Thursday, July 28, 2011

Connor Chatham Commits To University Of Denver

Already wearing DU swag
According to Chris Hiesenberg's Website, Connor Chatham (6'2 185 lbs) has given a verbal commitment to the University of Denver.  Chatham is from Shiloh, Illinois and is yet another product of the St. Louis Blues AAA program.  He is described as a big, strong power forward.

Chatham will play the next two seasons for the U.S. National Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In May he was drafted in the 5th Round of the OHL Draft by the Plymouth Whalers, but it appears that he will now take the college route.

NHL Central Scouting provided the following analysis.
“Chatham is a big bodied right winger who has missed a majority of this season with a shoulder injury, surgery and subsequent rehabilitation. Chatham possesses a very good and attractive collection of physical tools. He has legitimate size, he is an above average skater and he possesses a real good stick, especially his ability to finish. He has a very smooth and effective stride, and when he is moving his feet he shows some real high end speed and quickness. He uses his speed to skate up and down his wing, working himself into the open ice while supporting the play.”
Other St. Louis area players that have played at DU in recent seasons include Paul Stastny, Chris Butler, David Makowski & Jarrod Mermis.  Scott Mayfield will be a Freshman this season and Jarrod's younger brother Dakota Mermis will arrive in 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)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls, USHL)
G Juho Olkinuora (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Ty Loney (Youngstown, 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 (Unknown)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds U-18)
F Landon Smith (Colorado Thunderbirds U-18)
F Connor Chatham (U.S. Under-17)

2014 Recruiting Class
F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Inside College Hockey has the Pioneers ranked #5 in the first Poll of the season.  They mentioned that DU would have been a consensus #1 pick, but for goaltender Sam Brittain's injury, surgery and rehab.
----------
The DU men's basketball program is in the running an Adidas Super 64 elite player.  Dalante Dunklin (San Diego/Francis Parker - 5'11 senior), a stocky point guard prospect who made some significant plays at both ends down the stretch in a Las Vegas summer tournament. Dunklin has offers from University of San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and the University of Denver.
----------
Mike Chambers has two postings in his blog this week.  One is about new DU volunteer assistant coach Matty Thomas.  The other is about DU assistant coach Steve "Killer" Miller.

DU Lacrosse To Play Harvard In San Francisco

(above) DU will play Harvard in an exhibition game in San Francisco
photo credit: Andrew Fielding 
From: Lax Power

The University of Denver lacrosse team will play Harvard University in the third annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic Presented by Levi's, scheduled for Kezar Stadium at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 8, 2011.

Denver, which fell to eventual national champion University of Virginia in the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in May, finished the season 15-3 overall, its two other losses to Syracuse and Notre Dame. Harvard finished the season 10-6, losing to Cornell in the Ivy tournament after an impressive season that saw the team notch its most wins since 1998.

All revenue from the event will benefit a variety of innovative sports and education programs for under-resourced children and youth in the Bay Area [read entire article].

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bleacher Report: Gwozdecky Top WCHA Coach

The Bleacher Report ranked the Top 5 Coaches In The WCHA.  Its great to see Coach Gwozdecky receive accolades after all he has done to resurrect the Pioneer hockey program.  Check out the article to see the other four coaches.

New & Notes From Around PioNation

Congrats to DU alum Charlie Soule who battled his way to a 9th place tie at the Colorado Open.  Charlie led after after the first round and never collapsed under the pressure.  He was under par all four rounds and his opening round 65 was the second best score of the Tournament.  The $3,383.33 paycheck probably won't cover a new set of custom golf clubs, but he has to be thinking of trying a few more events this year.
----------
LetsGoDU posted this info last month, but the University of Denver made it official yesterday and hired Matty Thomas as the volunteer assistant coach for the upcoming season. Thomas’ responsibilities at DU will include assisting in practice planning, breaking down and analyzing game video, individual teaching and on-ice skill development. A 2005 graduate of the Naval Academy, Thomas was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy.
----------
Details are emerging for the Versus television coverage of college hockey next season. The coverage is slated to begin in January. Every Friday there would be a Game of the Week televised and each conference will have at least two contests broadcast.
----------
The University of Denver Athletic Department has formed a Social Media Committee to promote athletic events to students, alumni and fans.  Bringing blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook, texting and other viral campaigns under one umbrella will be a positive development for DU sports fans.  If you have ideas, suggestions or thoughts on social media, post them in the Comments Section below and LetsGoDU will pass them along to the Athletic Department.
----------
The University of Denver has three head coaches on the payroll who have won multiple NCAA D-I national championships.  They also have a volunteer assistant coach who won a national championship as a head coach on board as well.  Excellence comes at a price, and now the Athletic Department must figure out how to pay for it all. Enter Scott Koskoski who will be in charge Development and Major Gifts [six & seven figure donations].

Sunday, July 24, 2011

News & Notes From Around PioNation

The Schenectady Daily Gazette mentioned that Versus is discussing the possibility of televising regular-season college hockey games on cable, beginning in January. What conferences would be involved, or what night the games would be shown (either Friday or Saturday) is unclear right now. Versus, part of the NBC Sports Group, is the cable home of the NHL. Versus has been prominently mentioned as a cable partner for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference that DU will join in 2013.
---------
DU alum Charlie Soule is hanging in there at the Colorado Open.  After Saturday's play he was tied for 5th place. Colorado Open Live Leaderboard.
----------
Congrats to the University of Denver men's swimming and diving team who collectively posted a 3.44 grade-point average, the best of all NCAA Division I swimming programs.  The 3.44 GPA was .04 better than Harvard and Boston College. Sixteen Pioneers, men and women, were honored by the CSCAA as honorable mention Scholar All-Americans. The DU women's 3.43 GPA was good for a tie for 24th place. 
----------
The Bleacher Report has named the University of Denver the 3rd greatest college hockey program of all-time.  DU was ranked behind #2 North Dakota and #1 Michigan, but ahead of such schools as Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Soule Just One Stroke Behind In Colorado Open

(above) DU alum Charlie Soule is tied for 2nd place in the Colorado Open
Colorado Open Live Leaderboard

From: Denver Post
by Lindsey McKissick

There are only so many clubs a golfer can keep in his bag, but Charlie Soule has a tool most can't buy.

Soule earned a graduate degree in performance psychology at the University of Denver, where he also claimed a share of the school's individual wins record. That education provides him with an insight to most golfers' biggest nemesis — their own mind.

"I love playing golf like this, but it comes and goes," Soule said. "I know all the good things that should happen when you take the stress out of it. You can just go out and perform, as opposed to worrying about every little shot."

The Denver-based golfer fell from the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the 2011 Health-ONE Colorado Open, finishing second behind Clay Ogden of Farmington, Utah, who leads at 8-under.

Soule carded a 1-under 70 after he posted a 6-under 65 in Friday's first round. He is tied for second with James Drew of Las Vegas and Nicholas Mason, also of Denver.

"I had it going, but I just couldn't get the putts to fall," Soule said. "I hit a lot of great shots, but the 15-footers just didn't want to fall. When they do, you go out and shoot great scores like a 65, and when they don't, you shoot a 70."

Soule took his lessons of managing stress and sharpening focus from DU and has directly applied them to each round he plays.

"It is about where my focus is and how I'm feeling that day," Soule said. "When the focus is great, you perform really well. Today the focus was not quite what it was yesterday. It is about the focus staying on each shot."

The hills and valleys of golf have been ever-present for Soule since he began testing his game competitively. After failing to make his Longmont High School or University of Denver golf teams the first time around, perseverance prevailed.

Now Soule is charging up his toughest challenge . . . finding his way onto the PGA tour.

Soule's four attempts at the PGA's Q-School (Qualifying School) have yielded advancement to the second of three stages needed to be admitted to the PGA tour.

"With high school and college, a lot of hard work will get you to a certain level," Soule said. "On this one (PGA), there is just as much hard work and talent involved. There are also how many thousands of guys who are trying to do the same thing."

Friday, July 22, 2011

DU Alums Still Playing The Game They Love

(above) DU hockey legend John MacMillan won two national championships at DU, two Stanley Cups with the Maple Leafs is still scoring goals at age 74
Exclusive to LetsGoDU
By DJ Powers


The 36th annual Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament took place on July 9-16 in Santa Rosa, Caifornia. And although the University of Denver did not field an alumni team for the second straight year, the Pioneers were represented and did quite well in the tournament.

John “Johnny Two Rings” MacMillan helped the Alberta Oil Sharks successfully defend their title in the 70+ (Snoopy) Division. The Oil Sharks won all three of their games. MacMillan posted five points (three goals, two assists) in the tournament.

Former Pioneer Wayne Smith returned to the tournament after a one year absence as a member of the University of Michigan’s Old Timers in the 65 (Rerun) Division. Smith, who is a defenseman, actually played forward in this tournament, alongside Michigan head coach Red Berenson. Smith and Berenson led the Wolverines to a resounding first place finish and a perfect 3-0 record. Smith led Michigan with four goals and finished tied for second on the team with seven points. Berenson led the Wolverines with nine points (two goals, seven assists).

The Colorado Stars was the lone team hailing from the Centennial state in this year’s tournament. Colorado successfully defended their crown in the 60B (Woodstock) Division, finishing with a perfect 3-0 record. The Stars feature former DU Alumni team members Bill Goodacre (Colorado College), defenseman Bob Brawley (Michigan State), Peter McEwen (who organizes the Colorado team) and Jim Fieldy. Goodacre led this year’s team with five assists and finished tied for second on the team with seven points. Former Bemidji State standout Bruce Falk, led the Stars with five goals and nine points. Colorado also finished with the second best team plus-minus (plus-21) in the tournament.

There has been talk that the University of Denver Old Timers may not play in future Snoopy Tournaments due to the time commitment involved and the increasing difficulty of compiling a team. However, DU will still have presence at future Snoopy Tournaments – in the foreseeable future anyway.

Former DU Golfer Leads Colorado Open


Charlie Soule
From: DailyCamera.com
by Gary Baines

Its been a huge summer for University of Denver golf alumni. C.J. Kim won the Colorado Public Links Championship in June and last weekend Patrick McCrudden won the North of Ireland Match Play Championship. Yesterday, Alum Charlie Soule shot a 65 to take the first round lead of the Colorado Open.

Soule estimates he`s played 200 rounds at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, but none has been as good -- or as opportune -- as Thursday`s.

The Longmont High School graduate calls GVR his home course, and he does some instruction work there, as well as at Twin Peaks and Ute Creek golf courses in Longmont.

Soule put his local knowledge to good use Thursday as he shot a 6-under-par 65 and gained the lead outright after the first round of the HealthOne Colorado Open.

"This is one of the best rounds of golf I think I`ve played," Soule said following an afternoon that featured plenty of wind. "There were a few little mistakes in the beginning -- some missed short putts -- but overall I`ve shot 10 under (par) before and this felt just as good. Tee to green was solid and the putter started working after nine holes. It just caught fire."

Particularly impressive was a back nine where Soule carded a 5-under 30 while battling stiff winds. Overall, he posted eight birdies.

Soule finished the first round with a one-stroke advantage over fellow pros Nick Mason of Denver and James Drew of Las Vegas, Nev. On a day when 36 players shot under par, seven golfers trail by two, including defending champion Nathan Lashley of Scottsdale, Ariz., and former University of Colorado golfer Scott Petersen, the 2000 Colorado Open champion who bogeyed his final hole.

Soule is no stranger to strong showings in the Colorado Open, having placed fourth in 2005 -- when he was the low amateur -- and eighth in 2008. But even in those years, he never shot a 65.

But seeing how familiar he`s gotten with Green Valley Ranch, he`s become even more comfortable competing there.

"It`s like perfect" for me, said the 27-year-old. "The greens are in great shape and you`ve got to hit just about every club in your bag. And I`ve been striking the ball pretty well for a while. It`s my home course. What can you say?"

Ironically, as Soule has been competing less, he seems to be performing better. He`s putting more time and emphasis on doing golf instruction and, barring qualifying for the PGA Tour in the fall, that will likely continue.

"I`ve been relaxed and enjoying myself and it`s paid dividends on the golf course," he said. "I`m not putting so much pressure on, training every day as hard as I used to, and every shot caring so much as I used to. Now it`s a little more relaxed and kind of fun. And I`ve started coming up with these rounds that seem like they`re great but I`m just out having fun."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Mike Chambers Blog speculated that University of Denver associate head coach Steve "Killer" Miller may be a candidate for the recently vacated USHL Green Bay Gamblers job.   Former Colorado College player Eric Rud has resigned as head coach of Green Bay to return to Colorado Springs as an assistant coach with the Tigers. EDIT: Miller said he has not been contacted about vacancy.
----------
Former DU hockey captain Dr. Brian Konowalchuk ('91-'94) has been named the head coach of the first ever girl's team at Duluth's Marshall High School. The Hilltoppers will play the 2011-2012 season at the U14 level and its second and third seasons at the U16 and U18 levels, respectively.  Konowalchuk had 37 goals and 71 assists at DU.  He was drafted by the San Jose Sharks and graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2000.  He will continue to practice medicine in the Duluth area.
----------
Another article on Beau Bennett in the Pittsburgh Tribune. Bennett wants to have a great year at Denver, and then re-evaluate his pro options.
----------
The University of Denver has the #3 incoming Freshman Class according to the Redline Report.  The Redline Report rankings only factor in the NHL potential for the Freshman Class, not how they are expected to perform in college.  Nonetheless, its the highest DU has ever been ranked by Redline.
----------
DU hockey alum Marc Cheverie signed a one year extension with the Florida Panthers organization. He played in 30 games with Cincinnati (ECHL) and 15 games with Rochester (AHL) for a combined record of 15-16-6. He was drafted by Florida in the seventh round in 2006.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

St. Cloud Editorial Rips School, President & AD

(above) St. Cloud State University president Dr. Earl Potter was ripped in an editorial
The shifting sands in college hockey due to schools changing conferences has caused a chain reaction of epic proportions.  Dave DeLand, the sports editor of the St. Cloud Times, is not pleased with the leadership at St. Cloud University or the fact that the Huskies will be playing in a stripped-down WCHA in two seasons.

He asked some pointed questions in a July 16th editorial, including;
How did SCSU wind up on the outside, looking toward a future in a third-rate, stripped-down WCHA instead of in college hockey’s new “super conference”?

How did the Huskies go from big-time program to scorned afterthought?

St. Cloud State is paying consultant [former North Dakota hockey coach] Gino Gasparini $90,000 for six months to “create a new and expanded vision for the future of Husky athletics." Why wasn’t he able to prevent the Huskies from being shunted aside?

SCSU also is paying athletic director Morris Kurtz nearly $130,000 to stay around for a lame-duck year before his June 2012 retirement. What exactly is his role with the hockey program now? Does he even have one?

SCSU is getting ready to start a $28.8 million renovation project at the National Hockey Center. Is that even needed now that the building’s primary tenant is headed for a significant league downgrade — and, in all likelihood, an attendance downsizing?

How does the WCHA implosion affect fundraising for the NHC renovation? Funds for the initial $14 million stage are in hand, but part of the funds for the $14.8 million second stage are supposed to come from future revenue — and that will almost certainly be diminished by the conference’s breakup.

How do you sell naming rights for the arena of a team in a third-tier conference? In 2013-14, that’s exactly what the WCHA will be.

SCSU’s football program narrowly avoided elimination last year, and the student fee increase that saved it expires after the 2013 season — the same time that the hockey team becomes part of an inferior league. Does that make football unaffordable?

How will the WCHA downgrade affect businesses in St. Cloud? A weekend series against North Dakota or Wisconsin or Minnesota-Duluth currently brings a bunch of out-of-towners into hotels and restaurants, but St. Cloud doesn’t get much of a tourism bump when Anchorage comes to town.

This much is certain: There’s a new reality in the WCHA, and for the teams left behind it’s starkly depressing. St. Cloud State is left with no good outcomes and no good options — only more questions [read entire editorial].

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

John Common Music Video Filmed At DU

(above) John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light at DU

Local rocker John Common’s new video features some unlikely stars: University of Denver students, faculty and staff.

Common and his band, Blinding Flashes of Light, filmed the video for “In My Neighborhood” at TEDxDU May 13. Shot over the course of the afternoon, the music video features shots of the band’s performance — including footage captured by the audience on their cell phones — interspersed with footage of TEDxDU attendees lip syncing the song lyrics. Trygve Myhren, chairman of DU’s board of trustees, even makes an appearance.

The band recently kicked off its U.S. tour in Mobile, Ala. The band will continue up the East Coast through July 17th. Midwest and West Coast tour dates will be announced later.

Twitter: Gwozdecky Fractures Elbow At Camp

(above) George Gwozdecky had surgery to repair a fractured elbow on Saturday
According to a Twitter from University of Denver Sports Information Director Erich Bacher, Coach Gwozdecky injured his elbow at a youth hockey camp and had surgery on Saturday. Get well soon Coach.
Twitter: "Get well soon Coach Gwozdecky. The two-time National COY fractured his right elbow last Friday at his hockey camp. Surgery went well on Sat."

Boone Featured In Lacrosse Magazine Photo

(above) Click on photo to enlarge
July issue Lacrosse Magazine
Last weekend we mentioned that Boone was featured in a full-page photo in the July issue of Lacrosse Magazine.  We scanned the magazine photo.

The caption reads:
"Pioneering
University of Denver fans savor the host Pioneers 13-10 victory over Villanova May 15 in the first NCAA Tournament game held west of the Mississippi River.  The game drew 2,575 fans, a Peter Barton Stadium record."

Beau Bennett Interviewed On Penguins Site



From: Penguins.com
by Sam Kassan

What a difference a year makes.

At the Penguins 2011 development camp, prospect Beau Bennett, the Penguins’ first-round pick (20th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, looks like a completely different player from the same camp one year ago.

First of all, he simply looks stronger. That is due to the 23 pounds of muscle that he has bulked onto his 6-foot-1 frame, bringing him to up to a solid 196 pounds.

“This is a year and a half of work that I’ve put in,” said Bennett, who recently completed his freshman season at Denver University. “I feel a lot more confident with my body. I gained a little weight in college. That’s really where my confidence is coming from. Working in the gym five days a week with (Pioneers strength) coach (Mike) Bridges has been great.” [read entire article]

Monday, July 18, 2011

DU Connected Trio At Islanders Camp

(above) Rhett Rakhshani #49 during the intersquad scrimmage
DU alums Rhett Rakhshani, Matt Donovan and incoming Freshman Scott Mayfield participated in scrimmages and practices this weekend with the NHL New York Islanders.  Rakhshani played well in the intersquad game while Donovan & Mayfield led their respective teams in the hardest shot competition.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lax Magazine Features Full-Page Boone Photo

(above) Boone appears in a full-page photograph in the July issue of Lacrosse Magazine

The July, 2011 issue of Lacrosse Magazine [Page 67] features a full-page photo of DU's unofficial mascot Boone and DU Sophomore Sam White. The photo was taken during DU's thrilling 13-10 victory over Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. Lacrosse Magazine is the official monthly publication of U.S. Lacrosse and has a circulation of over 300,000 players, coaches, parents and fans.

It was a pretty incredible year for DU's unofficial mascot Boone.  He flew to Minnesota twice in hockey related activities.  Boone met hundreds of alumni and their children at the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four in Baltimore.  He followed the DU swimming and diving team to the Sunbelt Championships in Denton, Texas.  He also appeared at DU's introduction to the WAC at Magness Arena.  And performed a skit with the Pioneer Dance Team during halftime of a DU basketball game

Boone was featured on two ESPN telecasts of DU lacrosse playoff games as well as an ESPN lacrosse music video promo.  DU's mascot was interviewed during a timeout on the Jumbotron of the Baltimore Ravens Stadium during the Lax Championships.  He also appeared on Coors Field with other Colorado mascots before a Rockies baseball game.

Most important, the student who ran the Boone Program flew to Minneapolis to deliver a giant Get-Well Card to injured hockey player Jesse Martin, signed by thousands of DU hockey fans, students and players. Martin had suffered a catastrophic neck injury that required surgery.  Miraculously Martin recovered from the injury.

New & Notes From Around PioNation

Mike Chambers Blog points out that the new NCHC format will allow DU and CC to play Air Force twice a year in a home and home series.  Twice as many games against Air Force will  be very popular with Front Range hockey fans.  Air Force coach Frank Serratore had some interesting comments about the changing college hockey landscape.
----------
University of Denver Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes wrote an open letter to fans, students and alumni thanking them for a fantastic year of DU Athletics.  Besides pointing out all of DU's success on the field and DU's many great athletes and coaches, she noted that the administration was thrilled with the uptick in school spirit.  We agree.  Go DU.
----------
The University of Texas-Arlington is joining the WAC along with DU in 2012.  The 2012 WAC will have 10 members: Denver (non-football), Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Seattle (non-football), Texas State, Texas-Arlington (non-football), Texas-San Antonio and Utah State.
----------
DU Alum Patrick McCrudden defied some atrocious weather conditions and the weight of history to win the North of Ireland Match Play Championship at Royal Portrush yesterday. The 25-year-old, who graduated from the University of Denver in 2009, became the first ‘home’ player since David Young in 1977 to win the title and he did it the hard way. He trailed by two holes at the 12th but ‘gained a second wind’ and showing great composure, clawing his way back into a marathon match which lasted five hours 10 minutes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

DU Video: National Collegiate Hockey Conference


(above) DU is a charter member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference

Check out the video. Its pretty good.

DU Alum Mentions LetsGoDU In Interview

(above) DU Alumnus Kevin Friduss lives in Chicago
When University of Denver alum Kevin Friduss was interviewed recently for an online article by Oy!Chicago, he was asked about his favorite Blog & Website.  He said "LetsGoDU."
What is your favorite blog or website?
"After attending college at the University of Denver, I became obsessed with college hockey. My favorite blog is letsgodu.blogspot.com, because it is everything DU sports. If I had to choose the website I use most, it would be Weather.com."
Check out the article.

Ty Loney Commits To The University of Denver

(above) Ty Loney will join the Pioneers this Fall
Ty Loney
From: Boxscore News

Forward Ty Loney (6'3 185 lbs) committed University of Denver this coming Fall. At Denver, Loney will play alongside USHL teammate and New York Islanders draft pick, Scott Mayfield.

Ty was born into a championship family, his father Troy was a member of two Stanley Cup winning teams in Pittsburgh the early '90s. Hockey was a part of his life right from the very start, and the championship vibes certainly influenced Ty at an early age. 

Loney played seventeen games and recorded two goals and two assists (4pts) during the 2009-10 season, his first with the Phantoms. This past year, Loney tallied 23 goals and 19 assists (42pts) in 54 games during his final season wearing the purple and orange.

Loney is described as a two-way forward; more skilled on the offensive side of the puck and ever-improving in his own end. To top it off, Loney was not afraid to drop the mitts in the USHL when the situation called for it.

“The USHL is a really good league,” said Loney. “The players are fast and really skilled; there is really no downside to playing in this league. Battling everyday in both practices and games against great players has really prepared me for my move to Denver.”

This Fall, Loney will study in digital media and marketing while he continues his personal development on the ice and the pursuit of the eighth national championship in Pioneers history.

“They have a great coaching staff and a great group of players,” said Loney. “There is always going to be pressure no matter where you are playing. Working with Scott will make things a little more comfortable but I feel that the real pressure will come when you are battling for playing time and a spot in the lineup.”

“We are very happy for Ty,” said Phantoms head coach Curtis Carr. “He is going to a top-notch program and he has worked very hard to get to this point.”

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)
G Juho Olkinuora (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Ty Loney (Youngstown, 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 (Unknown)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds U-18)
F Landon Smith (Colorado Thunderbirds U-18)

2014 Recruiting Class
F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)

Mayfield Will Join Shore, Zucker At USA Camp

(above) Scott Mayfield has been added to the USA Evaluation Camp roster
From: NHL.com

Incoming University of Denver Freshman defenseman Scott Mayfield has been added to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp, to be held Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y. He will join Sophomore forwards and teammates Nick Shore and Jason Zucker at the camp.

Mayfield, taken by the New York Islanders in the second round (No. 34) of the 2011 Entry Draft, had 16 points in 52 games with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League last season. He played in the USHL All-Star Game and also was named MVP of the 2010 World Junior 'A' Challenge.

Mayfield will replace defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak, who declined his invitation. Oleksiak, who has dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, will be attending Canada's national junior camp in Edmonton in August.

Mayfield will join 43 other players in the first step in competing for spots on the U.S. team for the 2012 World Junior Championship, to be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2012, in Edmonton and Calgary.

Nick Shore was recently drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round of the NHL Draft.  Nick's older brother, Drew, won a Bronze Medal last year at the Tournament.

Zucker will be trying for his third WJC medal after winning gold with the U.S. in Saskatoon in 2010 and bronze in 2011 in Buffalo.

Nebraska-Omaha head coach Dean Blais, who coached the U.S. to gold in 2010, has returned to lead the 2012 team. UMD coach Scott Sandelin, Tom Ward and Joe Exter will serve as assistant coaches, and Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan also will be part of the camp coaching staff.

This year's camp will feature intrasquad scrimmages, as well as exhibition games against Finland and Sweden.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Denver Post Profiles DU AD Peg Bradley-Doppes

(above) DU has the most successful athletic department in the Front Range

by Natalie Meisler

The WAC ballcap atop a hockey stick is just one incongruity in the office of University of Denver athletic director Peg Bradley-Doppes. But it's not nearly as out of place as an NCAA Division I school in a major metropolitan area in the Rocky Mountain region competing in the mostly rural Sun Belt Conference.

And consider this paradox: A school that abandoned football half a century ago has the most successful Division I athletic department on the Front Range [read entire article].

Media Coverage Of "The National" Conference




Duluth Hockey Star Arrested After Cop Scuffle

(above) Bad, Bad J.T. Brown went from Frozen Four hero to fleeing & scuffling with police outside Grandma's in Duluth last month

From: Duluth News-Tribune
by Mark Stodghill

The rookie of the year on the University of Minnesota Duluth’s national championship men’s hockey team has been summoned to appear in St. Louis County District Court on charges that he gave a false name to a peace officer and attempted to flee police during an incident at Grandma’s Sports Garden.

Joshua Thomas “J.T.” Brown of Burnsville, Minn., is charged with a gross misdemeanor and a misdemeanor after allegedly giving Duluth police another man’s Minnesota driver’s license as identification when he entered Grandma’s Sports Garden about 11:30 p.m. June 18, Grandma’s Marathon race day.

Brown, who was the most valuable player in the NCAA Frozen Four this year, turned 21 on July 2, two Saturdays after the bar incident that got him in trouble.

According to the criminal complaint:

The officer who checked Brown’s identification could tell from the driver’s license photograph that he wasn’t the same person. When the officer asked Brown what his name was, the hockey player gave the name of the person listed on the driver’s license. He also provided the address of the person listed on the driver’s license as his address.

The officer asked Brown to sign his name. Brown obliged but said that it might not be the same because he had had a few drinks. The officer told Brown that the signature didn’t match, the facial photo didn’t match and that he didn’t know who he was. He was going to have to transport him to the St. Louis County Jail until he could be identified by his real name.

Police said that Brown eventually stated that his name was “J.T.” He then provided his last name. He was asked what the J.T. stood for. He said it didn’t stand for anything. It was just J.T., he said.

The officer told Brown that if he cooperated he would be given a citation for a city ordinance violation that would not go on his criminal record; he could just pay a fine and be done with the matter.

While the officer was writing the citation and talking to dispatch, Brown allegedly ran around the officer and tried to exit the front doors. The officer reached out and grabbed Brown by the back of his jacket. Brown was able to break the hold and went through the doors directly into another officer. He changed direction and started running down the sidewalk but an officer was able to grab onto his sweat shirt.

An officer reported that Brown flailed his arms while spinning in a circle. An officer pulled Brown’s sweat shirt over his head and was able to get him in a bear hug and take him to the ground.

Two officers put Brown’s hands behind his back as he continued to squirm and try to get off the ground. One officer kneeled on Brown in the mid-back area and another kneeled on his shoulder to hold him down while handcuffs were applied.

Brown, the son of former Minnesota Vikings running back Ted Brown, has been summoned to appear in court on Aug. 18. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.

“We are aware of the situation and we’ll deal with it appropriately at the right time,” UMD hockey coach Scott Sandelin said.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Three Consultants To Guide NCHC Formation

(above) Bobby Goldberg, Richard Oriolo and Larry Rubin
Three east coast consultants have emerged today as major players behind the scenes of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Goldwater Group and Stafford Sports will initially assess additional members and the best possible media platforms.

All three consulting firms bring professional sports expertise and management skills to the fledgling collegiate hockey conference. They will advise the league in a variety of issues including branding, public relations and media contacts.
Bobby Goldwater - Graduate of conference member Miami University. Spoke at the Press Conference today. He is a sports management consultant. Has extensive experience dealing with sports commissions, professional sports team stadiums and arena management.  Helped bring the Washington Nationals to D.C. from Montreal.

Richard Oriolo - An expert in the development of business and strategic planning for both public sector and private sector clients. Worked for the Philadelphia Flyers and with the Florida Panthers of the NHL, in media and entertainment with the Nickelodeon Cable Network in development and training with Spectacor Management Group (SMG); and in marketing, sales and training with Comcast Spectacor and the Wachovia Spectrum arena in Philadelphia.
Larry Rubin - Was Vice President of Public Relations at the Spectrum Arena in Philadelphia. Handled the public relations efforts of concerts, sports and national events taking place at the 20,000-seat arena. He served as PR Director for the Philadelphia Flyers. As VP, Corporate Communications for Spectacor Management Group, he directed the public relations activities for some 20 arenas, convention centers, stadiums and theaters in the United States and Europe.”

DU Joins National Collegiate Hockey Conference

(above) UND AD Brian Faison and Coach Gwozdecky unveil the conference name
Press Conference Videos & Interviews

Six of the nation’s top NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey programs have become founding members of the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season, the programs’ athletic directors and head coaches announced today at historic Penrose House.

Each of the speakers at the press conference stressed that the new conference was built on four core values; A high level of competitiveness on the ice, an institutional commitment to compete at the highest level within Division I, provide a national platform for exposure, and have wonderful history and tradition within their institution and hockey programs. The conference had been discussed and planned for almost a year.

University of Denver Coach George Gwozdecky said, "Future uncertainty about scheduling and recruiting led to the formation of the conference."

Gwozdecky added in a press release, “Our fans should be really excited knowing these five schools will be coming to Magness Arena annually for two-game series.

University of North Dakota Athletic Director Brian Faison noted that the pressing issues facing the NCHC will be setting up a non-profit corporation, finding a conference commissioner, researching potential new members and working on media platforms.

The Goldwater Group and Stafford Sports will serve as the conference consultants to initially assess additional members and the best possible media platforms.

Did DU & North Dakota Try To Fire Bruce McLeod?

(above) Things got quite heated at the ACHA Coaches Convention
From: Madison.com
by Andy Baggot


A college hockey source may have provided some clues to the eventual formation of the NCHC on Wednesday morning a couple hours before the presidents, athletic directors and coaches from the six schools took questions.

The source said that officials at Denver and North Dakota strongly questioned the direction of the WCHA during the annual American Hockey Coaches Association convention in Florida in May. There was sentiment to force long-time commissioner Bruce McLeod to step down, but the source said that while people from multiple schools inched up to that line, "no one crossed it.''

When the notion came up of schools possibly seceding from the WCHA instead, it was met with the threat of six-figure fines per institution.

Obviously, that didn't go over very well [read entire article].

NCHC's PR Firm Offers Valuable Contacts

Larry Rubin
Keven Pates of the Duluth News Tribune has some interesting tidbits in his Rink & Run Blog today.

According to Pates, "Rubin Public Relations of Narberth, Pennsylvania is handling the hockey press conference at the Penrose House today. The public relations firm is headed by Larry Rubin."

Armed with that information, LetsGoDU's crack research staff went one step further and did a background check on the PR firm and its founder.

Rubin was Vice President of Public Relations at the Spectrum Arena in Philadelphia. He handled the public relations efforts of concerts, sports and national events taking place at the 20,000-seat arena. He served as PR Director for the Philadelphia Flyers. As VP, Corporate Communications for Spectacor Management Group, he directed the public relations activities for some 20 arenas, convention centers, stadiums and theaters in the United States and Europe.”

The Flyers and the former Spectrum arena are both owned by Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns NBC and Versus (soon to be NBC Sports Network).

Coincidence?

DU Announces NCHC Affiliation To Alumni & Fans

From:
Peg Bradley-Doppes, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation
Jeff Howard, Director of Alumni Relations

We are excited to inform you that the University of Denver hockey program is joining a newly-formed conference which will begin play in the 2013-2014 season. As one of the founding members of this new organization, the University of Denver will be joined by Colorado College, the University of North Dakota, Miami University (Ohio), the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. DU will remain in the WCHA for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons.

As you may know, the collegiate athletic climate has been particularly volatile in recent years, with conference realignments affecting a number of different sports and universities. Our top priority throughout this turbulence has been to secure conference affiliations that will ensure the University of Denver is surrounded by academic and athletic excellence. DU has become a nationally-recognized bastion of scholastic achievement; it is my responsibility to ensure that our athletic teams play in prominent forums that can provide exposure for such academic accomplishments.
.
Our move to the nationally-recognized Western Athletic Conference for the majority of our sports was a major first step towards this end. While we greatly appreciated the relationships and rivalries formed during our years in the WCHA, this new conference affiliation will provide a venue of elite competition for our seven-time national champion program. We are excited about the opportunities for national exposure that lie ahead with this newly-formed organization.

The University of Denver has committed generous resources, both financial and otherwise, to every aspect of our hockey program to enable the pursuit of championships. Few other programs in the country have allocated comparable amounts to hockey. We are proud of our championship tradition at DU, however, and believe that such high commitments of resources are justified by the exposure that prominent athletics can bring to the entire institution. The fellow members of this new organization have also made significant commitments to excellence in hockey, and we are excited about the outstanding caliber of competition that lies ahead.

We are proud of the standards of greatness our alumni have established for the University of Denver. As athletics are highly visible forums to showcase all aspects of this wonderful institution, we will continue to pursue success at the highest level. Thank you for all of your support and hard work to make the University of Denver such a special place.

N.C.H.C. Press Conference Infomation

Live Press Conference

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

11 AM MT

(above) The new hockey conference will announce its formation today at the Penrose House in Colorado Springs
At 11 AM MT today athletic directors and head coaches from Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota will discuss the formation of a new collegiate hockey conference that will begin play in the 2013-14 season.

The press conference, which is closed to the public, will begin with an announcement broadcast live on the internet.  Afterwards, representatives of the schools will break up into small groups and field questions from the media.

The press conference will be held at the Penrose House (built 1910), the former home of Colorado gold miner, philanthropist & Broadmoor Hotel founder Spencer Penrose. The Penrose House now serves as an education and conference center available exclusively for the nonprofit community to gather, discuss issues, and discover innovative solutions to challenges.

Penrose House is made available at no cost, except for meals, to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, government agencies and now, breakaway college hockey conferences. It is located next door to the world famous Broadmoor Hotel.

Dignitaries who have visited the Penrose House include Predident George H.W. Bush, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 

Notre Dame Telling Recruits "Super League"

Mario Lucia, the son of Gophers coach Don Lucia, is considering Colorado College, Minnesota and Notre Dame. According to the Star-Tribune, he said that Notre Dame is telling recruits the Irish are most likely going to the Super League.

Mario is currently attending the Minnesota Wild's prospect camp along with University of Denver forward Jason Zucker.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

News & Notes From Around Pio-Nation

Adam Wodon of College Hockey News has a well thought out editorial about the shuffling of college hockey conferences.  His thesis that the six breakaway schools were only looking out for themselves will surely be refuted at the Press Conference tomorrow.
----------
Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has an editorial in his Blog on what the Super League will mean for DU hockey fans and players.
----------
DU Defenseman Paul Phillips was interviewed by USHL.com in a YouTube Video.  Its a really good interview although the backgound noise is a little harsh.
----------
USCHO.com has an editorial by Jim Connolly that explains the college hockey landscape and predicts where many of the progarms will end up.
----------
DU alums Marc Cheverie and Kevin Dineen are together this week at the Florida Panthers prospect camp.  Dineen was spending his first days on the job as an active NHL head coach.  Panthers prospect and current DU star Drew Shore missed the camp due to summer school at DU.  Looks like Shore may try and graduate in three years.
----------
The St. Cloud Times has an article about the teams left behind in the WCHA. SCSU coach Bob Motzko compared the situation to a divorce, but said that teams from the various conferences would still schedule each other in non-conference games.

NHL Legend To Headline Jr. Hockey Golf Tourney


NHL legend Adam Foote is one of the few players in the world to win an Olympic Gold Medal, a World Hockey Tournament Championship and two Stanley Cups. He was also Captain of the NHL Colorado Avalance and played 12 seasons in Denver.

On Saturday September 10, 2011, the Colorado Thunderbirds U13 team is hosting a golf tournament at Arrowhead Golf Course. Foote and his friends will be on-hand to support youth hockey.  Check out the website.

Jared Fiegel Commits To DU In 2014

Mike Chambers Blog announced that forward Jared Fiegel (6'0 178) of Parker, Colorado has made a verbal commitment to play at the University of Denver for the 2014-15 season. The 15-year-old plays for the Colorado Rampage (AAA) organization in Monument.

With his size he will probably be on the radar of NHL scouts if he continues to develop. Check out Chambers Blog for more info.
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)
G Juho Olkinuora (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 (Unknown)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds U-18)
F Landon Smith (Colorado Thunderbirds U-18)

2014 Recruiting Class
F Jared Fiegel (Colorado Rampage, U-16)

Notre Dame Reportedly Wants Seven-Team League

From: Iron Mountain Daily News

It appears the University of Notre Dame is going to be headed to the college hockey Super League if an article in the Iron Mountain Daily News is accurate.

Currently the unnamed conference contains six members including DU, Miami, North Dakota, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth.
"Notre Dame remains uncommitted to any conference at this time and is pressing for a smaller league that features a larger non-conference slate, according to multiple Mining Journal sources. The Irish are looking for a seven-team league with a 24-game conference schedule in order to fill the rest of their dates with meetings against fellow Bowl Championship Subdivision member Boston College and the Big Ten schools."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Northern Michgan & Alaska Heading To WCHA?

(above) Survivor: College Hockey Edition continues this week with the WCHA Tribe adding Northern Michigan & Alaska
Kevin Pates of the Duluth News-Tribune is reporting that Northern Michigan and the University of Alaska [Fairbanks] could join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association by 2013-14. The University of Alaska rumor has been denied by the UA Athletic Department saying, "We've had no contact with the WCHA."

The University of Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Colorado College, North Dakota & Nebraska-Omaha announced on Sunday that they will leave the WCHA in 2013-14 to form a new conference with Miami University.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Articles & Rumors Surrounding Super League

Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald explains the motives of the six schools that will form the new college hockey conference.  Its the best article written yet about the subject.  He also offers some interesting insight into the inner politics of the WCHA.  Namely the schools were at odds on what direction to take the conference.

Interesting rumor on the SiouxSports Message Board suggesting that the University of St. Cloud was snubbed because their former president lobbied to remove the Fighting Sioux nickname.  He was also accused of assisting a protest rally against the nickname in front of Englestad Arena.

Western Michigan hopes to hitch their wagon to Notre Dame and plan to follow the Fighting Irish to either the Super League or Hockey East.  Sounds like a plausible strategy and I believe this significantly increases the odds that Notre Dame will eventually decide or may have already decided to join the Super League.

Northern Michigan University is going to aggressively pursue its conference strategy, but its interesting to note that their Athletic Director is out on medical leave.  Sounds like they might like to jump to the WCHA.  That would give the "new" WCHA six teams; UAA, MSU-M, SCSU, MTU, NMU & BSU.  If the compact six team league could get some sort of a scheduling agreement with the Big Ten Hockey Conference on the side, it just might work.

The Grand Forks Herald also has another editorial about the new Super League.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Schools Release Official League Announcement

From: DU Athletics Website

Joint Statement from: Peg Bradley-Doppes, Director of Athletics, University of Denver; Ken Ralph, Director of Athletics, Colorado College; Brad Bates, Director of Athletics, Miami University; Bob Nielson, Director of Athletics, University of Minnesota Duluth; Trev Alberts, Director of Athletics, University of Nebraska Omaha; Brian Faison, Director of Athletics, University of North Dakota

We are pleased to announce that six top NCAA Division I ice hockey programs will become founding members of a newly formed hockey conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season. The six institutions are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota.

We understand and appreciate the widespread interest in developments relating to the formation of the new hockey conference. More information will be provided about the initiatives that have been undertaken, as well as the next steps involved, at a news conference in Colorado Springs this Wednesday, July 13. Our programs look forward to continued associations with our current leagues, the WCHA and CCHA, for the next two seasons.

Additional information about Wednesday's news conference will be forthcoming in the next few days. There will be no further comment from athletic directors, coaches or other officials from any of the institutions until Wednesday's news conference.

Super League Catches Minnesota AD Off Guard

(left) University of Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi set the wheels in motion for the Super League when Minnesota left for the Big Ten Hockey Conference

by Mike Bialka

In a few years college hockey may be almost unrecognizable.

Earlier this year the Big Ten announced it would form a hockey conference in two seasons, with Minnesota and Wisconsin leaving the 50-year-old WCHA to play with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.

On Thursday, reports surfaced that the WCHA will lose five more schools to a new league in two years. The Grand Forks Herald reported Thursday that Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota will leave to join Miami University in the so-called Super League.

The newspaper also reported the new league, which might also include Notre Dame, is expected to be announced Wednesday. The new league would leave the WCHA with five teams — Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State Mankato and St. Cloud State.

University of Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi, in an interview believed a Big Ten hockey conference was inevitable.

“Today it’s a business, it’s about television, it’s about access,” Maturi said.

“I was a little surprised, to be honest, that other teams would leave the WCHA and form a conference on their own,” he added. “I understand the logic. I’m certainly respectful of those institutions. I just hope the sport of hockey hangs in there with those teams. They’re either going to have to join the remaining CCHA and WCHA teams and form a conference.

“The sport of hockey has been good to me, and certainly to the state of Minnesota. Coach (Don) Lucia and I are going to meet Tuesday to discuss our non-conference schedule. We would like to continue to play our in-state rivals on an annual basis if at all possible.”

Josiah Didier At Montreal Canadien Mini-Camp

(above) University of Denver incoming Freshman Josiah Didier is in Montreal this week participating in the Canadiens Mini Camp
From: Canadiens.com
by Shauna Denis

After soaking in lessons from the pros for the past three days, Josiah Didier is ready to continue his hockey education at the University of Denver this fall.

Flying under the radar at the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Didier found himself listed No.198 on Central Scouting’s mid-term ranking list. By April, the 18-year-old blue-liner had skyrocketed up the charts to No. 108 before being drafted 97th overall by the Canadiens this June.

“At the beginning it took me a few games just to get used to the speed and the timing of the game because it was my first year in the USHL, but after that things got a lot easier,” explained Didier, who finished his rookie season with eight goals and 21 points in 52 games. “I had a good year and developed a lot in Cedar Rapids.

“I learned a lot in terms of things I needed to get better at on the ice and off the ice, too,” he added. “I was taking courses while I was there so I could graduate high school and those helped prepared me for college hockey in terms of how to balance hockey and school and do well at both.”

His apprenticeship in Cedar Rapids went so well, in fact, that Denver decided to accelerate the learning process to get him on campus earlier than expected.

“I was actually supposed to stay and play another year in the USHL but Denver lost some guys and the coaches liked my development over the year and they think I’m ready to step in next year as a true freshman,” explained Didier, who will major in Business. “I’m really excited to get started. It will be another transition because I’ll be playing against some older guys, but I’m working on putting on more muscle and getting bigger and stronger so I’m ready to step in next fall.”

The 6-foot-2 blue-liner isn’t the only one counting the days until the Pioneers’ training camp kicks off this September.

“My parents are really excited that I’m coming to Denver next year because Cedar Rapids is about a 12 hour drive for them so they couldn’t come see me play that often, but DU is about 30 minutes from home,” shared the Littleton, CO native. “They already have their season tickets for next year!”

In the meantime, the defensive-defenseman is focused on expediting the learning process before he arrives on campus.

“I’m a stay at home defenseman and my favorite thing to do is block shots and kill penalties, but I’ve been trying to develop the offensive part of my game to become a more complete player,” explained Didier, who was a plus-5 in Cedar Rapids last season. “I’m going in with the mindset that I want to earn the ice time I get and I’ll have to battle my way into the lineup.

“One of the biggest things we did these last couple of days was work on skating and get back to basics to make sure we’re more efficient skaters,” he added. “You can never work on things enough; you always have to keep working on those little details. I had no idea what to expect. You come in and you have a Canadiens jersey at your stall and your name on a plaque with the logo on it – it’s pretty exciting. It’s been a great experience coming here and I learned a lot these last couple of days that I’ll be able to take home with me and apply to my game next year at Denver.”

Friday, July 08, 2011

Super League Games May Be Televised On Versus

The Versus Network is said to be a possible Super League media outlet according to an article in the Duluth Times-Tribune.

Besides being a national cable outlet with ties to NBC, Versus offers programming in Canada which could be a potential recruiting tool for league teams besides offering college hockey exposure in Canada.

One can't also help but wonder if its a coincidence that Notre Dame has extensive ties to NBC sports and Versus is owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast.

Versus was previously known as Outdoor Life Network (OLN). The OLN brand was retained in Canada, and that channel continues to air some Versus programming but has kept its focus on outdoor sports and lifestyle programs to meet their CRTC licensing requirements, which do not allow it to air major sporting events, such as National Hockey League. NCAA collegiate hockey games may be allowed and might of interest to Canadian viewers .

In April 2011, it was announced Versus would be changing its name within 90 days to a name including "NBC" to reflect the NBC/Comcast merger; the first step included closing the Versus website, redirecting it to NBC Sports on MSNBC.