Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Loyola Lacrosse Program Leaves ECAC

From: LaxPower.com

Loyola University-Maryland has accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League at the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic and athletic year.  Loyola's men's lacrosse team played in the Eastern College Athletic Conference alongside the University of Denver.

No doubt this will hurt DU's "Strength of Schedule" in lacrosse, as Loyola just won the NCAA Championship this season.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Photos: DU's Pro Camp Kicks Off

(above) DU's first Ice Sheet of the season is also the first ever use of DU's new chiller system that was installed over the summer

DU's Pro Camp kicks off today. 

The Ritchie Center features a new $900,000 ice rink chiller. The more efficient chiller saves the university approximately $40,000 in annual operating costs, according to Allan Wilson, director of Facilities Services at the Ritchie Center.

The old chiller lasted 12 years. The new chiller was built next to the existing plant. 

“We’ll keep it so there will be redundancy in the future,” said Wilson. “If one machine breaks down, then we would always be able to produce a hockey game”

Monday, August 20, 2012

PioNation Photo Of The Day

(above) You never know where in the world you will run into a DU Alum with a Boone sweatshirt

DU Pro Camp Delayed By A Day

From: DU Athletics Website

The third annual University of Denver Hockey Alumni Pro Camp is postponed until Tuesday, Aug. 21 due to delays in the chiller installation for the ice surface at Magness Arena [read entire article].

Friday, August 17, 2012

Twitter: PioNation Heads To DU Pro Camp

DU hockey professional alumni expected to participate in this year's pro camp are Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche), Tyler Bozak (Toronto Maple Leafs), Brett Skinner, Gabe Gauthier, Luke Fulghum, Aaron MacKenzie, J.P. Testwuide, Patrick Mullen, Geoff Paukovich, Drew Shore, Anthony Maiani, John Ryder and Dustin Jackson. Former Pioneer Stephen Cunningham and local goaltender Casey Sherwood will also participate in the camp. 

Other professional players expected attend the camp include David Jones (Colorado Avalanche), Curtis McElhinney (Columbus Blue Jackets), Kyle Quincey (Detroit Red Wings), Garnet Exelby (Boston Bruins ) and Ben Guite. Former Colorado College goaltender Richard Bachman (Dallas Stars) could also attend the camp.

WAC Implosion Appears Imminent

(above) Goodbye WAC...
From: Las Cruces Sun 

As conference realignment has unfolded the University of Denver Athletic Department appears to be without a conference home and the prospects look bleak. First several Western Athletic Conference brethren departed the league, and now conference disintegrating all together appears to be a near certainty.

The University of Idaho - a school that makes up one of just two football-playing programs in the WAC, and is part of the league's five-team Olympic-sports contingency - is expected to announce its independence in football for the 2013 season, while also seeking permission to approach the Big Sky Conference on possible membership, during a meeting with the Idaho State Board of Education Friday.

Boise State - also a current WAC non-football member - is expected to join the Big West Conference in the near future, which would leave the WAC with just three athletics programs - Denver, Seattle and NMSU - for the 2013 campaign. In essence, the three remaining schools are left holding the bag, as the WAC's options as a non-football league would be on life support. 

The WAC has not added schools to it's non-football model to this point - programs such as Cal-State Bakersfield, Utah Valley and Texas Pan-American all seemed like possible candidates, although nothing came to fruition. 

Last month saw league commissioner Jeff Hurd all but confirm the conference would not sponsor football for the 2013 season, and now there are questions if the WAC can hold together if it fell to a three-team membership.

"It would leave the WAC in jeopardy," Hurd said. "I don't think there's any question." 

There was conversation about the WAC and the Big Sky forming a partnership to combine some sports affiliates, although Hurd characterized those discussions as "up and down." 

"They lost momentum, then gained some momentum. If I spoke on it today, it's lost some momentum again," Hurd said, adding that the Big Sky "held the cards" in such negotiations. 

DU's options would continue to shrink - the school has already been shunned by the West Coast Conference, Mountain West, and could be out of luck with the Big Sky now as well.

Monday, August 13, 2012

DU Alum Vic Venasky Gets Coaching Job

Vic Venasky at DU
Former Pioneer Vic Venasky has been hired as the new head coach of Loyola-Marymount University (California) club hockey team. LMU plays DII in the ACHA. 

Prior to joining the LMU hockey staff, Venasky headed the Bay Harbor Red Wings youth program in Southern California. He also owns Vic's Pro Shop in Harbor City as well.

After playing college hockey at the University of Denver, Venasky went on to play 430 games in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

"The Border" Is For Sale Again

The infamous University of Denver neighborhood bar and restaurant, "The Border" is for sale once again on Craigslist. The Border has been a popular if not star-crossed DU hangout for at least 40 years.

The Border was closed in 2009 after their liquor license was suspended for 30 days. The suspension resulted from an undercover police operation after the bar was accused of selling liquor to an underage person.

The bar reopened in 2010 under new ownership, but failed to draw students in numbers due to intense competition in the neighborhood.

It has often been said, "The Border is not classy enough to be classified as a sleaze bar."

It was an incident at the Border in 2008 that led to the eventual hiring of DU lacrosse coach Bill Tierney after charges were filed against two DU lacrosse players during Jamie Munro's regime. A 23-year-old female, who happened to be a DU alum, was allegedly attacked by a group of lacrosse players while she and a friend were leaving the Border.  After an investigation by the DU Athletic Department and a subsequent player revolt, Coach Munro was sacked and Tierney was brought in.

DU hockey goaltender Chris Burns was stabbed during a wild 75 person melee at the Border in 1994. It was business as usual the next night and another fight broke out. Burns finished his career with a 4.72 GAA and and .842 Save Percentage at DU.
For Sale: The Border $159,000 - Long term undermarket lease in place. There is another 13+ years left on the lease.

Annual sales over $325,000.

For sale by owner. Seller willing to finance the purchase price with $50,000+ down to the right candidate.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Tweets From Around PioNation

(above) 13 year-old Baker Shore already has several NHL players following his tweets

Thursday, August 02, 2012

4 DU Players Selected For Hockey Showcase

The first ever All-American Prospects Game was announced on Wednesday. USA Hockey will stage the event on September 29th at First Niagara Center in Buffalo [home of the NHL Buffalo Sabres]. The All-American Prospects Game will include 40 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Four University of Denver players or recruits were selected; Will Butcher, Dakota Mermis, Gage Ausmus and Quintin Shore.  Mermis and Shore are incoming Freshmen at DU.

Western College Hockey Blog has an interesting take on the event and questioned the selection criteria.

DU's Josiah Didier Profiled By INCH

(above) Josiah Didier was profiled by Inside College Hockey

Josiah Didier came to DU a year earlier than expected after several Pioneer underclassmen turned pro in 2011.  This figures to a be a breakout year for Didier as his Baptism of fire was completed during his Freshman campaign.

DU Gymnast To Compete Today At Olympics

(above) Jessica Lopez qualified for the All-Round competition at the Olympic Games tonight
University of Denver gymnast Jessica Lopez qualified for the Individual All-Around Competition that begins tonight in London. Lopez competed four years ago for Venezuela in Beijing.
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The two-time Olympian will compete Today at 9:30 AM MT.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

DU Exhibition Game Moved To Pepsi Center

The University of Denver will play an exhibition game against the University of British Columbia on 10/6/2012.  The game is more intriguing than the usual exhibition because UBC has been rumored to be contemplating a move to the NCAA for some time and hockey is their flagship sport.

Denver Hockey reported today that the game will likely be played in the Pepsi Center near downtown Denver, home of the Colorado Avalanche.