All posts by Aaron Goldschmidt

Denver Hockey Weekend Preview: Air Force & Alabama-Huntsville

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The Denver Pioneers start the 2018-19 season on the road with a tough game against the Air Force Falcons

Welcome back Pioneers fans!  After a long summer, college hockey is finally back and it couldn’t have come any sooner.  There have been several questions surrounding the Denver Pioneers this offseason regarding their new leadership behind the bench and on the ice, but only time will tell how the young group transitions.

In the first USCHO poll of the season, the Pioneers are ranked #10 in the country.  They are joined in the top 20 by fellow NCHC members #3 Minnesota-Duluth, #5 St. Cloud State, #13 North Dakota, and #18 Western Michigan.  It’s safe to say the NCHC will be uber-competitive yet again this year. Continue reading Denver Hockey Weekend Preview: Air Force & Alabama-Huntsville

Denver captain Logan O’Connor shines at Avalanche Development Camp

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Forward Logan O’Connor turned heads Sunday at the Colorado Avalanche 3-on-3 rookie game scoring four goals

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – In the past couple month’s, a lot has changed for the University of Denver Pioneers hockey club.  Their head coach Jim Montgomery made the jump to the NHL signing with the Dallas Stars, their top three leading scorers left school early to turn pro, and two of their biggest leaders in Adam Plant and Tariq Hammond have graduated.  Amidst all the change, forward Logan O’Connor continues to do what he does best to be successful; work hard. Continue reading Denver captain Logan O’Connor shines at Avalanche Development Camp

Denver Hockey Regional Semifinal Preview: Penn State

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The Denver Pioneers enter the NCAA Tournament as NCHC Champs against the Penn State Nittany Lions

After an impressive 4-1 win against the St. Cloud State Huskies last Saturday, the Denver Pioneers were crowned NCHC Conference champions.  With goals from Kohen Olischefski, Jake Durflinger, Ryan Barrow, and Dylan Gambrell, the Pioneers showed that their depth played a major role in the game.  But the bigger picture win is that the Pioneers beat a team who they shared the #1 USCHO ranking with all season in their own barn.  That added confidence is a huge boost to the Pioneers going into the NCAA Tournament. Continue reading Denver Hockey Regional Semifinal Preview: Penn State

Denver Hockey NCHC Semifinals Preview: Minnesota-Duluth

Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

The Denver Pioneers will face the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs Friday for a chance to play in the Conference Championship

And then there were four.

The Pioneers faced an early test when they lost the first of a three-game series with Colorado College, but a team-wide urgency set in.  They got better after each game and played a full 60 minutes last Sunday when they ended the Tigers’ season.

This team is different from last season’s because they aren’t relentless on a nightly basis.  But when their backs are up against the wall, they turned into that championship team that we all know.  Hopefully they bring that version of themselves to the Xcel Energy Center for the final games of the Frozen Faceoff.

Although Minnesota-Duluth hasn’t beaten Denver all year, there is no question that they can.  Every game with them this season has been decided by one goal and have been close games the whole time.  We should anticipate more of the same coming into Friday night.

The Bulldogs have been on a roll of late winning seven of their last eight games.  They had no problems in their first-round playoff matchup by sweeping the Western Michigan Broncos.  Goaltender Hunter Shepard posted two shutouts as the Bulldogs coasted to the Frozen Faceoff semifinal.

One player that Pioneers fans need to keep their eye on in this game is Scott Perunovich.  The freshman defenseman is a scoring machine and has the ability to take over games.  With 10 goals and 24 assists this season, he’s a threat from anywhere on the ice.

The keys to this game will be faceoffs, special teams, and Denver’s Jarid Lukosevicous.  ‘Luko’ always seems to be the difference in these tight games with Duluth so expect a big game from him in another close one.

In other news, Henrik Borgstrom was awarded Player of the Year and Forward of the year from the NCHC while Tanner Jaillet was the Goalie of the Year.

Who to Watch

#7 – D – Scott Perunovich – 10G, 24A

#27 – F – Riley Tufte – 16G, 12A (DAL 1st, 2016)

#25 – F – Peter Krieger – 11G, 19A

#3 – D – Mikey Anderson – 4G, 16A (LAK 4th, 2017)

#4 – D – Dylan Samberg – 1G, 9A (WPG 2nd, 2017)

#32 – G – Hunter Shepard – 21-12-1, .927 SV%, 1.92 GAA

Twitter Follow – @UMDMensHockey

Where to Watch/Listen

Friday – 6:30pm MT, CBS Sports Network


Denver Hockey NCHC Quarterfinals Preview: Colorado College

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The Denver Pioneers kick off the Frozen Faceoff playoffs with rivals Colorado College

The stage is set.

The Denver Pioneers host the Colorado College Tigers this weekend in a best-of-three series at Magness Arena.  Head coach Jim Montgomery spoke to the media Thursday leading up to the first round.  He spoke on how hard the Pioneers have been to play against lately, team first attitude, momentum, and how different playoff hockey is.

The Pioneers are 4-2-4 in their last ten games while Colorado College is 4-4-2.  For the season series, both teams are 1-1-2.

When LetsGoDU spoke to Tigers head coach Mike Haviland last time CC was in town, he spoke about the development of his players.  He mentioned that success lies in recruiting and bringing in “your own guys” to help build the program is key.  Haviland has a handful of players that are having career seasons under his watch which is something to look out for in this rivalry.  Haviland is a nominee for the NCHC coach of the year.

As for the Pioneers, they racked up several end-of-season accolades from the NCHC:

This series could be interesting, especially if CC somehow squeaks out a win Friday or Saturday.  With every NCHC in the playoffs, coach Mike Haviland would love to play spoiler this weekend.  But honestly, you’ll probably see a different DU team.  They will be playing a strategic, high-energy style that got them their NCAA title last year.  Expect the Pioneers to be all business.

Who to Watch

#13 – F – Nick Halloran – 19G, 25A

#15 – F – Mason Bergh – 16G, 21A

#14 – F – Trey Bradley – 6G, 21A

#27 – F – Troy Conzo –  5G, 9A

#1 – G – Alex Leclerc – 14-13-4, 3.25 GAA, .904 SV%

Other matchups in the NCHC First Round include:

No. 1 St. Cloud State vs. No. 8 Miami

No. 3 Duluth vs. No. 6 Western Michigan

No. 4 North Dakota vs. No. 5 Omaha

Twitter Follow – @CC_Hockey1

Where to Watch/Listen 

Friday @ Magness Arena – 7:00pm MT, ESPN Denver 1600

Saturday @ Magness Arena – 7:00pm MT,ESPN Denver 1600

Sunday (if necessary) @ Magness Arena – 6:00pm MT, ESPN Denver 1600

Denver Hockey Series Preview: St. Cloud State

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

The Denver Pioneers and St. Cloud State Huskies meet for the last time in the regular season in another heavyweight tilt between the No. 3 and No. 1 teams in the country

With only a few weeks left until the postseason, the Denver Pioneers are trending in the right direction having won three of their last four contests.  This weekend, however, they will face an opponent who they could very well see at the Frozen Faceoff and even the Frozen Four. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: St. Cloud State

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Colorado College

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Springs Gazette

The Pioneers are back in action this weekend when they play their final series with rival Colorado College

After a week off from games, the Denver Pioneers are back on the ice this weekend when they play another home-and-home series with the Colorado College Tigers.  Since the Pios last played a couple things have happened.  Troy Terry left to play for Team USA in the Winter Olympics and his teammates have been cheering him on from Colorado.  After watching him play, NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire compared Terry to Milan Hejduk. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Colorado College

Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Minnesota Duluth

Photo courtesy of the Duluth News Tribune

No. 4 Denver will host No. 9 Minnesota Duluth this weekend at Magness Arena in what will most likely be another close series

Last time Denver and Duluth met was during the first week of December in Minnesota and there wasn’t much room to skate on the ice.  The Pioneers swept the Bulldogs but both games were decided by one goal.  Tanner Jaillet’s performance was key to that series as it seemed star players were cancelled out and it was up to depth players to be the difference makers. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Minnesota Duluth

Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of North Dakota

Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

The No. 4 Pioneers travel to Grand Forks North Dakota to take on the No. 11 Fighting Hawks in their second series of the season

After a sweep of the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks last weekend, it looks as though Denver is back to playing Pioneer hockey.  Goaltender Tanner Jaillet put the team on his back and recorded two consecutive shutouts earning himself the NCAA’s second star of the week.  Freshman Ian Mitchell scored a goal and four assists making him the NCHC’s player of the week.  And Mr. Borgström made the highlight reel once again. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of North Dakota

Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Nebraska Omaha

Photo courtesy of Denver Athletics

The Pioneers play their first home series of 2018 this weekend when they host the University of Nebraska-Omaha

Whether you’re playing in the NCAA, in Juniors, or even the NHL, teams get a sense around this time of year if they are for real or not.  The new year is a great motivator for teams that have struggled closing out the previous year to turn a new leaf, and for those who were successful to reflect on what gave them that success. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Nebraska Omaha