Bad Boyz: Drunk Gopher Hockey Player Ticketed

by Paul Walsh
A University of Minnesota Gopher hockey player has been cited for disorderly conduct after police witnessed him urinating in public in Stillwater, Minnesota last weekend. 

A police report says Erik Haula was "extremely intoxicated" when he urinated outside the Freight House in view of others after the bars closed early Saturday.  Haula was then turned over to a friend, whom police described as "somewhat sober."

The officer wrote in his report that he witnessed Haula "urinating while standing on Water Street on the west side of the Freight House Restaurant & Bar in plain view of the bar crowd after bar closing."

The officer also noted in his report that even though "it was clear that he was extremely intoxicated," the 2009 Wild draft choice "was very cooperative. No problems."

Haula, a native of Finland, will be a junior this coming season for the Gophers. He led the team last season with 49 points, scoring 20 goals and earning 29 assists.

He played one season of high school hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn.

Gophers Athletic Department spokesman Garry Bowman says hockey coach Don Lucia is aware of the incident, has talked to Haula and will handle the matter internally. The Gopher forward will be a junior this year. He led the team last season with 49 points, scoring 20 goals and earning 29 assists.

Read more here:

5 DU Alums Tee Off In LPGA Futures Event

(above) Dawn Shockley is one of five DU alums teeing off today in Rochester
Five University of Denver alumni will tee off today in the same Ladies Professional Golfing Association event, the Symetra Tour stop in Rochester, NY. 

Stephanie Sherlock, Katie Kemptner, Dawn Shockley, Kimberley Kim and Sue Kim played on the Women's Golf Team while attending DU.

Mike Chambers Blog: Gauthier To Play In ECHL

(above) Gabe Gauthier helped DU win two National Championships
Former DU co-captain and Los Angeles Kings forward Gabe Gauthier officially became a member of the Colorado Eagles today [read entire article].

Goal Czar Packs His Bags For Norway

From: Budstikka
by Mette Sjølie

University of Denver Alum Luke Salazar [a.k.a. The Goal Czar to his DU fans] will begin his professional career in Norway. He signed a professional contract with the Frisk-Asker Tigers located near Oslo, Norway.

Former Norweigan and DU goaltender Lars Paulgaard also spent time with Frisk-Asker.

"Luke came to us and really wanted to play here. He has seen opportunities open up to other Americans after a good season in Asker. We checked contacts in the United States and he was highly recommended," said Ole Gerhard Haug.

DU Alum Killed In Theater Shooting

(above) Aleander Teves & Amanda Lindgren had just graduated from DU with Master's Degrees in Psychology
Alexander Teves [DU '12], a 24-year-old University of Denver graduate student risked his own life to save that of another DU student. Teves had just earned a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from DU. 

According to his girlfriend Amanda Lindgren [DU '12], Teves was shot and killed while shielding her from bullets when a gunman fired during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in an Aurora, Colorado. 

"I was really, really confused at first about what was going on, so confused," Lindgren told ABC News. "But, it's like Alex didn't even hesitate. Because I sat there for a minute, not knowing what was going on, and he held me down and he covered my head and he said, 'Shh. Stay down. It's ok. Shh just stay down.' So I did." 

Reports from the incident further indicate that Teves blocked the bullets from Lindgren, but in doing so was shot and killed. Lindgren was not hit. 

"He was my angel that night, but he was my angel every day I knew him," Lindgren said. "I'm broken." 

Lindgren went on speak to ABC's Good Morning America about the relationship she shared with the man who saved her life. 

"My other half was just ripped apart from me and so for me it's still unreal," she said. "I can't picture my life without him. How do you? When someone loves you that much and you love somebody that do you believe that this is real? And of all places. We were in that theater, that specific room. We were just supposed to watch a movie." 

When asked about the shooting that took place at Century 16 Theater on Friday, July 20, Lindgren suggested that Teves was completely aware of the danger he was putting himself in. 

"I know he did. He'd do anything for me. He always told me that, too. I just wish I could have protected him the same way he protected me." 

A Phoenix, Arizona native, Teves had earned his master's degree in psychology in June.  Lindgren, from Albuquerque, New Mexico had earned the same degree.

According to his grandfather, Carlo Iacovelli, Alex Teves was planning to become a psychiatrist.

DU Recruit Will Butcher Possible 1st Round Pick

(above) DU recruit Will Butcher checks a Swedish Player
It's been a month since the conclusion of the NHL Entry Draft, but talk has begun on next year’s crop of young players. Next year’s draft class has already been pegged as one of the best in recent memory with highly skilled players at every position. University of Denver recruit Will Butcher is getting some buzz as a possible late first round pick
27. Will Butcher – D – USNTDP - A very skilled offensive defenseman, Butcher has a great first pass out of the zone, hockey sense, and the ability to quarterback a powerplay with keen precision. He has great stickwork that gets him out of trouble and can turn on a dime and explode down the ice.
2013 Recruiting Class 
F Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL)
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
F Landon Smith (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Connor Chatham (U.S. Under-18)
F Ray Pigozzi (Chicago, USHL)
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-18)
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL)
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL)

2014 Recruiting Class 
F Jared Fiegl (U.S. Under-17)
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-18)
F Dylan Gambrell (Colorado Thunderbirds, AAA)
F Garrett Gamez (Tri-Cities, USHL)

DU Ranks In 12th In NCAA D-1 Championships

(above) The new mural on the north side of the main concourse in Magness Arena
Most NCAA D-1 Championships

1.) UCLA 108
2.) Stanford 99
3.) Southern California 98
4.) Oklahoma State 47
5.) LSU 45
6.) Texas 44
7.) Arkansas 41
7.) Penn State 41
9.) North Carolina 37
10.) Michigan 35
11.) California 30
12.) Denver 28
12.) Ohio State 28
14.) Georgia 27
15.) Oklahoma 26

Twitter: Matt Donovan's New Car

(above) Matt Donovan doesn't want to be late for practice at the Islanders Training Camp this summer

14-Year-Old Canadian Shines At DU Lax Camp

(above) Mackenzie Rope
From: Maple Ridge News
by Tim Fitzgerald

For aspiring lacrosse players in the U.S. and Canada, a trip to the Rockies is considered a rite of passage. The University of Denver Team Camp, hosted by the Denver Pioneers men’s lacrosse program, features some of the sport’s best players, both past and present.

Hall of fame coach Bill Tierney, who guided Princeton to six national championships before signing on in Denver in 2010, patrols the sidelines.

For Pitt Meadows [British Columbia, Canada] player Mackenzie Rope, a second pilgrimage to lacrosse’s holy land in Denver is the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills as post secondary education and a chance at a scholarship beckon. 

While the 14-year-old still has time to make up his mind, a chance to play field lacrosse while getting an education is definitely on the skilled centre’s radar.

“That would be fantastic,” said Rope, who also thrives playing outdoor lacrosse for his school at Pitt Meadows secondary and the indoor box game with Team B.C. 

“I would like to take something at university where I can give back to my community.”

For now, Rope is contributing to his teammates success.

Playing for the Burnaby Mountain Selects U-15 team in Denver, the young forward helped guide the team to a silver medal at the prestigious Pioneers Team Camp tourney. And for the second straight year, Rope was named to the camp’s all-star team.

Brent Hoskins, head coach of the Simon Fraser University men’s lacrosse team, was one of the coaches for the U-15 Burnaby team, as well. He said Rope’s skill level will serve him well for years to come in the sport.

“Mackenzie makes an impact in all areas of the game,” said Hoskins, no slouch in the coaching ranks himself. 

Hoskins has guided the SFU Clan to eight Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League championships since 1997.

“He played a key role for us in transition as one of our top face-off specialists and was one of our main contributors offensively.”

Rope said Hoskins has opened his eyes to improving his game, especially when it comes to his stick work.

“Box lacrosse is a much more one-handed game. But with field lacrosse, you’ve got to be able to switch hands and make more moves. The level of competition in the U.S. is much harder, because the field game is bigger than box lacrosse,” said Rope.

He also credits Hoskins for improving his game when it comes to face-offs. He said  Hoskins emphasizes the positives in players’ games and doesn’t criticize when someone makes a mistake.
“That’s one of my passions as a player – winning face-offs. Possession is such a key part of the game and I love the way Hoskins approaches the game.”

Rope helped the BMS U-15 Selects out-score their opponents 65-34 and go 4-1 in the preliminary round of the Denver tournament, which recorded temperatures of more than 100 degrees.

“The heat was so intense. It’s a different game there because of the oxygen levels. Up here, you might be able to take a two- or three-minute shift. Down there. you’re lucky if you can last a minute,” said Rope.

Awarded the top seed following round-robin play, the Selects doubled-up No. 3 Denver Elite in the semis, before falling 8-5 to the Golden State Titans in a back-and-forth final.

Hoskins said the sky is the limit as far as Rope’s future goes in field lacrosse, as long as he continues to put forth the tremendous work effort he’s shown so far.

Hoskins doubts he’ll see a drop-off.

“Selected as a U-13 tournament all-star at the Denver team camp last summer, this is the second straight year that Mackenzie has been named to the tournament all-star team after moving up an age division in 2012,” said Hoskins.

“Mackenzie is a great athlete and looks to have a very bright future in outdoor lacrosse.”

Rope said he wouldn’t be the player he was without the help of his parents, who not only support his game, but his academics, as well.

Big Sky Merger Proposal May Save The WAC

At this point its just a rumor, but several newspaper bloggers have reported a conference call last night discussing the Big Sky Conference sending some schools to the WAC in all sports but football.

The Big Sky Commissioner confirmed the conversations of a merger but termed the situation as a "Long shot."

What would this mean for DU? Stability and "western rivals."
"New" WAC
Boise State
Eastern Washington
Northern Arizona
New Mexico State
Northern Colorado

"New" Big Sky Conference
Sacramento State
Portland State
Weber State
Southern Utah
North Dakota
Montana State
Idaho State

DU Library Renovation Nears Midpoint

(above) Main Interior
(above) Special Collections Reading Room
(above) Special Events Meeting Room
If you were to walk through University of Denver renovation of the Penrose Library construction site, you would not recognize it. The abundance of natural light from the central atrium and the addition of windows in the stairwells and lower level changes the space dramatically. While the footprint of the original Penrose remains, the Academic Commons adds significant space along the south side of the building. Many interior walls, a new roof, and an elevator shaft have been completed, while details of the café are being finalized. 

Expected to be complete in the Spring of 2013, the Academic Commons will be the campus hub, supporting students in many aspects of student life. It will be the center of student and faculty collaboration around learning, and a place that symbolizes the University of Denver’s strength in research, teaching, and service with a mission that serves the public good.

Mark Matthews Makes ESPN's Top 10 Plays

 (above) DU alum Mark Matthews' goal for the Denver Outlaws made ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day on Saturday night

DU Lax Star Leads Canada Over USA

(above) Canada defeated the USA for the first time ever in the World Under-19 Lacrosse Championships in Finland
Corey McLaughlin

Canada downed the U.S. Under-19 men's national team 11-9 in overtime in a back-and-forth, thrilling and history-making pool play game Saturday night at the Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championships in Finland. 

University of Denver Freshman forward Wes Berg is captain of Team Canada, while DU associate head coach Matt Brown is Team Canada's offensive coordinator. 

Canada became the first team to defeat the U.S. in U19 play since international competition was sanctioned in 1988. The U.S., winners of all six gold medals contested since then, is now 37-1 all-time. 

The Canadians scored the final three goals of the game, all in the second OT, after the U.S. rallied from three goals down at the start of the fourth quarter and went ahead by one in the first OT. All while the crowd oohed and ahhed and pressure mounted. 

With the game on the line, Wes Berg drove left to right along goal-line extended and finished on the crease with 2:23 remaining in the second extra-period to tie it at 9. Berg drew a penalty at the tail end of the scoring play, and Tutton put Canada up 10-9 just 22 seconds later. Berg scored two goals in the game. 

Canada improves to 2-0 in pool play with a quick turnaround for a 1 p.m. (6 a.m. EST) game Sunday against the Iroquois (1-0). The U.S. (1-1) faces England at 7 p.m. (noon EST) on Sunday, and now faces a scenario of playing the Iroquois in the tournament semifinals if expectations hold. 

The win could be considered a confirmation of a trend that has taken shape in the NCAA Division I men's game of north-of-the-border products making a big impact. Berg was the ECAC's rookie of the year after his first season at Denver this year. 

When asked about Berg impact on Saturday's game, Wray said: "He's a big-time player. Wes Berg is the captain of this team for a reason. He's poised under pressure. He makes big plays when things matter the most, and he made a pretty big one there at the end. All of our offensive players I thought were very poised as the game got really tense in the last couple minutes."

David Carle Begins Coaching In Green Bay

(above) DU Alum David Carle at a Gamblers practice
From: Green Bay Press-Gazette
by Weston Hodkiewicz

Sitting inside a satellite locker room in the Resch Center, it’s been four years to the day since David Carle’s hockey career was taken out from under him. 

Now an assistant coach for the Green Bay Gamblers, the once-messy red hair is neatly parted and gelled. The hockey pads and sweater Carle practically grew up in exchanged for a button-down shirt and slacks [read entire article].

DU To Unveil Branding Project & Logo

After a year of market research and development the University of Denver will be unveiling a new branding platform that visually identifies, defines and differentiates DU to local, national and international audiences.

One piece of the branding platform is the new University logo. This new signature, which was designed as a result of the research findings, will now use the University colors: crimson and gold. The new logo, with its distinctive shield, will more clearly identify and differentiate the University as a prestigious academic institution which provides inspiration from our geographic setting as well as strength and endurance from our history.

Drew Shore Aims To Make NHL Roster

by Harvey Flalkov

Drew Shore knew he wasn't in Denver anymore as he watched in awe as fellow Panthers prospect 6-foot-6 left wing Justin Vaive pile-drive volleyballs against their peers in an intense game on Fort Lauderdale beach on July 4th.

Despite his marine-like surname, Shore is far more comfortable on ice than sand. It showed at the University of Denver where the co-captain led the Pioneers in scoring in the past two seasons, compiling 45 goals and 99 points.

After his junior season the Denver native, a second-round pick by Florida in the 2009 draft, was rewarded with an entry-level contract at $1.1 million per year, which kicks in when he makes the parent club.

"I never played beach volleyball in my life. It was awesome. Justin just slammed it right over the net in everyone's faces,'' laughed the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Shore. Sign up for sports text alerts.

Shore knows that the offensively-challenged Panthers will have 2-3 openings on the big club in September and although the front-runners are Jonathan Huberdeau and Quinton Howden, this former lacrosse standout isn't conceding anything.

"I think I'm ready for the next step, mentally and physically. I've got to get stronger and I'm putting an emphasis on that this summer,'' he said. "I'll come into camp, get my strength up and have a good shot to give my best effort."

Shore, 21, joined the San Antonio Rampage, Florida's AHL affiliate, in June for a sampling of professional hockey. In eight regular-season games, Shore had three points and was a plus-1. He added two goals in nine games in the playoffs.

"It's a lot different environment,'' Shore said. "I'm not playing against 21 year olds anymore, but playing with men. Scoring a couple of goals gave me confidence going into camp.''

Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon is a huge proponent of strong, physicals centers like Shore. 

"He's a solid, two-way centerman who you could put out there in the last minute of periods,'' Tallon said Friday. "You could put him out there if you need a goal. He can kill penalties; he's a really smart player with good speed.

"He didn't look out of place in the AHL, so you never know. He'll come to camp and we'll go from there.''

After years of shoveling driveways and scraping windshields, Shore can get used to the South Florida lifestyle.

"We had a barbecue on the golf course,'' Shore said of a recent organizational bonding outing. "If I'm in San Antonio I'll give my best effort. That's not a bad place, but is definitely not the place you want to be.''

Denver Post: WAC Set To Change Course

From: Denver Post
by Irv Moss

The WAC is exploring an option that would take the league into a future without football beginning in 2013.

Conference interim commissioner Jeff Hurd stipulated this week the WAC must make a decision on a future course in the next few weeks. Hurd noted that the conference's board of directors has a number of options available for consideration, one of which would be to proceed as a nonfootball league. The conference will play the 2012 season as is, before being ripped apart with defections a year from now.

"We definitely have to have our plan for the 2013-14 year in place by the end of the summer," Hurd said. "In our case, sooner is better than later."

The University of Denver and Seattle are joining the conference for the upcoming year as nonfootball members. The WAC will have an 18-game conference basketball schedule. DU's hockey program will remain in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Hurd said he couldn't offer an opinion about the most likely direction the conference will take beyond the upcoming school year.

"It's anyone's guess right now. We're actively and aggressively trying to make that determination," Hurd said. "Conference alignment is a fluid situation across the board. Change and change on short notice seems like almost a daily occurrence. It's definitely our intent for the conference to continue well after the upcoming season."

Denver Post: Chambers Covers O'Leary Passing

(above) Pioneer hockey player Ted O'Leary passed away on Sunday

by Mike Chambers

Edward "Ted" O'Leary, a scholar-athlete who played on the University of Denver's 2004 and 2005 NCAA championship teams, died Sunday in Denver. He was 29.

O'Leary's family said the cause of death is unknown [read entire article].

Joey Leggs Makes Impression In Oil Country

(above) DU Sophomore Joey LaLeggia at the Oilers Development Camp this week
by Ryan Dittrick

Joey Laleggia had more than one reason to smile after being drafted in the fifth round, 123rd overall by the Oilers nine days ago.

The 20-year-old rearguard was not only assigned to an organization deep in its plans to re-tool the blueline -- providing new and exciting opportunities to the club's up-and-coming youngsters -- but he was also brought back to his roots that were once planted back home in Burnaby, BC.

Laleggia and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins grew up together and were inseparable on the ice (both products of the Vancouver Northwest Giants and Burnaby Winter Club), so it's of little surprise that the Oilers' Rookie of the Year candidate was quick to reach out.

"Obviously we're both from the same hometown and, because of that, we played all through minor hockey together right up to midget (15 and 16-year-olds)," Laleggia said. "From there, we both had to go our separate ways and he ended up moving to go play in Red Deer (WHL), while I stayed in closer to home.

"We've always been good buddies -- he's one of my best friends. He was the second phone call I got right after the Oilers to congratulate me. I was extremely happy and so was he, so it was really nice to share that moment with him."

Nugent-Hopkins also delivered a public shout-out via his Twitter account:

"Huge congrats to my boy, @JLeggy21. Welcome to the Oil."

"He's an awesome kid," Laleggia said of RNH. "For a 19-year-old to be that big of a superstar in the NHL and be so humble, it's really something special. We've always known he'd be that good since we were younger and he's always been like that."

The 5'9", 182-pound blueliner spent parts of three seasons with the BCHL's Penticton Vees. In 2010-11, he cashed 20 goals and 82 points in only 58 regular-season games before rattling off a point-per-game pace in the post-season.

Last year, he debuted in the NCAA with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's University of Denver Pioneers. In 43 games, he scored 11 goals and 38 points while recording 35 penalty minutes. As a result of his efforts, he was named as the National Division 1 Rookie of the Year as voted by the Hockey Commissioners' Association.

It's a nearly identical career path to the recently signed Justin Schultz, who also spent three seasons in the BCHL (Westside Warriors) before making the move to the WHCA's University of Wisconsin Badgers. Comparatively in their rookie seasons, Schultz put up 22 points to Laleggia's 38.

Their BCHL production was on a similar curve as well. Still, Laleggia isn't prepared to declare anything as he's more primarily driven to correct and improve upon some areas in need.

Oilers Development Camp was a good place to work on them.

"I'm not the biggest guy, so I'm always looking to get bigger, stronger and quicker," Laleggia explained. "The coaches worked a lot with us on stick positioning, defensive awareness and things like that. It's basically been a good week of working on the things I needed to take my game to another level, especially when competing against such great players here.

"I couldn't be happier to come to a place like Edmonton. They've put on such a great camp and it's really no surprise considering the great hockey tradition they have here. I couldn't be happier right now and it's a great opportunity.

"It's been awesome."

With so many bodies and highly touted prospects pursuing only a select number of spots on the Oilers' backend, Laleggia knows he'll have to make every opportunity count. As camp wrapped up Monday, an impression was most certainly made.

"You couldn't ask for better players to play with here," he said, agreeing that he still has some work to do before cracking the squad. "Nuge (Nugent-Hopkins), Eberle, Hall, Yakupov and now Schultz coming to the team, it's a very exciting time. As someone in the system, I'm glad that I get to be a part of it.

"For now, I hope to go back to Denver and help my team win a national championship. Winning a championship is something everyone dreams of, so I'm going to do everything I can to help achieve it."

If his sophomore season is anything like the 2011-12 campaign, the Pioneers should be poised to make a good run at it.

DU Alum Matt Carle Signs With Tampa

DU Alum Matt Carle
From: USA Today
by Mike Brehm

University of Denver Alumnus Matt Carle ended up in a surprising but familiar place.

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they had signed him to a six-year deal. TSN reported that it was worth an average of $5.5 million a year. He averaged $3.4 million in his last contract.

The Lightning earlier signed Sami Salo to a two-year deal.

Carle is returning to Tampa Bay exactly four years after he was acquired from the San Jose Sharks as part of the Dan Boyle trade.

He lasted only 12 games with the Lightning that season before being packaged in a deal to the Philadelphia Flyers for Steve Downie and Steve Eminger.

Carle had played every game the past two seasons and had 113 points over the past three seasons. He had a plus-30 rating in 2010-11.

Carle was another key player who chose a smaller market this summer. Suter and Zach Parise landed with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday and touted college free agent Justin Schultz signed with the Edmonton Oilers last week.

The Nashville Predators (who lost Suter), Detroit Red Wings (who saw Nicklas Lidstrom retire) and Philadelphia Flyers (who lost Carle and might have to play without concussed Chris Pronger) are likely among the teams looking among a dwindling number of free agent defensemen.

Former Pioneer Ted O'Leary Passes Away

(above) Ted O'Leary played in two NCAA National Championship games for the Pioneers
According to the Denver Post, former University of Denver hockey player Ted O'Leary passed away on Sunday.  Ted won two National Championships at DU and was an Assistant Captain his Senior Season. 

It has been mentioned that the cause of death was a domestic accident.
Edward Thomas O’Leary

Edward Thomas O’Leary (“Teddy”), born September 1, 1982, beloved son of Michael and Kathleen O’Leary of Mead CO passed on Sunday, July 1st, 2012. He was the youngest brother to Michael Dennis, Sean Peter, James Patrick and Suzanne (Donohoe). Teddy was a revered uncle to nieces Kalenn Nonie, Mary Kathleen, Marion Breen (“Mae”), Anne Elizabeth and nephews Jordan William, Sean Patrick, Joseph Kiernan, Charles Michael, John Francis, Kellen James and Emmet Michael. He was also much beloved by his sisters-in-law, Mary Virginia O’Leary, Krista O’Leary, Shannon O’Leary and his brother-in-law, Matthew Donohoe and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Teddy was the valedictorian of Battle Mountain High School in Vail and was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend college and play ice hockey at his “hometown” University of Denver. Teddy was a proud member of the University of Denver NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey team which won back-to-back National Championships in 2004 and 2005. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, graduating magna cum laude. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Daniels School of Business at DU. Teddy was recognized as the Top Scholar Athlete of the hockey team for three consecutive years and was named by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association as Student Athlete of the Year in 2005-2006.

Following his studies at DU, Teddy assisted in a medical research project at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic and later studied medicine. Teddy ultimately pursued a career in business management.

A memorial service will be held at Howe Mortuary, 439 Coffman Street, Longmont, CO from 4-7pm on Thursday, July 5th and a Funeral Mass will be held at 11am on Friday, July 6th at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 15179 County Road 7 in Mead, CO. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project ( or Catholic Charities of Denver ( in Edward’s name.

DU Issues "No Comment" On Conference

(above) In the high stakes game of NCAA Musical Chairs, DU was left holding the bag
ESPN Basketball writer Andy Katz put together a story about the 20 schools switching conferences next season.  Only one school refused to comment and the silence was telling.  Denver.
"Only one school -- Denver -- declined to comment. The Pioneers left the Sun Belt for the WAC, but the latter conference is quickly falling apart and to this point has only DU, Seattle, Idaho and New Mexico State lined up for the 2013-14 season. Denver is desperate to be invited to the West Coast Conference, according to a source. But the WCC isn't interested at this juncture"
- Andy Katz

DU Lands Major Gymnastics Recruit

(above) Claire Hammen, who swept all five titles at the Colorado Class 5A gymnastics meet in November as a sophomore, has verbally committed to compete for the University of Denver.
by Mike Brohard

Gymnasts live a life of routine, and it's one of the reasons why Claire Hammen has reached the levels she has in the sport.

But she didn't see her college plans coming together so quickly -- she'll just be entering her junior year at Loveland High School this fall. But when an offer comes that combines excellence in academics as well as your sport of choice, why wait? That's why Hammen decided to verbally commit to the University of Denver in the past week after the program made her a full-ride offer. She didn't see it coming, but she's smart enough to see a great deal when it's put in front of her.

"I just thought it was a really good fit with the team, and the education is really good," she said. "It came clear out of the blue. In April, I went down to Denver and had an unofficial visit, met the team and met a biology professor. It was just something that I love the school and the campus. It was really a friendly environment, liked the team and the coaches. It kind of fell into place."

Hammen has been a standout on the club level for years, having qualified for the Cover Girl Classic at the junior level, and that's where she started drawing the interest of colleges. People in town learned more about her when she took the Class 5A state meet by storm last November, winning the all-around title with a record score of 39.225 and sweeping the four individual events the next day, posting scores of 9.90 along the way.

Gene Kroehnke, her coach at GK Gymnastics and a DU alum, feels she could make the Pioneers' roster as an all-arounder as a true freshman.

"The University of Denver is a good fit for her competitively, and then they considered what they wanted to do academically," Kroehnke said. "Overall, we've been there a lot; she feels comfortable there. She's very familiar with it."

But it wasn't high on her to-do list. The offer came when she made her initial trip to DU. Hammen wasn't quite ready to say yes then, but a return trip for a camp last month made it clear to her, and she pulled head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart aside and pledged her allegiance.

"I went down to camp, and we stayed in the dorms and I practiced with some of the girls on the team," Hammen said. "I got to interact with the team and the coaches, and it felt like it was right.

"I wasn't thinking it would come so soon, but it happened at the right time."

She would become the second Loveland gymnast to compete for the Pioneers, following Paige Schuster, who also swept the five 5A state titles back in 2004. Hammen cannot sign an official letter of intent until her senior year, and DU can't comment on her until that time, per NCAA rules.

DU Recruit Named MVP Of Lax All-Star Classic

(above) DU recruit Gordie Koerber
From: &

In a tight affair, the Under Armour boys' South team beat the North team 12-11, led by a fantastic game by a future DU Pioneer.  The Under Armour All-America Classic featured 44 of the best high school lacrosse players in the country.

Attackman Gordie Koerber scored three goals, including the final South goal to give his team the victory, and won MVP honors for his work in the game. Koerber is bound for the University of Denver this fall

Koerber, with his team up just a goal with less than three minutes to play, took a feed from Spencer Parks behind the net and ripped a shot low past North goalie William Ryan. He was named the game's Most Valuable Player after scoring on all three of his shots.

"We knew the North was going to come back strong after the first half," Koerber said. "But I just got that great pass and I was wide open in front and buried it low."

Koerber, a humble and gracious MVP winner, deflected praise and credited his teammates for putting him in good positions to score.

"I had a lot of great players around me, and they made my job easy. I just stuck a couple close ones," he said. "To win MVP was a great honor. I'm humbled to even be at this event."

Koerber is a crafty lefty who "plays Canadian," said South coach Ryan Boyle, the four-time All-American at Princeton and five-time MLL All-Star.

"Gordie catches everything. He's got great wrists," Boyle said. "He's a heady player. He knows how to get open. When he gets the ball, and he catches everything, then he finishes everything. I told him, 'Denver is a perfect fit for you.'"

Koerber smiled when he said he has "no clue what the deal is, or what to expect," going to Denver next year, but added that offensive coordinator Matt Brown's Canadian-infused "system is pretty similar to the way I play, so I'm real excited to get out there."

Koerber's left-handed finishing ability could make him a logical candidate to slide into the role previously played by All-American Mark Matthews, now with the MLL's Denver Outlaws.