All posts by agoldschmidt13

Denver Hockey series preview: Dartmouth

Photo courtesy of Dartmouth Athletics

The Pioneers host the Dartmouth Big Green this weekend in nonconference battle

After a couple unexpected ties with Colorado College last week, the Pioneers look to get back in the win column when they welcome Dartmouth College to Magness Arena.  The two teams have only met five times in history with Denver’s record being 4-0-1 all-time.  Their most recent game was in 2015 when the Pioneers traveled to Hanover and tied the Big Green only to lose in the shootout. Continue reading Denver Hockey series preview: Dartmouth

Denver Hockey series preview: Colorado College

Photo courtesy of DenverPioneers.com

The Battle for the Gold Pan should be less about history and more about progression for this year’s Pioneers

Winning an NCAA Championship can do a lot for a college hockey program.  It can put them on the map, it can make their team a bigger threat, and it can give the team’s players reason to walk with their heads held high.  But when you’re the University of Denver and you’re running out of fingers for championship rings, no championship is worth more than this year’s. Continue reading Denver Hockey series preview: Colorado College

Denver Hockey series preview: University of Minnesota Duluth

Photo courtesy of DuluthNewsTribune.com

The Pioneers are back in action this weekend playing the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs for the first time since the National Championship back in April

With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror, let’s hope the Pioneers had plenty to eat because they’re going to need the energy this weekend when they take on the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.  This game has plenty of storylines including a National Championship rematch and Tariq Hammond playing the same team he injured his ankle against.  So for the third week in a row now, Pioneer fans can look forward to another great series of college hockey. Continue reading Denver Hockey series preview: University of Minnesota Duluth

Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of North Dakota

Photo courtesy of UND Sports

After taking back the No. 1 ranking from St. Cloud State with a sweep last weekend, the Pioneers have another tough test in No. 3 North Dakota

We’re just a week away from Thanksgiving and I think it’s safe to say a lot of us are thankful for College Hockey.  It was a great weekend for the Pioneers last week who completed a sweep of the then No. 1 St. Cloud State Huskies.  It was a tough battle but the Pioneers prevailed and have good momentum going into their series this weekend with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of North Dakota

Denver Hockey Series Preview: St. Cloud State University

Photo credit: USCHO

The Denver Pioneers host top-ranked St. Cloud State University this weekend at Magness Arena and their top priority should be shutting down defenseman Jimmy Schuldt

After what many would call an “uncharacteristic” series sweep at the hands of the Western Michigan Broncos, the #3 Denver Pioneers are already looking to their next opponent.  The St. Cloud State Huskies come to town for an in-conference matchup featuring the #1 and #3 college hockey teams in the nation. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: St. Cloud State University

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Western Michigan University

Photo courtesy of DenverPioneers.com

The top-ranked University of Denver Pioneers are coming off a very impressive weekend beating Boston University and Boston College on the road.  They will continue their season on the road again when they face the Western Michigan University Broncos this weekend on November 3rd and 4th in Kalamazoo.  This will be the first NCHC series of the season for both teams. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Western Michigan University

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Boston University & Boston College

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Photo courtesy Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Well here we are just three weeks into the Denver Pioneers hockey season and they are already headed into the belly of the beast.  This weekend the Pios travel to Boston to take on the Boston University Terriers (#6) on Friday and the Boston College Eagles (#19) on Saturday.  The Pioneers are still #1 in the USCHO poll after their series with Lake Superior State last weekend where they came away with a tie and a win.  The NCHC is well represented in the USCHO poll with St. Cloud State just behind Denver at #2, the University of North Dakota at #4, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth at #10.

The Pioneers played both Boston College and Boston University last year at Magness Arena less than a week apart.  The Pioneers fell to the Eagles 3-1 after goaltender Joseph Woll stopped 40/41 shots in the Ice Breaker Tournament.  Later that week, the Pioneers hosted the Terriers and won 4-3 in a game that featured current Arizona Coyote Clayton Keller.  Denver scored the first three goals of the game, but even after a strong comeback BU wasn’t able to tie it up in the final moments of the game.

This year between BC and BU, they have a combined 17 players drafted to NHL teams, 5 with BC and 12 with BU.  And that doesn’t count standout freshman Brady Tkachuk.

These two games will be a big test to the Pioneers even though their stars know what it takes to play a good road game.  Boston University’s Agganis Arena will be a hostile environment on Friday as BU will be looking to knock the Pios off their #1 seed.

Boston University Record:  3-2-1

Boston College Record:  1-3-1

Who’s In?

 

Boston University

BU is one of the most prestigious hockey programs in the country, therefore they always get the cream of the crop in terms of prospects.  This year they added three defenseman and six forwards to their 2017-18 roster featuring Shane Bowers, David Farrance, and Brady Tkachuk.

Tkachuk has already been turning heads at BU as a freshman who already has four assists.  He is projected to be a top first round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Another notable name is Ty Amonte, son of former NHL player Tony Amonte.

Boston College

The Eagles added six freshman to their roster for the 2017-18 season including one defenseman and five forwards.  Forwards Logan Hutsko, Jacob Tortora, and Christopher Grando have already made early contributions this season collecting 4, 3, & 2 points, respectively.

Both Hutsko and Tortora were on the United States Under-17 & Under-18 National Teams.  Grando played two seasons in the United States Hockey League for the Green Bay Gamblers where he scored a total of 54 points.

Who’s Out?

Boston University

The good thing about Boston University’s hockey team is that when they lose a handful of NHL prospects, they add just as many in next year’s freshman class.  Here is what the Terriers lost last season.

Boston College

It is extremely tough to maintain a good hockey team, especially if you lose your five leading scorers.  Austin Cangelosi, Matthew Gaudreau, Colin White, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Scott Savage all graduated or signed pro at the end of last season.

  • Cangelosi is with the New Jersey Devils AHL affiliate, the Albany Devils
  • Gaudreau is with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers
  • White signed an entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators
  • Fitzgerald was a 4th round selection of the Boston Bruins and is with their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins
  • Scott Savage is with the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen

Strengths

 

Boston University

This team has a lot of talent on the ice and can score at will.  BU currently averages 34.2 shots per game with an average of three goals per game.  The Pioneer defenseman will be tested a lot during this game with a focus on a heavy forecheck from the Terriers.

The Pioneers need to stay away from the penalty box in this game because the Terriers power-play is lethal.  BU is currently 8-24 executing on 33% of their power-play opportunities.  A lot of that has to do with their body position in front of the net, courtesy of 6’5 240-pound Jordan Greenway.

Boston College

The Eagles have a phenomenal goaltender in Joseph Woll.  Although it seems like he’s not getting as much scoring support as last year, he can still take over games.  BC is also averaging 27 shots per game so the Pios will need to limit shots from high scoring areas for Tanner Jaillet.

BC captain Michael Kim was on of the most impressive defenseman I saw last year at Magness Arena.  He wasn’t the biggest guy but he could skate very well and was great at exiting his zone clean.

Weaknesses

 

Boston University

It’s hard to find any flaws in this team, but the Pioneers need to get into BU goaltender Jake Oettinger’s head.  Drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NHL draft by the Dallas Stars, Oettinger has all the talent in the word but he has been beatable this year especially on the power-play where he has already allowed 7 goals.

The terriers are also allowing an average of 32 shots from their opponents.  The memo from coach Montgonery should be for the Pioneers to get the puck in deep, win board battles, and shoot from anywhere.  This is the type of game that will be so close that the winner will most likely come out on top because of a lucky bounce or two.

Boston College

The Eagles are committing an average of 5.4 penalties per game and giving up an average of 31.2 shots per game to their opponents.  If the Pioneers play the way they did against Lake Superior State, Joseph Woll could be in for a long night.

Another weakness to consider is the Eagles power-play.  They are just 3-16, converting on just 18% of power-plays.  The Pioneers generally play a pretty clean game, but in case they get in penalty trouble their PK unit should be able to stop BC.

Who to watch

 

Boston University

#14 – F Bobo Carpenter – 5G, 3A

#21 – F Shane Bowers – 4G, 4A

#27 – F Brady Tkachuk – 4A

#7 – D Chad Krys – 4A

#29 – G Jake Oettinger – 3-2-1, 2.61 GAA, .916 SV%

Boston College

#5 – F Casey Fitzgerald – 2G,2A

#27 – F Graham McPhee – 2G, 2A

#4 – D Michael Kim – Team Captain, 11SOG

#31 – G Joseph Woll – 1-2-1, 2.71 GAA, .898 SV%

Prediction – Pioneers lose to BU, beat BC

This is a very difficult series to predict.  I think because the Eagles have lost so much talent from last year that it will be difficult for them to keep up with Pioneers.  But Friday night, the Terriers will want to make this a statement game.  There will be scouts galore at this game that is loaded with NHL talent, making every player wanting to play their best.

Both DU and BU have benefited from their freshman sticking around for another year and getting valuable experience in two very competitive divisions.  It’s very possible this could be a Frozen Four preview.  The keys for the Pioneers will be to play a simple game, get an A+ performance from Tanner Jaillet, and capitalize on any and all BU mistakes.  Henrik Borgstrom has been red hot coming into this series and this is his opportunity to show a huge college hockey market how elite his skills are.

I’m predicting the Pios go 1-1 this weekend, but hopefully we’re pleasantly surprised.

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Denver Hockey Series Preview: Lake Superior State University

Photo courtesy John Leyba, The Denver Post

On Friday night at Magness Arena, the University of Denver Pioneers and their fans will raise the school’s eighth National Championship banner putting some closure on a historic season.  Although there were a few individual awards handed out to Pioneers by the NCAA at the end of the year, coach Jim Montgomery and company know last season was a team effort. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Lake Superior State University

Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Photo courtesy John Leyba, The Denver Post

The NCAA must have been sweating it out last year experimenting with Chicago as a first-time destination for the Frozen Four.  The Windy City does not have any Division I hockey programs, and strangely neither does the rest of the state of Illinois despite a large number of top college players coming from that area.  Yet the NCAA rolled the dice on a major city that has recently gone hockey-crazy because of their Blackhawks. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish