The holiday break has mercifully arrived. The #4 Denver Pioneers (12-5-1, 5-3-0 NCHC) ended the first half of the season much like they played many their first 17 games – struggling to hold any kind of lead. Last weekend, they couldn’t hold a lead against the #1 North Dakota Fighting Hawks and this weekend, against the #13 Western Michigan Broncos (11-4-1, 4-4-0 NCHC), they scored first in both games, but the couldn’t secure a regulation win in either game. On Friday, the Broncos took over but tonight, in game two, the Pioneers never trailed. That wasn’t enough, though, as Western scored the tying marker with just 14 seconds left to force overtime in goaltender Paxton Geisel’s collegiate debut. Massimo Rizzo, though, earned the Pioneers the extra point with a goal barely a minute into extra time to secure the 6-5 victory. Continue reading Denver’s Struggles With the Lead Continue in Kalamazoo as Rizzo Wins Game 2 in OT
DU men’s hockey (11-5-1, 4-3-0) traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan to take on the Western Michigan Broncos at Lawson Arena. It was a full house and the Lawson Lunatics were in midseason form on Friday night. It was a wide-open game with end-to-end action. Two empty net goals and three powerplay goals provided WMU the winning margin as they broke open a tight game in the final period. Continue reading Western Michigan Races Past Denver in the Final Period, 7-3
Denver men’s basketball (6-4) traveled to Ft Collins to take on #12/13 Colorado State University (9-0) at a packed Moby Arena. Denver would hold a lead in the second half but the Rams dominated the half with interior scoring, 42 points in the paint, for a 90-80 win. Denver battled the Rams close most of the night but CSU was just too strong for the Pioneers.
Denver started ice cold from the field and trailed 8-2. An Isaiah Addo-Ankrah three-point make closed the gap at the five-minute mark. A Tommy Bruner three knotted the score 8-8. The teams were tied at the official timeout following a Jaxson Brenchley three, 13–13. A Touko Tainamo layup pulled Denver within one, 18-17 at 8:00 minutes. CSU began to exploit DU’s interior to build a 22-17 edge at 6:25. Another CSU run pushed the Rams advantage to 8, 30-22, at 3:47. At 2:27, a pair of DU threes pulled Denver within one, 31-30. A Tommy Bruner make-and-one pulled Denver’s even, 33-33. A Bruner three gave Denver a 3-point lead, 36-33 with a minute to go. A Touko Tainamo three-point make put DU up 39-35 at the half.
In the second half, after two consecutive buckets by the Rams, Touko Tainamo closed the lead to two. A three-point make by CSU gave the Rams the lead and another trey stretched the advantage, 47-43. Pedro Lopez-Sanvicente launched a three to pull within one and a DeAndre Craig layup put DU up by one, 48-47. An Addo-Ankrah three extended the lead, 51-47, as Denver stretched the lead to four. The Rams went on a scoring run again before DeAndre Craig nailed a layup-and-one, 56-55, Rams. The Rams pulled away on yet another run until Isaiah Carr went to the line to stop the bleeding, 63-57, Rams at 9:45. CSU held a 6-point lead at the 8:00 minute mark making hay on the inside but Denver closed the gap to three on three free throws from Bruner. CSU went on yet another run, 76-66, with five minutes left. CSU held the 10-point advantage until the three-minute mark. A DeAndre Craig layup-and-one pulled DU within 7 points. DU started fouling. After being fould beyond the arc, Tommy Bruner canned three foul shots to close the gap to five – but that was the best DU could do. Final score 90-80 CSU.
Tommy Bruner was a one-man wrecking crew for DU with 28 points and 8 assists. CSU was led by Isaiah Stevens with 18 points and 9 assists. DU shot 51% from the field and 46% from three. CSU shot a sizzling 60% from the field and 47% from three.
The day after a nightmarish collapse by the #3 Denver Pioneers’ (11-4-1, 4-2-0 NCHC) defense allowed the #2 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (12-3-1, 5-1-0 NCHC) to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 7-5 victory, DU’s defense bounced back with a strong, tight-checking performance and minimized their mistakes. The only issue – DU’s torrid, NCAA-leading offense couldn’t find the back of the net more than twice in regulation. However, after the two teams traded goals to the tune of a 2-2 tie after 60 minutes, Carter King hammered home a rebound past a sprawling Ludvig Persson to claim the 3-2 overtime victory and the ever-important NCHC overtime-winning point. Continue reading Denver Responds to Friday Night Disaster With 3-2 OT Victory over North Dakota
Denver (10-4-1, 3-2-0) jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first period but North Dakota came back with four goals in the final period to overcome a 5-3 deficit. A goal by UND’s Riese Gaber gave the Fighting Hawks the lead, 6-5, at 16:25 of the third period and North Dakota’s Cameron Burg buried a goal 30 seconds later to sink DU. The Fighting Hawks were opportunistic and kept DU bottled up on their own end much of the second and third periods. Denver has work to do on both ends of the ice if they intend to earn a split Saturday night. Continue reading Denver Loses 4-1 Lead and Falls to North Dakota, 7-5
Denver women’s Head lacrosse coach Liza Kelly and her team are all-in for a serious run at a national championship this spring. The team is returning four All-Americans along with experience across the board with the addition of some exceptional graduate transfers. The roster upgrades started soon after DU’s otherwise-perfect 22-0 last season ended on May 26, when DU finally fell to #1 Northwestern in Cary, North Carolina in the NCAA semifinals, the high water mark for DU’s history in the women’s game. Since that time, it has been clear that the program is doing everything in its power to return to Cary this spring to bring about a different result – a national title. Continue reading DU Women’s Lacrosse is In it to Win it All
Winning on the road is hard. It is especially hard when you don’t play well. It is doubly hard when your two best players, Touko Tainamo and Tommy Bruner, have off nights. This edition of DU men’s basketball (5-3) is now good enough to play poorly on the road and win, 67-65, after trailing for large portions of the game against Idaho Wednesday night. Continue reading Denver Steals Road Win at Idaho, 67-65
It was a busy Cyber Monday for Fighting Hawks fans who took advantage of online deals. Online purchases were identified for the Grand Forks zip code 58201 using DataTrax. Here are their Top 6 Cyber Monday purchases: Continue reading North Dakota Fans Jump on Cyber Monday Deals
DU men’s basketball (4-3) traveled to Commerce, Texas to face the Texas A&M Commerce Lions on Sunday. Head Coach Jeff Wulbrun played four veterans over 30 minutes each to secure the road win. Tommy Bruner led DU with 31 points; Jaxon Brenchley had 15 points, 8 rebounds; Touko Tainamo had 16 points and 9 rebounds, and Isaiah Addo-Ankrah logged 31 minutes. Continue reading Denver Tops Texas A&M Commerce 71-61
Denver (10-3-1, 3-1-0) came out from the jump with speed and possession against Yale, and the Pioneers passed the test with high honors Saturday night, 9-0. With defensemen Shai Buium and Garrett Brown out with injuries, DU relied on a solid forecheck and offensive zone efficiency to defeat the Bulldogs and sweep Yale in the two-game set. Continue reading It’s Academic, Denver Better Than Yale 9-0