DU takes it to the next level – On and Off the Ice

Photo: A University of Denver dad and Denver son, Troy and Perry Stensland, traveled to the Windy City to share the Pioneer spirit.

National Champions – and what a weekend it was.

Puck Swami spoke earlier this week in an article on LetsGoDU about DU’s efforts to create greater spirit at DU and how the university is ready to ‘think big’.

Well, DU delivered big time in Chicago – both on and off the ice.

The Pioneers did their part on the ice. The DU administration and fans delivered off the ice.

In Chicago, the Denver cheerleaders added non-stop spirit during the games and the small but mighty DU pep band matched notes with some of the best bands in the business. Students were there – and so were their parents to share in the spirit and create memories that will long be remembered.

Nearby campus  taverns  and restaurants in Denver were packed with overflow crowds and DU students to watch the historic weekend. Even University and Evans saw the Denver crimson and gold student tide as  they spilled out onto the streets to celebrate the Pioneer title clincher.

The University of Denver administration delivered on its vision to think big and be bold – and of course, the Denver hockey Pioneers succeeded on the largest college stage.

Two media outlets from Denver, 9News’ reporter Aaron Matas and The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers were here in Chicago to cover the Pioneers all week and did a great job sharing DU hockey stories with the city of Denver and Pioneer fans on a daily basis.

I want to extend a special thanks go to Nick Tremaroli, a DU alum, hockey fan, and part-time journalist who took a big chunk of his personal vacation time to cover the Pioneers in Chicago for LetsGoDU. His passion for DU and hockey is second to none. Also, a special thanks to LetsGoDU founder Damian Goddard who always helps bring so many people together to create school spirit. He is a huge asset to DU and friend to so many DU fans – including me.

And of course, kudos to the Denver hockey Pioneers. To even the most casual hockey fan, they showed us how dominant a team can be when playing their unique brand of ‘relentless Pioneer hockey’ – along with winning nearly every prize in sight with a dazzling display of talent.

More lasting, however, is our desire to see the University to be the best it can be in everything it does. This weekend gave us a glimpse of what can happen when everyone pulls together.

Many times DU acts at the intersection of where peoples’ paths cross – and we all move on. Chicago put us on the path together – administration, students, alums, and friends of the University – and, as a community, we did much better than ‘hold our own’ both on and off the ice. We were loud and proud – not only at the United Center but across the country.

The DU community came together for a special weekend and the outcome in my opinion was no coincidence.

Let’s pat ourselves on the back. We were good – very good.

And the hockey Pioneers – they were great.

Wear a little crimson and gold this week – and tell some people about it.

One thought on “DU takes it to the next level – On and Off the Ice”

  1. DU did take it to the next level this weekend. Of course, the boys got it done, which wasn’t easy. Wasn’t easy in 2004 when Maine threw that six on three skaters for the last 90 seconds and DU held on under Adam Berkhoel. Wasn’t easy when DU outshot us badly in 2005 and Mannino carried the Pios, even when UND tried drinking from his water bottle. And of course, the game tilted for UND when Hammond got hurt, but DU did not break, as Tanner Jaillet was good enough to make the saves he needed to make. That is resilience personified, and makes all of us proud of NCAA title #8. With nine seniors leaving, and what some are predicting to be a wave of early departures, enjoy the moment.

    Off the ice, Chicago was the largest gathering of DU fans outside of Colorado that I’ve ever seen in my 35+ years of following DU. I’m guessing here, but probably, 1000-1200 DU fans in the house on Thursday against Notre Dame, and somewhere around 1,500 to 1,800 came in for the final. The Band, Cheer team, Boone, Whiteboard, Mega-Boone were all difference-makers for the DU fan experience. Chicago Tribune even called DU’s following “impressive” — not bad for a fanbase thats not known for “traveling.” ESPN cameras enjoyed us too. Also big crowds at DU parties, and a wonderful scene in the hotel lobby after the game with band and cheer team welcoming the players at the front door. Monty did a jig to the tune of the DU fight song. All in all, one of the proudest nights in my Pio fan lifetime!

    Liked by 1 person

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