Special Delivery: Denver Cruises Into Second Straight NCAA Title Game

DU vs CC 2005 Frozen 4

April 7, 2005

Pioneers Score Six Times On Power Play To Dispatch CC
(Left) Fulghum starts the rout
COLUMBUS, Ohio — What a time for Denver to find its touch on the power play.

The Pioneers are a victory away from defending their national championship after scoring six times with the man advantage in emphatically dispatching in-state rival Colorado College 6-2 in Thursday's first semifinal of the Frozen Four at Value City Arena.

Luke Fulghum and Gabe Gauthier each scored a pair of goals and Denver's highly-touted defensive pair of Brett Skinner (four assists) and Matt Carle (one goal, two assists) combined for seven points in a complete undressing of Colorado College's penalty kill.

Denver had just three power-play goals in its last eight games, dating to the final weekend of the regular season and covering 48 opportunities. But the Pioneers scored four times on their first seven opportunities and finished 6-for-12.

"Having the power play and taking advantage of the power-play opportunities is huge," Gauthier said. "Every guy on both units knew that they had to do something extra to get a chance because we have been struggling with our power play. We've been working on it in the past few weeks. It was a big game and we needed some guys to step up, which they did. The power play definitely did its role."

So did freshman Peter Mannino. He may have been lost in the special-teams madness, but the Denver goaltender looked solid when he was challenged, making 41 saves to put the Pioneers in the national championship game, where they'll play the winner of Thursday night's Minnesota-North Dakota game.

Colorado College outshot Denver 43-29 but that wasn't anywhere near indicative of the flow of the game, in which a team was on the power play for 19:12 of the 60 minutes.

The sixth meeting of the season between the teams confirmed the Pioneers' advantage for the year. Colorado College led the series 2-1 before Denver gained a share of the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular-season champions on the final day of the season, then won the WCHA playoff championship in a 1-0 victory over the Tigers.

The victory Thursday gave the Pioneers (31-9-2) a 148th victory in the all-time series and denied CC (31-9-3) its 100th victory against its neighbor 60-some miles to the north.

The power-play success was stunning, not even considering Denver's recent track record with the man advantage. The Pioneers scored in a number of ways.

There was a drive up the middle by Fulghum. There was a point shot that hit Fulghum's rear end and went into the net. There was a shot from the point by Carle and a hard wrist shot from the faceoff circle by Gauthier.

Then there was a perfect power-play goal, with Jeff Drummond finding an open Gauthier at the top of the crease for a tip-in and a 5-1 lead.

"The thought the one thing we were able to do today is we were able to get shooting lanes open," Denver coach George Gwozdecky said. "Over the last few weeks, we've been a little bit static in our movements away from the puck, and when we did have the puck we were almost to the point where we were just passing the puck around the perimeter. We looked great at times moving the puck around the perimeter; we looked like the '72 Russians at times, but getting the puck into the scoring area and on the net was a whole different challenge."

It was CC's worst special-teams outing of the season, and not even the Hobey Baker finalist combination of Marty Sertich and Brett Sterling could help get things going. The nation's top two scorers were held without a point by the Pioneers again.

Peter Mannino, the surprise starter in net for the Pioneers, made 41 saves.

In the six-game season series between the teams, Sterling was held without a point and Sertich had only two points, both on goals.

Brian Salcido and James Brannigan scored power-play goals for the Tigers, and goaltender Curtis McElhinney made 23 saves. McElhinney allowed at least five goals for the second time in three games, including a 6-5 regional semifinal victory over Colgate.

But there was just too much going against the Tigers on the penalty kill, where CC defenseman Mark Stuart said Denver was able to get traffic in front of the net to take advantage. The Tigers were penalized 14 times for 28 minutes, giving the Pioneers a total of 12 minutes on the power play and sending the roof down on the Tigers.

"I thought we were dumb on a lot of penalties," CC coach Scott Owens said. "We made poor decisions when we had people in position, and I thought we got a little frustrated. We haven't been in this position a lot and I thought we got frustrated with everything and lost our composure a little bit, and I very rarely say that about our team."

Fulghum scored both of his goals in the first period, giving the Pioneers a 2-0 lead after the first period. On the second, he only had to stand in the way of a Skinner shot and have it graze off his breezers, slowing it just enough to possibly fool McElhinney.

Carle gave Denver a 3-0 lead before a Salcido shot went off the Pioneers defenseman's skate for a CC goal to cut the deficit to 3-1. It was CC's first goal against Denver in 153 minutes, 52 seconds and its first against Mannino in 172:22.

Gauthier scored with 9.5 seconds left in the second period, effectively crushing CC's chances at a comeback. He added his second goal of the game in the third period for a 5-1 lead before Brannigan made it 5-2 with a turnaround shot from the right side of Mannino's net.

Veideman scored Denver's final goal of the game — fittingly, on another power play — with 44.6 seconds left to wrap things up and add one more wound to CC as it exited the Frozen Four.
Yet the Pioneers think they can do better in the championship game.

"We didn't play our best game tonight, offensively or defensively," Gauthier said. "Fortunately, we did have a great power-play unit that helped us out tremendously, but we definitely need to work on the stuff that we've been talking about prior to this weekend — getting the puck in deep, putting pressure on the defensemen and especially getting back on our transitions because that's probably the best part of our game right now."

A power play that can produce six goals is a nice addition.

1957 DU Winter Carnival
DU vs. CC 1986

(Left) The 1985-86 DU team won the MacNaughton and Broadmoor Trophies before bowing to Harvard in the Frozen Four in Providence. In a long line of DU victories over Colorado College this still remains one of the greatest...
DU Overcomes Odds to Win Title

February 21, 1986
by Dan Davis

The Tigers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Brent Gropp and Rick Boh. The Pioneers twice cut the lead back to one with a rebound goal by John McMillen and a spectacular goal by Kermit Ecklebarger.
However the pesky Tigers would not give up their lead and finally broke open a 5-2 advantage early in the 2nd period.
"We were a little nervous at the outset," John McMillan said. "We knew we could come back."
After the fifth CC goal, DU pulled goaltender Tom Allen in favor of Chris Olsen, who turned DU's fortunes around. The Pioneers pulled quicky back to within one at 5-4 on a rebound goal by Ed Christofoli and a two-on-one breakaway by McMillan, assisted by Jim Onstad. However the Tigers again lengthened their lead late in the second period when Tom Pederson launched a wrist shot between Olsen's pad which he defelected but couldn't stop.
Jeff Lamb then pulled DU to within one goal once again at 19:50 of the second period when he knocked in a deflected pass from defenseman Jim Smith, setting the stage for a heartstopping third period.
The Pioneers, as they had done all night, pecked away at CC goaltender Derek Pizzney and finally got a tying goal when Tom Weiss drilled a shot into the upper part of the CC net. Less than three minutes later Weiss scored again on a wrist shot, putting DU ahead for the first time in the game and bring a tremendous roar from a highly vocal sell out crowd at the DU Arena.
Olsen and the DU defense held on to the lead, won the battle 7-6, and found themselves one win away from the WCHA title, which they clinched the next night 4-2."We knew we had the ability to come back from 5-2," Weiss said. "this was the greatest thrill in hockey for me today."

Coach Gwozdecky Fields Question From LetsGoDU

dggoddard (Houston): The Colorado College games have been sold out for months. Would you consider playing the early season CC game in the Pepsi Center once a year if the ticket demand was there?

Coach Gwozdecky: Either school would hate to give up home ice advantage. For either school to go to a neutral site would probably reduce the home team's advantage. That's not to say that if the ticket demand was there, that one of the schools wouldn't go to the Pepsi Center. But a number of issues would have to be overcome to take the game off campus.
My crack "wing-man" Pioneers04 also asked a question of the coach...
Pioneers04 (Denver): Coach, thanks for the chat. Is it just me or over the past 3 or 4 weeks has the team seemed to solve one or two of its issues each week. Against Minnesota it was even strength and 2nd and 3rd line scoring, then last week in Boston it was defense and goaltending. Does the first shutout of the year bode well going into CC?

Coach Gwozdecky: I am pleased by the way we have played over the last four games. Our effort and how we've executed in all areas of our game has shown improvement. I am optimistic that will continue as we move into the middle third of our schedule.
To read all the Q & A's from Ask The Coach

Missing: 1 Gold Pan

Editors Note: This is a work of fiction. Mrs Berkhoel doesn't have the Gold Pan. We know. We checked.

Height: 12" Round

Weight: 18 oz.

Color: Rusty

Last Seen: At the Border

Reward: $19.57 to be paid by LetsGoDU if original Gold Pan Trophy is found.

(Left) The DU Booster Club was able to obtain this photo of Tina Berkhoel on vacation in South Dakota last summer
For years the DU-CC rivalry was symbolized by a trophy that was awarded between the two bitter rivals. It was always kind of hard to figure out who really had the trophy due to a few particular quirks in the Deed of Gift. If the series was split during the regular season, the current holder of the trophy retained possession. So hypothetically, it was possible to split the regular season series, get swept in the WCHA playoffs and the lose the National Championship game and still retain the trophy.

Of course a few Denver wags liked to point out that if it wasn't for the Gold Pan, the CC Trophy Case would only contain a few quartz rocks collected by Scott Owens during his annual summer vacation in the Rocky Mountains.

Last last season it was reported on AM 950 "The Fan" with Mark Mosier and Lodo Chad interviewing Coach Gwozdecky, that a former player from the 2004 team told him that the Gold Pan, "might be in the possession of a player's mother from last year's team."

Speculation raged online about who had the Gold Pan. Eventually Coach Gwozdecky revealed that the Gold Pan "might" be in Tina Berkhol's possession. That created a whole new controversy, because who wants to scrap with the fiesty mother of a former All-American Hockey Player?
Flash Forward a couple of years from now: CC somehow wins the season series with DU. Three CC Tigers who live in Minnesota after a few beers get their courage up & decide to go get "their" Gold Pan. As they knock on the door of the Berkhoel Family abode they are greeted by Tina Berkhoel wearing a #29 Atlanta Thrashers jersey.

Tina: "What can I do for you boys, I'm afraid Adam is in Atlanta."

CC Tiger #1: "Well actually Ma'am we're not here to see Adam."

Tina: "Well come inside boys I just baked a fresh Gopher Pie and its cooling on the windowsill."

CC Tiger #2: "Thats OK ma'am actually were from Colorado College."

Tina (suddenly suspicious & less friendly): Oh Really...

CC Tiger #1: Yes, well you see ma'am were here about the Gold Pan...

"I don't know anything about a Gold Pan..."

CC Tiger #1: "Well you see ma'am we understand that Adam might have acidentally taken it when he graduated and we were thinking that since its like a perpetual trophy, we maybe could like get it back."

Tina: "Now listen here boys Adam has so many trophies (NCAA Regionals MVP, Frozen Four MVP, USA player of the year, etc...) it would take you boys weeks to find it even if we had it, which we don't."

CC Tiger #3 (helpfully): "Thats OK ma'am, were from CC. We haven't seen many throphies. We'd be honored to sort through them and see if we could find the Gold Pan."

Tina (skeptically): "OK boys, but I want you out of here by 5 PM."

CC Tigers #1, #2 & #3: Yes Ma'am...

Well, the CC boys never did find that Gold Pan, although they had a great time seeing all of the championship trophies and photographs. They didn't even stick around for Tina Berkhoel's world famous Gopher Pie. And thats too bad, because if they had they might have seen the faint inscription in the bottom of the Pie Pan...DU vs. CC 19...


Boone gets invited to the Kennedy Compound

At the entrance to BU's Spectacular Agganis Arena


Louisburg Square (pronounced "Lewisburg"), is probably the address most associated with Boston wealth and privilege. Moguls still live here, as does Senator John Kerry. The large Greek revival houses were built in the 1830s and many are still single-family homes. Some of New England's intellectuals lived here: William Dean Howells at No.16 and Louisa May Alcott at No. 10

If you open up the "Bat Man Logo" It shoots a wire 200 ft. so you can escape in an emergency.

The other side says, "CC SUCKS"

DU's 2005 Ring
Last season the rings were designed with input from Coach Gwozdecky. Word has it that this years rings were designed by the assistant coaches who wanted more "Bling-Bling."

DU's 2004 Ring

In another scoop for LetsGoDU readers we were able to obtain this photo from The Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. The ring is being exhibited with other DU artifacts and hockey memorabilia. The exhibition, entitled "From Murray By George" will be on display until Christmas.
The Colorado unCivil War

This weekend, one of the great college hockey rivalries begins anew when DU and Colorado College face off for the 256th time of Friday Night. These schools have been playing each other for well over 50 years, but last season was the greatest rendition yet. The teams met six times during the regular and post seasons and the teams were close to #1 or #2 in RPI each time. Every game had playoff and NCAA seeding ramifications and it could be argued that if CC had won an extra game along the way there probably would be a new National Championship banner hanging at 3185 Venetucci Blvd today.

Over the years there have been some epic battles and many alums of both schools have fond memories of the shenanigans that occurred in the stands as well as on the ice. Last season Coach Scott Owens talked about goaltending for CC in the DU Ice Arena during the '70s and backing up into the safety of his net to avoid animal carcasses that routinely rained down on the ice.

My best memories of the series was organizing two bus trips down to the Broadmoor in the mid-eighties, meeting for pregame drinks at the Golden Bee and having the Broadmoor Hotel "loan" us sportscoats at one of their bars. Now thats "Old School."

DU holds a 148-99-8 advantage, but CC has pulled some massive upsets over DU in the WCHA playoff over the years. The old adage that "you can throw the records out the window" seems to always apply.

Available At All Colorado Springs Book Retailers....
Miracle II: CC's Domination of the Consolation Game in the WCHA Tournament - No team has come close to Colorado College's record in the 3rd place game of the WCHA Tournament. The authors followed Don Lucia and Scott Owens for several seasons to find out how a rural backwater college like CC could compete with the big boys. The surprising story is a tale of grit, determination and high stakes pressure as the boys overcome the odds season after season to rightfully earn the title "Consolation College."
The book also details the history of the Broadmoor Trophy (Left). This trophy is awarded annually to the team that wins the WCHA Playoff Tournament. Only the citizens of Colorado Springs could come up with such a beautiful trophy, that Colorado College has naturally never won.
They Call Me Hobey: The Peter Sejna Story - The heartwarming story of a boy from the mean streets of Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia who came to America to play hockey. Peter leads CC on a wild ride scoring both on and off the ice. He goes on to win the Hobey Baker Award, college hockeys highest individual honor his Junior year. Just as he is about to complete the fairytale story and win the National Championship in his Senior season, he turns pro early to play minor league hockey and arch-rival Denver University skates into Colorado Springs and steals the National Championship.
I am not a Terrorist by Scott Owens - Tells the often funny story about Coach Owens being mistaken for a terrorist by a Colorado Springs paper boy in the summer of 2004. As the bumbling FBI agents try and make the case against Owens, they mistakenly pay the Paper Boy (a CC grad) the $10 million reward. The money mysteriously turns up in Phil Kessel's fathers bank account in Wisconsin.
Gwozdecky Juggles Lineup Again

No one can say that the coaching staff isn't trying every trick in the book to get the offense cranked up. Whether its injuries or production, it seems like the Pioneers have a different rotation every game. Hopefully things will settle down after the UMass victory. Looks like in the UMASS Lineup, DU was looking for a more balanced scoring attack.
BU 1 - DU 0 (Friday)
LW Gabe Gauthier / C Paul Stastny / RW Ryan Dingle
LW Tom May / C Geoff Paukovich / LW Ryan Helgason
LW Patrick Mullen / C Michael Handza / RW J.D. Corbin
LW Ted O'Leary / C Steven Cook / RW Jon James
LD Adrian Veideman / RD Andrew Thomas
LD Matt Carle / RD Chris Butler
LD T.J. Fast / Julian Marcuzzi
G Glenn Fisher

DU 4 - UMASS 0 (Saturday)

LW Tom May / C Michael Handza / RW J.D. Corbin
LW Geoff Paukovich / C Paul Stastny / RW Ryan Dingle
LW Ryan Helgason / C Gabe Gauthier / RW Patrick Mullen
LW Ted O'Leary / C Steven Cook / RW Jon James
LD Adrian Veideman / RD Julian Marcuzzi
LD Matt Carle / RD Chris Butler
LD T.J. Fast / RD Andrew Thomas
G Peter Mannino
Enough is Enough - DU Shuts Out UMASS 4-0

When the the historians look back on Denver's 2005-06 season, they might well focus on a bold pronouncement of a DU fan. PioneerOnTheHill2009 stated on Saturday morning, "If we lose to the MINUTE-MEN of all people, I'll run straight across I-25 without looking both ways. GET THE FREAKING WIN BOYS play your hockey."

Coach Gwozdecky might want to add a few "I-25 references" into his future pep talks, because it seemed to do the trick as DU ended a five game winless streak with a 4-0 victory. Peter Mannino secured his sixth career shutout and the DU defense looks to be rounding into form after allowing just one goal all weekend.

Gabe Gauthier, Matt Carle and Ryan Helgason scored first period goals as DU looked very sharp from the get go. DU's power play got back on track with Gauthier's goal.

Adrian Veideman, who's recently moved back to the blueline, scored a second period goal and had two assists. Playing defense has seemed to help his offensive production, as he produced his first collegiate three point game.

Peter Mannino stopped 27 shots for the Pioneers.
Ask dg

DU lost to BU last night 1-0. A tough loss, which brought Denver's record at Boston University to 0-8-2 all time. On the bright side DU is 12-4-0 against the Terriers in Denver. It may be time for Coach Gwozdecky to only agree to games against Hockey East teams in Colorado. More encouraging is that some DU fans are considing risking life and limb to get the team back to winning form. This commitment to excellence is just what the Pioneers need to become a "Perrenial Power."
PioneerOnTheHill2009: I am Very Very Very disappointed in my Pio's. Its been a terrible stretch here, thank GOODNESS its the beginning of the year. If we lose to the MINUTE-MEN of all people, I'll run straight across I-25 without looking both ways. GET THE FREAKING WIN BOYS play your hockey.
dg: I feel your pain.
Player Profile: DU #5 Andrew Thomas

If DU is going to have a successful Thanksgiving weekend on the East Coast, chances are they are going to need a big weekend from their "Defensive Defenseman," Sophmore Andrew Thomas. It is a well-known "Urban Legend" that DU struggles at low altitude where the air is heavier, the puck doesn't fly as fast, and there is more humidity. A quick scan of the DU Roster finds only a few guys from the "coasts." Thomas from Bow, NH has a game that is ideally suited for "low altitude" hockey. Is it little wonder that a coastal team, the Washington Capitals snapped up Thomas in the 4th Round (109th overall) of last season's NHL draft?
It was little surprise to DU fans that Thomas played a major role in last season's First Round victory over Bemidi State in the NCAA Tournament in Amherst, MA. Thomas' goal in the First Period helped propel the Pioneers to their 7th National Championship.
DU fans who watch Thomas this season, will see a player performing a much different role than he did during his first season as a Pioneer. One of only two defensemen returning for the two-time defending national champions, Thomas has transformed from reliable rookie to blue-line backbone for the country's 13th-ranked club.
"I've had a lot more responsibility put on my shoulders," Thomas said. "My ice time has gone up a lot, my role on special teams - power play and penalty kill - have also gone up a lot, so it's good. It's what every player wants, to be relied on like that."
This weekend Thomas will see a few familiar faces. He played with BU's sensational Sophmore Peter MacArthur, a teammate wit him on the Waterloo Black Hawks. Together they won USHL's Clark Cup Championship in 2004. BU Senior John LaLiberte was captain of Thomas' EJHL team, the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs for Thomas' first year in Juniors. Thomas was a Sophomore in high school at the time. A little known fact is that Thomas has been part of a championship winning team in the EJHL, the USHL , the WCHA , and the NCAA. If he can pick up a Stanley Cup with the Capitals, that would be one heck of a trivia question.
Since arriving at DU, Thomas has been a "Block of Granite" on the blue line allowing teammates Matt Carle and Brent Skinner to wander into the offense zone. This season Thomas has been paired with a trio of DU's talented Freshmen defensemen. TJ Fast, Julian Marcuzzi and Chris Butler have all spent time playing with Thomas.
Andrew's brother Matthew, was a four year hockey player at the Naval Academy and is currently serving his country onboard a US Navy ship. Since Boston and Amherst are a short trek from New Hampshire, look for a large Thomas contingent in the DU section. If Thomas sticks to his "coastal form" a goal this weekend won't be a surprise.
UMASS' Coach Cahoon Answers A Question From LetsGoDU

We fired off a question to "Ask the Coach" and lookie here we got an answer. Thanks Coach. For the entire transcript

dggoddard (Houston): What are you expecting from Denver this weekend? What differences in the "style of play" do you see in WCHA teams vs. Hockey East teams.

Coach Cahoon: I'm expecting from Denver a high skill level and a confident group of guys that has become accustomed to winning. They have real good special teams. All of this is a result of a well prepared team. I don't see as much difference in the style of play in recent years as I used to. We all recruit from the same leagues and are looking for players at the same level of play. They all have had the same coaches. Some teams get more of the high profile players, so their skill level is higher. But as far as league style, I don't see a difference the way I used to. From team to team, you see a difference, but that is the same in any league.
Maine Update

Left: The new Play Station 2 College Hockey video game features a special treat for Maine hockey fans. After the game you continue to the baseball-hockey Smackdown in the Kitchen.

I know its hard to keep track of all these scandals, so file this update under "LobsterGate." Additional charges were filed against four more Maine Hockey players. They stem from an incident that occurred last Sunday week at 9:30 p.m.
Brent Shepheard was suspended for 4 games. Wight, Bellamy & Tyler were suspended for the big UMaine vs. USDPT Under 18 exhibition game. Clark & Hamilton are suspended "indefinately."

According to police and witnesses, the six players, accompanied by several other students and team members, arrived at the Washburn Place apartment complex in Orono to confront the UMaine baseball player who had been involved with Hamilton's ex-girlfriend.
Having broken up with the female the night before, Hamilton challenged the victim to fight upon learning of her presence in the house. After arguing for several minutes, Hamilton allegedly assaulted the man in the doorway of the apartment. The fight quickly spilled inside the man's kitchen, where the two grappled for two to four minutes. With the fight having slowed, Clark, Wight, Shepheard, Tyler and Bellamy jumped in. It is at this point that police and witnesses say Clark punched and kicked the victim.

If you want to read the whole story: LobsterGate
Ice Rink Manager Under Scrutiny (this could be the next screenplay for a Soprano's Episode)

Left: It is alledged that Ice Hockey mobster....er, I mean Ice Rink Manager... Mike Vlassakis ran an hockey camp with squeeky clean but naive Air Force Academy coach Frank "Skates" Serratore
Police are investigating whether a City of Omaha ice rink (Nebraska has ice rinks?) manager pocketed thousands of dollars in city fees and gave away ice time to finance his sons' memberships on local hockey teams (Hey, I think we all agree its going to a good cause).

Mike Vlassakis has been suspended with pay from his job managing the Motto McLean Ice Arena at Hitchcock Park and Benson Ice Arena Court.

He has not been arrested or charged with a crime (If jailed he should request a transfer to Orono City Jail. Their ice hockey team is supposed to be loaded next year).

Documents and interviews with people familiar with the investigation make it clear that authorities are looking into at least two areas:

• Billing for the use of city ice. Leaders of two local hockey groups have told police that Vlassakis reduced the groups' ice time bills and told them that the discounts were to pay for his sons' fees to play on their teams. The fees totaled thousands of dollars (ouch).

• Money for city hockey camps. These funds apparently made their way into a private bank account opened in 2002. Court documents indicate the city did not know about the account. U.S. Air Force Academy hockey coach Frank "Skates" Serratore (now there's a familiar name to DU fans), who lives in Colorado and helped run the annual summer camps, said he and Vlassakis split tens of thousands of dollars of that money. He said that was because they were running one week of the camps privately.

Police recently executed a search warrant to seize bank records related to the account, which is listed in Serratore's name.
At this point I'm picturing Colonel "Skates" Serratore on the witness stand.... "You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!"
Prosecuter: Thats great Frank. All I want to know, is did you know that the Ice Rink Manager was ripping off the city?
Serratore: Uh, No
Prosecutor: Next witness.

Vlassakis' attorney Tom Hoarty declined Friday to discuss specifics of the investigation but said that his client ultimately will be vindicated.

Vlassakis was suspended after a city investigation into one of his subordinates, Mike Fricke (this is beginning to sound like a Frick & Frack operation), turned up the financial issues. The city has fired Fricke, citing reasons not related to the criminal investigation of Vlassakis. Fricke has appealed his firing.

Authorities continue to probe Vlassakis' handling of city finances.

In an interview, Serratore defended the use of the private bank account. He said he and Vlassakis established a private corporation in 2002 to take in money for city camps held at the McLean arena at 45th and P Streets.

The account was set up when the number of one-week camps was increased from two to three to handle increased interest in the program, he said. The first two weeks were city camps, Serratore said, and the last week was a private camp (OVER CHARG-ING clap, clap, clappy, clap).

Serratore said city officials did not want to add the third week of camp, so he and Vlassakis decided to run it themselves. He said Vlassakis told him the city had approved the three-week, partly privatized (WTF?) format and that it was patterned after another ice program in Omaha.

Vlassakis' attorney, Hoarty, also said his client acted with the blessing of his bosses (the Chicago or Kansas City Family?).

Serratore said his understanding was that Vlassakis collected the money from the youths in the camps and turned over what was owed to the city for expenses and the first two weeks of camp. The two men split the profits from the third week - approximately $16,000 to $20,000, he said.
Serratore said the $8,000 he received from the city was for the first two weeks and the other money came from the corporation for the last week (It's beginning to look like Scott Owens is the third highest paid college hockey coach in Colorado).

City officials tell a different story.

City Recreation Manager Kim Harman and Mayor Mike Fahey's chief of staff, Paul Landow, said the city should have received the money for all three weeks.

Harman said the $8,000 the city paid Serratore was to cover all three weeks of camps and Vlassakis did not take vacation for the third week, so he was being paid by the city for that week (who has time for a vacation when your kid plays youth hockey, much less afford one?).

The city paid the program's expenses for T-shirts and lunches (poor kids were probably being forced to eat crappy City of Omaha PB & J sandwiches) for the kids for all three weeks and it doesn't appear the city was reimbursed for use of the facility for the third week, Landow said.

"We don't believe it would be appropriate for a city employee, on city time, being paid by the city, working at a city facility, to operate a private business that takes city funds and converts them to personal use (what the heck do you think every mayor in America does?)," Landow said.

Authorities also are looking at ice time bills sent to the Omaha Metropolitan Amateur Hockey Association and the Gladiators Hockey Association.

"Information indicates that Mike Vlassakis has taken liberties with the city facility in order to benefit personally," Omaha Police Officer Mark Griffey stated as part of his request for the search warrant for the private account.

Gladiators president Margie Lowndes told Griffey that she had talked with Vlassakis. Her understanding was that when a "sponsorship credit" showed up on the group's bills, those credits were to be deducted from the Vlassakis' sons fees (this kid has more "sponsors" than NASCAR).

"Lowndes stated in effect that Gladiators Hockey was receiving free ice time in exchange for Mike Vlassakis's son's hockey fees to be paid (that sounds fair)," Griffey stated.

A bill from October 2004 listed two "sponsorships" for Vlassakis' sons - one for $1,475 and another for $1,327, he stated.

Lowndes declined this week to discuss Griffey's statement but said she was aware of no improper activity.

Another group, the Omaha Metropolitan Amateur Hockey Association, had an October 2001 bill for ice time reduced by $1,200. That amount was then credited to one of Vlassakis' sons, who was playing on an association team, according to the warrant (Sounds like Enron accounting).

When contacted about the warrant, association president Pat Meschede said his group questioned Vlassakis about the bill. Vlassakis responded that the city was sponsoring his son, Meschede said (Let's see if I've got this straight. The city of Omaha loves hockey so much its "sponsoring" an up and coming young hockey player, meanwhile UNO can't play home games against Michigan because of a high school wrestling tournament).

The group did not profit from the "sponsorship," Meschede said, because the credit on the bill was the same amount that Vlassakis owed (Wonder if UNO offers a degree in Ice Rink Management. Sounds like a lucrative industry).

Landow said the city would not agree to use taxpayer funds for the benefit of city employees' relatives.
This article originally appeared in the Omaha World-Herald

POSTSCRIPT -- OMAHA — The city is demanding more than $84,000 from two men involved in a dispute over hockey camp proceeds.

City Attorney Paul Kratz sent letters this week to ice rink manager Mike Vlassakis and a hockey coach, Frank Serratore of Colorado, saying the two must repay the money by Feb. 10 or the city will sue.

The letters said Vlassakis and his wife, Jeannine, received a total of $48,784 and Serratore a total of $35,489 from hockey camps in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005
UMASS Coach to appear on Ask the Coach
CSTV: Press Release

This weekend DU will play BU & UMASS on the East Coast. This might be a good opportunity for DU fans to ask some hard questions of Coach Calhoon to get an insider's view of the Minutemen.

University of Massachusetts head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon and University of Michigan forward T.J. Hensick will be the guests tomorrow for CSTV.com's "Tuesday @ the Rink." Coach Cahoon will be joining CSTV at 1:00 p.m. ET, followed by T.J. at 2:00 p.m. Both chat rooms are open now, so you can submit questions in advance.
Here are some sample questions that might NOT get answered...
Coach Calhoon,
Long time, first time...
What is the best way to attack the Minutemen? What are your major weaknesses? And finally, what is your injury situation?
G. Gwozdecky (Thunder Bay, Ontario)
Coach Calhoon,
We're thinking of transfering to UMASS from UMaine. What is your email address?
M. Hamilton & W. Clark (Orono, ME)
Coach Calhoon,
I've had a bit of a bad experience up here at UMaine. I was thinking of getting a fresh start at UMass? What is Stephen Werner's email address...
M. Hamilton's former girlfriend (Orono, ME)
Coach Calhoon,
I'm on a diet, but my wife isn't coming with me on a business trip to the East Coast. What is the best "greasy spoon" in Amherst?
S. Owens (Colorado Springs, CO)
Coach Calhoon,
Who ya looking at for 2008 recruits.
J. Parker (Boston)
Minnesota 4 - Denver 3

"Hey Minnesota Fan, we'll see you in Minneapolis...."

DU's Lineup vs. Minnesota 11/19/05

LW Gabe Gauthier / C Paul Stastny / RW Ryan Dingle
LW Steven Cook / C Geoff Paukovich / RW J.D. Corbin
LW Tom May / C Michael Handza / RW Ryan Helgason
LW Patrick Mullen / C Ted O'Leary / RW Jon James

LD Matt Carle / RD Adrian Veideman
RD Chris Butler / RD Andrew Thomas
LD T.J Fast / RD Julian Marcuzzi

G Peter Mannino
Cookie Monster Devours Gophers
DU-Minnesota Skate to 3-3 Tie
DENVER - If you're going to score your first career goal at DU, you might as well do it against the Minnesota Gophers in front of a national television audience. Steven Cook showed a flair for the dramtic with a HUGE Third Period goal to help bring the Pioneers back from a two goal deficit and escape with a 3-3 OT tie in Magness Arena. DU was also led by a second consecutive strong performance by goaltender Glenn Fisher, who once again stool tall in the Third Period and shut the Gophers down in the 2nd half of the game.
DU fell behind 2-0 in the First Period and showed a little residual rust left over from the Mankato series. However from the 2nd Period on, DU played with a vigor and passion not seen since the Frozen Four in Columbus. Minnesota started the scoring with a goal credited to Phil Kessel, but in reality the puck bounced off of the skate and stick of Matt Carle. Seven minutes later Mike Howe of the Gophers was "Johnny on the Spot" redirecting an errant shot into a wide open net to increase the lead to 2-0. Ryan Helgason finally gave DU some life with his third goal of the season on a deflection of a wicked shot by Tom May. May had his best game of the season, was all over the ice and later had a shot bounce of a post.
The 2nd Period saw Matt Carle atone for his previous sin, levelling the score with his 5th goal of the season. No sooner had the Magness crowd settled back to their seats, than the Gopher's Justin Bostrom tallied with an assist from Evan Kaufmann and the point scoring machine that is Ben Gordon. With one period to go DU still trailed 3-2.
This just set the stage for the Cookie Monster to deliver the goods and with just 2:47 gone in the Third Period, the Denver native stretched the puck around Kellen Briggs. For the rest of the game DU attacked, but to no avail and this hard fought and exciting game ended in a well deserved draw. DU's defensemen rallied together and kept the high flying Gopher Offense from in front of the net. DU now has some much needed confidence that they can compete at the highest level and tomorrow night the second half of the "Catholic Rotation," Pope Peter II, will have an opportunity to earn his first career victory in goal against the Gophers.
DU Lineup vs. Minnesota 11/18/05

LW Patrick Mullen / C Geoff Paukovich / RW J.D. Corbin
LW Gabe Gauthier / C Paul Stastny / RW Ryan Dingle
LW Tom May / C Michael Handza / RW Ryan Helgason
LW Steven Cook / C Ted O'Leary / RW Brock McMorris
LD Adrian Veideman / RD Andrew Thomas
LD Matt Carle / RD Chris Butler
LD T.J Fast / RD Julian Marcuzzi

G Glenn Fisher
Pioneers Sign 7 Student Athletes
DU adds 3 for Class of 2010 and 4 for 2011

DENVER - National Coach of the Year George Gwozdecky has announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Denver and play hockey.
Forwards Matt Glasser (Calgary, Alberta/Ft. McMurray) and Rhett Rakhshani (Huntington Beach, Calif./USNTDP) and defenseman Cody Brookwell (Calgary, Alberta/Williams Lake) have officially announced they will join the Pioneers next fall.
Forwards Jesse Martin (Edmonton, Alberta/Spruce Grove), Kyle Ostrow (Calgary, Alberta/Nanaimo) and Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo./Shattuck-St. Mary's) and goaltender Marc Cheverie (Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia/Nanaimo) will join DU in the fall of 2007.
Glasser is a strong skating, playmaking forward for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder has tallied 7-12--19 in 27 games this season for the Oil Barons, who lead the Rogers Wireless North Division with 44 points. He has added two power-play goals and two game-winning goals. Glasser earned first-team All-AJHL honors in 2004-05 and was selected by Edmonton in the seventh round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He is the son of Audrey and Jim Glasser.
Rakhshani is a creative forward with a great stick. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound California native has 6-4--10 in 13 games for the U.S. National Under-18 Team in Ann Arbor, Mich. Rakhshani has helped the Under-18 Team to a 9-4 mark. He has netted one power-play goal. Rakhshani was the second leading scorer for the U.S. National Under-17 Team last season. He is the son of Joan and Steve Rakhshani.
Brookwell is a strong skater with great size. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder has tallied 2-12--14 for Williams Lake of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). He has netted one power-play goal in 21 games. He is the son of Cindy and Kevin Brookwell.
Martin is a highly-skilled forward for the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL. The 6-foot, 170-pounder has 9-12--21 in 13 games. Martin has three power-play goals, two shorthanded goals and three game-winning goals. He has helped Spruce Grove to a 21-2-1 record after 24 games. Martin earned first-team All-Alberta Midget Hockey League honors in 2004-05. He is the son of Jacquie and Terry Martin.
Ostrow is a strong-skating forward for the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder has tallied 7-14--21 in 24 games. He has scored two power-play goals and one shorthanded goal. He and fellow DU recruit Marc Cheverie have helped Nanaimo to an Island Division-leading 20-4 record. Ostrow earned Forward of the Year honors in the Alberta Midget Hockey league in 2004-05. He is the son of Donna and Frank Ostrow.
Ruegsegger is a highly-competitive forward with a great stick. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder has tallied 7-13--20 in 17 games at Shattuck-St. Mary's (Minn.) Prep School. He has helped the Sabres to a 12-8 mark after 20 games. He was an assistant captain for the Team USA Select Under-17 and Under-18 teams the past two summers. Former Pioneers Ryan Caldwell and Max Bull also attended Shattuck-St. Mary's. Ruegsegger, a native of Lakewood, continues the tradition of talented Coloradoans who have joined the DU hockey program. He is the son of Catherine and Doug Ruegsegger.
Cheverie is a big, athletic goaltender for the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is 10-2-0 with a 2.23 GAA and .915 Sv%. He has recorded two shutouts in 15 games. Cheverie earned Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League Most Valuable Player honors in 2004-05. He is the son of Anne and Don Cheverie.
"We're pleased to announce the signing of seven high-quality student-athletes," Gwozdecky said. "We added a lot of speed, size and skill to our program. These young men bring impressive credentials to our program and will represent DU well on-and-off the ice."
Glasser, Rakhshani, Brookwell, Martin, Ostrow, Ruegsegger and Cheverie join center Brian Gifford (Moorhead, Minn./Indiana Ice) as players who have signed National Letters of Intent for the seven-time NCAA National Champion Pioneers.

Go DU - Beat the Gophers

This University of Denver football cheerleader shot is from the 1940s, and you can see the old DU band unforms.

Fox 9 News Brings in Homer Simpson to Investigate Gophers

Thanks to fellow Bandwidth Hijacker Dirty for uncovering this nugget.

Fox 9 News Producer: All right, are you willing to go undercover at Blarney's to nail GopherNation?
Homer: No way, man. No way, man! Get yourself another patsy, man. No way am I wearing a freakin' wire!
Fox 9 News Producer: Would you be willing to wear a hidden camera and microphone?
Homer: Oh, that I'll wear.

Fox 9 News Producer: We've come up with a camera so tiny it fits into this oversized novelty hat. [Homer puts it on, and struggles to stand upright] Now, go get us some incriminating footage, and remember: you have to get in and out in ten minutes, or you'll suffer permanent neck damage.
Man: [neck horribly twisted] He's not kidding.

Apu: Huh?
Homer: Don't be alarmed, Apu. Just go about your daily routine like I'm not wearing the hat.
Apu: Your headgear seems to be emitting a buzzing noise, sir. Perhaps you have a bee in your bonnet?
Homer: Bee? Aah! [stomps on hat, runs out]
Fox 9 News Producer: Homer, that hat's been with the station twenty years! He had one day left till retirement.
Is This The Smartest Man In America and Why Is He Smiling?

Minnesota Golden Gophers coach Don Lucia has accomplished some remarkable things in his career. Playing hockey for Notre Dame, having a successful coaching stint at Alaska-Fairbanks, turning around a floundering hockey program at Colorado College and winning two National Championships at Minnesota after 23 consecutive "near misses."

Whether its driving the Zamboni at the Winter Olympics, stealing a rival head coach away from a fellow WCHA program or "covering" for his players in yet another scandal, no one can say that Don isn't hands on. But perhaps his biggest coup was convincing Phil Kessel he needed a college education just in case he blows through the $20 million he is going to make in the NHL. There is only one word to describe Coach Lucia "genius."

The way that Coach Lucia was able to intentionlly lose four early season games to take the pressure off his young Gopher team was a stroke of brilliance. Those early losses will keep his team focused during the long and arduous WCHA campaign. The fact that one of his losses and a tie was to his old buddies up in Fairbanks shows his compassionate side.

Obviously being the head coach of the Golden Gophers is not as easy as it looks. OK sure, every kid in the state wants to play in Mariucci Arena from the day they can walk. And of course his every whim is granted by an Athletic Director that basically is his own personal hand puppet. But all this success also makes the Gopher program a target as witnessed by the Fox 9 News investigative report. No, its hard work managing the premier program in the State of Hockey.

Keep up the good work Don.

The State of Hockey?

Why is Minnesota called the "State of Hockey" when the State of Colorado has won 9 NCAA Championships in Men' Ice Hockey compared to Minnesota's 5? Even if you count Women's Ice Hockey the count is only 10 to 9 in favor of Minnesota. Its downright embarassing.

The Scorecard:

DU 7
CC 2
MN-Mens 5
MN-Women's 2
UMD-Women's 3

ASK dg

(left) evegoe & Goldy the "morning after"

This week's question comes from evegoe In Minnesota: Honestly it's UM-DU week... and there are Maine stories posted? Is the Border ready for a Gopher invasion?

dg: Good questions. I was immediately suspicious of the "Maine Bashing" because it followed so closely on the heels of "Blarneygate." Usually, when Coach Lucia needs a smokescreen, the "Family" gets to work and a bigger more sensational scandal mysteriously turns up elsewhere. Viola.

The last time a couple of "hacks" from Minnesota tried to invade a bar, that wasn't giving out free drinks to underage hockey players, was during the Frozen Four in Boston. The Minnesota-Duluth chaper of Alcoholics Anonymous made bold pronouncements about taking over the Penalty Box across the street from the FleetCenter. Well we all know how that turned out. A Denver shirt proudly greeted them over the Bar and when they asked the bartender to take it down, they were asked to leave. Turns out it didn't matter because the bus headed home 10 hours later.

Here are two Blog Links to make sure the other side gets equal time:
NCAA Scholarship Athlete Quiz

You've just come back to school after a gruelling road trip and you discover "Your Girl" has moved onto greener pastures with a another student at your university. What should you do?

a). Head down to the local tavern and risk being filmed the local undercover Fox News affiliate, while you consume a few drinks.
b). Head to the local topless bar to meet a few "local gals" and hope that your monthly meal & textbook stipend will see you through the evening.
c). Hit the books and hope that your hard work will pay off in the classroom.
d). Hit the Blackberry to round up your Gangsta' Posse to pay an O.J. Simpsonesque housecall on that backstabbin' weasel.

An alumus at your school keeps handing you "Ben Franklins" everytime your score a touchdown or a goal. What should you do?

a). Tell your coach because it might quite possibly be an NCAA violation.
b). Head down to the local tavern and start buying your own drinks to show those undercover Fox News Weasels that you're not a "freeloader."
c). Keep the money, but hit the books and hope that your hard work will pay off in the classroom.
d). Take your "old girlfriend" out to dinner and hope that she will leave that athlete that she just started dating.

A teammate has just been dumped by his two-timin' girlfriend. He invites you to join his Gangsta' Posse and help him "resolve things with her new friend." What should you do?

a). Say "No thanks, I've got to study," and hope that your hard work will pay off in the classroom.
b). Offer to take him to the local tavern, which may be staked out by the undercover Fox News Weasels and have a few drinks to help him through this difficult period.
c). Call up a few of the team Hoochies, who are always up for a party.
d). Loudly proclaim, "I've got your back," and go to your closet and pick out a "sharp" pair of shoes.

The police knock on your door at 2 AM looking for your teammate. What should you do?

a). Lie and tell them he's not home.
b). Demand to see a Search Warrent, while you text message him and his best friend that "Johnny Law" is knockin' at the door.
c). Tell them, "Just a minute," and get him out the back door ASAP.
d). Invite them in for coffee while you gently wake him up.

The Athletic Director, Coach and Dean of Student Affairs invite you to a meeting to discuss "incidents" that occurred last weekend. What should you do?

a). Get online and book a one-way ticket to Canada to the closest Major Junior club.
b). Contact the Team Attorney and don't go to the meeting without him.
c). Call your Gangsta' Posse on your cell phone to make sure everyone has their story straight. (Note to Self: Do NOT text message this info because it may be used against you in the criminal trial if one of your Posse "rolls over on you.")
d). Say goodbye to your new girlfriend, because you are going to turn "State's Evidence" and once in the Witness Protection Program she won't want anything to do with you.

Maine Hockey Players Face Assault Charges

(Left) Maine Hockey players on a team building exercise looking for the "Missing" Hoochie

ORONO, ME. - Two University of Maine hockey players are facing assault charges after allegedly beating a fellow Maine student, who was a member of the university's baseball team (Horrors - A baseball player?) at a local apartment complex Sunday night. Others may be charged in connection with the fight, which began when a dozen or more people (hockey players...cough, cough) went to the Washburn Place apartments, where one of the hockey players confronted a man apparently in a dispute over a woman, according to police.

University of Maine junior Michael Hamilton of Victoria, British Columbia, and sophomore Wesley Clark of Oakville, Ontario, both 22 (but not rocket science majors apparently), were charged with assault and aggravated criminal mischief. The two players were released Monday from Penobscot County Jail (How was the food? The lobster bisque on Thursday nights is supposed to be outstanding) each on $5,000 personal recognizance bail, a jail official said. They are scheduled to make their initial appearances in Bangor District Court on Dec. 23.

The fight appeared to stem from a dispute over Hamilton's former girlfriend (A misunderstanding over the definition of "seeing other people" & "its not you, its me"), said Gary Duquette, acting police chief for the Orono Police Department.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred last Sunday at 9:30 p.m. Having broken up with the female the night before, Hamilton challenged the victim to fight upon learning of her presence in the house. Hamilton went to the apartment complex with 12 to 15 of his closest friends (His gangsta' posse, but forgot to run it by his "family advisor"), including other members of the hockey team (2005-06 Maine Hockey Team Slogan, "We've Got Your Back"), to confront a man who lives there, police said. Hamilton's ex-girlfriend was there (whoops - "Mike....What are you doing here?"), and Hamilton challenged the other man (Now I know how Ron Goldman must of felt), believed to be a member of the UMaine baseball team, to a fight. The two men exchanged words (pleasantries) and then Hamilton allegedly assaulted (allegedly gave him the business) the man in the apartment doorway. The fight spilled indoors (watch the china!), police said. The fight quickly moved to the man's kitchen, where the two grappled for two to four minutes. With the fight having slowed, Clark, Wight, Shepheard, Tyler and Bellamy jumped in.

As Clark and five others entered the apartment building (mind if we come in?), where Clark allegedly punched and kicked the man. "From what I gathered so far, it doesn't appear that there were any other people punching and kicking (there must not have been room in the kitchen)," Orono police Officer Chris Watson said Monday night.

After three or four minutes, Hamilton, Clark and the others left the apartment (fled). The injured man later had friends ("Where the heck were you guys when I needed you?") drive him to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He received stitches over his left eye and was released, police said.
The victim, a 21-year-old UMaine student, went to the Orono police station about 12:15 a.m. Monday (to turn State's Evidence and enter the University of Maine's world renowned Witness Protection Program). Hamilton and Clark later were arrested (Bad Boyz, Bad Boyz Watch'ca Gonna Do...This episode of Cops was filmed in Orono...All suspects are innocent til proven guilty in a Court of Law) at separate apartments in Orono and taken to jail.

University of Maine interim athletic director Blake James said Hamilton and Clark will be punished according to the university's Student-Athlete Code of Conduct (unless both players are really good, in which case they will be "pardoned" by Maine's Govenor and the Baseball player will be kicked out of school for inciting a riot).

"There will definitely be some decisions made within the next few days (like whether or not to drop the baseball program) regarding this issue. When there are violations, there are consequences," said James, who met with Hamilton and Clark on Monday and said both players "regretted their actions" (getting caught).
"The Student-Athlete Code of Conduct operates on a point system that places values to many common violations of university rules and Maine laws committed by college students. The policy states, "Any violation of the code is considered serious and could subject the student-athlete to the possibility of immediate suspension from intercollegiate competition and from the team (or even worse, no hot steaming Maine baked potatoes for two weeks). The nature and severity of the violation will determine the disciplinary action taken, if necessary (blah, blah, blah)."

Maine coach Tim Whitehead will be included in the process ("You guys are Dummies"-Swat on back of the head), according to James, but it will be the athletic director who will ultimately hand down the punishment (after asking Timmy what is "fair" and "Who is Maine is playing in two weeks?").

In addition, the players also must answer to Dean of Students Robert Dana (hope he's not tougher than Dean Wormer in Animal House), who oversees the administration of the code through the university, according to James.

"We are taking things very seriously, and I can assure you that NO more baseball players will 'steal' our women on my watch," Whitehead said.
NCAA Hockey - The Injury Game

Firstly and most important, best wishes and a speedy recovery to CC's Scott Thauwald who was injuried on Saturday night with a few seconds left in the game against Wisconsin. Wisconsin was comfortably leading 3-0 at the time. I think about all these kids who get hurt and the more I follow the sport the more it pains me when these injuries occur.

Within the last eight months there have been three devestating injuries in the WCHA to Thauwald, Robbie Bina and Brock Trotter. All three injuries share a few striking similiarities. All three injuries were caused by crushing hits. All three injuries were season ending and potentially career ending. The UND fans may not agree with me, but all three hits were borderline legal and it could certainly be argued that there was no malicious intent to injure. The people who delivered the hits were 6'0" 190, 6'4" 215 & 6'5" 200 and the guys injuried were 5'11" 185, 5'8" 180 & 5'10" 170. Add the tremendous weight training all these kids do and then factor in the speed of the game and how much its increased in the past several years.

The problem is that steps were taken after Bina's injury to tighten up the rules and it has seemingly (but not surprisingly) had no effect in reducing injuries. No extra rules or higher penalties seem to prevent this stuff...unless...hitting is eliminated from the college game. The Europeans appear to play this style of hockey and it doesn't hurt their attendance. Whether or not you agree with me (I suspect that 97-99% of you won't) the day is coming when this debate will be aired. Unfortunately, it will probably take a death or a tragedy, but sooner or later someone needs to at least consider the concept.

I guess what I'm getting at is that when I watch a college hockey game, I don't want to see a kid bleeding on the ice, being carried off on a stretcher or worse, if it can be prevented. But enough of that, now back to the "Blame Game" for the posters, the NCAA can tackle weightier issues like mascots and logos and I can try and figure out organized crime's links to the Dinkytown Drinking Disaster...
It Ain't Over...

War's over, man. Mankato, dropped the big one.
Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Duluth led us 3-1 in the Third Period of the Frozen Four? Hell no!
Otter: Duluth?

Denver Boone: Forget it, he's rolling.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!

[Runs out, alone, then returns.]

Bluto: What the F*** happened to the DU fans I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my a** from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Kessel, he's a dead man! Wheeler, dead! Chucko...
Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional hockey that could take years and cost millions of dollars. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.
Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.
D-Day: Let's go DU.
Bluto: LET'S GO DU!
DU 3 @ MSU 3 - OT (Friday) 11/11/05
LW Paul Stastny / C Gabe Gauthier / RW Ryan Dingle
LW Patrick Mullen / C Geoff Paukovich / RW J.D. Corbin
LW Tom May / C Adrian Veideman / RW Ryan Helgason
LW Ted O'Leary / C Michael Handza / RW Brock McMorris
LD Matt Carle / RD Julian Marcuzzi
LD T.J. Fast / RD Andrew Thomas
LD Chris Butler / RD J.P. Testwuide
G Glenn Fisher
DU 0 @ MSU 4 (Saturday) 11/12/05
LW Patrick Mullen / C Paul Stastny / RW Ryan Dingle
LW Tom May / C Adrian Veideman / RW Ryan Helgason
LW Ted O'Leary /C Geoff Paukovich /RW Michael Handza
LW Jon James / C Brock McMorris
LD T.J. Fast / RD Andrew Thomas
LD Matt Carle / RD Chris Butler
LD J.P. Testwuide / RD Zach Blom
G Peter Mannino
DU looks to Regroup for Gopher Series

Saturday's 4-0 loss to Minnesota State University was as thorough as DU has had in quite a while. DU only had 5 shots on goal in the first half the game. Gwoz's Saturday pregame comments on MSU's Radio broadcast set the tone for the evening.
MSU played well both nights. He feels DU needs improvement in almost every area. He said that DU didn't create enough scoring chances, particularly even strength. He was a little confused and frustrated with Friday's nights performance. My quess is that it was doubly true for Saturday night. DU had injuries to Gauthier (knee sprain), Marcuzzi (hip) & Corbin (bruised foot) on Friday night and they didn't dress Saturday, but they should be back for the Minnesota series. He feels that if everyone sticks to the "Denver System," DU will be OK in the long run.
He was pleased with Fishers effort on Friday. The first goal was unfortunate, but after that Fisher put DU in a position to win. Mannino has an advantage in getting to scout the opponents on Fridays and has used that edge to play well for DU. The DU injuries creates opportunities for new guys to step up.
After the Saturday loss Gwoz added, "This is a tough pill to swallow. For a proud program and proud team to come in here and play as lackluster as we did tonight is disappointing, and quite obviously will be a wake-up call to some of the young guys who haven't played up to their level or the standards that we've set."
DU "Wins" 3-3 Tie with Mankato

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly...

When is a tie NOT like kissing your sister? When you are outplayed on the road, never have the lead in the game, fall behind on three seperate occasions, and score the tying goal on the Power Play with less than two minutes remaining. Nice effort on a night when it wasn't going DU's way.

The Good
Ryan Dingle "The Franchise"
The Power Play - 3 goals
The "Stats" Line
DU's Penalty Kill (Nice improvement) - No Goals
Matt Carle - Another Goal
Adrian Veideman turning into Brent Skinner on the PP (2 assists)
If DU win tomorrow 3 pts would be HUGE this weekend
Dingle's Clutch Goal with two minutes to go in 3rd Period
Trailing three times and coming back each time
Holding Mankato to ZERO shots in OT, including 1 min. of shorthanded
CO14ers never gives up on DU even down 3-2 with the clock ticking

The Bad
Offensive Balance
Clearing the the zone
If we tie tomorrow 2 pts. would be OK on the Road
Not winning the third period
Puck Swami's poor attitude

The Ugly
Outscored by Mankato 3-0 at even strength
Mankato's 1st Goal
The whole 1st Period
If we lose tomorrow, 1 pt. would be horrid
Mannino "Bandwagon" Saves selling his season tickets if DU had lost

DU Homecoming 2005 - Part III