Pioneers say ‘Adios’ to Lobos in 2-2 draw – but may not be for long

The Pioneers fought to a 2-2 exhibition draw at CIBER field Wednesday night. But the Lobos may be getting a victory 400 miles to the south in Santa Fe as politicians scramble to find a long term funding solution to save the UNM men’s soccer program and three other athletic programs facing the budget ax. Continue reading Pioneers say ‘Adios’ to Lobos in 2-2 draw – but may not be for long

Long-awaited Birdcall opening rewards customer patience

While its planned mid-June opening was missed, the newest location for Birdcall, a local fried chicken restaurant chain, is finally open at Franklin and Evans. And it’s worth the wait.

Birdcall is all about fried chicken and fried chicken sandwiches. However, one of our guests ordered the Power Salad (kale, red cabbage, brussels sprouts, cucumbers goat cheese & vinaigrette) and thought it was fantastic, too – so there are vegetarian options as well. The store is high-tech with manual ordering kiosks inside. You can order your meal inside and eat either inside or outside or use the drive-thru. A timer posts your wait time for each order and your food is delivered into a numbered bin and posted on the public order board. Continue reading Long-awaited Birdcall opening rewards customer patience

Tanner Jaillet gets pro opportunity with Wolfsburg Grizzlies of top German League (DEL)

University of Denver Hockey

Denver Post Photo

Recently-graduated DU senior hockey goalie Tanner Jaillet is finally going to get his shot at professional hockey in Europe, as he has reportedly signed a tryout deal with German Elite League (DEL)’s Wolfsburg Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, who lost in last year’s German quarterfinals, recently lost their top netminder, Felix Bruckmann, to season-ending pelvic surgery. Jailett, an undrafted free agent, had hoped for NHL contract interest following his senior season, but the 5-10 goalie remained unsigned.

Jaillet, 24, had a long list of awards over his final two seasons as an NCAA goaltender, including all-NCHC, NCAA all-American and the 2017 Mike Richter Award winner as the top collegiate goaltender in America, when he led DU to the NCAA title. He finished his four-year DU career with an 82-27-16 record with a 2.04 GAA and a .925 career saves percentage. He leaves DU among the top DU goalies of all-time, sharing the all-time wins record with Ron Grahame (82) and remains in the career top five in a number of other statistical categories.

Jaillet will join former Pioneer defenseman William Wrenn on the Grizzlies, and will arrive in Germany on Monday, Aug. 13.



Men’s Lacrosse to Add Much Needed Shot Clock

The NCAA Lacrosse Rules Committee is going to introduce a 60 second shot clock for men’s collegiate lacrosse with an additional 20 seconds to get the ball into the offensive half. A LetsGoDU article covered the topic last season but this issue has been raging for a long time.

lacrosse shot clock2

The mechanics? Twenty seconds to clear to midfield, then a 60-second shot clock, according to sources to multiple Inside Lacrosse reporters. Paul Rabil first tweeted this would be the form of shot clock for men’s lacrosse. The change will be effective for the upcoming 2019 season.

So what does this decision mean for DU?

Well, it is too early to tell.

Teams that already employ a free-lance style of lacrosse, such as Albany, would appear to have an advantage. However, Denver recruits and encourages their players to participate in box lacrosse. And, the sport utilizes a shot clock. These players are used to working in traffic and getting off shots in tight quarters. On the other hand, the around-the-horn perimeter passing employed by Denver to initiate their offense will need to be shortened and additional work will be required on their interior offense. Also, from a recruiting perspective, athletic and skilled one-on-one creative offensive players will be in high demand as offenses will require players that can break down defenses when the shot clock is running down.

Fans on both sides of the issue have made compelling arguments. However, the demand for a shot clock was overwhelming.

Starting in the spring of 2017, Division I women’s lacrosse has been using a 90-second shot clock which begins with possession. And, in our view has improved the women’s game.

In your opinion, is an 80-second shot clock the right way to go for men’s lacrosse? Also, how will the new rules impact DU?

Long Journey leads to Captaincy for Staub

Photo: Courtesy of The Denver Post

Colin Staub will be wearing the captain ‘C’ for the Pioneers for the 2018-2019 season, replacing Logan O’Connor who departed for the Colorado Avalanche. And, like another former Pioneer captain, Grant Arnold, his path to team leadership was a winding one.

After graduation from Palmer High in Colorado Springs, he played three seasons for the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the North American Hockey League. Frank Serratore recruited Staub to play for the Falcons at the Air Force Academy. However, a degenerative eye disease, Keratoconus, a condition which thins the cornea, kept him from admittance to the academy but not, ironically, from playing hockey. Serratore went to bat for the high-energy, high effort Staub to, then, DU hockey head coach Jim Montgomery.

Staub was accepted by DU on a partial scholarship and has shown strong leadership and improved productivity during the course of his career at Denver.  He started out with five goals in 32 games as a freshman. Then, 10 goals and 10 assists his sophomore year. Last season, Staub collected 7 goals and 15 assists. But, as with the tradition of how hockey team captains are selected, it is less about star power and more about leadership and respect than anything else. At DU’s recent season-ending awards banquet, Colin Staub received the Dr. Ken Bredesen Award for the Most Sportsmanlike Player on the Denver squad.

Staub is a solid selection to lead the Crimson and Gold into what many are calling a rebuilding season. But Staub has faced bigger hurdles than this in his hockey career.

Jarid Lukosevicius, Tyson McLellan, and Ian Mitchell will serve as alternates.


No. 1 Denver Pioneers hockey hosts No. 2 Minnesota Duluth at Magness Arena

Logan O’Connor has signed with the Colorado Avalanche/Denver Post Photo

National Hockey League teams have feasted on the excellence of the Denver Pioneers hockey program this off-season, taking three of DU’s top forwards (Henrik Borgstrom, Dylan Gambrell and Troy Terry) before graduation, a top defenseman (Blake Hillman) early, its head coach (Jim Montgomery), and now, DU’s captain-to-be.

Logan O’Connor, an undrafted forward from Calgary, Alberta who was slated to become DU’s captain as a senior this season, signed a two-year NHL entry-level contract as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche on July 23, thus ending his college career a year early.  Continue reading PUCK SWAMI’S RAPID REACTION:  LOGAN O’CONNOR SIGNS WITH AVALANCHE

New Mexico Lobos facing drastic cuts

As soon as next season, Denver will likely not be facing New Mexico in either men’s soccer or skiing due to sweeping program cuts.

With mounting losses projected well into the future and after extensive study, University President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Eddie Nunez presented their recommendations to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents to drop athletic programs at the Albuquerque institution. While football remains relatively unscathed, elimination was proposed for skiing, men’s soccer, women’s beach volleyball, and diving. Other programs such as cross country are likely to face budget cuts and scholarship reductions. Continue reading New Mexico Lobos facing drastic cuts

Neighborhood uproar forces CC to alter practice facility plans

Photo: The Revised Robson Hockey Arena

Colorado College’s new Robson Hockey Arena was originally scheduled to begin construction on the Colorado Springs Campus this summer. The facility, with up to 900 seats, was intended as a new on-campus practice facility for the Colorado College Hockey team. However, many neighbors in the tony Old North End neighborhood opposed the proposed facility. The parties agreed to a more toned down facility, more in keeping with the neighborhood architecture and scale. Continue reading Neighborhood uproar forces CC to alter practice facility plans

Denver Hockey releases 2018-19 schedule

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

At long last, the wait is over. After months of patience and speculation, the University of Denver hockey program released its schedule for the 2018-19 season today. Of course, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) released all eight teams’ conference schedules in mid-April so fans have known for months when the Pioneers would be playing conference foes. But there was still a lot of speculation about who the Pioneers would be playing outside of the NCHC.

There were rumors flying about Michigan and whether Denver would be playing the Wolverines this season. We now know for certain that at least this season, the Pioneers will not play the only program with more national titles. Even in Michigan’s absence, the Pioneers have a couple of nonconference series that, if Denver finds success in those weekends, will likely go a long way in helping their Pairwise positioning come March 2019. Continue reading Denver Hockey releases 2018-19 schedule

Pacific Coast Shootout with Notre Dame win-win for both programs

Photo: Courtesy of Newsday

When it was recently announced that Denver Pioneers lacrosse would return to Southern California to showcase one of college lacrosse’s best rivalries next season in the Sixth Annual Pacific Coast Shootout, there was some local disappointment that the duel would not resume at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver. However, both Denver and Notre Dame are taking a smart, strategic approach by scheduling their next contest in SoCal.

Notre Dame has over 7,000 California alumni while Denver boasts 8,800 alumni based in the Golden State, most of whom are located in Southen California. The matchup will offer an ideal opportunity to draw local alumni to the game. However, there is even more to this match. With a burgeoning lacrosse culture in California, this is fertile recruiting ground for both the Fighting Irish and the Pioneers. The California Interscholastic Federation reports growth in participation in overall high school athletics with lacrosse showing the largest percentage increase of any sport, a combined 7.40% or 1,245 new participants in the past year.

With both schools turning into non-east coast perennial powers, there is plenty of future lacrosse talent being developed out west for both squads. While only one girl and four boys were invited from California to the 2018 Under Armour All-America lacrosse games, the West Coast is likely to become a solid source of future stars for college lacrosse. And Denver and Notre Dame are well positioned to capitalize on that growth.

Denver and Notre Dame will square off on Saturday, March 9 at 7:00 PM (PST) at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA. This year’s appearance in the Shootout will mark Denver’s second and Notre Dame’s third time playing in Orange County. The Pioneers and Irish met in 2014 in the event’s inaugural game, where Denver beat Notre Dame 10-7. Notre Dame appeared again in the 2016 Shootout, beating Maryland 9-4.

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