Photo Credit: David Zadlubowski, The Denver Post
Battle on Blake Week is finally upon us. As the anticipation and excitement builds to watch the puck drop between CC and DU at Coors Field here’s a look at the most recent meetings between the two long-time rivals.
November, 2015 Meetings
On Friday Nov. 6 CC and DU met at Magness Arena. Junior forward Evan Janssen gave the Pios an early 1-0 lead 6:25 into the game. Adam Plant took the initial shot, CC’s goaltender Tyler Marble made the save. Levin launched a backhand shot off of the rebound that Marble saved again. Janssen finally buried his shot off the second rebound for Denver.
CC responded just two minutes later as junior forward Luc Gerdes was the first to put the Tigers on the board.
Boston Bruins prospect Danton Heinen took the lead back for Denver during the second period with a top left snipe from the bottom circle. Later in the second frame, Will Butcher extended Denver’s lead 3-1 on a shorthanded goal off of a perfect distribution from Grant Arnold. In the last minute of the 2nd period, Trevor Moore made a phenomenal individual effort to make the lead 4-1.
The Tigers rallied for two goals in the third period to cut their deficit down to one goal. After pulling Marble in the final minutes, Matt Marcinew secured the game for Denver with an empty net goal.
Evan Cowley finished the night in net for Denver, logging 20 saves.
Saturday, Nov. 7th’s meeting was the second game of the home-and-home series and the 300th all-time meeting between the two programs. Hosted by the Tigers this time around the game started out slower.
After a scoreless opening period, freshman forward Troy Terry converted Denver’s first goal of the night off of a wrist-shot from the slot at the 16:25 mark of the second period. CC tied the game during the third period when Cody Bradley scored off of a Tanner Jaillet rebound. Midway through the third period Marcinew gave the Pios a 2-1 lead with his power play marker. Dylan Gambrell contributed an insurance goal with just over two minutes left to extend Denver’s lead 3-1, finishing off Denver’s sweep and retaining the Gold Pan.
What to Watch For
Arizona Coyotes prospect Hunter Fejes leads the Tigers in total points (22) with 13 goals and 9 assists. The will be looking to end his senior campaign on a high note and the Battle on Blake is the perfect time and place to do so.
Gerdes trails Fejes in points with 7 goals and 11 assists (18) The junior forward has already scored against Denver earlier in the year; all the more incentive to repeat on a bigger venue.
In his freshman season, Trey Bradley has recorded 9 goals and 7 assists. With his older brother Cody skating on the same line, the Tampa native has proven that he is capable of performing at the Division I level.
The newly dubbed “Pacfic Rim Line” Denver’s top line of Moore, Gambrell, and Heinen have really stepped up in the second half of the season and are finally generating the results needed by a top line. The California, Washington, and British Columbia natives lead the team in total points.
Colorado Avalanche prospect Will Butcher has recorded 5 goals and dished out 15 assists this season. The defenseman is a major asset in the offensive zone which was showcased by his sensational pass to Trevor Moore on Saturday that split the North Dakota line to give Moore a breakaway opportunity.
While freshman forward Jarid Lukosevicius, isn’t near the top of the points leaderboard, his recent contributions have been substantial for Denver. Lukosevicius notched the game-winning in the second matchup against North Dakota. He provides notable speed and skates well between the third and fourth lines.
The first organized outdoor hockey game in Colorado between these rivals will be one for the books. The long history of meetings between CC and DU will take an alternative format in a brand new venue to make history yet again.