Former DU Recruit Commits To North Dakota

by Brad Schlossman

The University of North Dakota lined up a defensive corps for next season that was made up almost entirely of puck-moving, offensive defensemen.

But when Denver coach George Gwozdecky was fired last month, it started a sequence of events that would ultimately give UND a key piece that was missing in the puzzle for the 2013-14 squad.

East Grand Forks native Gage Ausmus, a stay-at-home shutdown defenseman, gave a verbal commitment Thursday to play for UND beginning in the fall.

Ausmus, who played for the U.S. Under-18 team this season and won a silver medal at the World Under-18 Championship, will add some grit and physicality to UND’s defensive corps — elements that will be welcome.

“They are losing (Andrew) MacWilliam and (Derek) Forbort, two physical, strong guys,” said Ausmus, who is expected to be a late-round NHL draft pick in June. “They (the coaching staff) thought I’d fit into that role really well.”

Ausmus originally committed to the University of Denver two summers ago, but those plans changed when Gwozdecky was suddenly fired on April 1.

“When Gwozdecky left, I didn’t think it was the best option for me anymore,” Ausmus said.

After Denver hired Jim Montgomery as Gwozdecky’s replacement, Ausmus re-considered going to Denver. He also considered Minnesota Duluth — where his father played football — but ultimately decided to stay home.
2013 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL) - 38 gms, 3 goals, 15 assists
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL) - 40 gms, 8 goals, 4 assists
F Landon Smith (Chicago, USHL) - 36 games, 11 goals, 6 assists
F Connor Chatham (Omaha, USHL) - 47 games, 14 goals, 14 assists
F Ray Pigozzi (Chicago, USHL) - 41 games, 6 goals, 19 assists
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-18) - 45 games, 7 goals, 13 assists
F Trevor Moore (Tri-City, USHL) 44 games, 17 goals, 30 assists
D Nick Neville (Texas, NAHL) 45 games, 5 goals, 18 assists

2014 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL) - 46 games, 4 goals, 13 assists
F Jared Fiegl (U.S. Under-17) 44 games, 4 goals, 9 assists
F Garrett Gamez (Tri-Cities, USHL) 30 games, 6 goals, 5 assists
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL) - 49 games, 11 goal, 8 assists

2015 Recruiting Class Updated Stats 
F Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque, USHL) 45 games, 5 goal, 19 assists

2016 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Troy Terry (Thunderbirds, AAA) 41 games, 14 goals, 35 assists

44 comments:

pesimisticfan said...

what a piece of shit

dggoddard said...

I think it was a numbers game.

DU had too many D-men on scholarship and wanted Ausmus to play in the USHL for a year.

We picked up Wiercioch and LaLeggia in recent years after they had committed to Sconnie & UNH.

Not as serious a loss, because Butcher was the big prize.

dggoddard said...

Coach Montgomery's Dubuque Fighting Saints begin the best of five series against Fargo tonight for the USHL Championship.

DUbuque vs. North Dakota for all the marbles. Shouldn't be hard to pick a team to root for.

Anonymous said...

This sounds just like Gregoire. De-committing because he wants to be closer to Mommy and Daddy.

achsdu17 said...

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the reason was because Gwoz isn't here anymore.

Anonymous said...

Ausmus might jump to the pros in a few years. Butcher is more of a mediocre player. He should stay for all four years of his eligibility. Fits into DU’s new approach perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, I guess he will have to take the "like" of the University of Denver off of his FB page. Too bad he is not coming to DU, but understandable. Just sad that he grew up near there, and now he has to attend school in that dead zone, too. Silly kid, he could have escaped to Colorado for a few years!

Anonymous said...

No big deal really. Honestly, I'm more happy about the story line of it, really. It just fuels the rivalry. Can't wait to boo his ass..... along with the other Sioux retards. Ready to kick some UND ass in the NCHC, and show Big10 how the big boys do it.

Anonymous said...

OK, not too much discussion here. So I'll take the liberty of moving on with an article on DU lacrosse. Uh oh, this game is televised, so DU will surely lose. Should be a barn burner of a game, hope DU can make some defensive adjustments to deal with Albany's prolific offense:

http://www.denverpost.com/colleges/ci_23211734/du-pioneers-brace-ncaa-tournament-game-vs-high

timt89 said...

Probably realized he would have to study at DU so best to stay in North Dakota where all he has to do is play hockey, drink beer, dodge the local cops, and eat supper at the Olive Garden.

Twister said...

No surprise Ausmus chose UND, but this does sting a little because (1) we lost a recruit and (2) he's going to UND. Still, I like our d-men for next season. Didier is a big tough kid who is physical, Makowski is versatile, Joey L is an elite puck mover type, and I liked what I saw from Zajac last season. Furthermore, it sounds as though Butcher should be able to step right in and contribute. The Pios should be fine.

Mermis notwithstanding, I just hope the remainder of the roster stays intact.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Mermis...anyone hear anything on that front? Will Gwoz lease his doghouse to Monty or does Mermis get to start fresh? Personally, I'd like to see him back in the lineup.

Anonymous said...

Yes, D looks very solid next year, but hopefully Montgomery can get some decent defensive recruits this coming year to make up for loss of Ausmus over the next couple of years. Zajac should be great next year, as will the others. Didier will be a bit of a beast. I hope Makowski and LaLaggia can make some strides forward this year. I felt like the latter two played well last year, but have room to take their games to a higher level. I assume Montgomery has been on the horn with Butcher to make sure that he remains a solid commit.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry losers. You'll get to see him play in Denver next year. Look forward to seeing both CO schools in the bottom of the NCHC in the coming years. You can spin this all you want. The fact of the matter is that your recruit will be wearing green next year! Suck it.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty confident that either Jim and Dave Lassonde are going to set the NCAA Hockey world on it's ear, still, before October 1st, and unveil a major recruit - most notably a young goaltender, who can take the helm from Brittain; or at least create a competitive situation between the pipes. DU can kiss their goaltending concerns goodbye. Having said that, remember too, that us here in Denver have all become used to the Gwozdecky 2-man Goalie system. Maybe Coach Jim has another plan?? Seriously though - hold on to your hats......the DU roster is far from complete. Did I mention that Colorado College sucks?

old pio said...

Old Pio Anecdote Alert: John MacInnnes platooned Tony Esposito at Michigan Tech. Hall of Fame goalie, who won 3 Vezinas and had about 75 NHL shutouts and a career GAA under 3 didn't start every game for the Huskies. I suppose you could make the case Johnny Mac knew what he was doing. Still. . .

On the other hand, that rotation meant I got to interview Tony on Saturday night after we beat him on Friday. A real gentleman and funny guy.

Anonymous said...

Mermis liked to party and missed quite a few morning classes. That landed him in Gwoz' doghouse. Jimmy will likely have a very different outlook about late night drinking and showing up for class.

vizoroo said...

Student Athlete Awards:
Soph-Larkin Jacobson 4.0
Frosh-Gabe Levin 3.96

Adam Murray-Conditioning Award

Anonymous said...

The kid must be stupid. I guess he will fit in at UND as I hear their criteria amounts to "Me skate....me play hockey. Derp."

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your new coach.." Me drink, me drive, twice, urp..."

Anonymous said...

The wife and I were at Mortons last night. We saw Sakic and Gwoz having dinner together.

Anonymous said...

Classy move pouching commits from another school - - Evan though Eades was mentally retarded, he occasionally could find/recruit something that could play.... You know blind nut finds squirel

Anonymous said...


UND made out well with the last decommit they swept up: Cotton Eclair. Made a nice name for himself after the season...fits right into the Hack system.

Anonymous said...

As for asking he play next year in the USHL, his current team (US U18) plays a USHL schedule, plus D1 exhibition plus int'l - - - - so playing another straight year with "just" a USHL team is a step back... I think addition of Neville (NAHL) in place of was indication.....hmmmm maybe this Gage guy isn't so good.... And so, good luck Hack!

WakeyWakey said...

The amount of butthurt from some of you DU fans is absolutely hilarious. Last I checked, it was your fucking school that you support that fired Gwozdecky. If you didn't think there would be fallout from the firing you fans are just as stupid as the UND fans.

You fire a coach, there's always a chance of losing recruits. So grow the fuck up you anon douchebags.

Just goes to show you how much Gwozdecky meant to players. Hopefully Butcher doesn't bail on you guys for the major juniors now.

Anonymous said...

Uh yeah. Get off the paint thinner, dude.

Anonymous said...

UND poaching tour recruit? Get a life. You fired your coach. Fallout occurs. If you didn't fire Gwoz, you'd have this kid. End of story. You all sound like a bunch of cry babies. Then again, you have a lot to cry about. I know it really pisses you off that he went to UND. That's what makes it so sweet for us! You'll get to see him play at the next UND home game in Denver. We'll chant "Home of Sioux" really loud just watch your blood boil. Damn such a great time.

Anonymous said...

Direct your anger at Peg, not UND. UND fans are too busy laughing at your situation.

Anonymous said...

Chill out, fool. Hard for most people's blood to boil over a school that 99% of people in Denver don't even know exists. And if someone who grew up in East Grand Forks is silly enough to go school in the even-crappier-"west"-Grand Forks, then he probably wouldn't cut it at DU academically anyway.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:57 -

You have probably never been to Magness during a UND series then. I have seen many DU fans lose their mind during the UND series. Guess they get a little upset to see the DU student turnout vs the UND turn out.

Outside of Denver, most haven't heard of DU. Come out of the shadow of CU and CSU and we'll talk. I guess when you're the Jackalopes people will hear of DU.

Anonymous said...

DU has a .08 chance of winning the NCHC next year.

Anonymous said...

11:28:00 sounds like the dumbass that I kicked in the back of the head last year. He got out “home of the s” before going down like a sack of potatoes.

Anonymous said...

Ha!! Anon 1:23 is exactly what I am talking about. You're a big man and represent DU well. Come up to Section 6 next year and we'll see how that goes for you. For one weekend a year, Magness is and will always be the Home of the Sioux. Just because it pisses you of. Good luck you and your new drunk of a coach.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:28 is such a tough guy. Assuming your story is even true, sounds like a DU pussy to kick someone in the back of the head. Let me guess you ran after that. I have an idea...do that face to face with a Sioux fan next year and see how it works out for you.

Anonymous said...

We take North Dakota's attendance at DU games as a sign that either North Dakota is so miserable that their citizens move to Colorado, or as a sign that North Dakota is so miserable that a weekend in Denver is the best thing that will ever happen to them. I note further, that sales of fatty foods at Magness absolutely skyrocket when DU plays N. Dakota. Thank you for your patronage.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe what these ND fans put on this blog. They are so immature.

Anonymous said...

.08

Anonymous said...

Ha! Kicking a fan in the back of the head is very mature.

Denver is Kansas City near the mountains.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:13

Yes, I am a female. I am also 20 to 30 years older and at least a hundred pounds lighter than that sack of potatoes. Section 6, eh? If you need a lesson in respect of our nation and our anthem, I’d be happy to accommodate you by kicking your dumb ass next season.

Anonymous said...

LOL.....phuck sue fans.....

Anonymous said...

Hey Pi-0s Geoff Crisfield is available :/

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 2:13 You Sound like a real C U Next Tuesday. Typical DU fan that didn't go to school there.

Bunny Faber said...

Is that a UND fan employing statistical analysis? I didn't realize you were taught anything past 1, 2, 3.

timt89 said...

If Denver is Kansas City near the mountains, Grand Forks is an inconvenient rest stop in a flood zone.