DU Recruit Matt Van Voorhis Profiled

Matt Van Voorhis
From: Edina Patch
by Ryan Gauthier

Edina, Minnesota native Matt Van Voorhis [5'7 170 lbs.] was one of four players to sign a Letter of Intent recenty to play hockey at the University of Denver for the 2013-14 season.  With four years of junior hockey under his belt, Van Voorhis will be a twenty year-old Freshman next season.

The defenseman is currently playing his second season of hockey with the Sioux Falls Stampede, where he has already registered three goals and nine assists over the first 25 games this season.  The Stampede are in first place in the USHL Western Conference at the midpoint of the season.

Van Voorhis, 19, was a member of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program from 2009-2011 and helped guide Team USA to two gold medal finishes at the 2011 Under-17 Four Nations Cup and the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
2013 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL) - 29 gms, 3 goals, 10 assists
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL) - 24 gms, 5 goals, 2 assists
F Landon Smith (Chicago, USHL) - 29 games, 10 goals, 5 assists
F Connor Chatham (Omaha, USHL) - 29 games, 10 goals, 10 assists
F Ray Pigozzi (Chicago, USHL) - 26 games, 5 goals, 13 assists
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-18) - 22 games, 4 goals, 7 assists
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL) - 35 games, 5 goal, 7 assists
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL) 30 games, 13 goals, 17 assists
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-18) 22 games, 4 assists
2014 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL) - 31 games, 3 goals, 10 assists
F Jared Fiegl (U.S. Under-17) 21 games, 4 goals, 6 assists
F Garrett Gamez (Tri-Cities, USHL) 24 games, 5 goals, 4 assists
2015 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque, USHL) 24 games, 3 goal, 10 assists

Denver 6 - Boston University 0 FINAL

The University of Denver hockey team started off the second half of the season the same way they began it.  Scoring plenty of goals goals and playing stifling defense on Saturday night at Magness Arena.

Shawn Ostrow, Zac Larraza, Quinten Shore, Nick Shore, Chris Knowlton & Nolan Zajac scored for DU.

Pioneers goaltender Juho Olkinoura recorded his third career shutout while BU was shutout for the first time in 125 games.  The longest such streak in college hockey.

DU Lineup
Loney - N. Shore - Knowlton
Larraza - Ostrow - Doremus
Jacobson - Q. Shore - Tabrum
Levin - Arnold

Phillips - Mayfield
D. Mermis - LaLeggia
Zajac - Makowski

Juho Olkinoura

Boone To Upgrade Social Media In 2013

As Denver Boone moves into his fifth year as the "Unofficial Mascot" of the University of Denver, many improvements will be noticeable in 2013.  A custom made Boone hockey jersey, new basketball jersey and social media upgrade are on the agenda.

Boone will host contests on Twitter & Facebook and fans who win contests will have their prizes delivered by Boone to their seats during the games.

So "Follow" Boone on Twitter and "Officially" join PioNation in 2013
Boone's new Twitter Account: @DU_Boone

Ty Loney Helps Out On & Off The Ice

(above) Ty Loney
From: TribLive.com
by Jerry Clark

The numbers on the score sheet may be down a bit from last year for Denver Pioneers forward Ty Loney, but the slow start to the season has not discouraged the sophomore. Growing up the son of a multiple Stanley Cup-winning father (Troy), the younger Loney has seen through his father some of the best things the world has to offer. However, he takes nothing for granted. 

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, he and his family went to help. 

“Helping people in need is one of my favorite things to do,” Loney said. “My parents always let me know that what a good thing that can be … helping a neighbor shovel snow; or when we were in Mississippi helping rebuild. Sometimes it helps just to bring a positive vibe.” 

Loney also participated in another mission trip to Costa Rica, where things he saw fortified his belief in helping others and appreciating what he has. 

“It‘s amazing to come from a nice house, where you have enough meals every day, then to see kids sleeping in cardboard boxes with no food or water. There are a lot of people out there who need help. That is what motivates me. I hope I can keep doing it.” 

During his trip to Costa Rica, Loney had the chance to hand some of the kids a bottle of drinking water and play soccer with them. 

“That totally changed their day, and hopefully that created a domino effect to help others.” 

It‘s little wonder Loney is able to handle a slight dip in production on the ice. 

“I am not producing as much as I would like, but I am also being asked to do some different things,” Loney said. 

The road to college came via growing up in the Pine-Richland school district, and his hockey background came in part with the North Pittsburgh Wildcats. A few years in Double A and a few in Triple A helped Loney transition to the competition at the college level. 

“I played in the USHL against some pretty unbelievable talent,” Loney said. “It helped me develop for college. Denver is a good fit for me — it was a good decision to come here. The competition is better the higher you go, so it is a lot of fun.” 

It‘s hard to have a better mentor than his father when it comes to hockey. 

“My dad is awesome; he never pushed me too hard and always knew when to stop,” Loney said. “He has been through it all and is very, very helpful. He is the best dad ever.” 

All the work and mentoring in the world was great, but Loney was at one point a self-admitted “horrible skater.” 

“Growing up, I would just pass the puck past people, but when I got to a point I realized that would no longer work,” he said. “My sophomore year of high school, I grew four inches, and I needed that. I worked on the ice and off on my skating, something I needed to do to play at this level.” 

And play well at the college level he has. Last season, Loney played in 36 games for Denver, netting 10 goals and 11 assists and was a +8 in the plus/minus rating. 

“This season, what I want to do is help the team better,” he said. “If I do what the team needs, it opens up chances for (us to score). If I stay positive about it, the goals will come. I just have to play well and not worry.” 

As a student athlete, Loney is always trying to improve in every aspect he can. He never wants to have a weakness in his game, because he knows there is always someone happy to take the ice and play in his place. 

Loney still has not chosen a major. He said the school is challenging, so he is busy. But no matter what field he chooses, he said something that helps people is an area he wants to explore. 

“I will decide soon,” Loney said. “I will just work on that and on hockey to be the best player I can.”

Denver Post: Olkinuora Stepping Up For DU

(above) Jussi Olkinuora leads the WCHA in GAA & Save %

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers
Given that the NCAA allows only 18 scholarships for a Division I hockey team, carrying three scholarship goalies is one more than necessary, or needed, for most programs.

But not if you're the Denver Pioneers, a.k.a. Goaltending U.

Sophomore Juho "Jussi" Olkinuora, who joined DU as a walk-on in July 2011, is now the team's top goalie. The 22-year-old Finn has continually outplayed senior Adam Murray and junior Sam Brittain since agreeing to serve as Murray's backup when Brittain underwent major knee surgery after his sensational freshman season in 2010-11 [read entire article].

Bemidji State 5 - DU 1 FINAL

Bemidji State University jumped out to an early lead and defeated DU 5-1 on Saturday night at the Sanford Center in Bemdji, Minnesota. 

DU heads into the Xmas Break mired in an eight game winless streak, but will hope to recover against Boston University on Dec. 29th.

DU 1 - Bemidji State 1 OT FINAL

The University of Denver and Bemidji State played to a 1-1 tie on Friday night at the Sanford Center in Bemdji, Minnesota.  Once again DU jumped out to an early first period lead with a goal from Chris Knowlton.
Bemidji State tied the game with less than nine minutes to play in the third period.

DU's Lineup Against Bemidji Includes Omissions

#10 DU (9-5-2, 7-3-2 WCHA) @ Bemidji State (4-8-2, 3-7-2 WCHA)
Date:  Friday, December 14, 2012
Puck Drop: 6:37 p.m. (MT)
Site: Bemidji, Minn.
Arena: Sanford Center (4,373)
TV: None
Radio/Web: 102.3 FM ESPN (KDXP - Denver)

Several players are missing in action this weekend:
  • Garrett Allen sent out a Twitter mentioning already being home and some sort of surgery.
  • Jarrod Mermis is not in the lineup and whereabouts unknown.
  • Larkin Jacobson is serving the final days of his suspension.
  • Josiah Didier has an ankle injury.

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post used his blog this week to take a look at several issues that have been hanging over the team in recent weeks.  Chambers updated the goaltender situation, Larkin Jacobson's suspension, asked Quinten Shore several questions & updated Josiah Didier's ankle injury.
The Denver Post breaks down the DU-Bemidji State series and CC's battle with St Cloud State.  Saturday night's CC game in the Springs will be broadcast on Altitude
DU alum Geoff Paukovich plays for the ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers and returns to Colorado several times a year to play the Colorado Eagles in Loveland.
The Bemidji Pioneer newspaper has an article on what the Beavers have to do this weekend against DU.

Order Boone Hockey Jerseys

Boone Hockey Jerseys are rolling off the production line in Duluth, Minnesota [close to the North Pole].  They are Made In The USA by K1 and are game quality.

There are countless combinations;  red, gold or white jerseys with either "Pioneers" or "Denver" stitched above Boone on the front.  Names & numbers can be ordered as well.

Allow two to five weeks for your jersey to be custom manufactured and 3 to 5 business days for the items to be delivered.

Trevor Tierney: Not A Fan Of Verbal Commitments

(above) Trevor Tierney is not a fan of "verbal commitments"
"I stay out of the recruiting. This is why I walked away from a secure and lucrative career in coaching. I could not stand the whole idea of recruiting and how it was done, especially with the early verbal commitments that were being made."

-DU Volunteer Assistant Coach, Trevor Tierney

University of Denver volunteer assistant lacrosse coach Trevor Tierney has an opinionated website centered around his lifetime playing and coaching lacrosse. This week he delved into college recruiting and the controversial "Verbal Commitment." 

Whether you are a fan of college lacrosse, hockey, basketball or football or some other sport; recruiting is the lifeblood of any program.

Check out the article. Its an amazing and at times shocking look into the underbelly of college recruiting.

Video: Juho Olkinuora Save From Friday Night

DU Hockey Team Visits Colorado Childrens Hospital

(above) A DU hockey fan poses with Coach Gwozdecky and several players yesterday at Colorado Children's Hospital
A DU hockey fan and his daughter were at Colorado Children's Hospital yesterday when several members of the University of Denver hockey team, staff and coaches rolled into the ward.

Best wishes go out to all the kids in the hospital from all of us in PioNation.

DU Recruiting Update: Adding Mid-Season Depth

(above) Landon Smith could of provided some much needed depth at forward this season, but NCAA scholarship limits, mean that he'll arrive at DU over the summer
A few people online have asked why DU doesn't grab a forward from the list below and enroll the player in school over Christmas Break. The short answer, "It isn't that easy."  

The first problem is that most, if not all of the forwards on the list, are still in high school.  Its possible that Landon Smith [5'10 181 lbs] may have already graduated from high school since he turned 19 years-old as of Oct. 18th.

But that brings us to the bigger issue.  Every major hockey program playing D-1 ice hockey is limited to just 18 scholarships. Its possible to cut scholies into smaller amounts such as quarter, halves or three-quarters, but the total may never exceed 18.  With three goalies on the roster, DU likely has less wiggleroom than usual.  And its likely that three goalies on scholarship explains why DU is so thin at forward in the first place. 

Could DU use a player like Landon Smith this season?  No doubt, but with DU Tuition and Housing running around $15,000 per quarter and likely no scholarships available this year, it makes a roster move extremely unlikely.
2013 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL) - 23 games, 3 goals, 9 assists
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL) - 18 games, 5 goals, 2 assists
F Landon Smith (Chicago, USHL) - 22 games, 9 goals, 4 assists
F Connor Chatham (Omaha, USHL) - 24 games, 8 goals, 7 assists
F Ray Pigozzi (Chicago, USHL) - 19 games, 6 goals, 11 assists
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-18) - 22 games, 4 goals, 7 assists
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL) - 30 games, 4 goal, 7 assists
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL) 24 games, 11 goals, 12 assists
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-18) 22 games, 4 assists

2014 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL) - 24 games, 2 goals, 9 assists
F Jared Fiegl (U.S. Under-17) 21 games, 4 goals, 6 assists
F Garrett Gamez (Tri-Cities, USHL) 19 games, 4 goals, 3 assists

2015 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque, USHL) 20 games, 3 goal, 8 assists

DU Women's College Basketball On Root Sports


Tuesday, December 11
7 p.m.             Women’s College Basketball: Colorado at Denver

North Dakota 6 - DU 3 FINAL

College hockey's midseason Christmas break can't come early enough for the University of Denver hockey team. A depleated forwards corps is showing its limitations late in games during a six-game winless streak. The University of North Dakota rolled Denver 6-3 on Saturday night in Grand Forks adding to the Pioneers recent woes.

Despite the recent troubles, DU remains in first place in the WCHA by one point over Minnesota.

Denver 2 - North Dakota 2 OT FINAL

The University of Denver and North Dakota played to a 2-2 tie on Friday night in Grand Forks.  Though DU never trailed, North Dakota carried much of the play in the last half of the game.

Late heroics by Jussi Olkinuora, including an incredible soccer style diving save, kept DU from losing the game.

Chris Knowlton & Scott Mayfield scored for the Pioneers.

GF Herald: DU & UND Have Dominated WCHA

(above) It will be a madhouse in Grand Forks this weekend
WCHA Domination: "Either UND or Denver have been in 15 of the last 16 WCHA championship games."
TV: Fox College Sports-Central
DirectTV #626 - Comcast Denver #414

by Brad Schlossman

Joe Gleason is willing to admit it.

“I don’t think either team likes the other one very much,” the UND senior said. 

That’s bound to happen when you’re battling each other for college hockey’s top prizes year in and year out. 

The University of Denver will take on North Dakota once again this weekend (6:30 PM MT tonight, 7:00 PM MT Saturday) in a matchup between two programs that have consistently been among the league’s best during the past decade and more [read entire article].

Chambers Tweets Refute Shore WHL Departure

(above) Click on image to enlarge
(above) Click on image to enlarge

Quentin Shore Rumor Via Twitter Raises Red Flags

(above) Click to enlarge
Quentin Shore
A Twitter Post last night by The Hockey News writer Ryan Kennedy sent shock waves through PioNation.  Kennedy certainly has sources throughout major junior and collegiate hockey.  He is the author or the weekly "The Hockey News Hot List" that profiles up and coming junior players that readers should keep an eye on.

If any DU player was interested in transferring to a major junior team, it would come as a mild surprise.  But the Shore family is anchored to the University of Denver as can be.  Quentin's older brother Drew attended DU and is the second leading scorer [5g,10a] for the AHL San Antonio Rampage this winter.  Second eldest brother Nick is the leading scorer [6g,12a] for the Pioneers this season.  Youngest brother Baker plays youth hockey and is on DU's recruiting radar.  Finally both parents graduated from DU's Law School.

The University of Denver is on its annual academic Christmas Break [Thanksgiving to New Years] the timing is certainly right for a player looking to make the jump to Major Juniors.  In the past DU defenesemen William Wrenn and T.J. Fast left DU after the academic Fall Quarter.  However in both instances it was after DU had completed the first half of the season.

Could Quentin Shore have struggled academically in the Fall Quarter and decided that college wasn't for him?  "Unlikely" said an unnamed source with knowledge of the Shore brothers and their family.

Possible Quentin Shore ties to the WHL Portland Winterhawks include star defenseman Seth Jones.  Jones is the likely #1 or #2 overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft.  Shore & Jones were close friends on the USNDT for two years in Ann Arbor.
Quentin Shore is the 9th leading scorer [3g,4a] for the Pioneers this season and centers DU's third line. Although he is logging plenty of minutes this season, perhaps he is unhappy with DU's power player situation or minutes?  DU has been rolling three D-men on the first unit all season, and after a torrid start, the first power play unit has been silent lately in addition to giving up three shorthanded goals in recent weeks.

Quentin Shore was not drafted by an NHL team last summer.  Perhaps he feels he needs to crank up the stats and showcase his skills in the wide open Western Hockey League to raise his stock next summer in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Which brings us to Kennedy's Twitter Post last night.  Its possible that Portland encouraged Seth Jones to reach out to Quentin to see if he was interested.  Or its possible that the Shore family reached out to the Winterhawks to evaluate their options going forward.  Either way, expect DU to quickly try and quell this rumor with the North Dakota series upcoming this weekend.

The longer questions remain unanswered, the higher the possibility that the rumor is true.

Menard To Fly Hourly Workers To North Dakota

(above) Hardware store manager Larry Boutiltier has had a hard time finding employees in North Dakota
From: Associated Press

Home improvement retailer Menard Inc. says it will hire workers from its home base in Wisconsin and fly them to North Dakota to staff a store in Minot, which is near the state’s booming oil patch and because so many people had previously left the state.

The company said in a statement that it plans to hire 50 workers in Eau Claire, Wis., where it has its headquarters, and fly them weekly to Minot, which is also in the middle of an unprecedented building boom as it recovers from record flooding last year.

Menard, which has more than 200 stores in the Upper Midwest, said this would be the first time it has ferried in workers by airplane, but it believes jetting in employees for weeklong stints and housing them in hotels “is going to be a permanent solution for as far as we can see.”

“We were able to stay staffed with the oil boom, and then the flood happened,” Graef said. “Now, we’re trying to get ahead of both of those.”

Finding workers to keep up has been tough, he said.

“Everybody has a ‘now-hiring’ sign in their window,” Graef said.

Businesses struggle to attract workers throughout North Dakota, which has some 22,000 more jobs than takers and the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at 2.4 percent, Job Service North Dakota data show. The unemployment rate in Minot is 2.3.

Wisconsin 3 - DU 1 FINAL

The University of Wisconsin defeated a depleted University of Denver lineup on Saturday night at Magness Arena.  DU trailed 2-1 heading into the last few minutes of the game, but was unable to work any last-minute magic despite having a 6 on 4 advantage.

A Wisconsin shorthanded empty-net goal sealed the game for the Badgers.

DU 1 - Wisconsin 1 FINAL

The University of Denver hockey team might want to consider rolling 6 on 5 on Friday nights.  For the second consecutive weekend DU went over 58 minutes without scoring a goal and then lifted the goalie and Joey LaLeggia scored with an extra attacker to force overtime.

This time DU managed to hold on in the extra frame to force a tie against the University of Wisconsin at Magness Arena.  Once again the extra period featured plenty of drama.  DU had sustained pressure on a power play, but as soon as the penalty ended, Sconnie sprung a fast break and Jussi Olkinuora saved the game with a fantastic save.