An outside perspective on The Gold Pan Rivalry

Rivalries make sports great. They’re the games that every fan circles on the calendar and makes sure they have a ticket to. The only thing better than a rivalry in sports is a college rivalry. When most people think of a rivalry they usually think of the Michigan-Ohio State, CU-CSU (at least around here), USC-UCLA, Duke-North Carolina and so on. Maybe it’s due to the pride and tradition that each school has built, but it always seems like college sports take rivalries to a whole new level.

My parents never went to DU and I always knew I wouldn’t be able to afford to go there but that never stopped me from loving DU and hating CC. Growing up, there was no rivalry that I loved more than the Battle for the Gold Pan between the University of Denver and Colorado College. It’s the second longest rivalry in college hockey (302 games is just 2 behind Michigan-Michigan State at 304) and Denver is way ahead in the all-time series 169–116–17. It’s a tradition that really can’t be beat.

There’s something about that gaudy yellow and the lamest logo in college sports that makes my stomach feel queasy every time CC enters the building. Just like many fans, the two CC games in Denver each season were the two games I made sure I wasn’t going to miss.

The first “CC Sucks” chant would usually break out on the way into Magness Arena while walking past the lacrosse fields. Everyone knows the importance of the CC matchups each and every year, so there’s always that special aura of excitement around the rink for people to feed on making it the loudest games at Magness, at least outside of the North Dakota games.

Last year’s Battle on Blake was my favorite Gold Pan game that I’ve ever attended. It was the first game that I’ve been to where there was actually a full section of Colorado College fans that could be heckled. It’s certainly a rare occurrence these days. It was so cool to see the two student sections go up against one another especially at such a venue like Coors Field.

My favorite memory of the CC rivalry wasn’t even at a DU-CC game. When I was 11,  my friend and I made a “CC Sucks” sign with one of the Fastsigns when the Pios were taking on Michigan Tech. During a 2nd period media timeout, we were on the jumbotron and the entire Magness Arena crowd lit up in cheers and the student section broke-out a “CC sucks” chant. It showed me the true disdain that Pioneers have for Colorado College and that everyone hates CC just as much as I do.

Even though I’m not a DU student, this rivalry means a lot to me. I’ve grown up with it. I’ve experienced so many incredible moments between these two teams that it’d be impossible to not appreciate and love it when these two teams take the ice against each other.

Rivalries are all about the atmosphere. There is no better atmosphere in college hockey than Magness Arena when the Pioneers are taking on Colorado College. I’m sure everyone will be all kinds of jacked up for the games this weekend and for the Pios to extend their unbeaten streak ultimately preparin themselves for the No. 1 team in the nation, UMD the next week. CC won the first game of the series 16-0 in 1950. Looking at CC this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the opposite this weekend.