All posts by Aaron Goldschmidt

Denver Wins Sixth Straight Behind Lukosevicius, Larsson

Photo courtesy of DenverPioneers.com

The Denver Pioneers defeated the Omaha Mavericks 1-0 with the help of Filip Larsson’s 21 saves

After being on the road for all of December, the Pioneers returned to Magness Arena and came away with a win against Omaha 1-0.  It was a true goaltender dual between Denver’s Filip Larsson and Omaha’s Evan Weninger, but the Pioneers came out on top.  The game’s only goal came from Jarid Lukosevicious who was set up nicely by Emilio Pettersen at the end of the second period.  The Pioneers ride a six-game winning streak into next week when they face Colorado College.

Let’s get into tonight’s recap.

Continue reading Denver Wins Sixth Straight Behind Lukosevicius, Larsson

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Omaha

Photo courtesy of the Omaha World-Herald

No. 3 Denver brings five-game win streak home to Magness Arena this weekend when they host Omaha

It’s amazing to witness the speed at which the Denver Pioneers culture can shape young hockey players.  Coming into this season, most expected a steep drop off given the amount of talent and coaching that left the program after last season, but the 2018-19 Pioneers have proven that while the names on the back have changed, the name on the front and the status that comes with it haven’t.  With their fifth consecutive road win heading into the second half of the season, these Pioneers are producing at the right time with team-wide contributions.
Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Omaha

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Wisconsin

No. 8 Denver looks to continue its success on the road this weekend against the Wisconsin Badgers

With 2018 in the books, the #8 Denver Pioneers and head coach David Carle have to be happy with the progress the team has made thus far.  Their record is 10-4-2 going into this weekend’s series at the University of Wisconsin who is tied for first place in the Big Ten Conference.  The Pioneers are coming off a road sweep last weekend of Merrimack and UMass-Lowell. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Wisconsin

Denver Hockey Weekend Preview: Merrimack & UMass-Lowell

The Pioneers will close out 2018 with two tough, fast-paced non-conference games on the east coast

Even though Christmas was last week, the #7 Denver Pioneers maybe got what they wanted a little earlier than expected.  After going through a vicious stretch of top-ranked NCAA opponents, the Pioneers showed they can skate with any team in the country and win.  Wins against Duluth, Providence, and North Dakota are making the case for this season to be more than just a rebuilding year for DU. Continue reading Denver Hockey Weekend Preview: Merrimack & UMass-Lowell

Denver hockey series preview: North Dakota

Photo courtesy of NCHC.tv

Denver travels to Grand Forks this weekend for a series with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The Denver Pioneers had a week off to prepare for their series with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, but you never know what you’re going to get when these teams collide.  Last season when Denver played in Grand Forks, both games were settled in overtime ties.  And as tight as the NCHC is again this season, both teams could be closely matched again.  The Pioneers will have to brave the cold as there’s a high temperature of 22 degrees on Friday in Grand Forks.

Denver is entering a stretch in their schedule where they will not play at Magness Arena again until January 11th when they host Omaha.  After this series, they will face Merrimack, UMass Lowell, and Wisconsin on the road which will conclude their non-conference opponents for the season. Continue reading Denver hockey series preview: North Dakota

Pioneers, Cooley Shutout No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth 2-0

Photo courtesy of DenverPioneers.com

In a highly anticipated match up in college hockey, the Denver Pioneers and Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs didn’t disappoint fans who were in attendance at Magness Arena Friday night.  Although the game started a bit slow, the second and third periods resembled a nail-biting playoff game.

It was expected that the last two National Champions would put up some offense, but it was a tightly checked game.  Let’s get right into it.

First period

The game started on a bad note for the Pioneers when Brett Stapley checked Duluth defenseman Scott Perunovich awkwardly into the boards just 40 seconds into the 1st period.  After review, it was determined that it was a major penalty and Stapley was ejected from the game.  But this was far from the last penalty called in the first period.  Duluth had their own major boarding call but Louie Roehl was not ejected.  There was a total of eight penalties called in the first 20 minutes of the game between both teams.

There seemed to be no control of the puck by either team throughout the period.  Pucks were being chipped in deep and there was little space to skate.  The Pioneers had a few good chances including a breakaway by Cole Guttman and an odd man rush by Colin Staub and Jakko Heikkinen, but Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard kept everything out of the net.

The Bulldogs defense didn’t let many pucks through all night.  They held the Pioneers to just two shots on goal in the first period.  Led by St. Louis Blues 2018 2nd-round pick Scott Perunovich, the Bulldogs played a low risk game by chipping pucks out of their zone and moving it quickly up the ice out of danger.

The period ended with Duluth leading in shots 7-2.

Second period

The pace started to pick up in the second period.  It seemed like Duluth skated even harder when they were on the penalty kill.  But halfway through the period, the Pioneers went on the powerplay and Ian Mitchell finally got the Pioneers on the board.

After the goal, Duluth started putting the pressure on.  The Pioneers were in prevent mode, shooting pucks off the glass just to keep it out of their zone.  The Bulldogs had several chances, shooting from almost everywhere on the ice.

Devin Cooley stood tall and made some very difficult saves.  After the end of the second, the Bulldogs put 25 shots on Cooley but with no goals.  That’s a pretty significant feat for a backup goaltender to shutout the No. 1 team in the country through two periods.

Third period

In the third period, Duluth came even harder.  They put on another 13 shots on Devin Cooley who had to make save after save to keep the Pioneers in the game.  He was great positionally and really saw the puck well.

David Carle understood what it meant to host the top team in the nation and be up by one goal going into the 3rd period.  He started mixing up lines in the second half of the game, putting a huge emphasis on defense.  The Pioneers got the puck deep and began cycling deep in Duluth’s zone to kill the clock.

We saw several close plays right in front of the Pioneers net, but players were sacrificing their bodies left and right to keep the puck out.  In the last few minutes of the game, Duluth pulled their goalie and put a lot of pressure on the Pioneers.  But with 36 seconds left in the game, Jarid Lukosevicius scored an empty net goal to seal the game.

What we learned

This game was huge for the Pioneers.  It had to be difficult coming home after being swept by the St. Cloud State Huskies, but David Carle had his players focused on what was in front of them.  The Pioneers skated hard and battled through adversity in the form of a ton of penalties.  They didn’t get many shots on net, but they made the best of what they were given.  In games like these, you need your best players to step up, and Ian Mitchell did just that.

Up next

The Pioneers and Bulldogs play again Saturday night in what will be another exciting game.  The Bulldogs can’t be happy after their long winning streak was broken by the Pioneers, and there is no question they will come out hard tomorrow.  The Pioneers will need to do a better job suppressing shots and getting better control of the puck.  Both teams forechecked extremely well so moving the puck quickly will be important.  The Pios will have to shoot more tomorrow night if they want a chance at sweeping the Bulldogs.

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Minnesota Duluth

Photo courtesy of the Duluth News Tribune

This weekend the past two NCAA National Champions faceoff when the Denver Pioneers host the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs

Coming off a pair of losses to No. 2 St. Cloud State, the No. 7 Denver Pioneers have to quickly regroup before they host No. 1 Minnesota Duluth.  The NCHC continues to be the elite conference in college hockey, making for several great series every year, including this one.  There are a total of 12 players who have already been drafted to NHL teams so will be no shortage of star-power this weekend at Magness Arena. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Minnesota Duluth

Denver Hockey Series Preview: St. Cloud State

Photo courtesy of MinnesotaHockeyMag.com

The Denver Pioneers and St. Cloud State Huskies battle this weekend for early NCHC supremacy

It was all positive vibes last weekend when the Pioneers swept the Western Michigan Broncos.  Jarid Lukosevicious put on a show with five goals which earned him the NCAA’s first star of the week and the NCHC’s offensive player on the week.  Defenseman Ian Mitchell also won NCHC honors as the defenseman of the week. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: St. Cloud State

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Western Michigan

Photo courtesy of NCAA.com

The No. 7 Pioneers welcome first NCHC opponent, Western Michigan

After a long bye-week, the Denver Pioneers are back this weekend hosting Western Michigan in their first NCHC matchup of the season.  The Broncos are 3-3 but are putting up an average of almost four goals per game.  With no timetable in place for the return of Pioneer’s freshman goaltender Filip Larsson, the pressure will again be on Devin Cooley to carry the Pios in a potentially high-scoring series.

Denver should have swept the University of Alaska two weeks ago, but got caught flat-footed in the second game of the series.  The Pioneers fought back and managed to earn a tie which showed great team resiliency.  But the Broncos present a challenge that is familiar to many returning Denver players. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Western Michigan

Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Alaska Fairbanks

Photo courtesy Shannon Valerio/Denver Athletics

The Pioneers look to build on last weekend’s success when they welcome the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks this weekend

It sure was sweet watching David Carle lead the Pioneers to two consecutive wins last weekend, a fantastic start to the young head coach’s career.  But as you look around the NCHC, the conference as a whole is already having some early success (of course, the exception being North Dakota).  That being said, Denver can use all the confidence they can get before conference games begin. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Alaska Fairbanks