hall was 35th on the balance beam at the 2011 NCAA women's gymnastics championships on Friday.
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DU's Lacrosse team is turning heads with a 9-2 record with the two losses to #1 ranked Notre Dame & #3 ranked Syracuse.  The Denver Post talked to coach Tierney.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

DU Lacrosse 11 - Ohio State 6 FINAL

(above) DU remains unbeaten in league play

University of Denver's Chase Carraro scored three times and won 14 of 20 face-offs, leading the Pioneers to an 11-6 win over Ohio State in front of a season-high 3,372 Saturday afternoon in the 8th Annual Rocky Mountain Showdown at INVESCO Field at Mile-High.

"Ohio State gave us some challenges, but we were able to make adjustments and played really well on both ends today," said head coach Bill Tierney. "This was a good team victory and one of our best overall performances of the year." [read entire article]


Friday, April 15, 2011

DU Lacrosse vs. Ohio State ..... Saturday @ 3 PM MT INVESCO Field ..... All tickets $12 ..... Go DU ..... Beat the Buckeyes

Two DU Recruits To Play Together Next Season


Forward Tyler Pham spent this past season playing for the Colorado Thunderbirds Under-18 team.  He also played three games for the Chicago Steel over the Christmas break.  At one time considered a prime candidate for the USNDP Under-17 team, Pham ended up not being selected at the tryout camp, so he returned home to Colorado.

Forward Garrett Allen was originally projected to arrive at DU in 2011, but  a drop in production this past season in Chicago deferred his arrival to DU until 2012.
2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-18)
D Joey LaLeggia (Penticton Vees, BCHL)
F Larkin Jacobson (Janesville Jets, NAHL)
D-F Wade Bennett (Wichita Falls, NAHL)
F Matt Tabrum (Omaha, USHL)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)
D Dakota Mermis (U.S. Under-17)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (U.S. Under-18)
F Garrett Allen (Chicago, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls, USHL) 

2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)

Last Day To Register For Hockey Banquet


The University of Denver will host the 55th Annual Pioneer Hockey Awards Evening Presented by Mac and Maria Slingerlend on Friday, April 22 at The Cable Center on the DU Campus. Fans are invited to attend as the Pioneers celebrate their 2010-11 hockey season.

A reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres and silent auction begin at 6 p.m. and the awards program with dessert begins at 7 p.m. The Pioneers will celebrate their 10th consecutive season with 21 or more wins and their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

The cost of the program is $50 for adults and $40 for children 12 and under. Click here to register online by April 15.

Please contact Angel Field at angel.field@du.edu or (303) 871-7973 for more information.

Want To See More DU Lax Coverage In The Post?

It wasn't that long ago that many feared for the future of mainstream media coverage about DU hockey in the Denver Post.  The Rocky Mountain News disappeared overnight and there was some thought that without competition the Denver Post would retrench its coverage of "niche sports."

Luckily Post coverage of DU hockey has literally exploded thanks to Mike Chambers, his editors and his blog.  It happened because readers hit those articles, left comments and LetsGoDU has driven readers to their site.

Now our burgeoning Lacrosse program finds itself in a similar position as hockey several seasons ago.  We need to channel our energy to building college lacrosse coverage in the Post.  A couple of thousand hits in Chambers most recent posting about the DU Lacrosse Program and leaving comments will ensure more coverage.  Its up to you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lax Asst. Coach Matt Brown Chat On ESPN.com

Coach Bill Tierney, Matt Brown and volunteer assistant Kevin Unterstein

University of Denver assistant coach Matt Brown will be the featured guest on Inside Lacrosse's Live Chat series on ESPN.com on Thursday at 12 p.m. MT. Coach Brown will be on hand to answer questions and give a coach's perspective on the NCAA and also as an MLL player for the Denver Outlaws.

Submit your questions now for the mind behind Denver's stellar offense, who works hands-on every day with juniors Mark Matthews, Alex Demopoulos, and senior Todd Baxter.

Brown was a four-year starter for the Pioneers from 2002-04. While at DU, Brown played 56 games and accumulated 137 points, the sixth-best total in all-time Pioneers' history, and 113 goals, fourth on the DU's all-time career goals list. As a senior, he was named First Team All-Great Western Lacrosse League at attack, earned Preseason All-American honorable mention honors and was named GWLL Player of the Week.

The Pioneers beat Duke, 12-9, last week, and Duke has an ECAC matchup with Ohio State up next in the Rocky Mountain Challenge at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium.

Send in your questions now and join in on the fun at 12 PM MT.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Garrett Allen Signs DU Letter Of Intent For 2012

Garrett Allen
Chuck Schwartz the online college hockey recruiting guru who contributes to the 60 Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets Hockey Blog (Wisconsin) has retracted his original report that "two sources have confirmed to him that University of Denver 2012 recruit Garrett Allen does not plan on playing for DU."

Schwartz noted on Wednesday evening, "Apparently Garrett Allen is still committed to Denver, but will come in 2012 not 2011. He signed a Letter of Intent with DU. Although the Concordia SID confirmed that they had been talking to Allen. My apologies to Allen and DU fans for any confusion."
2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-18)
D Joey LaLeggia (Penticton Vees, BCHL)
F Larkin Jacobson (Janesville Jets, NAHL)
D-F Wade Bennett (Wichita Falls, NAHL)
F Matt Tabrum (Omaha, USHL)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)
D Dakota Mermis (U.S. Under-17)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (U.S. Under-18)
F Garrett Allen (Chicago, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)

Video: Lax Coach Tierney Discusses Epic Victory

(above) Coach Tierney discusses the DU Lacrosse Program at Press Conference yesterday (after 30 second ad)

NHL Central Scouting Lists 4 DU Players/Recruits

NHL Central Scouting listed three DU recruits plus Freshman Nick Shore on its final rankings for the NHL Draft to be held this summer in St. Paul, Minnesota.

There was some significant movement by all four DU representatives and it would be interesting to know why.
24. Scott Mayfield D, Youngstown (USHL) was #15
56. Nick Shore C, Denver (WCHA) was #38
70. Zac Larazza LW, USA-18 (NTDP) was #98
108. Josiah Didier D, Cedar Rapids (USHL) '12 was #198
Clearly, Mayfield fell due to a lack of offensive production (7g, 9a) this season at Youngstown (USHL).  He has to be considered a bit of a longshot to be selected in the first round unless the scouts are projecting some offensive upside that wasn't on display this season.

Nick Shore's fall was a little puzzling because he played really well this season for DU and really came on at the end of the year.

Zac Larazza didn't post big numbers this season for the USNDT but he rose 28 spots. There must be some intangibles there the scouts really like.

Finally, Josiah Didier made a meteoric rise. Word around town is that he is going to be an exceptional player.

Other draft eligible players/recruits include: Joey Laleggia, Larkin Jacobson, Matt Tabrum, Daniel Doremus, Matt Van Voorhis, Adam Murray.

Of those Doremus has an outside shot at being taken late and there's always the possibility that someone could take a flier on LaLeggia after the huge numbers he posted in the BCHL.
2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-18)
D Joey LaLeggia (Penticton Vees, BCHL)
F Larkin Jacobson (Janesville Jets, NAHL)
D-F Wade Bennett (Wichita Falls, NAHL)
F Matt Tabrum (Omaha, USHL)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)
D Dakota Mermis (U.S. Under-17)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (U.S. Under-18)
F Garrett Allen (Chicago, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls, USHL) 

2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)

Sodexo Wants Crappy Panda Express On Campus

(above) Panda Express' lousy food is an embarrassment to Pandas everywhere
by Cory Lamz & Steve Coulter (with editorial input supplied free of charge by LetsGoDU)

Executives from Panda Express are in talks with multi-national catering giant Sodexo to possibly replace the University of Denver's campus Pub with a Chinese fast-food chain.  Calling Panda Express "Chinese food" is like calling Colorado College an ice hockey powerhouse.

Panda Express serves low quality fast food that would offend DU's Asian students, visiting Chinese diplomats and confuse DU's impressionable HRM students that this type of food is edible for human consumption.

We get it.  DU is broke and needs to bring fast food chains onto campus to rake in cash from starving students about to get hit with another 3.8% tuition hike.  Does anyone remember that the Pub and the  Driscoll Student Center were built with student activity fees to provide services for DU students? Apparently not.

The staff did not say when the decision will be made final, but The Pub could be removed from the space as early as June, according to Scott Weingarten from Panda Express. Panda Express could be operating in the space by August 2011.

"We see continued preference of Asian food. We don't have Asian food on campus – it's one thing we're missing out on, which is one of our top 3-5 categories of student preference [for Sodexho]," said Joe Zemla, campus general manager for Sodexho Dining Services. "With the partnership our company has with Panda Express, it just makes a lot of sense [$$$]."

If The Pub is eventually replaced by Panda Express, the Chinese fast-food restaurant will not serve alcohol – meaning DU will become a dry campus, as The Pub is currently the only location on campus to purchase alcohol.

DU has a world class HRM Program, sends 80% of its students abroad and thinks sticking a Panda Express on campus is a good way to expose DU students to Asian food?

Panda Express will only come to DU if students embrace the replacement, Weingarten and Zemla both said. Students will be polled about Panda Express on campus in the future. Of course over 80% of students supported the return of the Boone mascot in two separate "polls" on campus and we all know how that turned out. [read entire Clarion article].
LetsGoDU Fun Fact - In 2010 actor Danny Glover was arrested outside Sodexo's US Headquaters in Maryland while protesting low wages paid to Sodexo employees.  French owned Sodexo employs 380,000 people around the world and one of the largest food service corporations in the world.

DU Alum Elected To Manitoba Hall Of Fame

(above) Former DU star George Konik played for the USA National Team
Former University of Denver hockey star George Konik was one of seven players elected to the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame this week. The class of 2011 was announced at a media conference in Winnipeg.

George Konik played a major role when his hometown Flin Flon Bombers won the Canadian junior championship in 1957.

At the University of Denver, Konik won two NCAA titles  (60 & 61) and was named an All-American in 1960.

He signed a professional contract with the New York Rangers after college but did not make his NHL debut until 1967–68 when the expansion Pittsburgh Penguins traded for his rights. Konik made 52 appearances as a versatile role player for the Penguins that season, but drifted back to the minor professional leagues after that.

Konik eventually became a naturalized American citizen and joined the United States national team for the 1970 and 1971 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments; he was named best defenceman in 1970, helping the USA win the "B" Tournament.

Konik came out of retirement in 1972/73 to play a final season of major league pro hockey for the WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints before leaving hockey for good.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DU Lacrosse Rises To #6 & #7 In Latest Polls

(above) DU moved up to #7 in the Nike Inside Lacrosse Poll


Two days after beating powerhouse Duke 12-9 in Bethpage, N.Y., the University of Denver men's lacrosse team received the program's highest rankings in the national polls Monday. The Pioneers, off to an 8-2 start, are No. 7 in the Inside Lacrosse poll and No. 6 in the USILA Coaches poll. DU's previous high ranking was No. 9, achieved last season.

Syracuse (9-0) is the nation's consensus No. 1 team, receiving all first-place votes in both polls. Syracuse defeated the Pioneers 13-7 in the teams' season opener Feb. 20 at the Carrier Dome. DU and Ohio State meet Saturday in the eighth annual Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Former Pioneer Jim Eagle Passes Away

(left) Former DU defenseman Jim Eagle passed away on March 10th, 2011



Jim Eagle was born in Vancouver in 1943. He won a Memorial Cup in 1963 with the Edmonton Oil Kings before enrolling at the University of Denver.  

During his career at DU, Jim scored 6 goals and had 22 assists from the blueline. He graduated with a Commerce Degree in 1966 and played minor league hockey for several seasons.

He continued to be involved in hockey as a scout for the Vancouver Canucks, as well as owning a successful restaurant chain and several Thoroughbred racehorses in Washington state.

Monday, April 11, 2011

News & Notes From Around PioNation

The Tri-Cities Americans (WHL) signed 15 year-old goaltending phenom Eric Comrie to a professional contract last week, effectively ending his NCAA eligibility.  He most likely would of come to DU if he had gone the college route.
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A North Chokota fan punched a hole in the Xcel Center in St. Paul during the Frozen Four, while others flipped off Michigan players after goals were scored against the Fighting Sioux.  In a related story, the UND Board of Regents unveiled the school's new logo that captures the spirit of the hockey program, while honoring the proud history of the previous Native American logo.
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Denver Post columnist Ed Quillen suggests in an editorial about Metro State's proposed name change to Denver State University, that the administrators are "piggybacking on DU's reputation."  Will DU's administration ever say anything publicly about this issue?
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Fresh off upsetting #4 ranked Duke last weekend, the DU lacrosse team will play at the Bronco's Invesco Field this weekend against Ohio State.  Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased via TicketMaster.com or for $12 on the day of the game at Invesco Field.

DU Alums Factor In Maple Leafs Future

(above) DU alum Joe Colborne in his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens
From: Toronto Sun
by Rob Longley

When Ron Wilson saw DU alum Joe Colborne make his NHL on Saturday night, the Leafs coach must have had a flashback to the days he coached jumbo Joe Thornton in San Jose.

Okay, perhaps just a mild one.

The Leafs prospect may be a year or more in the minors away from being an impact center in the NHL, but just seeing a big body up the middle has to make Wilson yearn for more of the same.  Colborne notched an assist in his first game, a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

For all of the improvement at the end of the season and all of the third- and fourth-line stability that has emerged, the Leafs aren’t going to go anywhere meaningful until they get bigger, better and tougher up front.

In fact, if there is one glaring deviation from general manager Brian Burke’s typical blueprint, it is that the Leafs lack the size and toughness he covets in a forward group.

The mere hint of something good down the road in Colborne, a 6-foot-5 center who can skate but at age 21 still needs to develop physically, points out how suspect the Leafs are down the middle.

DU's other alum Tyler Bozak wasn’t worthy of being a No. 1 center starting the season, certainly isn’t now and quite possibly will never be suited to that role. If it weren’t for the fact that Bozak was the team’s most effective faceoff man he may not have lasted in that role. In fact, with a blue-chip pivot in front of him, Bozak’s game may actually improve.

Overall, the Leafs have too many players that don’t do enough damage in front of the opposition net. Whether it’s size or unwillingness to go there, it has compromised them on too many nights over the past three seasons [read entire article].

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DU Shocks #4 Duke In Men's Lacrosse

(above) DU Senior Director of Development Rob Revitte poses with the New York Islanders Ice Girls before the game
(above) DU coach Pat Tierney guided DU to a victory over the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon
From: LaxPower.com

Tenth-ranked Denver outscored Duke 7-4 in the second half to earn a 12-9 victory over the No. 4  ranked and defending national champion Blue Devils in men's lacrosse action this afternoon in front of a capacity crowd of 6,000 at Bethpage High School on Long Island, NY.

Duke falls to 8-4 overall with the loss, while the Pioneers improve to 8-2 on the year. Todd Baxter paced Denver with four goals and an assist, while Cameron Flint had three goals.
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"Maybe today will change things a little bit,'' Tierney said after Denver's 12-9 victory. "Maybe people don't know or didn't know what Denver lacrosse was all about. So, we have to search a little bit harder than some of the guys where kids just want to show up at their places.''

Tierney built six national champions with plenty of Long Island talent. But Denver isn't Princeton. Not yet, anyway. "We have young men from Minnesota, California, Kentucky,'' Tierney said.

Giving up a home game in Denver to play Duke here was something of a stroke of genius for Tierney, who said, "We also want to make sure we have a [recruiting] presence here on Long Island. I can't tell you how many Final Fours and tournaments, but the care they took in making this an amazing experience for our players is just second to none. To win the game makes it real special . . . I would give up anything to play in an event like this again. It was just fantastic.''
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The first half was a tight affair that featured three ties and two lead changes. Duke opened the scoring with a transition goal from senior Terrence Molinari. Howell assisted on the score. After six minutes of scoreless lacrosse, Denver evened the game as Chase Carraro snuck his shot past the stick of Duke Blue Devil goaltender Dan Wigrizer.

The back-and-forth action continued in the final 2:42 with the squads combing for three goals in that span. The Blue Devils opened a 3-1 lead with goals from David Lawson and Stephen Coyle. Seconds later, Flint notched his first goal of the game to make it a 3-2 game after 15 minutes of action.

Denver added two more goals in the first six minutes of the second quarter for its first lead, 4-3, of the contest. Rotanz responded with consecutive scores of his own to put the Blue Devils back in front with 48 seconds left to go. The Pioneers came out and won the ensuing faceoff and just 15 seconds later Baxter fired a shot in from Mark Matthews to tie the game going into halftime.

Duke held a narrow 20-19 advantage in shots and led 13-11 in ground balls after 30 minutes of play.

Denver started the third frame much the way it began the second quarter. The Pioneers scored twice in the opening six minutes to take a 7-5 lead for good at the 9:09 mark. Rotanz recorded his third goal of the game less than a minute later to pull Duke to within one, but Denver would never let Duke any closer.

The Pioneers scored three of the next four goals to open a 10-7 lead heading into the final minute. Rotanz added another goal for Duke with 24 seconds left in the stanza to send Duke into the final quarter trailing 10-8.

After the two teams combined for eight goals in the third quarter, the offense firepower slowed down in the fourth session. Neither team was able to get on the board until 5:56 left to play as Denver's Mark Matthews put Denver back in front by three goals. Flint netted an empty net goal at 2:09 to ice the victory for the pioneers. Howell closed out the scoring for the Blue Devils with a man-up goal.

Duke held a 42-34 advantage in shots for the game and Denver won the ground ball battle 28-26. Jamie Faus made 16 stops for the Pioneers, including seven in the fourth quarter.

Amateur Tryout Contract Is Ostrows Path To AHL

(above) Kyle Ostrow won't get paid for his initial stint in professional hockey
From: Portland Press Herald
by Rachel Lenzi


A rash of injuries and reassignments within the Buffalo Sabres' organization prompted the need for immediate reinforcements in Portland, the organization's American Hockey League affiliate. In the days after his team was eliminated from the NCAA hockey tournament, Kyle Ostrow got a phone call from his agent.
click image to enlarge

Kyle Ostrow, a former University of Denver forward, is one of seven amateurs trying out for a spot in the Sabres organization this spirng with the Portland Pirates.

"You're headed to Portland, Maine," Ostrow's agent said.

It was the end of a hectic process that came at the end of a hectic time for Ostrow, but it was the start of Ostrow's professional hockey career after four years at the University of Denver. Yet while Ostrow joined the Portland Pirates on an amateur tryout agreement -- an ATO in pro hockey vernacular -- he isn't drawing a paycheck. Instead, Ostrow is working at a chance to earn a full-time paycheck as a pro.

The 23-year-old forward is one of a group of former college hockey players who are advertising their wares in the AHL as players who are on amateur tryout agreements, and there are no guarantees of a contract. After a certain period -- a player can remain on an ATO for up to 25 games -- a team can choose to keep the player or release him. For professional clubs, ATOs are a low-risk, low-cost way to assess talent while figuring out if and how a player fits that team's needs. For players, it's an opportunity to prove themselves.

"It's a challenge for those guys to get over the hump and say, 'I'll have a chance to go in, I'll have a chance to show them what I can do ... but I have a chance to get hurt,' " said and DU alum Pirates Coach Kevin Dineen, who handles his team's ATO signings. "It's a big step for these kids, to make that leap and to play one level below the NHL."

A player agrees to a tryout with an AHL team as a free agent with only a nominal per diem as compensation and hopes to catch the eye of an NHL organization. Including Ostrow, the Pirates have seven players in their lineup on ATOs. They could remain with the team on an ATO for the AHL playoffs, or they could be looking for new teams once Portland's regular season ends today.

Some, like Ostrow, jump into a team's lineup right away. Others practice with teams and hope for playing time, in addition to hoping to make a strong impression, not just on the home team but on other teams who may be looking to plug holes within an organization.

"You don't know how long you're here for, just trying out with a team," Ostrow said. "Hopefully it helps me out for next year, to find a team and to get some experience. It's to see what kind of level of hockey this is, so I can see how hard I need to work this summer."

But there's a process to get to the point of being offered an ATO. When a player is winding up his college career, coaches, family advisers, and NHL and AHL representatives are in the background, searching for the right opportunity for players. Unless an NHL team holds a player's rights or he is an undrafted, NHL-ready prospect that a team can afford to sign, signing an ATO with a farm team is the best way to gain exposure.

Scott Norton of Norton Sports Management, based in Newport Beach, Calif., represents and advises 40 NHL and college players, including many who have gone from college to pro hockey. He explained that the decision to turn pro with a specific organization depends not only on the player but also on the situation the player goes into.

"It's a very hectic time," Norton said. "You're trying to do two things. You're dealing with the client and his personality and with the teams. You're going through a team's depth chart, their minor league system, their draft picks, how they've done with college free agents or, in the case of (Miami of Ohio's) Andy Miele, with smaller forwards. You've got to juggle a few balls to get to that point."

The responsibilities of identifying and signing players to an ATO varies. In some NHL organizations, that responsibility is held by an assistant general manager or the general manager of a minor league team. When handling the Pirates' ATOs, Dineen relies on his network of coaches and scouts to develop a better sense of each player, as an athlete and an individual.

When a rash of injuries, call-ups and transactions hit the Pirates last week, Dineen used that network to rustle up potential players who might fill holes on his roster.

Still, there's no guarantee of a professional contract. But there's the guarantee of more ice time to reach the next level.