Sunday, March 11, 2012

Denver 3 - Wisconsin 2 OT FINAL

(above) All Hail The Goal Czar
"Over the past four weeks, Luke Salazar has been playing the best hockey of his career."
DU Head Coach George Gwozdecky
The Goal Czar has scored many big goals in his  four year collegiate career, but on Sunday night he tallied the biggest goal of his life in overtime.  His wraparound shot bounced off Wisconsin goaltender Joel Rumple just 1:45 into overtime and punched DU's ticket into the WCHA Final 5.

After DU fell behind 1-0, Ty Loney answered for DU in the second period.

As was typical of this three game series, it was close fought throughout.  Wisconsin led twice in the second period.   Nick Shore's power play goal evened things in the third period and set the stage for the Goal Czar.

Salazar's heroics were not limited to Sunday night, also recorded the game winning goal on Saturday.

DU moved up to a tie for #11 in the Pairwise Rankings with North Dakota.  Almost certainly DU has locked up a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any information on when DU will be playing on Thursday? Which quarter/semi they'll be in?

Anonymous said...

Woooohoooooooo!!!!!!!!! This season ain't over yet!

dggoddard said...

DU will play Michigan Tech at 2:00 PM CT in St. Paul.

The game will be televised on Fox Sports-North. There may be a possibility that Root Sports will pick up the game, but I'm only using past seasons as a guide.

dggoddard said...

Props to Wisconsin on a great series. They gave DU all they could handle.

How they finished in 10th place is a mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

You've gotta love when a team like Wisconsin plays dirty at least two of the three nights - in the series - and goes home with a loss. Great job DU! We all look forward to seeing you guys only get better in MN.

Twister said...

Wow, what a game, what a weekend of hockey. It wasn't easy and certainly wasn't always pretty, but DU found a way to win. Solid effort tonight in a very tense and nerve-wracking game. It was fitting that Salazar got the game winner, because he was terrific the entire weekend.

Lots of credit to the Badgers--those guys came to play and made this a very competitive, hard-fought series.

Can't wait for the puck drop on Thurs vs Tech.

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin is the best 10th place team I've ever seen.

DU earned it tonight, with a good first period, a flat second period and strong third period and OT.

Good student turnouts for finals week. Nice to see the team skate down to celebrate with their classmates at the sound end after the OT.

Anonymous said...

So would you rather have a full barn or a win?

Anonymous said...

Luuuuuuuuke!!! The pride of Hyland Hills Hockey Association.

anonevermore said...

YeeeeeeHaaaaahhh!!! Thank you, Goal Czar!!! Awesome series, one of the best WCHA playoff series that I've seen. Nothing sweeter than an OT winner in game three. Cc clearly sucks, but I think MTU will be a tough game, particularly with exams Monday and Tuesday, and just one practice before the game. But who cares for now...a win to savor.

Ketchup and Mustard said...

That was a crazy game. Good to see DU win it but Wisconsin played very well all series. I just hope Phillips is OK.

Anonymous said...

If you weren't there, once again, Bo Bennett skated in warmups. He looked very apprehensive with shooting though. It was more like shuffleboard moves.... certainly not full strength shooting; unless he's doing more work in practice that we don't know about - there's NO way he's ready to come back. My Grandma can shoot harder than he was. I'm sure it was a nice booster for the team, to have him with them though.

dggoddard said...

Coach said postgame that Phillips went to the hospital but made it back in time to lead the team cheers in the locker room.

He has some sort of shoulder/ neck issue and it sounded like he was in a sling after getting X-Rays. No head injury issues.

Anonymous said...

Cover of next season's media guide:

"Wisconsin 10th in the WCHA but #1 in attendance"

Anonymous said...

Hey, one thing I'll admit - UW wins the pep band contest, hands down. DU's so called "band" isn't a pimple on the Badger's ass in that department. But gues what - that don't matter too much right now, do it? Because thier beloved Bucky just got GOT!
That's called Thornton style, yo! Brought to you in part by, number eighteen

Anonymous said...

Props to Wisco for a great series. By the far the best 3 game wcha series I've ever seen. I'll echo the guy above who said they are the best #10 seed ever. I have no idea how they didn't finish in the top half of the league.

Major props to Denver for pulling it out. Guts, character, LEADERSHIP, it was all there. Hell f*'ing ya!!!!!!!!

Seeing the final stick salute for the seniors is really bittersweet. Great win but I'll miss them a lot. DU-hast, DU-sty, Lee, Mr. Ryder, and Salazar. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin has 30,000 undergrads with Big 10 resources and is the only game in town in Madison.

Denver has 5000 undergrads with Sun Belt/WAC level resources and a lot of other diversions.

Of course, UW will have a better band..It's an apples to oranges comparison.

dggoddard said...

Interesting Pairwise dilemma for DU next week.

DU is better off losing to Tech, than beating Tech and then losing to Minnesota-Duluth.

Go figure.

On the otherhand, if they win the Final 5 they could end up as high as the #3 seed in the field of 16.

dggoddard said...

Crazy stat out of the Denver post.

"The Badgers are now 0-11-18 in 29 games that went overtime in WCHA action since 2007-08."

timt89 said...

What a great series. It was refreshing to see a good, hard fought series without all the drama (i.e. UND series). Wisconsin played very well, especially as a 10 seed.

The OT stat is hard to believe for Wisconsin...they must squeeze the sap out of their sticks in over-time.

miller said...

What a great series. I left Magness last night feeling almost as drained at both teams. I echo the comment that this certainly didn't look like a #10 team. How great was it to see the Goal Czar scoring the winning goal in the last game he will ever play at Magness.

It has certainly been an up and down year for the Pios. The highs were tonight beating Wisconsin and sweeping the MN series. The lows, losing to Huntsville and losing the Gold Pan.

It's a new season. We need to do well in St. Paul and try and not look past that.

Anonymous said...

Funniest post of the season - CC still in the race over on USChO. The tradition of failure continues.

Anonymous said...

Makowski Knowlton???? Thats a big difference maker right there.....Im not hopeful on Bennett after what Luke said in the post game interview.

Anonymous said...

No participation banner for CC this year?

dggoddard said...

Two new banners...

"Gold Pan Champions 2011-12"

"Colorado D-1 State Co-Champions"

cc 2-2-1
du 2-2-1
af 1-1-0

Anonymous said...

Maybe Wisconsin really played a #10 seed, and DU actually played like a #9 seed instead of a #3 seed?

Who knows?

Honestly, DU looked like a very banged up hockey team to me. Missing Makowski, Bennett, Lazarra and Knowlton to injuries, and Philips is now hurt, too. Zucker and Mayfield also looked limpy at times. Of cours, there are always lots of injuries that players play through that we don't even know about.

If DU could be in the NCAAs wihtout playing in the Final Five, I'd take it. The Final Five is nice for those fabases within driving distance, but it means very little to me as a DU fan. I'd rather our team got a bye week and healed up...

dggoddard said...

Agreed.

Anonymous said...

What did Luke say about Bennett in the post game interview? After watching Bennett in the warmup, I don't see anyway he comes back this year.

I would be surprised if we got Makowski or Phillips back for this coming weekend.

dggoddard said...

CC went 1-5-0 after winning the Gold Pan. I wish I'd been invited to the Gold Pan Victory Party. Must have been one hell of a blowout party.

dggoddard said...

Paraphasing Luke after he was asked about Bennett by Rycroft or Stickney,

"Bennett would not be able to catch a puck in his injured hand right now, so there's no way he could play."

Anonymous said...

DG- What about a banner for best team in Colorado Springs? Or does Air Force actually win that this year?

Anonymous said...

Sammy did not look good last night. The two goals he gave up were Glenn Fisher-esque softies.

Do you play Sammy the rest of the way, or do you go the platoon with Juho?

Anonymous said...

10:22. The Final Five means very little to you!? Gwoz says it's the best college hockey tournament in the country. I would encourage you to go to St. Paul next yr (last yr before the NCHC) and check it out. It's an amazing tourney. NCAA's are often a let down in terms of fan involvement. All the other teams there are banged up as well. UND is rolling 17 players for the balance of their season.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - the Final Five leaves me cold. It's played so far from Denver that DU will never, ever have a serious crowd presence there.

For most other WCHA schools, the Final Five is a drivable fan reunion. For Denver fans, it's just another long jet road trip to play in front of more hostile crowds.

Anonymous said...

The DU coaches and players love the Final Five, but for them, it's not a $1000-1500 weekend as it would be for a DU fan.

99% of the DU fan base will never experience the Final Five due to distance. DU has to fly to 99% of NCAA tourneys too, so only those fans with a lot of money can experience both tourneys in the same year, and most DU fans who can afford to fly would rather see the NCAAs, which matter more in the final analysis.

If DU fans could drive to St. Paul like most of the league's fan can, we'd have a different outlook, since there would be more than 50 of us at the games.

Anonymous said...

I would love to go to the Final Five sometime, too. But when DU is in the Final Five, chances are they're in contention for a bid to the NCAA's. So I take my chances on a potential trip to the Frozen Four, instead. Gotta get that NCAA bid this year!

dggoddard said...

The Final 5 is incredible, but when you're a three seed or lower its impossible to justify the airfare & hotel when you could be knocked out by 4 PM on Thursday afternoon. That being said, if you can find airfare & hotel for say $500 per person I highly recommend it. If you have FF miles this is a perfect trip to use some of them.

The NCAA Regionals basically suck. Usually held in crappy, boring hamlets with just a few days to purchase overpriced airfares.

Obviously the Frozen Four is great and you have two weeks to plan the trip which is a big help with airfares.

Anonymous said...

When will it be known if Root Sports is picking up the game on Thursday?

Anonymous said...

I have to ever so slightly disagree with DG. The WCHA Tournament is awesome even if your team doesn't even make it. I'm a DU fan but probably half of the tourneys I have gone to DU didn't even make it. Obviously it is better if DU plays all the way to a championship, but as a COLLEGE HOCKEY fan it is always a great time.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:42

Comcast already lists a 1:00 game for Thursday (which is DU) on ROOT.

miller said...

Ok, now is the time to put together a list of excuses to give your employer for taking off Thursday (and hopefully) Friday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

A continuation on my 12:54 post...if you can get a pass into the WCHA hospitality suite, you can drink for free all weekend long and talk college hockey with all the coaches, a lot of former coaches, SID's, big time supporters and the such. You just gotta have the right WCHA connections to make it happen (or know someone who does)...

dggoddard said...

THURSDAY: The old standby is a sports coat left draped on the chair, a massive half eaten deli sandwich and a semi-consumed bottle of Pepto with the lid off...

Trust me no one will ask where you are.

FRIDAY: A few old golfballs and tees left scattered on the desk leaving the impression you were cleaning out the golf bag and are off to the links.

Anonymous said...

Let's get ready for the onslaught of douchebaggery from the butthurt Tech fans.

timt89 said...

I went to St Paul six or seven years ago for the final 5 when we won it. There were probably twenty DU supporters at the game out of 17,000 or so. It is a great event-- and I have been to two Frozen Fours. The WCHA Championship is actually better.

As for me, on Thursday I will announce to the office I am a North Dakota fan. They will immediately send me home to get bed rest and gain my senses.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I understand its tough for DU and CC fans to attend the final five. It is an awesome event though. I am a sioux fan (not here to talk s**t) and it was awesome to drive to St. Paul to attend. Now I live in Denver and want to see the NCHC rotate between Pepsi and the X in St. Paul. It all hinges on what the Big 10 will do. I understand they will rotate between Detroit and St. Paul. Hope the NCHC will be in Denver the years the Big 10 is in St. Paul.

Good luck in the tourney boys!!! I really don't want to face you again, but a rematch for the WCHA championship would be epic!!

Anonymous said...

More excuses from the most pathetic fan base in college hockey.

5 frozen four appearances and 2 championships in 40+ years.

I suggest you go watch them in the final five every chance you get. That's you best odds of seeing DU in the post-season

Anonymous said...

5.13-Is it more pathethic than stalking another college's hockey blog?

old pio said...

There's only one number that counts for DU: 8. MacNaughtons, Gold Pans and Broadmoors are all nice. But at DU, the goal is NCs.

As to the other ridiculous shit we've seen "debated" here. Let me ask if you had to pick one, among attendance, pep bands and NCs which would you choose? I mean, who's got the best hot dogs? Obviously not DU. Pep band discussions are for losers. And I think Bucky has a great pep band and one of the top ten, or maybe 5 fight songs. So what?

Anonymous said...

Old Pio -

Doesn't DU have 7 titles? Michigan has 9, DU 7, UND 7.

Anonymous said...

When they can't talk shit about anything on the ice these internet trolls living in their mom's basement have to start talking shit about pep bands and crowd attendance. It's pitiful and sad, but let's face, it's all they have in their life to be proud of. We should let them enjoy their "glory".

FWIW, yes, I have been to your barn. I do wish DU had UND's crowd attendance, I do wish DU had Wisco's band. The thing I have never been jealous of is your hockey team. I'll take the DU hockey program over yours every time.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't recommend the "average" DU fan spend the $ to go to the Final Five OR the regionals or the Four. It's just too unpredictable. I say "average" fan - if you've got an in for tickets, have someplace to stay in the area, or maybe work for an airline or can use air miles or something like that - then go ahead; but don't be pissed off if you get there and your team gets knocked out on the first day.
A better option, is to go to some of the bigger schools' regular season road games. Go to NoDak, UM or Wisconsin. They always fill up when Denver comes to town.... and you'll enjoy the spirited enviornment. That way, you're assured that if spend $ on hotel, air, game tickets, etc - and you'll get to see 2 good games. And sometimes, the Amum group makes it an official outing, and there's a pretty good showing of DU fans. I'd much rather do that in lieu of the post season games.

old pio said...

As usual I didn't make myself clear: we have 7 NCs and 8 is the number of NCs we're shooting for. And if we don't get it this year, we'll be shooting for it next year and so on. The point is: what counts at DU is NC's.

Anonymous said...

The CC thread isn’t squid down your pants funny but it is clever. Something I miss here. DG seems to have lost his edge. Just a dull repeat of information sent out by DU or random newspaper articles.