On the morning of Oct. 3 the Denver hockey team greeted dedicated, anxious, freezing, sleep-deprived students with donuts, pep, and most importantly assurance that the wait for hockey season was over.
The annual Hockey Campout began the afternoon of Friday Oct. 2, where students pitched their tents to claim their spot outside of the Ritchie Center. Student cleverly pitched their tents at the top of the stairs outside of the entrance to the Ritchie Center, while the rest of the tents sat on the grass and sloped hill. In the evening students were encouraged to go to the men’s soccer game against IUPUI (final score 1-1) and the volleyball game against South Dakota St. (DU won 3-0.)
Following the games, students received food catered by Snarf’s Sandwiches, the Fat Shack, and DU’s Grilling Society (DUGS). Devoted Pioneer’s spent the rest of the night mingling amongst tents, breaking out games of twister and corn hole, listening to music, and even a brief visit from the hockey players. As nighttime set in and the temperature dropped, students cleared out leaving the fiercely dedicated campers to endure Colorado’s sporadic night rain and chilly fall weather. Until around four a.m. when campers ventured out of their tents to sit on the cement and wait for the release of the tickets at eight a.m.
This year, the campout included more incentive as widely advertised across campus. Undergraduate Student Government president, Cam Hickert, was able to arrange a deal with the Athletic’s Office and Chancellor’s Office granting 200 Golden Tickets to be distributed to the first 200 students in line. The contents of the tickets included free attendance to every home game and the first outdoor rivalry game, staged on Coors Field with the historical clash of Denver versus Colorado College.
The golden tickets definitely created a competitive dynamic within the first group of 200 students patiently waiting for their ticket. A few verbal confrontations over cutting the line occurred. Lack of sleep on top of uncomfortable, frigid conditions don’t present the most ideal atmosphere. Luckily, by seven-thirty a.m. students were more than overjoyed to see the players with boxes of glazed donuts, singing the school fight song, and finally receiving the kick-off to the much anticipated hockey season.
The Pioneers took the ice with the annual Crimson vs. Gold Scrimmage the evening after receiving tickets, which team white defeated team crimson 3-2. Then Denver played their first home, exhibition game on Oct. 4 against Calgary securing a 4-0 win.
Yet again, the camp out was an enormous success for students and players, constructing anticipated excitement and school spirit to support the Pioneers as they embark on the 2015-2016 season.
Editor's Note: We are excited to welcome Sasha Kandrach as a new voice on LetGoDU. She is a freshman at DU and will add valuable insight into the state of DU Athletics, particularly from a student's perspective. Be sure to watch for her series about the state of DU's women's sports coming soon.
Note: Article also appeared in The Clarion