Denver Hockey Series Preview: Colorado College

No. 6 Denver plays their final series of the regular season versus Colorado College with the Gold Pan and a record on the line

It seems like just yesterday we were talking about what the Denver Pioneers were going to do without coach Jim Montgomery.  We pondered how the defense would fare without the experience of Adam Plant and Tariq Hammond.  And what would this forward group do without future NHL stars Troy Terry, Dylan Gambrell, and Henrik Borgström in the lineup?  But as the 2018-19 Pioneers prepare for their final home game of the regular season at Magness Arena Friday, this team under coach David Carle has a lot to be proud of with a 19-8-5 record.

There are several things on the line in this weekends series against Colorado College.  The Pioneers can retain the Gold Pan for the 5th straight year with just one win and they can win 20 games for the 18th straight season to keep the Tenzer Streak alive with just one win this weekend.

Denver will also be honoring three seniors who will be playing in their final regular season games this weekend in a Pioneers sweater.  Captain Colin Staub, forward Jarid Lukosevicius, and defenseman Les Lancaster have all been great leaders for the team and have set a great example for young players of what Denver hockey should be.  It will be an emotional night on Friday for the seniors, but there’s no doubt they would love to go out beating CC for the Gold Pan.

Career Totals:

Colin Staub – 149GP – 25G – 37A – 62PTS

Jarid Lukosevicius – 149 GP – 59G – 42A – 101PTS

Les Lancaster – 139GP – 24G – 64A – 88PTS

Colorado College Tigers (13-17-4)

Colorado College will have their own senior night on Saturday at the World Arena with eight players graduating including their top four scorers in Trey Bradley, Westin Michaud, Trevor Gooch, and Mason Bergh.  The Tigers will have a much different look next season, but there is still a series to be played this season on top of another potential playoff series against the Pioneers.

CC has played the Pioneers pretty well this season tying the first game in Denver 4-4 and losing the recent rescheduled game in Colorado Springs just 1-0.  Unfortunately for the Tigers, most of their season has been on the bad side of close games.  Even so, goaltender Alex Leclerc has had a really good season individually.  The junior from Quebec is 13-16-4 in 33 starts this season with a GAA of 2.66 and save percentage of .916. And he always tends to turn it up a notch when he’s playing against the Crimson & Gold.

A player that was really impressive for CC last time they played in Denver was Colorado-native Bryan Yoon.  The freshman defenseman from Parker Colorado has 20 points in 34 games this season and showed a lot of poise carrying the puck.  He will be a key this weekend and beyond for the Tigers, especially on the powerplay.

It will be interesting to see where the scoring will come from with so many big seniors graduating for CC.  They don’t know how forward Nick Halloran will play once he’s back from injury but they do have a lot of recruits coming in.  Keep an eye on freshman forwards Ben Copeland and Grant Cruikshank this weekend.  Copeland recently put up four goals on Western Michigan and Cruikshank has a few multi-goal games for himself.

Prediction – Pioneers go 1-0-1 vs CC, retain Gold Pan

CC is going to be looking for a statement game before the playoffs start and Denver is the perfect place to play spoiler.  This series will get ugly and hopefully, the refs can control it.  We’ve seen strange games this season where major match penalties are given out left and right.  This weekend will be rough from the get-go.  CC will keep it close and tie Friday night, but lose in their own building on Saturday.  DU has had the advantage skating on Olympic ice against the Tigers in recent years.

Twitter Follow – @CC_Hockey1

Where to Watch/Listen

Friday – 7:07pm MT, Altitude 2 , 104.3 The Fan

Saturday – 7:00pm MT, NCHC.tv, 104.3 The Fan