Showing posts with label May. Show all posts
Showing posts with label May. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alumni Pro Camp Underway At DU

(above) Five former collegiate All-Americans were among those on the ice yesterday at DU

The first annual Denver Hockey Alumni Pro Camp started yesterday in Joy Burns Ice Arena. The camp attracted 17 skaters and two goaltenders during day one.

Former Pioneer All-Americans Paul Stastny, Chris Butler, Marc Cheverie, Gabe Gauthier and Rhett Rakhshani were joined on the ice by Peter Mannino, Joe Colborne, Geoff Paukovich, J.D. Corbin, J.P. Testwuide, Ryan Dingle, Tom May, Matt Glasser and Brandon Vossberg. Also participating during the first day of pro camp were current Colorado Avalanche players David Koci, Kyle Quincey and Cody McLeod, and former Toronto Maple Leaf Garnet Exelby and former Av Ben Guite. [read rest of article]

Thursday, August 12, 2010

News & Notes From Around PioNation

(above) DU Alum Brandon Vossberg will begin his professional career in Alaska

The Portland Pirates (AHL) announced today that the Buffalo Sabres have re-signed Head Coach and DU Alum Kevin Dineen for the 2010-11 American Hockey League season. Dineen has been a candidate for several NHL head coaching vacancies in recent seasons.
Recent DU graduate Brandon Vossberg has signed a contract with the Alaska Aces (ECHL) for the 2010-11 season.
Defenseman & DU Alum Brett Skinner signed a one-year deal with Amur Khabarovsk of the Russian super league.
The first annual University of Denver Hockey Alumni Pro Camp will be held Aug. 16-20 at Joy Burns Ice Arena. The pro camp will allow current professional DU hockey alums the opportunity to train together in preparation for their upcoming seasons this fall. DU hockey alumni expected to participate in this year's inaugural camp are Peter Mannino, Chris Butler, Rhett Rakhshani, Joe Colborne, Marc Cheverie, Geoff Paukovich, Ryan Dingle, J.D. Corbin, Tom May and Matt Glasser. Cody McLeod of the Colorado Avalanche is also expected to participate in the camp.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

DU Alum Tom May is featured in a great article in Tom had his team record 10 game goal scoring streak halted this week, but he's recorded a point in 11 straight games.

If you're a member of join the "LetsGoDU Blog" group.

DU Sports Information Director Erich Bacher has some interesting observations on the team's trip to Madison this week. With DU's first line of Rakhshani - Ruegsegger - Gifford clicking so well, you have to wonder how potent DU would be if/when Tyler Bozak gets back? Suddenly DU is four lines deep and 5 goals games could become the norm.

DU Alum Andy Thomas is back in Bakersfield playing for the Condors in the ECHL. Bakersfield hasn't lost since he's been back in the lineup after a stint in the AHL.

DU leads the WCHA with 7 Scholar Athletes with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Wisconsin, North Dakota and Minnesota have a total of two scholar athletes combined. Once again Tyler Ruegsegger leads the way for DU, joined by Marc Cheverie, Brian Gifford , Matt Glasser , Dustin Jackson, Chri Nutini, & Kyle Ostrow.

The Pioneer Mascot Fund has $4,300 in the bank and several more checks in the mail. We're still awaiting the second drawing/draft from the mascot costume company in Canada. If we get a reasonable quote, the deposit will be FedEx'd immediately. There will be an organizational mascot meeting next Saturday at 5 PM at Jordan's Restaurant/Pub on the corner of University & Evans at 5 PM. All are welcome. Then we'll bounce over to Magness Arena to watch DU take on St. Cloud State.

Monday, February 16, 2009

May & Mannino Lead Grizzlies To Victory

(left) DU alum Tom May broke a Utah Grizzlies record on Sunday afternoon

It was just like old times at DU on Sunday afternoon as the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL) scored three third period goals to defeat the Las Vegas Wranglers 4-1 at the Orleans Arena. Tom May broke a team record by scoring at least a goal in nine consecutive games and Peter Mannino was steady in the nets.

May made it 4-1 with 1:59 left to go as he fired a puck into an empty-net to set an all-time Grizzlies record with a goal in nine-straight games. May also had assists on both Sertich goals. Rob Hennigar (two assists) had a multi-point night for Utah as well.

Mannino stopped 22 of 23 shots in the victory for Utah. The Grizzlies outshot Las Vegas 39-23 in the game.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Gameday News & Notes From Around Boone Nation

Mike Chambers Blog has updates on Jesse Martin, Chris Nutini & Tyler Bozak's injuries and availability.

Puck Swami's Know Your Foe Blog breaks dowm Minnesota-Duluth this week.

Tom May and Peter Mannino are now teammates. The two heroes of last season's WCHA Final 5 Championship will suit up for the Utah Grizzlies.

Former DU hockey player Amando Del Bosco played for DU in 1956-57. Today his son Chris, from Vail, is a top athlete in the X-Games sport of ski cross racing. But it hasn't been an easy ride for Chris, who has had to battle inner demons, pot & alcohol issues, while his sister lost a leg due to a skiing injury. Pretty fascinating article.

The Duluth News Tribune has a game day preview of the weekend series between DU & UMD.

Colorado College is downsizing expectations after a disappointing first half of the season.

Monday, January 19, 2009

DU Alum Tom May Makes ECHL All-Star Game

(left) Tom May had a game wining OT goal on Friday night and a shorthanded unassisted goal last night

The ECHL announced today that Utah rookie forward Tom May has been selected to replace teammate Vladimir Nikiforov on the National Conference All-Star roster.

The Grizzlies are the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

May has eight goals and 10 assists in 34 games this year for the Grizzlies. He registered a career-high of two goals in Utah's 6-4 win over Las Vegas this past Saturday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

DU Alum Tom May Signs With Islander Organization

(above) Tom May signed a professional contract last week

Recent DU Alum Tom May has signed with the New York Islander organization and has been assigned to the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vancouver Canucks Release Tom May

(above) Tom May

Recent DU alum Tom May was one of 14 players released by the Vancouver Canucks yesterday.

May played four seasons at the University of Denver and scored the game winning goal in the WCHA Final Five Championship game last season. He scored 18 goals and 17 assists in 123 career games at DU.

May will probably look to sign a professional contract with a minor league organization this Fall.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

DU Loses to Badgers in NCAA Midwest Regional

(above) Dustin Jackson scored DU's first goal against Wisconsin

From DU Website

MADISON, Wis. – Michael Davies tallied two goals and an assist and Shane Connelly stopped 30 shots to lead No. 17 Wisconsin to a 6-2 win over No. 4/5 Denver in the NCAA Midwest Regional tonight before 9,968 fans at Kohl Center. The loss ends Denver’s (26-14-1) season and sends the Badgers (17-17-7) into the regional final tomorrow against North Dakota.

Dustin Jackson (Omaha, Neb.) and Tom May (Eagan, Minn.) scored for DU, and Peter Mannino (Farmington Hills, Mich.) made 20 saves in his final game as a Pioneer.

Wisconsin jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals from Davies and Jamie McBain before Jackson put the Pioneers on the scoreboard at 16:40 of the second stanza. Wisconsin outscored Denver 4-1 in the final stanza and rode the rowdy home crowd to its first NCAA tournament win since claiming the national title in 2006.

Denver outshot the Badgers 12-7 in the opening stanza, but hit four pipes through two periods and was stymied all night by the stellar goaltending of Connelly.

“We had a great ride,” DU head coach George Gwozdecky said. “I am extremely proud to coach this team. We gave ourselves a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for in the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin was given a new life in the NCAA tournament and played a great game tonight.”

After Jackson’s goal made it 2-1, Cody Goloubef put Wisconsin up 3-1 when his blast bounced off the back of Mannino and into the net at 9:19 of the final stanza. John Mitchell made it 4-1 with a breakaway tally at 10:19. May’s wrist shot from the high slot made it 4-2, but Davies’ second goal of the night iced the win at 14:38. Davis Drewiske added the final goal with empty-netter at 17:14.

DU outshot Wisconsin 32-26 and went 1-for-6 on the power play. Wisconsin went 1-for-5 with the man-advantage.

Notes: DU falls to 26-15 overall in the NCAA tournament. The Pioneers had won eight consecutive NCAA tournament games prior to tonight’s loss. DU is 11-2-2 all-time at Kohl Center. Mannino and Andrew Thomas (Bow, N.H.) will participate in the NCAA Skills Challenge during the Frozen Four on Friday, April 11.

Butler Hopes To Lead DU To The Promised Land

(above) DU hopes to begin another miraculous run tonight against the Badgers

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

Chris Butler had to stop and think for a moment.

Last year, the Frozen Four was in Butler's hometown, St. Louis. This year, it's in his new hometown, Denver.

Asked whether it would have been a bigger thrill for the University of Denver to reach college hockey's biggest event back home or at the Pepsi Center in two weeks, Butler paused - but only briefly.

"That's tough to say. I probably would have played in front of more family and friends in St. Louis," said Butler, a junior defenseman and one of DU's alternate captains. "But to play here, in the town where your home school is, it's going to be awesome. Hopefully, we can get there. I can't even tell you how excited I am. This is probably going to be the most fun I've had playing hockey in a long time."

DU's quest to return to the Frozen Four for the first time since it captured its second consecutive national championship in 2005 begins today, as the Pioneers face Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival Wisconsin in the first round of the Midwest Regional on the Badgers' home ice in Madison, Wis. (4:30 p.m. MDT, Comcast Cable-Ch. 5).

Top-seeded North Dakota opens the regional against

Princeton at 1 p.m. MDT today, with the winners vying for a berth in the Frozen Four in the regional final Sunday.

Butler, like the bulk of the players on DU's roster, will be making his NCAA tournament debut today.

Any nerves the Pioneers' youngsters might have been expected to battle were vanquished last week, when DU posted two impressive victories in the WCHA Final Five and won the championship match against Minnesota in front of about 18,000 Golden Gophers fans.

"I think adapting to the Olympic ice (at the Kohl Center) will be very important to us," Butler said. "But I think we have a team that has done well on the Olympic ice, like how we played at Minnesota. Our team speed really showed there. Hopefully, we can do that again this weekend."

DU still retains four players from its 2005 title team, including captain Andrew Thomas, forward Tom May and goaltender Peter Mannino.

Although only Mannino played a leading role on that team, the experience of those three and fellow senior Zach Blom has provided a level of calm and confidence to an otherwise young Pioneers team.

"We just try to pay attention to what they are doing and what they are saying at all times," freshman center Tyler Bozak said. "We know they know what it takes to win the national championship. When they pipe up or have something to say, we listen closely. We're not as experienced as them, so it is good to see how they prepare."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday Was "May Day" In Minnesota

(above) Denver's bench reaches out to congratulate Tom May after his go-ahead goal in the second period against the Gophers

From: St. Paul Pioneer Press

Denver forward Tom May scored the deciding goal on a rush to the net in the second period as Denver won the WCHA Final Five title Saturday, beating Minnesota 2-1.

"I think I had my own cheering section tonight," May said. "It's great to come back and play in front of family and friends." Tom May wanted to give his friends and family something to remember in his final collegiate game in his home state.

With the game tied 1-1 late in the second period, May blasted past a Gophers defender and pushed a low shot past Minnesota goaltender Alex Kangas as the Pioneers (26-13-1) won their third league playoff title in the past seven seasons.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

DU Wins WCHA Playoff Title Over Minnesota

(above) Moments after winning the Broadmoor Trophy Mannino, Mullen & Thomas get together for a "group hug"

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

ST. PAUL, Minn. — When hockey's NCAA Tournament pairings are revealed this morning, the University of Denver Pioneers will be flying high, loaded with confidence no matter where they play or who they face.

The Pioneers, who will take a four-game winning streak into the national tournament, are playoff champions of America's toughest amateur conference. DU captured its record 15th WCHA Final Five championship Saturday night, defeating Minnesota 2-1 in the Broadmoor Trophy game before 17,907 partisan fans at the Xcel Energy Center.

An NCAA-record six teams from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association are pegged to make today's 16- team field.

DU coach George Gwozdecky said the victory proved his team can be a factor in the NCAA Tournament. The win proves "our ability to play big games on the big stage," he said. "It doesn't get any bigger than this."

Nothing seems to rattle senior goalie Peter Mannino, who as a freshman was named 2005 Frozen Four MVP. He has allowed just five goals in DU's four conference playoff games, all victories.

Mannino was brilliant Saturday, making 34 saves. Senior Tom May, from nearby Eagan, Minn., scored the winner on a semi-breakaway late in the second period.

In January, DU began a 5-9-1 slide. Now, the Pioneers appear as good as any team in the NCAA.

"We've faced a heck of a lot of adversity since the middle of the season, with injuries and departures and stuff like that, but hopefully we're hitting our stride," DU captain Andrew Thomas said.

The Pioneers (26-13-1) always play well in the Final Five since it moved to the Xcel Energy Center in 2001. And they have won the Broadmoor Trophy in four of the past nine years.

"We've had different type of teams that have won it different ways," said Gwozdecky, who previously guided DU to the 1999, 2002 and 2005 playoff crowns. "It's one of the events in every student-athlete's career that he remembers for a lifetime."

"Different guys, same hardware," Mannino said. "It's just as nice."

Minnesota, which was playing in its sixth playoff game in nine nights, was trying to become the first team to win the Final Five from the Thursday play-in game.

"Almost all weekend, we were running on adrenaline," Gophers forward Ben Gordon said.

DU is #1 in the WCHA with 15 playoff championships, one more than Minnesota.

Monday, March 17, 2008

DU Seniors Prepare For One More Title Run

(above) Andrew Thomas & Peter Mannino are two of Denver's four Seniors

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

When they were freshmen, Tom May and Andrew Thomas each scored goals in the University of Denver's first-round win against Bemidji State in the NCAA tournament, helping the Pioneers avoid an upset that would have derailed a postseason run that ended with a second consecutive national championship.

Their classmate, Peter Mannino, took the reins from there, recording 85 saves in wins against Colorado College and North Dakota to earn the Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player award.

"It kind of started last week - all the seniors kind of looked around and realized it would be the last time we played CC at home," Thomas said. "We want to make it last as long as possible. We've been trying to make sure the guys are ready this week and really bringing their best effort."

Thomas and Mannino will look to anchor a defense that has shown chips in its armor after a stellar first half of the season.

"We want to put the team in good position going into the (NCAA) tournament," Mannino said. "It's important for us momentum wise. It's a big building block, getting to the Final Five. It was a lot of fun being there our freshman year and we want to get there again."

Regardless of the outcome of Final Five, DU, sixth in the PairWise rankings, likely will receive a bid to the NCAA tournament.

"One of our goals this year was to advance to the Final Five," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "Our seniors haven't been there since freshmen. We're motivated by that."

Friday, March 14, 2008

DU Beats UMD 6-3 in Game 1 of Playoffs

(above) Dustin Jackson had 3 points for DU last night

From the DU Website

DENVER – Freshman Dustin Jackson recorded career-highs of two goals and three points and Tyler Bozak scored twice to propel the #8 Denver Pioneers (23-13-1) to a 6-3 win over the #18 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (13-16-6) in the opening game of their first-round WCHA playoff series tonight in front of 4,693 fans at Magness Arena.

“I thought we played well and were finally able to take advantage of some of our opportunities to score,” Denver head coach George Gwozdecky said. “Home ice is a big advantage, because when you score first it really gets the energy and enthusiasm in the building going.”

Jackson scored two goals within the first five minutes of the game to give the Pioneers a lead they would not relinquish. The freshman winger deposited a Brandon Vossberg feed over the glove of UMD netminder Alex Stalock (22 saves) at 2:15 before tipping home a Tom May point shot at 4:58 with DU on the power play.

Andrew Carroll put the Bulldogs on the board at 8:23 with a goalmouth tally against DU netminder Peter Mannino, but Matt Glasser responded for the Pioneers 1:06 later after knocking home a feed from Jackson on a 2-on-1 rush.

The teams traded another pair of goals before the period ended, with Bozak striking for DU on the power play at 13:39 and Mike Curry beating Mannino (24 saves) at 14:24.

Bozak extended the DU lead to 5-2 only 23 seconds into the final period on his second tally of the game, tipping a J.P. Testwuide shot from the point past Stalock.

A power-play goal by Josh Meyers at 5:55 brought the Bulldogs back within two goals, but Cody Brookwell notched his first marker as a Pioneer after leaving the penalty box, scooping up the puck and beating Stalock with a high backhand attempt on a breakaway at 7:50 to round out the scoring.

The Pioneers held a 28-27 edge in shots and went 2-for-7 on the power play while holding UMD to one goal in five opportunities.

The teams will resume the best two-out-of-three series tomorrow night with puck drop scheduled for 7:07 p.m. at Magness Arena.

Notes: Denver is tied for sixth in the latest PairWise Rankings...The Pioneers are hosting the first round of the WCHA Playoffs for the fifth consecutive season...Denver is seeking its first trip to the WCHA Final Five since 2005...The Pioneers snapped a season-high three-game losing streak with the victory...DU is 63-53-6 all-time in the WCHA Playoffs, including a 47-18-5 mark at home...It was announced today that nine University of Denver players were named to the Men’s 2007-08 All-WCHA Academic Team: Zach Blom (Englewood, Colo.), Brian Gifford (Moorhead, Minn.), Glasser, Mannino, Rhett Rakhshani (Huntington Beach, Calif.) Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo.), Testwuide, Andrew Thomas (Bow, N.H.), and Vossberg.

Friday, February 29, 2008

DU Battles Michigan Tech This Weekend

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

(left) Michigan Tech just one of a handful of NCAA Division I hockey programs to house a Frappier Acceleration Skating Treadmill

One win, and talk of perennial late-season collapses and the bursting of NCAA tournament bubbles will be quieted.

Gaining three or even four points, though, will give the University of Denver hockey team something it has not had since its 2005 national championship run - momentum down the stretch.

DU begins a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series tonight at Michigan Tech with a little less pressure on its collective shoulders after recording a sweep at home last week against Alaska Anchorage.

The Pioneers begin the series ranked sixth in the PairWise rankings, making them a solid NCAA tournament prospect, and gaining results against the Huskies would allow DU to cement the No. 3 seed in the WCHA while gaining extra cushion in the PairWise heading into next week's final regular-season series against league-leading Colorado College.

"We're focused on playing our best hockey of the season right now," senior forward Tom May said. "We want to get some rhythm going heading into the playoffs. Hopefully, we can get a couple wins and build some confidence and get into that rhythm. We're still in pretty good shape, but it's always nice to have those couple of extra wins."

DU leads fourth-place Wisconsin by six points in the WCHA, but the Badgers end their conference schedule this weekend and cannot catch the Pioneers.

Minnesota State and St. Cloud State are in a fifth-place tie and trail DU by seven points, but those teams will be unable to catch the Pioneers if they lose once more or if DU earns at least two points this weekend.

But backing into the No. 3 seed in the WCHA is not what DU wants after limping into the postseason the past two years, only to suffer first-round losses at home in the league tournament.

"We have to remember what happened this past weekend and look forward to this weekend and nothing after that," DU captain Andrew Thomas said. "We got home ice and that is a perk, regardless of what has happened in past years."

Michigan Tech, jockeying for playoff position in the bottom half of the league, has won only two of its past 12 games (2-6-4). The Huskies, though, always are a tough draw at home, as evidenced by the win and tie they earned against CC one month ago.

"They really pack in the students in the town there," Thomas said. "They really rally around them. It is a lot different than a lot of the teams in the WCHA, but that is the beauty of the league. All the venues are different and they all have their own difficulties. It will be my last visit to Houghton and, hopefully, we'll put in a good effort."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Site Publishes 133 Photos Of DU-UAA Game

(above) Tom May is just one on many players featured on svictoria29's slideshow from last Friday night's DU vs. UAA game
Photo Credit: svictoria29

Saturday, February 16, 2008

DU Suffers Shocking Loss At Possum Hollow

(above) UND's Joe Finley checks DU's Julian Marcuzzi into the boards
Photo Credit: John Stennes

by Pat Miller
Possum Hollow, ND - North Dakota kept its nation-best 9-0-1 unbeaten streak alive by scoring four unanswered goals to defeat the visiting Denver Pioneers 5-4 in a thriller played in front of a sell-crowd of 11,793 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The Pioneers looked to have the game well in hand when they built a 4-1 lead at 8:09 of the second period, but the Fighting Sioux scored two goals in the final minute of that period to make it a one-goal game and regain the momentum.

“We didn’t panic when we were down 4-1,” said Ryan Duncan, last season’s Hobey Baker winner, who had a goal and three assists. “There was still half the game left. We just stuck together as a group. We came out in the third period and got the job done.”

Denver coach George Gwozdecky said it was disappointing that the Pioneers couldn’t put away the Sioux after building a three-goal lead.

“The difference in the game was obviously in the last two minutes of the period when we got a little lazy in clearing our zone both times and, as a result, paid for it,” he said. “We got a little reckless and weren’t able to finish it off.”

UND junior forward Andrew Kozek recorded his first career hat trick, scoring the game-tying and the game-winning goals in the third period. Recruited for his goal-scoring ability, his skill was on display as he played on UND’s top line with Duncan and center T.J. Oshie, a first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues.

“It’s definitely pretty easy playing with those guys,” he said. “They make the game a lot easier for you.”

What many expected to be a defensive struggle turned into an offensive slugfest as two of the top goalies in the WCHA struggled.

UND’s Jean-Philippe Lamoureux entered the contest with the best save percentage and goals against average in the nation, but he gave up four goals on Denver’s first eight shots. Pioneers’ goalie Peter Mannino ended the game with 21 saves on 26 shots.

“Both teams have a lot of offensive firepower and made some smart hockey plays,” said Sioux associate head coach Cary Eades. “Whether it’s 8-7 or 1-0, we’ll take the victory and the two points.”

Sioux coach Dave Hakstol was not at the game. He’s serving a two game suspension for making an obscene gesture toward a WCHA official during UND’s Feb. 2 game at Minnesota.

For most of the first two periods, it appeared UND missed Hakstol more than Denver missed two of its top scorers. The Pioneers leading scorer, forward Brock Trotter, departed for the pros on Feb. 7, and sophomore forward Tyler Ruegsegger missed his third straight game with an abdominal injury.

Freshman forward Anthony Maiani got Denver on the board first at 13:29 of the first period when he scored on a power play off a rebound shot. UND’s Kozek evened it up at the 16:00 minute mark with a power play goal of his own.

The Pioneers struck for three unanswered goals in the first nine minutes of the second period, seemingly taking control while taking the partisan crowd out of the game.

Freshman center Jesse Martin finished off a two-on-one rush when he beat Lamoureux five-hole 56 seconds into the period. Senior forward Tom May put the Pioneers up 3-1 when he fired in a rebound. At 8:09, it became a 4-1 game when sophomore forward Matt Glasser tipped in a centering pass from Brian Gifford

The Pioneers had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead, but the Sioux didn’t see it that way.

“I don’t think we ever thought that we were really out of the game,” Kozek said. “We talked about going one shift at a time, hard and short and seeing what happens. At the end of the second period, we really came together as a team. When we got within one goal of tying them, it was huge for us, a big momentum booster.”

With exactly one minute remaining in the period, Sioux sophomore defenseman Chay Genoway blasted in a shot from the left circle to make it 4-2. Just 33 seconds later, the Sioux struck again when Duncan tipped a shot by Kozek past Mannino. Suddenly it was a 4-3 game.

“We’ve been known to take shifts off and let teams come back on us,” May said of Denver’s effort during the final minute of the period. “We need to play 20 minutes each period and 60 minutes each night. That’s definitely been a problem.”

The Sioux and Kozek were just warming up for a big finish. Never mind that since Feb. 18, 2005, UND has been 0-24 when trailing after two periods and Denver was 16-0-1 this season when leading after two.

Kozek notched the game-tying goal at 10:58 of the third period. Duncan picked off a Denver clearing attempt and then fed Kozek, unguarded in the slot. He fired a hard wrist shot past Mannino to knot the score 4-4.

The game winning goal came at the 15:15 mark. Behind Denver’s goal, Oshie fought off a check from defenseman Chris Butler, went hard to the net and attempted a wraparound shot. The puck hit the far post, but rebounded to Kozek, parked at the top of the crease. He punched the puck into the open net to put UND up 5-4 for good.

The Pioneers had one more shot when they went on a power play with 2:37 left in the game, but Lamoureux and UND’s penalty killers held off Denver to gain the victory and a conference win that keeps the Sioux alone in second place, four points ahead of third place Denver.

“There’s no question that it’s a disappointing loss,” said Gwozdecky, “Nonetheless, as I told the team, there’s going to be games like this where there are huge momentum swings. We can learn from this.”

Notes: Referee Marco Hunt's equipment didn't arrive on his direct flight from Minneapolis on Friday, so he wore assistant referee Nathan Freeman's jersey and pinned orange stripes on the arms. The assistant referees wore their sweat suits.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Post Looks At Minnesota Victory & UND Next Week

Denver left winger Matt Glasser (17) celebrates his goal against Minnesota goaltender Alex Kangas (33) during the first period of an NCAA hockey game, Saturday

Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey, Associated Press

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

A sigh of relief was met with renewed enthusiasm Saturday night at Magness Arena, where the University of Denver hockey team emerged from a dark cloud in impressive fashion.

Throw away those heart-rate monitors, but hang tight to the Frozen Four tickets.

The Pioneers, who entered the weekend having lost four of their previous five games and who were without the services of two of their top scorers, produced arguably their most complete game of the season in a 4-1 triumph over the stingy but offensively challenged Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Minus leading scorer Brock Trotter, who on Thursday signed with the Montreal Canadiens, and No. 3 scorer Tyler Ruegsegger (abdominal injury), DU overwhelmed the gritty Gophers — who had not allowed more than two goals in six of their past seven games.

"I am extremely proud of our team, this group of young men that have paddled through three-plus weeks of distractions, starting with the Brock Trotter issue, and then with Tyler Ruegsegger going out of the lineup," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "I'm just very proud of their effort, and how our captains kept the group together."

Gwozdecky could sense that his squad's slump was ending Friday, when the Pioneers played to a 1-1 overtime tie in the opener of the two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. After Saturday, he's convinced that it's over and the off-ice adversity has made them stronger. And he's not alone.

"Injuries and losing players for whatever reason happens," DU senior goalie Peter Mannino said. "That's hockey. To overcome adversity shows a lot of character. That's what we have. I think we're back on track."

Denver now heads to North Dakota to play the Fighting Sioux on Friday and Saturday. The Pioneers, in third place in the WCHA, trail the Sioux by two points, but have two games in hand.
The heroes Saturday were Mannino (30 saves), freshman center Tyler Bozak (goal, assist) and sophomore wing Rhett Rakhshani (goal, assist), but everyone played well — particularly Matt Glasser (goal, four shots), Dustin Jackson (four shots), Tom May (plus-2) and Chris Butler (plus-2).

Glasser's goal with 18 seconds left in the first period gave DU the momentum, and Bozak and Rakhshani struck within 2:08 of the second period to make it 3-0.

Mannino, tied with Gerry Powers with a program-most 13 career shutouts, came 3:56 shy of No. 14. Brian Gifford added an empty-net goal with 1:36 to play.

"We have a small margin for error," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "We played well, we played hard, but we just couldn't get over the hump. Denver was the better team tonight."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DU Defenseman Back In The Rotation

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

(left) Zach Blom

Englewood native Zach Blom might have found his way back into the University of Denver lineup, Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky said Monday.

Blom, a senior defenseman and son of former DU goalie Buddy Blom, played in just 26 games during his first three seasons, but had high hopes of becoming a regular this year.

An offseason suspension for undisclosed reasons cost Blom the first four games of the season, and put him behind freshmen Chris Nutini and John Ryder on the depth chart.

But Blom now is taking advantage of the season-ending wrist injury to Ryder and the position switch of junior Patrick Mullen, who might play wing the rest of the season.

Blom played in the Pioneers' past two games, his first action of the season.

He replaced junior J.P. Testwuide (illness) on Jan. 18 at Air Force and Mullen the following night against Bemidji State.

"He's played well, and he's going to be given, like all of our guys, a good opportunity to be in our lineup," Gwozdecky said of Blom, who turned 25 this month and is DU's oldest player. "If everything goes according to his plan, and our plan, he has a great shot of being there."

The Pioneers, idle last week, begin a two-game series Friday at Minnesota State. Mullen likely will play wing for the fourth time this season, and Blom will skate on the blue line.

"We know Pat can play both positions well," Gwozdecky said of Mullen, who played forward most of the time as a freshman and sophomore.

Mullen practiced at forward Monday.

Sickness spreads

Ryder's injury is the only significant setback the Pioneers have had this season, but illness remains a problem. Gwozdecky said forwards Tom May, Jesse Martin and Dustin Jackson are the latest to miss practice because of sickness.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

DU Drives Chevy To Victory

By Candace Horgan

(left) Marc Cheverie

DENVER (Jan. 19) — In the middle of a losing streak in which they have been badly outplayed in consecutive games, the No. 4 Denver Pioneers needed a shakeup, and coach George Gwozdecky decided to give freshman Marc Cheverie his first start of the year. Cheverie responded, making 26 saves in a 4-2 win over the Bemidji State Beavers.

“We needed to somehow snap our guys out of habits, and one of the ways I thought was to put Marc in net,” said Gwozdecky. “Marc’s not proven; no one knows what he can do in a game when he starts. There is a real urgency to this game and we had to do something to try to shake up our team.”

The Beavers started strong. On their first shift, their forecheck forced a turnover, resulting in a good chance that Cheverie stopped. The Beavers built on that momentum, and had several quality scoring chances. Cheverie made a big save on Matt Read’s backhand wraparound attempt, and the Beavers had a great two-on-one go awry when Tyler Lehrke’s pass just went past the outstretched stick of Ryan Cramer.

Bemidji finally got on the board at 6:19. Tyler Scofield took a pass from Travis Winter and broke in alone on Cheverie, deked to his backhand and slid it through Cheverie’s legs.

“We have a lot of pride in our program, and we came in here to win,” said Beavers’ coach Tom Serratore. “We respect those guys, and there’s not much we could have done tonight.”

The Beavers looked to build on that lead almost immediately, and Cheverie made a huge right pad save on Graham McManaman’s blast from the right point, and then another stop on Matt Pope’s wrist shot from low in the left slot.

“Patience is the biggest thing for me,” said Cheverie. “I just refocused and tried to put it behind me right away. Getting that first shot was huge, and making the save after that goal was huge.”

The Pioneers finally turned things around on a harmless-looking play. Rhett Rakhshani skated down the left side boards, held up just inside the blue line, and fired a shot that deflected off a Bemidji skate and ended up in between the legs of a Beavers’ defenseman, where Tyler Bozak grabbed it and fired it top shelf glove side at 9:32.

“We knew something had to change, and we addressed it as a team,” said Rakhshani. “We talked about not taking games off and holding each other accountable.”

You could almost feel the Pioneers breathe easier at that point, and they started to settle down in the offensive zone and make better passes. They converted at 14:00 of the period when Brandon Vossberg picked up the puck in the left corner and, as he spun towards the boards, backhanded the puck to Matt Glasser alone in the slot. Glasser one-timed it past Orlando Alamano to give the Pioneers the lead.

“We certainly could feel us relax on the bench,” said Gwozdecky. “The team you have seen over the last two games wasn’t the team we had seen over the course of the season. Something had drastically changed.”

Buoyed by their first lead since early in the first period last Saturday against Wisconsin, the Pioneers started generating excellent chances. Tyler Ruegsegger ripped a shot from the top of the slot that went through the legs of Alamano, trickled towards the net, and stopped at the left post.

Late in the period, while on a power play, Jesse Martin passed the puck from behind the net to Brock Trotter at the right side of the crease. Trotter quickly fired it five-hole and lifted his arms in celebration, only to stare and realize that Alamano closed his legs before the puck crossed the line. After a lengthy video review, the no-goal call stood.

Bemidji had a couple of good chances early in the second, including a shot by Blaine Jarvis from the slot, and a two-on-one shorthanded opportunity that Cheverie managed to stop with his left pad.

With Denver on a power play, Rakhshani picked up the puck at the top of the left circle, skated into the middle, faked, then fired a shot home top shelf glove side at 3:57.

“The puck actually went past me,” said Rakhshani. “I was on the left side and Tom May came up and he did a good job of tying up the guy who was going after it. I think he kind of chipped it to me, so their guys were flat-footed and I just cut into the middle and the goalie couldn’t stay with it and I beat him far side.”

The Beavers countered with their own power-play goal at the midway point of the period. Pope picked up the puck in the left corner, took a stride towards the net and slid a pass through the slot to Jarvis, who had been left all alone on the far side post. Jarvis fired it into the open net at 11:22.

Denver had a couple of chances late in the period to recapture their two-goal lead. Alamano just got his right blocker on Martin’s shot from the right circle, and, Rakhshani made a nifty move to split the ‘D’ on a shorthanded try, but his shot hit the left post.

The Pioneers continued to pressure Bemidji early in the third. Alamano made a good save on a Tom May shot from the slot, and then Trotter sent a pass through the crease that Bozak just tipped wide, and Glasser rang a shot from the right circle off the near post.

“We haven’t been playing our best hockey as of late, but we stuck with it, trying to get back to what works, and tonight was a good showing of what we’ve been doing well all year,” said Trotter. “We moved the puck well; Rakhshani was on our line tonight; he played really well too. I think we worked really well together and made some plays.”

Bemidji had several good chances as well. Cramer got in alone on Cheverie in the slot, but Cheverie made a left pad stop, and then Winter had a chance from down low that Cheverie saved.

“That’s just a better hockey team,” said Serratore. “We played as well as we could and it was a tough night. We had a hard time; it was hard at times to keep up with them. Overall, we’re happy with our play tonight.”

Trotter finally gave the Pioneers a little more breathing room on a shorthanded tally. Trotter picked the puck up along the left boards at center ice and skated in, almost losing it at the blue line and going offsides, but keeping it just far enough ahead as he broke in alone on Alamano. Trotter faked, got Alamano to commit, then skated to his right and slid the puck behind Alamano’s left pad.

“I was pleased with the effort, and the urgency was certainly there,” said Gwozdecky. “I think over the course of the last two games, not only has our performance not been there, but it has really affected our confidence. We needed to compete harder, and I thought we did.”