All posts by Puck Swami

Longtime University of Denver fan and alumnus.

Puck Swami: Defending Rodney Billups

Photo: Rodney Billups. DU coach Rodney Billups is in year four of his five year contract. Photo: University of Denver

“It’s not working”

“It’s been four years – DU’s record is getting worse each year”

“He’s in over his head”

“High school programs draw more fans”

We’ve all heard all these complaints before, and all of these statements have an element of truth to them. And, we continue to want to hear your voices – even if you may disagree with us. Continue reading Puck Swami: Defending Rodney Billups

Denver Pioneers Blow-Out St. Cloud St. Huskies in Series Opener, 6-3

Denver star defenseman Ian Mitchell scored one of the most memorable goals of his Pioneer career on a short-handed, unassisted breakaway — a decisive game-winning goal at 7:16 the third period, as the Denver Pioneers blew open a tight game in third period and cruised to 6-3 NCHC win over St. Cloud State University to delight the nearly 6,000 fans at Magness Arena in Denver. Continue reading Denver Pioneers Blow-Out St. Cloud St. Huskies in Series Opener, 6-3

Pioneer Basketball Comeback Falls Just Short as Air Force Beats Denver, 79-75

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DU senior Ade Murkey (0) had a season high 26 points to lead DU, but it was not enough for a win, as DU fell to Air Force 79-75 at Magness Arena. Photo: Justin Tafoya, Clarkson Creative

DENVER  – Senior Ade Murkey pumped-in a season-high 26 points, and sophomore Jase Townsend added 23 points for the Denver Pioneers, but it wasn’t quite enough for a win, as the Air Force Falcons clipped the Denver Pioneers, 79-75 before 1,170 fans at Magness Arena on Saturday, December 14th. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 4-8 on the year and improved the Falcons to 5-6. Continue reading Pioneer Basketball Comeback Falls Just Short as Air Force Beats Denver, 79-75

Puck Swami’s Musings from the Arizona Desert

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Denver Boone flew in for the DU tailgate and the Denver vs Arizona State game in Glendale, Arizona to cheer the Pioneers. Photo: Damien Goddard

GLENDALE, Ariz. — So the score lines from DU’s first-ever foray into the Arizona desert for hockey weren’t very pretty – #20 Arizona State 4, #4 DU 1 in the first game and ASU 2, DU 2 in overtime in the second game. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Musings from the Arizona Desert

Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU Extends Coaching Legend Bill Tierney’s Contract through 2024

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DU lacrosse coaching legend Bill Tierney is now signed through 2024. Photo: DU

University of Denver men’s lacrosse head coach Bill Tierney has signed a contract extension to keep him DU through the 2024 season, DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Karlton Creech announced in a press release on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU Extends Coaching Legend Bill Tierney’s Contract through 2024

70 Years of DU Hockey History Part IV: The Current Era – 2013-2019

Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. This is Part IV. Part One can be found here, Part II can be found here and Part III can be found here. While these stories run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

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DU Captain, all-American and Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher (at left with NCAA Trophy) led the 2017 Pioneers to the program’s eighth NCAA Championship. Photo: Robin Alam

Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History Part IV: The Current Era – 2013-2019

70 Years of DU Hockey History Part III: The Gwozdecky Years – 1994-2013

Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. This is Part III. Part One can be found here, Part II can be found here and Part IV can be found here. While these stories run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

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George Gwozdecky resurrected the Denver Hockey program from years of decline in the late 80s and early 90s, winning two NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005.  He also created the long streak of 20+ win seasons the program now expects each year as a perennial top 10 program. Photo: University of Denver

Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History Part III: The Gwozdecky Years – 1994-2013

Pioneer Volleyball Stays Hot, Sweeps North Dakota State Bison At Home

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Kylra Porch (#5 at right) hits for the Pioneers against North Dakota State. The Pioneers swept the Bison 3-1 on Sunday, Nov. 10 at Hamilton Gym in Denver. Photo: Jason Evans

The University of Denver volleyball team continued their hot play at home, sweeping the North Dakota State Bison (25-23, 25-19, 25-11) in Hamilton Gymnasium on Sunday, Nov 11, marking Denver’s second-straight victory and a fourth-straight home win.  Continue reading Pioneer Volleyball Stays Hot, Sweeps North Dakota State Bison At Home

UMD Punishes Pioneers, 5-2 in Game 2, takes 4 of 6 points in weekend series

74881475_2599323660106137_1481519604063797248_oThe perfect DU season start is now just a memory.

The top-ranked Denver Pioneers came swaggering into Duluth, Minn. with an 8-0 record, and left Amsoil Arena with a Friday tie and a Saturday loss, the latter game a bitter 5-2 loss in which DU was simply outplayed by the defending NCAA Champion Bulldogs.

The Pioneers looked strong in the first two periods, taking a 2-1 lead on a Jaakko Heikkinen goal at the 2:27 mark of the second, but after that, it was the Bulldogs who blew out the Pioneers, scoring four unanswered goals over the last 35 minutes for the victory.

Koby Bender evened the game at 2-2 with snipe at the 7:28 mark of the second, and then set up Luke Loheit a few minutes later for the game-winning goal.

The Bulldogs added a couple of insurance goals in the third period, including an empty netter.

Nick Tremaroli will have a full series recap tomorrow.

DU Men’s Soccer Wins Do-or-Die Game, 3-1 over Purdue Ft. Wayne Mastodons

EI-gIcMX0AARDuVThe assignment for Denver Pioneers men’s soccer was a very simple one – either win or tie at Purdue Fort Wayne in the final Summit League regular season game and DU would advance to the Summit League Tournament in Denver next weekend.  But if DU lost, the Denver season would be over and DU would be humiliated with a 5th place league finish (and four other Summit teams above them would play on their field in Denver next weekend). 

Fortunately for the Pioneers, they passed the test, whipping the Mastodons, 3-1, outshooting Purdue Fort Wayne 34-9, including 20-5 on goal.  The Denver victory also secured the Pioneers a three seed in the Summit Tournament next weekend.  Should Denver win the next two league tourney games on its home field, it can win the Summit League title and the accompanyng NCAA tourney autobid.

Denver was led by Junior Preston Judd (Henderson, Nev.) who scored twice inside the opening 21 minutes, and the Pioneers never looked back.

Judd’s multi-goal match was the fourth of his collegiate career and his first as a Pioneer, while sophomore centerback Callum Stretch (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored his first collegiate goal to help secure the vital twin for the Pioneers.

With the win, Crimson and Gold now will play in the 4 p.m. MT semifinal against either Western Illinois or Oral Roberts next Thursday.

The Pioneers were control for basically the entire 90 minutes, taking eight of the 10 corner kicks in the 90 minutes.

Denver opened the scoring in the ninth minute on a strike from over 30 yards from Judd, knocking the ball into an open net after getting the first touch to the ball in a battle with Purdue Fort Wayne’s centerback. After touching the ball by his defender, Judd looked up and saw the goalkeeper well out of his net before accurately passing the ball inside the far post to give Denver the lead.

Purdue Fort Wayne equalized in the 15th minute from the penalty spot as Nemanja Gvozdic put his spot kick into the back of the net to level the score at 1-1.

Stretch quickly put the Pioneers back in-front in the 20th minute, blasting a right-footed strike from outside of 30 yards into the upper-90 to restore Denver’s one-goal advantage — a goal that would be the game-winner.

Judd’s second doubled Denver’s advantage at 3-1 in the 21st minute, a curled effort from outside the box that was assisted by freshman Aidan O’Toole (The Hills, Texas) and sophomore winger Stefan DeLeone (Fort Collins, Colo.). O’Toole’s assist marked the first point of his collegiate career, while DeLeone earned his first helper of the campaign and the fourth of his two-year Pioneer career.

Denver’s second and third goal came just 1:42 apart, the 15th fastest consecutive goals in Denver’s Division I history. The WAC’s leader in goals a year ago, Judd, now has six goals in the 2019 campaign and 28 for his career.

The Pioneers will host the 2019 Summit League Men’s Soccer Championship next weekend. Third-seeded Denver will play in the second semifinal, scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m. MT, against either Oral Roberts or Western Illinois.