Denver Post Profiles Montgomery & Roy Connection

(above) Jim Montgomery's first day on the job was Wednesday
by Mike Chambers

Colorado's two newest hockey coaches were briefly teammates, but friends ever since.
Jim Montgomery made his debut with his hometown Montreal Canadiens in 1995, after being addressed in front of the team by star goaltender Patrick Roy, who by then had led the Canadiens to two Stanley Cups
" 'Go show everyone what's inside your heart tonight,' he told me, right in front of everyone," Montgomery said. "For the superstar of the Montreal Canadiens to say that to me, it was very motivating and something I will never forget."
Montgomery, 43, was hired by the University of Denver last month and Roy, 47, by the Avalanche last week [read entire article].

CU AD Gets Canned For Fundraising Failures

Mike Bohn axed at CU
A very interesting article in the Denver Post today on the University of Colorado Athletic Director getting fired this week. These are unbelievably challenging times for collegiate athletic departments. 

In March, Chancellor Coombe cut the DU Athletic Department budget by $500,000 for next fiscal year. He also froze faculty salaries and raised tuition by 3.8% for 2013-14 as well. No doubt the Gwozdecky firing, the golf coach resignation and reported budget problems on the ski team were related. More painful cuts are sure to come.

This week DU extended Bill Tierney's contract, joined the Big East in lacrosse and priority number one is to expand seating capacity at Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

The point of this is that the facilities arms race, wild television contracts, huge coaches contracts and conference affiation roulette will call for elite fund raisers to run the athletic departments and universities of tomorrow.
"One day after Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano had his say about why the university abruptly decided to let its athletic director go, Mike Bohn took his chance for rebuttal.

Tops on the list? Fundraising not matching expectations.

"The insinuation that we don't have a (fundraising) plan is offensive at best," Bohn said. "Our Sustainable Excellence Initiative is one we've been working on for three years. And we've been working hard on what works. How do we work within the footprint we have?" [read entire article].

Denver Post Announces Tierney Contract Extension

Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Bill Tierney, who has guided the University of Denver to four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two to the Final Four, has signed a five-year extension [read entire article].

DU Moving To Big East Conference In Lax

The University of Denver men’s lacrosse team will move to the BIG EAST Conference for immediate competition for the 2014 season, it was announced today. Denver will join members Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s and Villanova, as well as Rutgers, who will remain with the league for one season.

Video: DU Fans Grab Center Stage In Philly

Boone Goes Out With A Triumphant Exit

(above) ESPN2 featured Boone prominently on Saturday's telecast
Denver Boone's last game on Saturday was a success on all levels except for the final score of the lacrosse game.

Children flocked to Boone between periods for photographs, the mascot led cheers in the DU section and ESPN2 cameramen worked with the mascot's assistant for cutaway shots. Boone signs, sold before the game at the DU tailgate, were seen in the stadium and on TV. The Mega-Boone sign was hoisted after key DU goals.

Every effort has been made to resurrect Boone as the official university mascot.

When those efforts failed, we tried to work with DU's Mascot Steering Committee to incorporate Boone's features into the new mascot. Those ideas were rejected out of hand. Petitions, letters and emails to DU have largely been ignored.

Boone's presence on social media remains stronger than ever. And as we saw on Saturday, the mascot put on quite a final show.

Thanks go out to the four students who managed the Boone program since 2009. No one can deny that thepast five years have been the stongest mascot era in university history. Each year the program expanded and in many ways is better than ever.

To all the students, alumni, fans, children and DU staffers who supported Boone, we say, "Thank You."

The Boone costume has arrived in Houston where it will be cleaned, repaired and stored.

Video: Boone Mimics Rocky In Philadelphia

DU Fails To Hire Any Minority Mascot Artists

(above) Dave Raymond's company doesn't mention any minority staffers on their website
(above) Will Guy, Tom Bancroft, Leighton Hubbell and Dave Raymond have been brought aboard to develop the new "Pioneer" mascot after the The University of Denver Mascot Task Force was unable to locate any minority candidates
DU Mascot Task Force Mission Statement

"We, the University of Denver Mascot Steering Committee, shall uphold our University's tenant values of Excellence, Innovation, Engagement, Integrity and Inclusiveness.

We shall facilitate the selection of an official mascot that empower, inspires and celebrates the many traditions, beliefs and identities of our DU community and what it means to be a Pioneer."
Imagine our surprise when the University of Denver Mascot Task Force announced today via Facebook that they had brought aboard additional artists to develop the Elk, Jackalope or Mountaineer mascot.  It was rumored that the original artist, Leighton Hubbell, was struggling, like the rest of us, to envision an Elk, Jackalope or a Mountaineer that looked like a "Pioneer."

It was also a surprise to find out that the student who had originally approached Chancellor Coombe to develop a new mascot, DU junior Will Guy, a co-chair of the Committee, was named as one of the "four artists working on the final concepts."  If this is the Committee's concept of "Integrity," we love to see how they define "Conflict of Interest."

But the biggest shock was still to come.  The four artists commissioned by the University were all white males [see photo above]. 

The official response from the Steering Committee on Facebook when queried about the oversight, "We reached out to a variety of designers, but given the time-sensitive nature of this project, we have to move forward to refining the concepts. We selected these artists because they responded to our request that they work with us and they are able to dedicate the time that this project deserves and still meet various deadlines."


Video: Boone Witch Hunt Part Of National Trend

(above) University of Denver students are reporting that several DU professors are conducting themselves like this in the Mascot Task Force meetings discussing Boone

Photo: Firing The Sidegun Aboard The USS Olympia

(above) Boone at Penns Landing
(above) Anybody see a jackalope, elk or mountaineer posing as a "Pioneer"
(above) The USS Becuna submarine
(above) Dr. Strangeboone

Photos: PioNation On The Road In Philadelphia

(above) Boone before the game
(above) DU lacrosse alum Mark Matthews & Boone at the tailgate
(Above)  Cheesesteaks for breakfast at Pat's
(above) Lots of facetime for Boone on ESPN2
(Above) Mega-Boone at Lincoln Financial Field
(above) DU fans on the jumbotron in Philadelphia
(above) DU's tailgate drew around 1,000 supporters
(above) Capital One's new spokesman - "Boone's in your wallet"

NCAA Semi-Finals: Syracuse 9 - Denver 8

(above) #1 ranked Syracuse scored with 39 seconds remaining to stun DU


The University of Denver lacrosse led for 59 minutes in the NCAA Lacrosse semi-finals, but top seed Syracuse staged a 5-1 fourth quarter rally. The Orange tied the game with just under a minute remaining on Luke Cometti's third goal and then scored the winner on a rebound put-back by Derek Maltz at 0:19 to defeat the Pioneers  at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Denver (14-5) got out to a 3-0 lead, and led by 4-1 and 5-2 in the first half. The Pioneers entered the fourth quarter holding a 7-4 edge.

DU goalie Ryan LaPlante made 13 saves for Denver in the first half, while giving up just two goals. Regardless, Tierney stuck with what he had been doing throughout the season, rotating goalies and replacing LaPlante with Jamie Faus, who allowed seven goals on 11 shots in the second half.

“This is what we’ve done all year, and none of those goals were Jamie’s fault,” Tierney said. “Jamie’s our closer, and he’s done a great job all year. We unfortunately didn’t cover up the rebound. I didn’t know heading out on the field after halftime how many saves Ryan had. I didn’t think much about it.”

Tierney talked about the transformation of the DU lacrosse progarm since his arrival.
"I'm so proud of that group [DU's Seniors] and so proud of what they've done for the program,” Tierney said. “Now we have some goals to set. Somebody's got to be better than four-straight tournaments, [and] two Final Fours out of four years. Look around, there's not many [other programs] doing that...I'm so proud and I'm so happy I made the move there, and I'm so proud, and I'm so happy for these young men. They're just a fantastic group of people.”

Matlz scored twice for Syracuse, and All-American JoJo Marasco added a pair as well. Eric Law had a hat trick for Denver.

DU Fans Will Be Tailgating In Philadelphia Today

The University of Denver Lacrosse team will take on #1 Syracuse University in the NCAA Final Four Semifinals on Saturday.

The Pregame Tailgate from 2-5 PM ET in Lot K on the east side of Lincoln Financial Field. Food by Famous Dave's will be provided courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations.

Fans are encouraged to bring their cheers, chairs and beverages of choice.

Parking at Lincoln Financial Field is $20/car and $40/bus or RV and is first-come, first served.

Lacrosse Watch Parties Around DU

Fans of the University of Denver men's lacrosse team interested in watching the NCAA Tournament game between the Pioneers and Syracuse can watch the game at three locations surrounding the DU campus.
Boone's Tavern
1135 East Evans Ave.
Denver, CO. 80210
The Pioneer
2401 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO. 80210
Crimson and Gold
2017 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO. 80210

The game is slated to begin Saturday at 3 AM MT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Popular drinking games including drinking a beer or shot every time you see Boone, Boone posters or Boone signs.

Syracuse Will Bring Out The Fans Today In Philly

(above) Syracuse has won more lacrosse national championships than any other school
From: USA Today
by Eddie Timanus

The University of Denver lacrosse team will face Syracuse today.  Pioneer fans will be heavily outnumbered and drowned out in what will sound like a home game for the massive Syracuse fanbase.

Syracuse hasn't been to the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four since 2009. The Final Four drought wasn't sitting well with the Orange's fan base. Their absence was also having a negative impact on the attendance. 

Semifinal Saturday drew 31,774 last season in Foxborough, Mass., the lowest in the event's NFL stadium era, which began in 2003.

That figure should improve today in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field with the Orange back in it.

"We're excited to be back," Desko says. "The community is buzzing, and a lot of people are making travel arrangements."

The action on the field for that contest with Denver should be interesting. Though the Pioneers have a different makeup than Tierney's defensive-oriented title teams at Princeton, they still play with poise.

"They're a hard team to prepare for," Desko says. "They have a few Canadians and box-style players. You can talk to your defenders about how they're good off the ball, but until you experience it on the field, it's hard to know what to expect."

Sophomore Wesley Berg, one of those Canadian players from Coquitlam, British Columbia, is the Pioneers' top finisher with 56 goals. Eric Law (40 G, 35 A), a native of nearby Centennial, Colo., and senior face-off midfielder Chase Carraro, who hails from Louisville, give DU's roster a diverse geographical footprint.
It is Syracuse that has needed to reinvent itself a bit this year with most of its experienced players on the defensive end.

Senior Brian Megill is the captain who will lead the effort to contain Denver's multiple weapons. But there's still the ability to take advantage of fast break opportunities. The catalyst is midfielder JoJo Marasco, a Tewaaraton candidate who has a team-high 38 assists to go with 20 goals. Luke Cometti and Derek Maltz pace the Orange attack with 30 goals apiece.

Video: 2013 NCAA Lacrosse Trophy In Philly

ESPN Breaks Out Hi-Tech Gadgets For Lax Telecasts

(above) ESPN's SkyCam

The SkyCam returns for the fourth year to the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship on ESPN Saturday, May 25, and Monday, May 27, from Philadelphia. SkyCam footage will be used throughout the weekend telecasts.

The semifinals will be on ESPN2 as No. 7 seed Duke faces unseeded Cornell at 2:30 p.m., followed by top-seeded Syracuse against No. 4 seed Denver at 5 p.m. The National Championship game will air Monday at 1 p.m. on ESPN and WatchESPN. Eamon McAnaney will call the action with analyst Quint Kessenich and sideline reporter/analyst Paul Carcaterra.
  • Microphones will be worn by all three officials during the semifinals and championship, providing on-field dialogue throughout the telecast with periodic switches to each official.
  •  Additional microphones will be mounted on the goals and on-field audio will also be present.
  • The telecast will use nine cameras, plus the SkyCam and Super Slo Motion camera.
  • Among the stories ESPN will be tracking, include: Cornell’s Rob Pannell’s quest to break the NCAA Division I all-time scoring record; Denver’s Wesley Berg, averaging six goals per game during the postseason, is positioned to break the tournament scoring record; Duke, under coach John Danowksi, has been to the Final Four in each of his seven years; Syracuse returns to the semis for first time since 2009; and Denver coach Bill Tierney has amassed an impressive resume in his 27 years of coaching.

Bronco Wes Welker Talks To DU Lacrosse Team

Tierney Era At DU Began With Syracuse Implosion

by Matt Breen
In just seven minutes, his team trailed by seven goals. But the coach's plan was working just fine.
It was Bill Tierney's first game as coach at the University of Denver in 2010. He wanted the Pioneers to get a taste of big-time college lacrosse and they opened the season with a 15-9 loss at Syracuse's Carrier Dome.

The freshmen who were on that Denver team are now seniors. On Saturday, the fourth-seeded Pioneers (14-4) will have a chance to show how far they have come when they meet No. 1 Syracuse (15-3) in the semifinals of the NCAA lacrosse tournament at Lincoln Financial Field.

"They feel that they were given a great opportunity by Syracuse to let us come to the dome and find out what it was all about," Tierney said.

After accepting the Denver job in 2009, Tierney called Orange coach John Desko and told him the Pioneers needed to know what it was like to be a championship team. There's no more daunting task than the Carrier Dome, Tierney told Desko.

Cameron Flint was the lone freshman to score that day, and on Saturday he will be leading the charge. The senior midfielder from Canada has 36 goals and 14 assists this season. He had three assists in the team's 12-11 quarterfinal win over North Carolina.

Midfielder Wesley Berg a sophomore, has 56 goals and 16 assists for the Pioneers this season. Eric Law, a senior attack, has a team-high 75 points. He scored three times in the quarterfinal win to help Denver erase an early five-goal deficit.

"We talk about playing the game fast but playing it smart as well," Tierney said. "Our guys take great pride in that."

Tierney coached 22 seasons at Princeton and returns to Philadelphia 21 years after capturing his first title with the Tigers at Franklin Field. The main difference this time will be the color of his hat, he said. The Hall of Fame coach won six NCAA championships at Princeton and this is his second final four with Denver.

"We're getting there," Tierney said.

DU Clarion: Boone's Shoes Too Big To Fill

From: DU Clarion
by Chris Bach

Officially, Boone is gone. We are in the process right now of trying to figure out his replacement and the new mascot of DU. Regardless, Boone and what he meant to some students and alumni will be impossible to truly replace.

DU is the home of the Pioneers. None of the replacement options, though, are pioneers. This will leave us with a mascot that does not match up with the symbol of our school. In that respect, it will be impossible to replace Boone because despite how anyone felt about him, he was a pioneer [read entire article].

News & Notes From Around PioNation

DU alums Matt Carle, Chris Butler and Paul Stastny helped the USA earn a Bronze Medal at the World Championships. Stastny amassed a team-high 15 points (seven goals). The Americans went 7-3, including Sunday’s 3-2 overtime/shootout victory over Finland for the bronze medal. It was Team USA’s first medal since 2004 and just third overall since 1963. 
Three donors have donated $40 million to the University of Denver, with $27 million coming from former chancellor Daniel Ritchie. The donations will allow DU to add an engineering and computer science building.
Former University of Denver basketball player David Adkins [aka Sinbad] filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy last month, owing $10,991,715 in debts, including $8.3 million in taxes.

Lacrosse Magazine Details DU's Epic Comeback

by Paul Krome

In the NCAA's first quarterfinal doubleheader foray away from the East Coast, college lacrosse's flag-bearer for the West created a lasting memory.

Denver's Eric Law stuck a rebound off a Kieran Burke deflection of an Eric Adamson shot with 13 seconds left to lift the fourth-seeded Pioneers to an improbable 12-11 win over fifth-seeded North Carolina in a quarterfinal at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.

Law's sixth point (three goals, three assists) punctuated the Pioneers' comeback from a 6-0 deficit — the largest ever overcome in this round — in the game's first 10 minutes, sending them to their second NCAA semifinal in three seasons and a matchup with Syracuse on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

"The play was designed for Adamson. He was the hot hand," Law said. "Burke made a great save. I saw it on the ground, picked it up and threw it as fast as I could. It wasn't until I got out of there that I realized we were up one and there were 13 seconds left." [read entire article]

NCAA Tournament: DU 12 - North Carolina 11

(above) Joy in Indianapolis

The University of Denver lacrosse team fell behind 6-0, gave up an empty net goal on a botched substitution and hit five posts, all in the first quarter, before regaining their composure and pulling off a stunning comeback at the NCAA Quarterfinals in Indianapolis.  

The winning goal by Eric Law came with just 13 seconds remaining and was the first time DU led in the game.

DU Looks To Bring Lacrosse Championship Out West

From: Denver Post
by Mark Kizla

Three of the most daunting words in sports: Never been done.

We are crazy for lacrosse in Colorado. Men wielding sticks. Scoring that lights up the board. What's not to like? Denver is a boomtown.

So what's the next step in the revolution?

It's up to you, DU Pioneers [read entire article].

Montgomery Heads To DU With 2nd USHL Title


It took some extra hockey, but the Dubuque Fighting Saints scored in overtime of Game Three to complete the sweep of the Clark Cup Final series over the Fargo Force to capture the championship. It is the second Clark Cup title in three seasons for the Dubuque Fighting Saints and for head coach Jim Montgomery who now leaves the USHL to take over as head coach at the University of Denver.

Terry Ellis Continues Amazing Journey

(above) Terry Ellis hopes to shut down North Carolina on Sunday
From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Terry Ellis didn't learn about lacrosse until he was a freshman at Clayton High School outside of St. Louis when news of the racially charged Duke lacrosse case dominated headlines. An African-American woman falsely accused three white lacrosse players of rape, a story that got widespread media attention in 2006.
"Where I grew up, you play baseball and soccer, but a friend told me I should play lacrosse. He said I would be good," said Ellis, who is African-American. "So he lent me his equipment and I fell in love with it. And here I am" [read entire article].

Royce O'Neale Transferring To Baylor

by Rob Dauster

Details On Transfer

Baylor has lost a pair of guards to transfer in the last couple of weeks, but the Bears may have found a way to fill that void.

Royce O’Neale is expected to commit to the Bears today, according to a report from Jeff Goodman of O’Neale is a 6-foot-5 wing from Killeen, TX, that averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 boards and 3.5 assists for a good Denver team last season. O’Neale’s grandfather is sick and he’s transferring home to be closer to him, and O’Neale is expected to apply for a waiver to gain immediate eligibility. 

O’Neale isn’t the only wing that Baylor has added recently, as they also signed top 100 recruit Al Freeman after Freeman backed out of his commitment to UCLA.

DU Lacrosse Watch Parties On Sunday

(above) This was the scene at Crimson & Gold in 2011
Fans of the University of Denver men's lacrosse team interested in watching the NCAA Tournament game between the Pioneers and North Carolina can watch the game at three locations surrounding the DU campus.
Boone's Tavern
1135 East Evans Ave.
Denver, CO. 80210

The Pioneer
2401 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO. 80210

Crimson and Gold
2017 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO. 80210

The game is slated to begin Sunday at 10 AM MT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.All three locations will be serving breakfast.

Former DU Lacrosse Coach Sees Company Grow

From: Denver Post
by Jason Blevins

Suddenly, Denver is a lacrosse boom town.

The University of Denver Pioneers are perennial contenders, selling out national contests in hours. The Colorado Mammoth and Denver Outlaws draw sellout crowds. Next summer, Dick's Sporting Goods Park will host the World Lacrosse Championships.

Packed into a crowded office in south Denver, a veteran lacrosse coach and an entrepreneur are grooming the next generation of lacrosse players who will further establish Denver as the western capital of lacrosse, challenging the longtime reign of the lacrosse-dominant East Coast.

3d Lacrosse has seen revenues grow more than 700 percent from 2009 through 2012. The company, which hosts high-profile lacrosse events and offers training programs in five states for players from grade school through high school, has grown from three employees in a one-room office to more than 30 in the past three years, with offices in Boston, San Diego and San Francisco, as well as Denver. 

"No one does all the different things we do," said Jamie Munro, a former coach of the University of Denver lacrosse team for 11 seasons who founded 3d Lacrosse with his wife, Sara, as an events-and-coaching operation four years ago [read entire article].

News & Notes From Around PioNation

Add the Denver Post's Woody Paige to the growing chorus that wants George Gwozdecky to be the next coach of the Colorado Avalanche.
DU alum Mark Matthews of the NLL's Edmonton Rush was named Rookie of the Year of the Indoor lacrosse league.  Matthews was 5th in the league in scoring.
Incoming University of Denver coach Jim Montgomery led the Dubuque Saints to two wins over the weekend to grab a 2-0 lead in the best of five series against the Fargo Force.
After upsetting the University of Florida on Friday, the DU men's tennis team lost to the University of California 4-1 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The University of Denver women's lacrosse team also advanced to the second round of the NCAA women's Lacrosse Tournament before falling to Florida 16-5.
DU alum Anthony Maiani, a member of the Allen Americans, won their first CHL Presidents Cup Championship, 3-2 in overtime on Saturday night.

NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: DU 19 - Albany 14

(above) Wesley Berg #14 had a huge day for DU
Wes Berg scored eight goals to lead the University of Denver lacrosse team to a 19-14 victory over Albany.  It was the highest scoring NCAA lacrosse playoff game since 2004.

Berg fell one goal short of tying the NCAA playoff goal record by one goal.

The attendance was 2,621 a Baron Stadium record.

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

Gwozdecky Misses Out On UConn Coaching Job

Mike Cavanaugh
From: Bangor Daily News
by Larry Mahoney

Mike Cavanaugh an assistant coach at Boston College for the past 18 seasons, is in final negotiations to become the head hockey coach at the University of Connecticut.

Deposed University of Denver coach George Gwozdecky and former Providence College assistant David Berard, who was the interim head coach at UConn this past season, were the other finalists.

The decision is said to have come down to Cavanaugh and Berard, who would get an offer if, for some unexpected reason, contract negotiations broke down with Cavanaugh. Gwozdecky was the first finalist eliminated from consideration.

UConn did have a non-scholarship Division I Atlantic Hockey team but will add the full complement of 18 scholarships and join Hockey East in 2014-15.

ESPN anchor John Buccigross reported via Twitter last week that UConn and Gwozdecky were in intense discussions and there was an “excellent chance” Gwozdecky was going to get the position.

Gwozdecky could now be a candidate for the Maine job vacated by Tim Whitehead, who was fired after 12 seasons as the head coach.

Gwozdecky, who was fired at Denver when his contract negotiations broke down despite his 443-267-64 record over 19 seasons, said last month he was interested in the Maine job.

Clarion: DU Committee Offers Boone Replacements

(above) DU's Mascot Task Force is developing a replacement for Boone
From: DU Clarion
by Gigi Peccolo

The Mascot Steering Committee is currently developing seven concepts for the new mascot and will continue to refine the designs within the coming weeks, according to group founder Will Guy.

The seven concepts leaked on alumnus Damien Goddard’s “LetsGoDU Sports Blog” are: a mountaineer, a mustang, a hiker/climber, a jackalope, an elk, a golden retriever and a robot (a nod to the robotics program). Each conceptual drawing will be accompanied by a backstory for the mascot, according to Guy [read entire article].

NCAA 1st Round Lax Tickets Now Sold Out

Tickets for the 2013 NCAA Tournament First Round game between #4 seeded University of Denver men's lacrosse team and the University at Albany are now sold-out. General admission Grassy Knoll Tickets are now being sold @ $15.

Purchase the tickets online:

The game will be sold out by Tuesday.

Adults $15 - Students $5

Gwozdecky Linked To Numerous Coaching Jobs

by Tom Annelin

After his recent ouster following 19 successful seasons as head coach at the University of Denver, George Gwozdecky’s name continues to be linked to a number of NCAA Division 1 coaching vacancies.

Multiple media outlets reported last week the 59-year-old Thunder Bay product was one of three finalists interviewed for the University of Connecticut coaching position. The Huskies have one year remaining to play out of the Atlantic Hockey conference before joining Hockey East in 2014-15.

Among the other schools that are rumoured to have Gwozdecky on their radar is another Hockey East member, Maine, along with the University of Alaska-Anchorage of The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, who announced last week they were restructuring their search for a new coach.

At Denver, Gwozdecky was the only Division 1 bench boss to post 20-win seasons in each of the past 12 years, which included a pair of national championships.

Video: Zucker's Game Winner In OT Lifts Wild

Jason Zucker's GWG In OT Stuns Blackhawks

(above) Jason Zucker celebrates on Sunday
DU alum Jason Zucker scored at 2:15 of overtime to give Minnesota a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, pulling the Wild within 2-1 in the Western Conference quarterfinal series. Zucker's bad-angle shot slipped past goalie Corey Crawford, and the rookie raced toward the corner and jumped into the glass to celebrate.

Zucker had ripped a shot off the crossbar in overtime in Game 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks, a game the Wild lost minutes later.

DU Women's Lax Team Makes NCAA's For 1st Time

(above) Click on image to enlarge

The #11 ranked University of Denver Women's lacrosse team made the NCAA Tournament for the first time this season. They will face Jacksonville next Friday at 2 PM in Florida.

DU Lax to Face Albany In NCAA Tourney

(above) Click on image to enlarge
The University of Denver lacrosse team will face Albany on Saturday night [5:30 PM] at Barton Stadium.  The game will be televised on ESPN-U.
Sign Denver Boone Petition: 1,118 Signatures

ECAC Lacrosse Championship
DU vs. Ohio State
TV: Fox Sports Network, ROOT Sports-Rocky Mountain
Fox College Sports, FUEL TV

DU Star Hoopster Royce O'Neale Leaving DU

Royce O'Neale
by  Raphielle Johnson

The University of Denver is moving to the Summit League, and they may have to do so without two of those key contributors. On Friday the school announced that Royce O’Neale’s request to be released from his scholarship has been granted.

O’Neale, a native of Kileen, Texas, made the request due to the health of his grandfather, according to Jeff Goodman of

“Royce has a personal situation at home in Killeen, Texas,” head coach Joe Scott said in a statement released by the school. “He has requested a release to explore schools that would place him in close proximity to his family. We are understanding and supportive, and therefore have granted Royce a release to those schools.

“As we do this, we are and have been working on a plan for him to stay at the University of Denver while also meeting and supporting his family needs. We are exploring all options to help him.”

If they’re able to work out something to where O’Neale is able to take care of the situation and remain at Denver, the Pioneers would be in position to be one of the preseason favorites to win the Summit League crown.

As a sophomore the 6-5 O’Neale averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, leading the Pioneers in both rebounding and assists, earning third-team All-WAC honors.

Paul Statny & Matt Carle Named USA Captains

(above) DU Alums Paul Stastny and Matt Carle were named captains of Team USA yesterday

DU Lax Advances To ECAC Championship Game

Led be a five-point effort from senior Cameron Flint, #3 ranked University of Denver men’s lacrosse team defeated Fairfield University 10-8 in the ECAC semifinals on Thursday evening. The win advances the Pioneers to the Championship game on Saturday at 2 PM MT. against Ohio State. 

The game will be live on Fox Sports Network, ROOT Sports-Rocky Mountain, Fox College Sports and FUEL TV.

Twitter: Buccigross Links Gwozdecky To UConn Job

(above) ESPN studio host John Buccigross has linked George Gwozdecky to the vacant UConn coaching vacancy

Beau Bennett Scores 1st NHL Playoff Goal

(above) DU Alum Beau Bennett scored his first NHL playoff goal on Tuesday night

by Chris Adamski

The picturesque May morning in Pittsburgh on Wednesday seemed that much sunnier for the rookie they call "Sunshine" when he received word he would make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut later that evening. 

A clear, 78-degree afternoon must have felt like home for Southern California native & University of Denver Alum Beau Bennett.

Twenty-five seconds into his first career postseason shift, the 21-year-old Bennett scored his first career postseason goal. Bennett, a surprise addition to the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup for their playoff opener, wasn't told he'd be playing against the New York Islanders for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series until Wednesday morning.

His goal opened the floodgates of what turned out to be a 5-0 Pittsburgh victory.

"You definitely get ramped up because the crowd was ready from the get-go," said Bennett, a 2010 first-round draft pick (No. 20) of the Penguins. "I was pretty excited to get that first shift on the power play -- and definitely helped getting that goal as well."

Bennett flipped a wrist shot to the perfect spot of only a couple of inches of near-side space between Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov's shoulder, the cross bar and the post as he skated down through the right circle with speed.

"There wasn't a whole lot of room," veteran teammate Brenden Morrow said, marveling, "and he found a little hole there up top."

It was the kind of skill play that Bennett -- dubbed "Sunshine" by his teammates after a character in the movie "Remember the Titans" -- regularly wows teammates and coaches with in practice.

But as talented as Bennett is, there were doubts he'd be able to crack a deep lineup of a team that is on a very short list of Stanley Cup favorites. While Bennett appeared in 26 games this season, many times a spot was open in the lineup because of injuries to other players.

"The skill he adds to our lineup on the fourth line was not only evident on that goal, but evident in 5-on-5 as well with some of the shifts he had in the offensive zone," Bylsma said. "That's something he's added in his latest stint with us after he got called back up. He's proven that, and certainly did that tonight."

Bennett's goal came at the tail end of a power play, meaning he was on the ice with world-class talents Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Bennett fit right in -- good thing, too, because when James Neal left the game early in the second period with an apparent lower-body injury, Bennett found himself on a line with Malkin and Chris Kunitz.

The Penguins gave no update on Neal's status for Game 2 -- but they can feel confident Bennett can slot into any top-six role.

"He's got a lot of skill -- and a lot of smarts," Jarome Iginla said of Bennett. "People talk about hockey IQ and stuff; he's got a lot of it. He finds ways to make plays with the puck, and the puck seems to follow him."

Bylsma said Bennett was probably the team's best power-play guy outside of the first unit over the final 10 games of the regular season.