Heading into the season, Colorado College looked to be a team on the rise and many DU fans thought a successful season for the Pios would be the retention of the Gold Pan and not much else. Colorado College (8-12-2) has had a disappointing season while #3 Denver (14-4-2) is off to a fantastic start. But all bets are off when it comes to the Battle for the Gold Pan in this heated front range rivalry.
By nearly any measure, the retention of the Gold Pan is a key metric when defining a successful season for the Pioneers. This season is no different. And, CC will see this as a way to recapture a once hopeful season, engage a disheartened fan base and take the heat off head coach Mike Haviland.
While the University of Denver and Colorado College started playing each other in January 1950, the Gold Pan Trophy was not created until the early nineties. Then-DU Coach, Frank Serratore (now coach of Air Force) and then-CC Coach Don Lucia (retired Minnesota HC) created the traveling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the regular season series.
The first Gold Pan Trophy was an old mining pan from Cripple Creek, Colorado that actually was once used for prospecting. After the 2003-2004 season, DU lost that pan. The current trophy, replacing the ‘lost’ pan, was created by Colorado sculptor Mike Halterman and donated by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine in 2005.
Both schools have remained in the same conference over the past 69 years (nice) and play four times each year during the regular season and have met in conference and NCAA Tournaments as well. The teams have met 315 times and DU leads the series 178-118-19. Despite the lopsided series figures, CC finally relinquished the series last season for the Gold Pan 13-12. CC always gets up to play in this series regardless of record so DU needs to get ready for a competitive weekend of hockey.