Silk Screened Hoodies For Sale Before Lax Game

(above) Silk Screened Boone Hoodies will soon be a collectors item
The University of Denver Lacrosse team is taking on Hobart on Saturday at 1 PM MT.  What better way to show your school spirit than with a brand spanking new Boone Hoodie.  They only cost $30 from Small to XL and $35 for XXL & XXXL. 

Students will be selling the shirts at various black market locations outside Barton Stadium so be on the lookout for DU's PC Police before purchasing items.

These are the first Boone related items to be silk screened versus heat transferred, so the image will last long after Chancellor Coombe bans cartoon images from campus.  They will be available soon online for out of state alums and fans so hold your horses while the students get the website up and running.

Coombe Throws Lamda Chi & Tri-Delt Under The Bus

Chancellor Coombe wrote the letter below to DU students, faculty and staff today.

Dear Members of the DU Community,

Not long ago, we became aware of an unfortunate incident involving some of our students.

Just over a month ago, a University of Denver fraternity and sorority jointly held a party with the theme "Cowboys and Indians." Costumes worn at this event reflected negative stereotypes of Native American peoples.

Whether or not anyone meant to be disrespectful or hurtful, their actions did inflict painful wounds. We must all come to understand how our actions affect others, and how cartoonish depictions not only push us apart, but also reflect our limited understanding of one another.

Members of the Native Student Alliance, the Campus Activities office, the Center for Multicultural Excellence, and the involved fraternity and sorority have already embarked on a learning and healing process, meeting several times since the incident to talk, and more importantly, to listen. The three student organizations cooperated on an information table on Driscoll Green, and the fraternity and sorority read an apology publicly there on Wednesday.

As members of the University Community, particularly students preparing to be leaders in an increasingly diverse and global society, we must respect and value our differences. We must fight at every turn the perpetuation of stereotypical and derogatory misrepresentations. It is the responsibility of every member of the DU community to ensure that we continue to create an inclusive and equitable campus environment. We will all hold ourselves to this.

We hope that this incident, though negative, can stimulate a broader conversation on campus. As our community becomes more diverse, we still have work to do with regard to mutual understanding and inclusion.

I thank you all for joining this effort, and for your commitment to these values.

Robert D. Coombe

Boone Grabs Big Air In Aspen

Zucker Gets Pranked By Wild Teammates Pregame

(above) Whoops, Jason Zucker jumped the gun during warmup

Wild 3 - Panthers 2 OT Final

(above) Jason Zucker didn't figure in the scoring but he was featured in two highlights in this three minute video

From: Wild In Game Commentary

Pregame - Jason Zucker was spied walking into the rink jamming on his iPod.

15:46 of 2nd Period - After about a minute of applied pressure by the Panthers, the puck squirts free and Zucker gets a break. Florida gets crossed up on a line change, and Zucker picks up the puck in the neutral zone and streaks down the left side. He fires a quick wrist shot high to the far side, but just misses the net. Zucker was at the end of a shift and gassed, but still showed some pretty good wheels on that break. 

OT - Wild score 15 seconds into Overtime.

Zucker Boxscore - 3 shots, 0 goals & assists, 10:55 playing time

Jason Zucker Wild Jerseys Available In St. Paul

(above) Get 'em while they're hot

Denver Jr. Pioneers 6 - St. Lawrence Thunder 1

Jr. Pioneer Stats & Standings

Day two of the 2012 Tier II Under 12 National Championships saw the Denver Jr Pioneers defeat St. Lawrence 6-1 in Reston, Virginia. 

The Denver Jr. Pioneers, based in the Ritchie Center on the campus of the University of Denver, will face the Under-12 Boulder Bison tomorrow in the final game of the round robin stage of the tournament.

DU To Play North Dakota Four Times Next Season

The final year of the WCHA promises to be an exciting  season for University of Denver ice hockey fans.  Magness Arena will play host to some of the most storied programs in college hockey.  North Dakota, Wisconsin, Boston University, Cornell, New Hampshire, Colorado College and Michigan Tech will visit DU.  Counting DU's 7 National Chapionships, that's 30 previous National Championship winners.

The University of North Dakota's tentative upcoming schedule was published in Brad Schlossman's Blog.  The University of Denver will play their arch-rivals during DU's month long Christmas Break, when the Pioneers have traditionally played very well without the distraction of classes and homework.  Then late in the season North Dakota will visit Magness Arena.

Its unofficial, so don't make any travel plans yet.
DU @ North Dakota December 7-8, 2012

North Dakota @ DU February 22-23, 2013
We also know that DU will also face St. Cloud State and Colorado College for two series next season.  The Pioneers will then play every other WCHA rival for a two game series either home or away.

As previously mentioned Denver will play Boston University in the Hall of Fame game in Magness Arena early in the season, the University of New Hampshire will visit DU in the Denver Cup and Cornell will visit DU for two games.

Incomplete list, but what we do know...
Schools Visiting DU 2012-13
Air Force (1)
Colorado College (2)
North Dakota (2)
Wisconsin (2)
Michigan Tech (2)
Alaska Anchorage (2)
St. Cloud State (2)
Either UNO or Bemidji State (2)
Boston University (1) - Hall of Fame
New Hampshire (1) - Denver Cup
Cornell (2)

DU Road Games in 2012-13
Colorado College (2)
North Dakota (2)
Minnesota (2)
Minnesota Duluth (2)
St. Cloud State (2)
Minnesota State (2)
Either UNO or Bemidji State (2)

DU's "Inclusive Excellence" Policies Are A Joke

(above) Hey Kids, you're violating DU's "Diversity Statement"

Chancellor Coombe's PC Police are on patrol again and this time their failed priorities have made the Denver Post and Westword newspapers.  A recent fraternity & sorority Cowboys & Indians party supposedly belittled Native American students' culture and spirituality, and the theme party also violated the University of Denver's "Diversity Statement."

If you're wondering why DU jacked up student tuition 3.5% next year, you only have to read the Denver Post article.  DU actually has a paid "Assistant Provost for Inclusive Excellence."  What this person actually does for $50,000 a year in salary and benefits was on full display in the Post article.

Back at the "Tepee Party" on the Driscoll Lawn, more than 100 students and other onlookers watched and listened as a succession of speakers described an ongoing lack of respect for Native Americans that includes continued use of stereotypes.

Westword has the details of the offending event that caused the uproar.
​"An unusual event will took place yesterday on the University of Denver campus -- one prompted by another unusual event. At 4 p.m., students and administrators gathered near a tepee on Driscoll Green as representatives of two Greek Life organizations publicly apologized for a Cowboys and Indians theme party DU's Native Student Alliance dubs "piercingly offensive."

The bash, which took place on February 25, was sponsored by the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and Delta Delta Delta sorority. Attendees were encouraged to outfit themselves as either cowboys or Indians. Those who made the latter choice donned what an Alliance release describes as "phony headdresses, face paint, loincloths and all manner of stereotypical viciousness."
DU administrators have spent the past six years running around banning Boone logos & mascots on campus, suspending a tenured professor for mentioning masterbation in class, embarrassing students who wear costumes to parties and holding mandatory dorm meetings every time some Freshman makes a homophobic comment. 

As a recent DU Clarion editorial points out, just because DU is bending over backwards to admit minority students from elite private high schools or the children of wealthy Third-World industrialists doesn't really mean you are championing diversity.

"Inclusive Excellence" at the University of Denver has been, is now and will always be a complete failure.  It hasn't increased minority enrollment, has made a mockery of diversity and is costing DU students a ton in wasted tuition.  And now this story is sure to be picked up by newspapers around the country further tarnishing DU's good name.

The problem is a failed policy, not racist students.

Twitter: Jason Zucker To Wear #16 In Minnesota

(above) No nameplate on Jason Zucker's locker at the Xcel Center just yet
by Mike Russo

Jason Zucker will make his NHL debut tomorrow night against the Florida Panthers. Wearing No. 16, Zucker (pronounced Zooker) will become the 45th player to dress in a Wild sweater this season.

He said he couldn't sleep last night, won't sleep tonight, but yet, he seemed very confident and definitely sure of his decision to leave DU. He said he made the decision Monday night while talking to his parents, Natalie and Scott, who will attend the game with siblings Evan, Adam, Cameron and Kimberly. He said he informed Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky of his decision yesterday, and he was glad he was able to leave on good terms.

"It was purely my decision," Zucker said. "It was something that I wanted and thought I was ready for. ... I think it was just time for me to move on."

In Wednesday's practice, he skated on the left side of a line with center Erik Christensen and right wing Nick Johnson. Cal Clutterbuck moved to a line with Kyle Brodziak and Darroll Powe.

"It's going to be a great opportunity," Zucker said. "I'm real excited for it. I'm going to be able to gain a lot of experience."

Said coach Mike Yeo: "He's going to feel so much more comfortable coming into camp next year. ... I don't want to pigeonhole him into anything as far as what we expect from him."

Jr. Pioneers In Virgina For USA Championships

(above) An alert LetsGoDU reader snapped this photo
The 2012 Tier II Under 12 National Championships begin today in Reston, Virginia.  The Denver Jr. Pioneers, based in the Ritchie Center on the campus of the University of Denver, are participating.  Earlier this year the team finished second at the Tier II World Championships in Quebec City.

Good luck to the boys this week.

Women's Hoop Recruit Named Top COL. Player

(above) DU recruit Michaela Neuhaus was named the top female high school player in Colorado
From: Max Preps

DU Women's basketball recruit Michaela Neuhaus of Highlands Ranch was named 2011-12 Gatorade Colorado Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Neuhaus is the fifth Gatorade Colorado Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Highlands Ranch High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Neuhaus as Colorado's best high school girls basketball player.

The 5-foot-7 senior point guard has led the Falcons to a 22-4 record entering the Class 5A playoffs. Neuhaus averaged 23 points, 4.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game while shooting at 85 percent from the free throw line through 26 games. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, she helped Highlands Ranch to the Class 5A state title as a junior.

Neuhaus has maintained a 3.62 GPA in the classroom.

"Michaela Neuhaus is an incredible athlete," said Highlands Ranch head coach Caryn Jarocki. "What's more impressive is that she is such a great leader and has worked hard to lead our team of younger players to new heights. It has been a joy and a pleasure coaching her."

Neuhaus has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Denver this fall.

Jason Zucker Signs With Minnesota Wild

(above) Either Jason Zucker or the puck was going to end up in the back of the net once or twice a game
CONTRACT DETAILS:  $70,000 signing bonus plus a pro-rated portion of a $700,000 salary for the final six games of the season. He then gets $900,000 salaries each of the next two years if he plays in the NHL, which includes annual $90,000 signing bonuses.

Basically, the Wild's burning the first year of the deal, meaning he becomes a Group II and a Group III free agent one year earlier.
According to Western College Hockey, Jason Zucker signed a three-year, entry-level contract on Tuesday and is expected to join the NHL Minnesota Wild on Thursday before the team plays host to the Florida Panthers at the Xcel Energy Center.

Zucker only played for two seasons at the University of Denver, but was easily one of the most dynamic players to wear a Pioneer sweater.  In two seasons he scored 45 goals and had 46 assists in just 78 career games.
Zucker's trademark explosive first few strides created numerous breakaways during his career and his ability to score clutch goals in the third period added to his appeal.  He scored 10 game winning goals in the past two seasons.

He is probably best known for being one of just 21 USA players to ever participate in the World Junior Tournament three times.  He was on the Gold Medal winning team in 2009, captured Bronze in 2010 and captained Team USA this year.  He also captured two Under-18 World Championships for Team USA.

He will undoubtedly go on to have a great career in the NHL.

Scotty Owens Breaks Down CC's Epic Collapse

(above) Play this video while reading article below

From: Colorado Springs Gazette
by David Ramsey

Colorado College hockey coach Scott Owens is resting in a booth at Wooglin’s Deli. He chowing down on a ginormuos artery clogging pastrami sandwich on Rye and sipping a Diet Coke and staring straight ahead as he tries to explain the 2011-2012 CC hockey season.

One problem:

It’s difficult to explain the inexplicable.

The abrupt conclusion to the Tigers season has left CC fans puzzled and hurting. The season-ending sweep to Michigan Tech has left Owens down, too.

“It’s been constant,” Owens says. “I’m still not over it. It’s still tough to sort through it. Why were we not better that last weekend?

“It still eats away like this pastrami sandwich. There’s no doubt. I’m preoccupied with it and I’m using it as a motivation.”

It was a strange season. On Nov. 25, the Tigers were roaring with nine wins, two losses and the nation’s No. 4 ranking. They had scored four or more goals eight times. The SchwartzSticker brothers, Jaden and Rylan, led what appeared a fully loaded team.

Then it all fell apart. On Nov. 26 at North Dakota, the Tigers rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a 6-5 lead. It was all so dramatic.

But North Dakota sneaked its way to a 7-6 victory, and the Tigers were on their way to another patented collapse.

CC won only nine of its final 25 games, and the season that started with such promise ended with a shocking elimination by Michigan Tech at World Arena. Tech’s two-game sweep ranks among the worst moments in Owens’ 13 seasons.

That’s why he’s sitting here, eating a huge sandwich, trying to understand what went wrong.

“We had a great first half, but the schedule got tough and we became inconsistent,” Owens says. “We had good goaltending but couldn’t score. We had good scoring but not good goaltending. We had untimely injuries and we lost momentum.”

Recovering from the late-season tumble will not be easy. A year ago, the Tigers were roaring. They had demolished No. 1 seed Boston College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and were blessed with the versatile presence of Jaden SchwartzSticker, one of the nation’s top college players.

Now, Jaden has skated away to St. Louis, where far away from the "CC Curse" he's scoring goals  in bunches for the Blues. Rylan might join him in jumping to the pros.

If you’re one of the half dozen CC fans who is reading this, don’t get too depressed. If there was a bright spot in the often miserable 2011-2012 season, it was sophomore goaltender Josh Thorimbert. He was often brilliant.

The most destructive moment in the Tigers’ season came Feb. 4 against the University of Denver when a violent collision in front of the net left Thorimbert crying like a baby.

The collision doomed CC’s season. Thorimbert never was as crisp and stingy after he returned.

“He lost momentum,” Owens said. “He came back, and he was not quite the same.”

Here’s the hope for 2012-2013. Thorimbert will lead a more defensive-oriented team that will seek to win games 2-1 instead of 5-4. The Tigers will seek to will their way to another 20-win season. As usual they won’t overwhelm anyone with talent.

Owens hopes to soon step away from his blues and focus fully on the ahead. Right now, he seeks to understand the season that just ended. He’ll fail in this attempt. The season was, is and always will be baffling.

“It just didn’t come together,” Owens says. “There are a number of reasons for that last weekend but nobody cares. It just didn’t work out.”

Owens makes it clear that he’s down, but he remains sensible.

“The season and the finish are just something that eats away at me,” he says. “But I’m not one to, you know, throw a TV through a window at home or kick the dog.”

Do you have a dog, Scott?

“No,” Owens answers, a slight smile coming to his face.

Tweets From Around PioNation-#ShowMeTheMoney

Lalonde Breaks USHL Rookie Coaching Record

(above) Former DU assistant coach Derek Lalonde broke a USHL coaching record last Friday night

With a victory over the Youngstown Phantoms this past Friday, Green Bay Gamblers head coach Derek Lalonde recorded his 42nd victory surpassing Eric Rud (41) for most wins by a first year head coach in USHL history.

Lalonde became just the fifth coach in USHL history to lead a team to the Anderson Cup [best USHL regular season record] in the first season behind the bench in the League. The last coach to accomplish that feat was Jon Cooper with the Green Bay Gamblers during the 2008-09 season. Lalonde is also only the second coach in USHL history to reach the 40-win mark in his first season, following Eric Rud who won 41 games last season with the Gamblers.

“It is a great honor to have accomplished these feats in my first season with the amount of great coaches that have coached in the USHL,” said Derek Lalonde, “I certainly benefited from coming into a great organization where a lot of the good pieces were already in place.”

Prior to coming to the Gamblers, Lalonde spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Denver. While at Denver, Lalonde assisted in all aspects with the DU program, including recruiting, video breakdown, goaltending and skill development. Lalonde helped the Pioneers to two WCHA Championships (2008 & 2010), four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and 122-63-19 record in five seasons as assistant coach.

While at DU, Lalonde helped recruit six nationally-ranked recruiting classes. He recruited 11 NHL draft picks, including first round picks Beau Bennett and Joe Colborne. Lalonde also recruited second round selections Jason Zucker, Patrick Wiercioch, Drew Shore and William Wrenn, and non-drafted recruits Tyler Bozak and Anthony Maiani.

Currently the Gamblers are three wins shy of their team record 45 victories which was set during their 2009-10 Anderson Cup-winning season. They are also nine points shy of the team record 95 points they earned in the standings in 2009-10.

DU recruits Dakota Mermis [5g, 18a] and Grant Arnold [5g, 8a] plays for LaLonde on the Green Bay squad.

DU Recruit Jared Fiegl Commits To USNTDP

(above) Jared Fiegl was one of the first six players selected for the USNDP Under-17 Team next season

USA Hockey made it official this week and named University of Denver recruit Jared Fiegl (Parker, CO 6'0 178 lbs.) as one of six players selected to the USA Hockey's National Team Development Program for the 2012-13 season.  The Colorado Rampage Website had announced this news back in October.

The five other players along with Fiegl, all from the 1996 birth year, will compete as members of the U.S. National Under-17 Team: Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, MA) Dylan Larkin (U. of Michigan) and Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, MO),  Ryan Bliss (Cornell) and Jack Glover (Golden Valley, MN).

"We are pleased to welcome this talented group to the NTDP," said Peter Ward, director of player personnel for the NTDP. "These players will provide a solid foundation for future signings and we will continue to find the top talent in the country as we fill out our roster."

During the 2011-12 season Fiegl competed for the Colorado Rampage Midget Minor team of the Tier I Elite League and recorded 22 points (11g-11a), which was third most on the squad. He also chipped in with one power-play tally and one game-winning goal.

Fiegl competed for Team USA in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games from Jan. 13-22, 2012, in Innsbruck, Austria.
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 (Omaha, USHL)
F Quentin Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Grant Arnold (Green Bay, USHL)
F Gabe Levin (Fairbanks, NAHL)

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 (Chicago, USHL)
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-17)
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL)
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL)

2014 Recruiting Class
F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-17)
F Dylan Gambrell (Colorado Thunderbirds, AAA)

DU Gymnastics Makes NCAA Regionals

(above) Amanda Johanson celebrates her 9.675 bars routine with Kristina Coccia earlier this season
photo credit: Justin Edmonds


The #14 ranked University of Denver were selected to compete in the NCAA Regionals on the campus of the University of Illinois. Joining the Crimson and Gold in the six-team field will be #2 Oklahoma, #11 Stanford, #22 Illinois, #24 Kentucky and Illinois-Chicago. The meet will take place at Assembly Hall on April 7, at 3 PM MT.

"I'm really pleased with how the team performed to close out the regular season," head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart said. "We have room for improvement in training this week, but I'm pleased that this team is peaking at the right time of the season. We are looking forward to what should be a tremendous competition."

DU is coming off its first Western Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, scoring a 196.350 on its way to victory.  Denver finished the regular season with a Regional Qualifying Score of 196.090, the second-highest RQS in school-history.

The top-two teams from each six-team regional will advance to the NCAA Championships in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22.  DU will attempt to make their fourth appearance in the NCAA Championships [read entire article].

Drew Shore Signs Contract With Florida Panthers

"The Florida Panthers signed 21-year-old prospect Drew Shore to an entry-level contract Monday, three days after Shore's University of Denver team was eliminated in the NCAA hockey tournament. Heralded as one of the top prospects in the Panthers' organization, the American tallied 22 goals and 31 assists in 42 games for Denver in 2011-12. Shore, a second-round pick in 2009, bypassed his senior season and a chance at free agency to sign with the Panthers."
According to Western College Hockey & various other outlets, Drew Shore signed a professional contract today with the Florida Panthers of the NHL.

Shore scored 50 goals and had 68 assists in three seasons with the Pioneers. He led the team in scoring in both his Sophomore and Junior seasons and anchored a power play unit that improved markedly this season.  He scored 12 game winning goals during his career at DU.

Shore's biggest contribution may have been blazing a trail for his brothers at DU.  Nick has been a solid contributor in his first two seasons and Quentin will join the team this summer.  Youngest brother Baker is waiting in the wings, but hasn't committed to a school yet.

College Hockey News Offers Insight Into Injuries

From: College Hockey News
by Zach Helfand

At 10 a.m. Friday morning, six and a half hours before his team was scheduled to face off with Ferris State, Denver coach Geroge Gwozdecky sat down with six of his players after their morning skate, one-by-one.

For each player, Gwozdecky needed to make a decision: was he healthy enough to play?

All that was missing was a stethoscope [read entire article].

DU Lacrosse Gets Back On Track Over Air Force

Chase Carraro scored three goals and Ryan LaPlante recorded 12 saves in his second career start in net as the University of Denver men's lacrosse team (5-3, 1-1 ECAC) defeated Air Force 11-8 on Saturday at Falcon Stadium.

The Pioneers' LaPlante allowed eight goals on 31 shots.

Denver Post: Post-Mortem Analysis Of DU's Season

(above) Ferris State moved on to Tampa while DU headed home wondering what could have been
by Adrian Dater

Of the nation's 58 NCAA Division I hockey programs, only 15 got as far as the University of Denver did in 2012.

Yet, after the Pioneers were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by a 2-1 loss to Ferris State on Friday afternoon, the question begged: Did DU overachieve or underachieve this season? [read entire article].

NCAA Tournament: Ferris State 2 - DU 1 FINAL

(above) DU had plenty of opportunities in the third period but the puck was often an inch or two out of reach
The University of Denver fell to Ferris State on Friday afternoon in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  With the 2-1 loss, DU was eliminated from the NCAA Playoffs.

After a scoreless first period, Ferris State forward Jordie Johnston netted the game’s first goal in the second period.

A potential game tying goal by Chris Knowlton was disallowed because referees thought the puck was frozen by the goaltender. Replay showed the puck never was wrapped up, but the whistle blew before Knowlton knocked it in.

The score would remain 1-0 until 2:54 into the third period when Bulldog freshman defenseman Simon Denis netted his first collegiate goal on a wrist shot.

DU was behind 2-0 before mounting a rally behind a Drew Shore third period goal.  DU had many opportunities to tie the game in the third period with the puck dangling several times in the Ferris State crease.  Each time Ferris State rose to the challenge and thwarted the Pioneers best effort.

Denver's Line-Up Against Ferris State

DU Hockey Lineup vs. Ferris State

Loney - D.Shore - Salazar
Zucker - N.Shore - Knowlton
Dewhurst - Ostrow - Jackson
Jacobson - Tabrum - Doremus

LaLeggia - Lee
Ryder - Didier

Brittain [Olkinuora, Murray]

Breaking News: DU's Walking Wounded On The Ice

Its Gameday: DU vs Ferris State On Altitude Sports

DU vs. Ferris State
 TV: Altitude Sports - 3:30 PM MT
TV: ESPNU -9:30 PM MT [Tape Delay]

Altitude Sports
Channel 681 Direct TV
Channel 410  Dish Network
Channel 25 Comcast Denver
Channel 725 HD Comcast Denver

Tweets From Around PioNation-Beastmode

Omaha World Journal Profiles Dustin Jackson

(above) Dusty Jackson is DU's inspirational leader
From: Omaha World-Journal
by Rob White

Nothing has come easy for Denver co-captain Dustin Jackson.

Born in Omaha, raised in Sioux City, Iowa, and having spent one year attending Omaha Creighton Prep, Jackson’s hockey journey was only just beginning when he left Omaha.

“My job on this team is to be the voice of experience,” said Jackson, 25. “I’ve been around so long, and I’m quite a bit older than some of the guys.”

Jackson helped Denver to a third-place finish in the WCHA and into the league’s tournament championship game.

“We had played a lot of hockey last week,” Jackson said. “It was nice to get back home (this week) and get a little rest.”

While the DU's NHL Draftees get most of the headlines, Jackson is one of those behind-the-scenes guys who frequently goes unnoticed by outsiders.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward has two goals and eight assists for 10 points. He’s blocked 39 shots and is second on the team with 177 hits and 49 penalty minutes.

“He’s the voice of experience in that locker room,” Denver coach George Gwozdecky said. “That means an awful lot nowadays, when rosters are so heavy on the freshman and sophomore side of things. Certainly to have a guy who has been through everything in five years of WCHA play and five years of the postseason, all the training and the challenges and issues that come up ... it’s been great to have his experience and vision.”

Jackson’s odyssey began when he headed for school at prep power Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minn.) as a sophomore.

“That was a reality check for me, to see how good players were from other parts of the country,” he said. “Just practicing with better players every day made me better.”

He left for juniors hockey when he didn’t make the school’s top team as a senior. He spent three long years in the North American Hockey League, two with Billings (Mont.) and another with Southern Minnesota.

“Anybody who plays juniors wants to be there for one or two years and then get out of there,” he said. “I stayed for three, and going into that final year I didn’t know what would happen.”

He drew some interest from smaller Division I schools before, almost out of nowhere, the prestigious Pioneers introduced themselves and asked him to walk on.

“That was a shock, because usually a school like that will recruit you when you’re pretty young,” Jackson said. “But the first time they talked to me they said they wanted me to come play for them, so that was exciting.”

Through two seasons with the Pioneers, Jackson had eight goals and 17 assists. He became a scholarship athlete as a sophomore.

“During his junior career, he was considered more of a scorer, a guy with a good shot and a big body who could move up and down the ice pretty well,” Gwozdecky said. “At this level, he’s had to change his role considerably, to being a physical presence, to being a good defensive player, good away from the puck, good at killing penalties. That role wasn’t completely foreign to him, but it wasn’t necessarily something he initially liked. But he’s evolved into it.”

Of course, there was still more adversity to overcome. He broke his right leg in preseason practice in September 2009, forcing him to miss the entire season.

“It was awful,” he said. “I went into the boards awkwardly. ... But right now it’s a blessing in disguise because I’ve been able to come back and play another year and get my MBA.”

Jackson returned last season as an alternate captain and had five goals and three assists despite missing the first 12 games with mononucleosis.

Coincidentally, another WCHA captain, Nick Dineen of rival Colorado College, also hails from Omaha.

Jackson and Drew Shore both wear the “C” for the Pioneers this year.

“It’s an honor to be a captain, especially at a place like the University of Denver,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s family still lives in Omaha and he comes back a couple of times a year, for Christmas and the College World Series.

He’s pursuing his master’s in sports management and down the road, maybe, depending on where life takes him, he could see himself as an NHL general manager.

His college playing career is about to come to an end, whether this weekend or at the Frozen Four from April 5 through 7.

Maybe he’ll keep playing professionally. If so, it seems likely he’ll get where he wants to go.

“I’d like that, but I don’t know what opportunities there are for me,” Jackson said. “I’ll have to look at it once the season is over, and if not I’ll be ready to do something else.”

Denver Post: Goal Czar Symbolizes DU's Resiliency

(above) Under the leadership of The Goal Czar DU is a college hockey powerhouse
by Adrian Dater

A nonscholarship student four years ago at DU, 5-foot-7, 155-pound Luke Salazar essentially walked on to the Pioneers' Division I program. He eventually landed a scholarship and a regular role.

His against-the-odds story wouldn't be a bad one for the current Pioneers team to emulate this weekend in Green Bay, where DU hopes to win two NCAA regional tournament games and advance to the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., in April. The Pioneers are a banged-up team entering today's opening matchup with Ferris State. Nine regular players could not practice much of the week. Some forwards may need to play on defense [read entire article].

DU Women's Lax Defeats Cal 16-13

From: DenverPioneers Website

The University of Denver women's lacrosse team held off a late rally by California for a 16-13 win on Wednesday. DU scored three of the game's final four goals to seal the victory.

Sophomore Jenn Etzel scored five goals to help give the Pioneers (4-1, 2-0 MPSF) their fourth-straight victory [read entire article].

Video: DU NCAA Playoff Press Conference

(above) Coach Gwozdecky, Dustin Jackson & Drew Shore field questions from the media

Boone Makes The Hockey News In Retro Article

Published in Canada, The Hockey News is considered to be the Bible of hockey coverage.  This week (The Hockey News, April 2, 2012) Ryan Kennedy wrote an article and ran a photo of DU's uniforms back the '70s.

We're going to continue the fight to bring Boone back as DU's official mascot and return our hockey sweaters to national prominence.

Twitter Photo: DU At Practice In Green Bay

Ferris Takes Eight Hour Bus Trip To Green Bay

(above) Ferris State players board the bus on campus yesterday on campus bound for Green Bay
“After watching tape on DU, we realize we have to be careful with turnovers. They’re a team I think, full of predators. They have so much skill up front that any type of turnover, could be very dangerous. We’re going to turn pucks over, but we want to make sure we’re very careful where they occur.”
- Ferris State Head Coach Bob Daniels
From: WZZM Channel 13
by Tom Clyde

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. - The Ferris State hockey team's dream season continues in Wisconsin.

The Bulldogs left campus in Big Rapids at 1 PM Wednesday afternoon on about an eight hour bus ride to Green Bay for the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs' Friday evening game with the University of Denver marks just the second appearance ever in the NCAA Tournament for FSU. With two wins this weekend, the team would qualify for the Frozen Four in Tampa for the first time ever.

It's already been a special season for Ferris State. The program recorded its first-ever number one national ranking and won the CCHA regular season championship. "I really think this team has come together right from the start of the year," senior goaltender Taylor Nelson told WZZM Wednesday. "This team is a team. We don't have one superstar. We have a lot of great players on this team. I think that's something people will remember us by."

The Bulldogs don't have the NCAA Tournament pedigree of some of the more nationally successful programs like Michigan and Michigan State but they are eager to compete for college hockey's biggest prize. "When we go into this, rather than be nervous we're excited," says head coach Bob Daniels. "We're excited about the opportunity. We're going in there to win but we're certainly not nervous."

The Bulldogs are one of four Michigan schools represented in the sixteen team NCAA Tournament. Western Michigan, Michigan and Michigan State also all received bids.

Joey Leggs Named College Hockey News ROY

DU's NCAA Playoff Media Guide

(above) DU's NCAA Playoff Media Guide

Twitter Photo: DU Boards Private Jet For NCAAs

(above) Click on flight track photo for more info on the DU charter flight today

Tweets From Around PioNation

Ferris State Hopes To Rebound Against DU

(above) Ferris State was the CCHA regular season champion
by David Drew

Ferris State University enters the NCAA hockey tournament on a sour note in going winless in four of its last five games.

The top-seeded Bulldogs, who won the Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular season title, tied and lost a shootout against Western Michigan University and then lost to WMU in their final regular-season series.

After a bye week, FSU (23-11-5) was ousted in the CCHA Tournament best-of-three quarterfinals series by bottom-seeded Bowling Green.

FSU, which is making the program’s second appearance in the national tournament and the first since 2003, will be a No. 2 seed in the midwest regional in Green Bay and will face Denver (25-13-4) at 5:30 p.m. (EST) on Friday at the Resch Center.

The third-seeded Pioneers lost to North Dakota 4-0 in the WCHA Tournament championship game this past Saturday.

Denver defeated Western Michigan University 3-2 in double overtime in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Green Bay last season before falling to UND 6-1 in the regional championship game the next night.

Giving the Bulldogs even more to think about is Denver’s unbeaten (5-0) record against regular-season conference champions this season. The Pioneers defeated Boston College (Hockey East), Union (ECAC), Air Force (AHA) and were 2-0 against Minnesota (WCHA).