DU Drops To 8th In Polls

(above) DU is #8 this week

DU To Host First 2012 Presidential Debate

(above) Magness Arena will host the first presidential debate next year
The Commission on Presidential Debates selected the University of Denver as the host site for the first 2012 Presidential debate. The debate will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 in Magness Arena.

Chancellor Coombe hosted a press conference about the announcement this afternoon. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also spoke at the Press conference.

The national and international spotlight will be on the University of Denver during this historic event. It will be the first Presidential Debate ever held in Colorado.

After the debate at DU there will be one on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and the final debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., on Oct. 22 — about two weeks before Election Day.

Happy Halloween To PioNation

(above) The pumpkin that launched an entire nation
For those that don't know the entire story...

A DU Alum from Atlanta emailed LetsGoDU this photo on "Pumpkin Boone" in 2008.  The Boone controversy was heating up on campus eventually resulting in Chancellor Coombe decision that "Boone would not become the official mascot of the University of Denver."

After Coombe's controversial decision, the alum emailed me again and said, "Lets just build a Boone mascot anyway."

So we published an article and asked for donations. 25 alums, students and fans sent in checks totaling $4,800.  The Boone mascot was designed, built and purchased from a company in Toronto in time for the 2009 Frozen Four in Washington DC.

As as Boonemania sweeps across the nation, know that a simple carved Halloween pumpkin led to the building of the Boone mascot costume.

Happy Halloween PioNation.

Twitter: Tough Week Of Practice On The Agenda

(above) Practice ought to be interesting this week

Mannino Called Up To NHL Winnepeg Jets

Peter Mannino may see action this week for the Winnepeg Jets as injuries have affected the availablity of the Jets two regular netminders.

Jets head coach Claude Noel said initially that an injury wasn’t serious enough that a goalie would need to be recalled, but if Chris Mason can’t go, Mannino would likely get the nod.

Noel is expected to provide an update on Mason’s status after practice.

Mannino is 2-2 with a 2.47 goals against average, a .902 save percentage and one shutout in four games with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League.

Saturday Night: DU vs. Michigan Tech

(above) The Finnish Line was solid is goal tonight
Denver 2 - Michigan Tech 2 FINAL

Erich Bacher's Live Game Blog

(above) Click on line-chart to expand

DU vs. Michigan Tech Info & Game Notes

(above) Michigan Tech put the squeeze on DU Friday night in Houghton
Denver 2 - Michigan Tech 7 FINAL

Mining-Gazette Game Recap

Erich Bacher's Live Game Blog @ 5 PM MT

1. Zucker-D.Shore-Salazar 
2. Larraza-N.Shore-Doremus 
3. Mermis-Ostrow-Jackson 
4. Tabrum-Loney
1. Ryder-Makowski 
2. LaLeggia-Lee 
3. Phillips-Mayfield-Didier
1. Murray 
2. Olkinuora

Shawn Ostrow
Emerging superstar Shawn Ostrow leads the mighty Denver Pioneers (3-1-0) against Michigan Tech (4-2-0) for a two-game series this weekend.

Puck drop is set for 5:07 p.m. MT both nights at MacInness Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan.

Both games will be broadcast live on 102.3 FM The TICKET and webcast live on DenverPioneers.com [pay-per-view].

The Pioneers are 4-for-20 (20%) on the power play and 23-for-27 (85.2%) on the penalty kill this season.

Erich Bacher's Live Game Blog is also available on DenverPioneers.com.  Its a great chance to ask Erich about players on the team, last minute info about the venue and lineups.

Pat Rooney Profiles Beau Bennett

From: DU Athletics Website
by Pat Rooney

Beau Bennett always has remained steadfast in his assertion that point totals matter little to him.  Yet after compiling boggling numbers prior to his arrival at the University of Denver, even Bennett admits his struggles at the outset of last season were a source of frustration as he slowly grew acclimated to the pace and physicality of the college game [read entire article].

Denver Post Profiles Josiah Didier

(above) Freshman Josiah Didier is the first of several Colorado Thunderbird players to join the Pioneers
From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Freshman Josiah Didier is following a long list of Colorado-raised hockey players to develop into NCAA Division I skaters with NHL potential. The young University of Denver defenseman, however, is unique when it comes to his success on skates [read entire article].

Game Day Tweets From Around PioNation

DU's Youngest Recruit To Play For USNDT

(above) Jared Fiegl will be playing for the US National Development Program for the next two seasons

Jared Fiegl (6'0 178 lbs.-Parker, Colorado) has been projected for quite some time to become a top nine forward on the U.S. National Development Team.  This week it became official as Fiegel made a commitment to play in Ann Arbor for the National Team Development Program. 

Fiegl played last year for the Colorado Rampage U16AAA team and for Coach Ed Saxer playing in 59 games and scoring 7 goals and 4 assists. Because of his size and ability he was able up an age group that was all 1994 and 1995 birth years and skipped his second year of U14 hockey.

It's been a busy off season for Fiegl, who committed to University of Denver, the college hockey team he grew up watching. Fiegl was being pursued by many college hockey powers before making his choice to play for DU. Fiegl will arrive on campus in 2014 and will play the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 season in Ann Arbor Michigan for the NTDP. 

Fiegl is projected to become a high NHL pick in 2014. Director Andrew Sherman said “the Rampage are fortunate to have someone of Fiegl's abilities and character in our program.”
2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL)
D Dakota Mermis (Green Bay, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Garrett Allen (Des Moines, USHL)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Quentin Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Connor Honey (Green Bay, USHL)
F Grant Arnold (Green Bay, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class

F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
F Landon Smith (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Connor Chatham (U.S. Under-17)
F Ray Pigozzi (Des Moines, USHL)
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-17)

2014 Recruiting Class

F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-17)
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL) 

Daniels Business School Looking For Donors

(above) The Daniels College of Business is looking for 1,400 Donors

The good news is that the executive MBA program at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business again has been named one of the world’s top 100 Executive MBA programs in an annual ranking posted Monday by the Financial Times. DU’s Daniels is the only Colorado program on the list. It ranked No. 99.

The bad news is that Daniels ranked No. 95 last year. It was No. 85 in 2009 and No. 90 in 2008.

Why the drop off? One reason has been a decline in Alumni participation in annual donations. It goes beyond the dollars—it impacts the rankings, the reputation and the value of a Daniels degree. Last year, only 3% of the 30,000 alumni contributed to the Daniels Tomorrow annual fund.

Graduates of the DU program earn an average $151,236 a year three years after completing it, up 44 percent from before taking the program, based on data for 2008 graduates, the Financial Times said on its website.

So consider a donation today, and help the Business School regain an upward trajectory in the rankings.

Photo: Shawn Ostrow Arrives At O'Hare Airport

(above) DU hockey players Dustin Jackson, Shawn Ostrow & John Ryder at Chicago's O'Hare Airport at 11 AM CT today on their way to Houghton, Michigan
It looks like superstar center Shawn Ostrow is either drawing up plays or doing his homework in this photo snapped in O'Hare Airport today.

Photos: DU's 2011 Homecoming Parade

(above) DU Dance Team
(above) DU's 21-time National Championship Ski Team
(above) Howdy PioNation
(above) DU's Undergraduate Student Government bankrolled Homecoming
(above) The DU Cheerleaders & Pep Band
(above) Somebody has to pull the wagon
(above) Right back at 'cha
(above) Biggest.Best.Homecoming.Ever

Photos: DU Student Section Rules Madness Arena

(above) Welcome to Madness Arena
(above) PioNation bringing Swagger to college hockey
(above) Ten goal games are lots of fun in the student section
(above) D-Rah
(above) Mega-Boone floats above the student section

Photo Slideshow: Saturday Night Hockey

Photos: Friday Night Pregame D.U.G.S. BBQ

(above) Over 1000 students, fans & alumni attended the pregame BBQ
(above) The DU Grilling Society served up 250 lbs. of purple cow to the fans
(above) The Student Government & Homecoming Committee gave away free T-shirts that featured Boone
(above) Boone worked the crowd & posed for photos

Tweets From Around PioNation

(above) Its snowing today in PioNation

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Both ice hockey games against Michigan Tech will begin at 5 PM MT this weekend.  According to the DU Website, both games will be available online, presumably on PioneerVision.
Drew Shore was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week.  Shore was +6 on the weekend, scored a GWG and assisted on the other game winner against Minnesota State.
DU Alum Joe Colborne is off to a great start this season in the AHL.  He already has 12 points in the first six games for the Toronto Marlies.  It may take an injury to an existing player on the Maple Leafs roster for Colborne to get called up to the NHL this season, but he looks like he's going to be ready.
The University of Denver Alumni Association Website has some great photos of the pregame alumni event in Boston.  Boone is in a lot of the photos, greeting guests, schmoozing with DU bigwigs and lightening up the mood at the party.

Boone Photo Makes DU Clarion Frontpage

(above) Boone leads DU's Homecoming Parade

Video: DU Zamboni Drivers Keep Things Smooth

DU Recruit Nolan Zajac Traded In USHL Move

(above) Nolan Zajac will play for DU next season
From: Our Sports Central

The USHL Omaha Lancers announced they have acquired third-year veteran defenseman Nolan Zajac today in a trade with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. In exchange, Cedar Rapids receives second-year Lancers defenseman Nathan Widman.

"This was a very difficult deal," Head Coach/GM Bliss Littler said. "Cedar Rapids was looking for a defensive-minded defenseman and we were looking for someone who could provide more scoring. We're incredibly excited to bring Nolan into the mix here in Omaha and wish Nathan nothing but continued success."

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Zajac has tallied 42 points (three goals, 39 assists) in 101 career games in the USHL. The 5-10, 181 pound blueliner has recorded one assist in seven games this season to go along with six penalty minutes and a +5 +/- rating. Committed to the University of Denver, Zajac finished seventh among all RoughRiders in scoring last season with 30 points (three goals, 27 assists) and was the second highest returning scorer in Cedar Rapids this season. During this USHL rookie campaign back in 2009-2010, Zajac tallied 11 points (11 assists) in 49 games.

Zajac was originally selected 12th overall (Round 1) by Cedar Rapids in the 2009 USHL Entry Draft. Before entering the USHL, Zajac spent the 2008-2009 season with the Winnipeg Thrashers of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League.

Nolan's father Tom played at DU from 1973-76 under Murray Armstrong.  Nolan older brother plays for the New Jersey Devils.
2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL)
D Dakota Mermis (Green Bay, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Garrett Allen (Unknown)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Quentin Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Connor Honey (Green Bay, USHL)
F Grant Arnold (Green Bay, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class

F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
F Landon Smith (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Connor Chatham (U.S. Under-17)
F Ray Pigozzi (Des Moines, USHL)
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-17)

2014 Recruiting Class

F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-17)
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL) 

Opponents Focused On Ostrow - Bennett Delivers

(above) Beau Bennett talks to the press about how lucky he is to have Shawn Ostrow as a teammate
From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

What Beau Bennett accomplished in less than five periods last weekend is why the University of Denver sophomore probably will be playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins​ at this time next year. Bennett, the Penguins' first-round draft pick in 2010, had five assists combined in the Pioneers' 4-2 and 10-2 victories over Minnesota State [read entire article].

New S. Ostrow Format Nets 20% Readership Gain

(above) Not only is readership up 20% in the USA, but the Western Canadian numbers are through the roof

Fan Mail Questions About Shawn Ostrow

(above) Strowboat Hockey: Coming to a college rink near you soon
Twitter: Strowbeaut

Q: Why does Coach Gwozdecky continue to pair Shawn Ostrow with forwards who can't get him the puck in a position to score?
Don Cherry [Kingston, Ontario]

DG: Coach Gwozdecky is basically in a no-win situation here.  Strowbeaut is so talented - he even intimidates his linemates.  They fear his quick temper and start gripping their sticks.  Before long they're missing his wide open looks and backdoor moves to the goal.

Q: Why doesn't the DU coaching staff emphasize a more physical brand of hockey that would compliment Shawn Ostrow's abilty to play smash-mouth hockey?
Reggie Dunlop [Charlestown, PA]

DG: WCHA refereeing, being what it is these days, isn't suited to handle "Strowboat Hockey." You saw the calls last weekend against Mankato. Ostrow would be in the penalty box half the game.

Q:  Why won't Gwozdecky surround S. Ostrow with elite NHL bound players?
Brett Sutter [Calgary, Alberta]

DG: Clearly Ostrow makes everyone around him better.  The last thing the DU coaches want are NHL scouts over-hyping their draftees. Ostrow would be padding their stats with easy goals and assists.

Q:  Should DU players intentionally take more penalties to get Shawn Ostrow more ice time on the Penalty Kill Unit?
Tiger Williams [Weyburn, Saskatchewan]

DG:  Only if DU is trailing in the game.  Obviously Strowboat can score at will shorthanded, but wearing him out early in the game is asking for trouble.

Q: Why doesn't Mike Chambers write more articles about Shawn Ostrow?
Terry Frei [Denver, CO]

DG:  The coaches and Erich Bacher have a "gag order" on Ostrow.  They won't let him talk to the press or the Root Sports reporter between periods.  Not sure what the problem is.

Twitter Nation Goes Abuzz For Strowbeaut

LetsGoDU To Be Renamed "Shawn Ostrow Blog"

(above) Shawn Ostrow
Twitter: Shawn Ostrow @sostrow26

In honor of Shawn Ostrow's newfound notoriety online, his fantastic four-point performance against Minnesota State on Saturday and in order to drive up readership, LetsGoDU is in the process of being rebranded.  The Shawn Ostrow Blog will cover all things Shawn Ostrow.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on March 17, 1990, Shawn Ostrow is the son of Frank and Donna Ostrow, and the younger brother of Kyle. He graduated in 2008 from Central Memorial High School in Calgary, Alberta.

Currently he is a Junior at the University of Denver, pursuing a Major in Finance.

Growing up in Canada, hockey was his life, opening many doors. He moved away from home at the age of seventeen to play hockey in Camrose alongside future DU teammates Joe Colborne and Jon Cook.  He played two years of Junior A hockey, before accepting a hockey scholarship at DU.

Graduating with a degree has always been his goal in life.

Tweets From Around ShawnNation

(above) Green Bay Gamblers Tweets
(above) DU Alums Face Off
(above) Shawn Ostrow Fan Club info