Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DU Alum Kevin Dineen Named NHL Head Coach

(above) DU Alum Kevin Dineen will be the new head coach of the Florida Panthers
TSN's Bob McKenzie announced via Twitter today that DU Alum Kevin Dineen will be introduced as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers on Wednesday at 3 PM ET.  

Kevin Dineen, played for DU in the early Eighties, the Canadian Olympic team and scored 760 points in a 19-year NHL career. Dineen is currently the head coach of the AHL's Portland Pirates.

DU Signs Nolan Zajac To Play At DU in 2012

(above) Nolan Zajac
From: USHL.com

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders defenseman Nolan Zajac has committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Denver in 2012. His father, Tom Zajac, played forward for DU in the 1970's (38g, 37a) and two of his older brothers played for the University of North Dakota and another brother played at Union College.

Zajac collected 30 points (3g, 27) and a +15 rating in just 45 games this season for the RoughRiders. He tied for ninth among USHL defensemen in scoring and was fifth among blueliners with 27 assists. The 18-year-old defenseman helped the RoughRiders tie a team record with 42 victories on the way to capturing the Anderson Cup title for best regular season finish in the League. It was the second USHL season for the native of Winnipeg, Manitoba after recording 11 assists in 49 games during his rookie campaign in 2009-10.

Nolan Zajac is the youngest of four hockey-playing brothers and the only defenseman among the family. The oldest, Travis, completed his fifth season with the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. Darcy spent this season in the Devils system, playing 40 games for their AHL affiliate, the Albany Devils. Kelly recently completed his junior season at Union College.

Zajac will join RoughRiders teammate Josiah Didier, who is also committed to the University of Denver.
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)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls, USHL)

2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL)
D Dakota Mermis (U.S. Under-18)
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Garrett Allen (Chicago, USHL)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)

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

Breaking News: Jackson To Play One More Season

The University of Denver's official hockey Twitter account announced that redshirt Senior forward Dustin Jackson returning to DU next season.  Jackson had "officially" retired and even gave a farewell speech at Senior Night last month, now will be coming back to play for DU.

It was no secret that the DU coaching staff really wanted Dustin back on the team next year because of his size, versatility and experience.  Jackson had made it equally clear that be wanted to move on with his newly minted DU diploma and get into the construction business in Denver.

It appears for now at least, that he will be working towards an MBA at DU next year.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Photo Shoot & Crab Boil Dinner For The Crew

(above) Boone boating near Chesterfield, Maryland on Sunday
(above) Boone is in negotiations to represent a ski boat manufacturer
(above) Boone polished off eight Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
(above) No crabs were actually harmed in the shooting of these photos
(above) Never bring a knife to a gun fight
photo credits: Andrew Fielding

Former DU Golfer On The Nationwide Tour

(above) Boone is on professional golfer Danny Wax's bag
(above) Danny Wax
As a senior at the University of Denver in 2009, golfer Danny Wax worked on his game harder than ever before and it showed in his collegiate results. He was ranked 25th in the nation, won a tournament in Palm Springs, was selected Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference and made the All-Region team. It was then that he decided he would turn pro.

For the past two years he been playing on the Nationwide Tour while carrying a special character on his golf bag. Boone.

Fun Times At The Pratt Street Ale House

(above) DU fans pregaming at Pratt Street Ale House
(above) What happens in Baltimore....
photo credits: Andrew Fielding

Behind The Scenes Look At Boone Photo Shoot

(above) Photo shoot producer Andrew Aerenson [DU '85] directs the action
(above) The multinational crew makes sure Boone is portrayed in the best possible light
(above) Photographer Andrew Fielding goes for a close-up
(above) Travis Aerenson worked as an surfing extra in the photo shoot

Boone Goes Sightseeing In Baltimore

(above) No visit to Baltimore would be complete without a big ol' heaping plate of Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
photo credit: Andrew Fielding

Denver Post: PioNation Proud Of DU Lax Success

(above) DU's amazing run sets will springboard the team next season
From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

During a disappointing time, University of Denver athletic director Peg Bradley-Doppes managed to unleash a big smile.

Shortly after the Pioneers men's lacrosse team lost 14-8 to Virginia on Saturday in the NCAA Final Four at M&T Bank Stadium, Bradley-Doppes was asked about DU's remarkable run to the national semifinals [read entire article].

Boone Goes Water Skiing In Maryland

(above) Boone went waterskiing with the Aerenson brothers on Sunday
photo credit: Andrew Fielding

Boone spent the off-day of the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championships water skiing on Chesapeake Bay.  ESPN's newest Bad Boy Mascot was spied catching big air off the back of a tricked out Ski Nautique.

Its good to be the Boone.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Denver Post: Inexperience Not To Blame

From: Denver Pioneers
by Mike Chambers

The Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday played with the confidence and composure of a team making its fourth consecutive NCAA Final Four appearance, and the Denver Pioneers looked like the rookies that they were.

But that's just coincidence, DU lacrosse coach Bill Tierney said [read entire article].

Lacrosse Fans Meet Boone In Baltimore

(above) Andrew Fielding took this great photo of Boone and some kids outside the stadium with their lacrosse sticks
(above) Boone was confident pre-game
(above) Fans of every school wanted to have their photo taken with Boone
(above) Denver fans outside the stadiun
(above) Colorado was well represented in Baltimore
(above) DU's youngest lacrosse fan poses with Boone
(above) Boone clowns around with a young Virginia fan in the streets of Baltimore

Denver Post: DU Loses To Virginia 14-8


by Mike Chambers

As is his custom, University of Denver men's lacrosse coach Bill Tierney began his postgame news conference with a prayer Saturday. He then asked that his team not be judged by how the Pioneers played in the NCAA Final Four semifinals, but by how historically relevant they became before losing to Virginia 14-8 at M&T Bank Stadium [read entire article].

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Go DU .... Beat Virginia .... ESPN2 @ 2 PM MT & 4 PM ET .... Tailgate Party in Parking Lot H 1-4 PM .... Postgame Party At Pratt Street Ale House

2011 Lacrosse Championship Schedule Of Events

DU Lacrosse Fan Schedule
Saturday
Noon-1 PM - Lunch @ Pratt Street Ale House
1-3:30 PM - Tailgate in DU Tent Lot H @ M&T Bank Stadium (BYOB)
4 PM - DU vs. Virginia
8 - Midnight - Postgame Party @ Pratt Street Ale House

Sunday
Sightseeing Day
8 PM - Midnight - Pratt Street Ale House

Monday
11-1 PM - Lunch @TBD
4 PM - Virginia vs. Maryland

Regional DU Lacrosse Watch Parties

Regional Watch Parties

Chicago
Gaslight Bar & Grille
2426 N. Racine Ave., Chicago

Dallas
Dallas Palm Restaurant
701 Ross Ave., Dallas

Fans in Denver
The following restaurants will be showing the game:
Crimson & Gold – 2017 S. University Blvd.
The Pioneer – 2401 S. University Blvd.
Old Chicago – 1280 S. Colorado Blvd.
Campus Lounge701 S. University Blvd.

Chambers Blog Says Baxter Will Return Against UVA

Senior attack Todd Baxter, perhaps DU’s most important overall player, will play against Virginia in Saturday’s NCAA Final Four [read entire article].

Another New York Times Article About DU Lacrosse

(above) Second New York Times articles on DU in two days
by Adam Himmelsbach

Denver lacrosse fans gathered on campus and at local restaurants last weekend to watch the Pioneers defeat Johns Hopkins in an N.C.A.A. tournament quarterfinal in Hempstead, N.Y. But the most emotional viewing party took place on the team’s bus ride to the airport after clinching its first berth in the semifinals.

Players and coaches huddled around smartphones and watched video clips showing the revelry in Denver. They saw fans pumping their fists, dancing on tabletops and belting out the university’s fight song [read entire article].

Friday, May 27, 2011

University Of Denver Lacrosse In The News

Articles Listed from Thursday To Most Recent

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Bootleg Video: 2011 DU Lacrosse Highlight Package

Video: DU Team Arrives In Baltimore

George Vecsey Writes About DU Lax In NY Times

(above) George Vecsey writes an article for the ages about DU Lacrosse
When the New York Times starts splashing the ink about your lacrosse program and the article is written by one of America's preeminent sports columnists, its time to pour yourself a good cup of java and enjoy a master parading his craft.

Pratt St. Ale House-DU's Baltimore Watering Hole

(above) Click to enlarge

During the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championships, DU fans will be gathering at the Pratt Street Ale House.
"The Pratt Street Ale House, an American style restaurant with an English twist. But don’t worry PSA is still offering its famous Oliver Ales and Maryland classic beers! The Ale House is a place where anyone can feel welcome and enjoy a good meal and beer in a comfortable casual atmosphere. 25 HDTV’s, three bars, two private rooms and outdoor patio. With our friendly and experienced staff your visit to Pratt Street Ale House is guaranteed to be unforgettable."

DU Bookstore Has 2011 Final Four Shirts

DU Bookstore

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baltimore Weather Forecast This Weekend

Pioneer Spirit Day Thursday: Wear Crimson & Gold


(above) This video traces the history of the University of Denver, Athletics at DU and school spirit

Thursday, May 26th: Pioneer Spirit Day

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crimson & Gold Tavern Watch Party

Things may be a little "tight" at the Crimson & Gold Tavern during the Denver vs. Virginia lacrosse game.  375 people have already RSVP'd via Facebook.  Another 80 people are "maybe."

USA Today Profiles Bill Tierney & DU Lacrosse

(above) National publicity continues to roll in as USA Today jumps into the act
From: USA Today
by Eddie Timanus

Bill Tierney is taking a men's lacrosse program to its first NCAA Final Four. As submitters to a certain irreverent news-aggregating website might say, this is not a repeat from 1992.

This time it is Denver making its championship weekend debut.

The Pioneers (15-2) face Virginia (11-5) in Saturday's first semifinal at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Defending champion Duke (14-5) meets Maryland (12-4) in the second (approx. 6:30 ET, ESPN2). That makes Denver the only non-Atlantic Coast Conference squad on the big stage as well as the first team from the western half of the country to reach this point in the tournament [read entire article].

NCAA.com Profiles DU Coach Bill Tierney

From: NCAA.com
by Elliot Olshansky

After his Denver team got its second win on Long Island this season – a 14-9 victory against Johns Hopkins this past Saturday that clinched a trip to Baltimore for this weekend’s NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship - Pioneers head coach Bill Tierney was reminded of the first.

“After the Duke game,” Tierney said of his team’s 12-9 win against the reigning NCAA champions on April 9, “one of the reporters said, ‘Oh, just think. Now you can recruit good players.’ I looked at the roster and said, ‘We’ve got some pretty good players, and we’re from 20 different states.”

Indeed, when the Pioneers took the field at Hofstra’s James Shuart Stadium on Saturday, their starting lineup included players from Minnesota, Colorado, Ohio and Kentucky - hardly traditional lacrosse hotbeds – with players from Indiana and Tennessee on their way next season. Denver’s lineup also includes players from Maryland, New Jersey New England and Canada – Georgetown, Ontario native Cameron Flint shared the team goal-scoring lead with Eden Prairie, Minnesota’s Todd Baxter – but as the sport of lacrosse continues to grow and expand, it’s not insignificant that the only team that qualified for the 16-team tournament without any players from Long Island is one of the last four teams standing [read entire article].

Boone's Facebook Page Goes Over 3,000 Friends

(above) Boone's Facebook page went over 3,000 friends today
As Boone gears up for his big trip to Baltimore, his Facebook page is receiving more traffic than ever thanks to the success of the University of Denver Lacrosse Team. As Charlie Sheen discovered, people love a Winner.

DU Lacrosse Is The Tierney Family Business

(above) Bill & Trevor Tierney
by Justin Feil
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Helen Tierney will be in the stands at the men's lacrosse final four this weekend in Baltimore, and for the first time since 2001, she's there not just to support her husband, Bill, the second-year head coach at Denver, but also their oldest son, Trevor, who is an assistant coach to Bill.

"I think it's really special," Helen said. "Two of the people I love the most are doing something together that they love. It's pretty amazing [read entire article]."

Lacrosse Magazine Labels DU As "Interlopers"

in·ter·lop·er  (ntr-lpr)n.
1. One that interferes with the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons; a meddler.
2. One that intrudes in a place, situation, or activity: "When these interlopers defeat traditional eastern powers, it sends shockwaves throughout the lacrosse community."

Virginia Overcomes Adversity To Face DU

From: NBC29.com

The University of Virginia Cavaliers are in the Final Four for the fourth straight season.

UVA senior goalie Adam Ghitelman said, "I think there's a certain excitement on this team and a certain togetherness that's been making it special for us. The fact that we've gone through a bit of adversity as a team, it's drawn us closer."

UVA junior attack Steele Stanwick said, "We're just all buying into the same thing and really just emphasizing the whole team concept. It's been an up and down year, but I'm really proud about how we've come together these last couple weeks."

Virginia is the #7 seed, its lowest NCAA Tournament seed in ten years.

Stanwick said, "Being a #7 seed and being kind of doubted, I think gave us a little fuel to our fire. Instead of having the target on our back, we can kind of use that as motivation for our win, so I think it's been good, and we've really benefited from that."

UVA head coach Dom Starsia said, "I'm as proud of this group as any team that I can remember. I feel like we've worked hard. We have overcome some things. The pinnacle for our college lacrosse people is to be playing on this final weekend. We've earned our way here. It hasn't been an easy trip to get here, and I'm really proud of these guys, the way that they persevered throughout the season."

Denver Post Looks At DU's Poise Under Pressure

by Mike Chambers

University of Denver coach Bill Tierney is confident his players will adapt well to the lacrosse-crazy surroundings at the NCAA Final Four in Baltimore this weekend.

"Honestly, this is a pretty stoic group," said Tierney, the former Princeton coach who led the Tigers to 10 Final Fours and six titles. "They have fun and work very hard, but they never get too angry or too giddy [read entire article]."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Website Features Scouting Report On DU & Virginia

John DeTommaso is a three-time first-team All-American defenseman at Johns Hopkins, two-time national champ, four-time gold-medal winner for Team USA, an MLL champion head coach and is a U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Famer.

So, with those qualifications he covered the Virginia-Cornell and Johns Hopkins-Denver games on Saturday. He provides full breakdowns of both games and a look ahead to the Denver-Virginia NCAA Semifinal game Saturday in Baltimore [read entire article].

Blog Makes Case For DU's Lacrosse Ascension

College Crosse Blog makes a case for the University of Denver mimicking the rise of Cornell's lacrosse program in the early Seventies. DU will need to make some noise this weekend in Baltimore for the comparison to ring true.

Any success for the Pioneers on the field this weekend should lead to more growth of Colorado lacrosse.

DU Student Wins Free Trip To Lacrosse Final Four

Congrats to University of Denver Senior Michael Orem, who won a FREE trip to the 2011 Final Four Lacrosse Championships thanks to a Frequent Flier donation from a DU alumnus.  Michael receives a plane ticket, a ticket to the games and hotel accommodations.

Michael is a lifelong lacrosse fan and has attended past NCAA Lacrosse Championships.

Thanks go out to the DU alum & LetsGoDU reader who donated the miles, but wishes to remain  anonymous.

DU Ticket & Tailgate Info For Lax Championships

DU Tickets: A limited number of session tickets – good for both the Semifinals and Finals – are available for $92. Ticket packages are available through the University of Denver by calling 303-871-3573 until Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at 12 noon MT. After this time, remaining tickets will be sold as single game tickets beginning Friday at 8 a.m. MT, and can be purchased at the M&T Bank Stadium Box Office or Ticketmaster.

Tailgate: An official University of Denver tent will be set up in Parking Lot H at M&T Bank Stadium for fans, beginning three hours prior to Saturday’s game (BYOB).

Official DU Gathering Location: Pioneer fans are encouraged to gather at Pratt Street Ale House at 206 W. Pratt Street throughout the weekend.

Schedule of Events:
  • Friday Night Faceoff: A free event for fans at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Amphitheatre on Friday at 5 PM ET. All teams are scheduled to attend.
  • LaXperience Fan Fest: The NCAA LaXperience Fan Fest will be held on Ravens Walk from Saturday-Monday beginning at 11 AM ET.

DU Watch Parties In Denver On Saturday

The University of Denver men's lacrosse team will meet the University of Virginia in the NCAA Tournament Semifinals in Baltimore at 2 PM MT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
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For those Pioneer fans in Denver, the following restaurants will be showing the game.

Campus Lounge
701 S. University
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Crimson & Gold
2017 S. University
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Old Chicago
1280 S. Colorado
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The Pioneer
 2401 S. University

NCAA Lacrosse Ticket Info


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Denver Post: Baxter To Be Gametime Decision

(above) DU's Todd Baxter won't practice this week
From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Senior attackman Todd Baxter, who made a gutsy and productive return to the University of Denver lineup Saturday against Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament, won't be practicing much if at all before the Pioneers' semifinal match against Virginia in Baltimore this weekend [read entire article].

DU Alum Jessica Lopez Has Eyes On 2012 Olympics

(above) DU Alum Jessica Lopez received a tweet from Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, after winning a gold medal at a gymnastics competition in Moscow
photo credit: John Leyba
University of Denver Alum Jessica Lopez finished in 10th place in Gymnastics World Championships last year and won the Gold Medal in the uneven bars at the Moscow World Stars competition this month.

The Denver Post has an article about her preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Virginia's Bad Boy Twins Won't Play In Final Four

(above) Virginia Senior lacrosse players Shamel & Rhamel Bratton ran afoul of team rules
From: Various blog and newspaper reports

Coming out of high school in 2007, twin brothers Rhamel & Shamel Bratton from Long Island were two of the best lacrosse players in the country. Featured in Sports Illustrated and other lacrosse publications they were portrayed as as future superstars.  When Virginia coach Dom Starsia landed the pair it was a recruiting coup of epic proportions.

Once at Virgina the pair established themselves as two of the most prolific players in college lacrosse, leading Virginia to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.  Shamel was twice named first team All-American.

Today coach Starsia announced that senior midfielder Rhamel Bratton would not return to the team to play in Saturday’s NCAA tournament semifinal against the University of Denver at M&T Bank Stadium.

“Status unchanged,” Starsia said during an NCAA-organized conference call on Tuesday morning. “He will not be activated for this weekend’s game.”

Shamel was kicked off the Virginia men's lacrosse team for a violation of team policies in late April and Rhamel was suspended from the team indefinitely, but many thought he would return for the Final Four.

According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, the Brattons were suspended for the Stony Brook game in February because they violated the team’s alcohol policy, which is established by the players.

After the suspensions were announced, senior defenseman Bray Malphrus called the policy, which was newly crafted for the current season, "the strictest, most stringent rule since I've been here."

"And that's by design," he added.

After the May 2010 death of Virginia women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love, it was revealed that eight Virginia men’s lacrosse players — including George Huguely, who was indicted April 18 on murder charges in connection with Love’s death — had been arrested for alcohol-related incidents (two were found not guilty).

According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, the Bratton twins made it well known they never intended to follow the alcohol policy and that they tried to get other players to vote to change the policy, but were unsuccessful.

The same sources also said the Brattons traveled to Stony Brook — which is about a 40-minute drive from their home town of Huntington Station, N.Y. — with their gear and offered to play despite their suspensions. After the Brattons’ older brother learned they would be held out of the game, he confronted Starsia, sources said.

"I want to wish Shamel the very best in his future endeavors," Virginia coach Dom Starsia said in a statement at the time. "He has made many contributions to the program. At the same time, there are standards of behavior within the framework of the team that we expect to be met by all of our student-athletes. Failure to do so on a consistent basis has resulted in the loss of the privilege of being a member of this team."

Shamel Bratton was voted off the team by teammates after a third violation of team rules, according to The Washington Post. Virginia players also reportedly voted to suspend his brother, Rhamel, indefinitely for a second violation of team rules.

The incident leading to the news involved the brothers traveling to Long Island to attend the funeral of the mother of Maryland lacrosse player Ryan Young.

The Brattons did not attend practice to attend the funeral, according to the Post. That missed practice was excused, and at least two other Long Island-native Virginia players were reportedly at the funeral, including starting goaltender Adam Ghitelman and his brother Jacob. The Brattons are from Huntington on Long Island.

However, the Ghitelmans returned for practice the following day, according to the Post. Shamel and Rhamel Bratton did not.

Shamel had twice been suspended for a game earlier this season for violating team rules. The senior was suspended first for the Cavaliers road game at Stony Brook Feb. 26 and again for a home game against Maryland April 2. After the Maryland game, Starsia termed Shamel Bratton's suspension "indefinite," but the senior midfielder returned for Virginia's next game against North Carolina.

Rhamel was also suspended for the Stony Brook game for violating team rules. Starsia did not address his indefinite suspension relating to the latest incident in a brief, three-paragraph statement.

Shamel Bratton ends his Virginia career with 129 points, the most among Cavaliers' midfielders all-time. Rhamel is tied for 14th on UVA's all-time midfielder goal leaderboard, with 59 goals.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Virginia Alumni To Watch Lacrosse In Houston

(above) Click to enlarge
The Houston Chapter University of Virginia Alumni Association will be meeting at Buffalo Wild Wings in Midtown to watch the DU-UVA lacrosse game on Saturday.  You might want to show up uninvited with your Boone sweatshirts and and cheer loudly for the Pioneers.

In all likelihood UVA Alums will be meeting in many major cities.  DU will probably be hosting alumni events nationally in several cities as well.