Photos Credit: Jason Evans
Heading into this season, many people expected Denver Hockey to be among the top programs to watch this season. Over the years, improved lighting, sound, concessions, and other upgrades have made DU hockey a ‘must-see’ sporting event on campus. But, believe it or not, this student section has become another great reason to see DU hockey. Not since the mid-1980s and the ‘Bleacher Creatures’ has a Denver student section been so energized.
A loud, dynamic student section at Magness Arena would have been laughable just a few years ago. Denver’s current 20-year-old Magness Arena often gives off a polite corporate ‘feel’ – a far cry from the old rusty, rowdy and iconic DU arena.
Historically, DU students came to games late, left early, and have drawn understandable criticism from opposing fanbases. But not this group. They are stirring it up in Magness Arena – all game long. This new wave of students are demanding to be heard – and they have upped the gameday environment for all the hockey fans at Magness. They announced their presence early during the student ticket camp-out and a rowdy homecoming weekend. The raucous student section upped their game yet again during the 70th-Anniversary celebration of DU hockey with costumes, chants, Whiteboard and Megaboone.
DU students are helping to create a home-ice advantage – really. Visiting goalies receive unrelenting flack, Denver power plays receive full-throated support. The chants, the glass banging, and Whiteboard do everything they can to create distractions for the visitors and create an edge for the home team. As one long-standing hockey fan stated, “That’s our student section?”
And, they make it exceedingly clear that they don’t like Colorado College either – regardless of DU’s opponent that night.
Freshman Mikey Sutherland told LetsGoDU, “I go to the games early – and am surprised how many students are here. Homecoming was unbelievable. People are really excited about this team on campus – they can do great things. People were happy with the final four last year – but we want more. The first game I went to at DU was amazing – all these students showing up for hockey, the fans, the energy, the chants.”
Sophomore biology major Mhaesty Cain, “The energy (at Magness Arena) is beautiful. It is really loud in the student section. Everybody is into it. I love it – it’s great. The energy is even better than last year went we went to the Frozen Four. This team is on fire. One of the biggest reasons I came to DU was hockey.”
And the players are responding to the overwhelming peer support.
Student tickets are still available for this weekend! Let's pack the @Visible Pio Pit so it looks cooler in GIFs when we jump into the glass 🙌 https://t.co/lsM4ypDzBj | #PioneerTogether pic.twitter.com/tGV2FFKQSR
— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) October 31, 2019
And, creating life-long memories in the ‘proscess.’
It’s still too early to label this group the ‘best’. There are many games to go and, of course, the long holiday break. But they have a chance to make another loud statement in their favor this weekend against the archrival North Dakota Fighting Hawks.