All posts by Puck Swami

Longtime University of Denver fan and alumnus.

DU to Host Free Pre-Game Party in Buffalo + TV Watch Parties Around the USA

The University of Denver is sponsoring a pre-game party in Buffalo, New York prior to Thursday’s NCAA Semi-Final between DU and the University of Massachusetts.  DU is also sponsoring free TV watch Parties in selected large cities around the nation:

Pre-game reception:
Buffalo, NY

TV Watch Parties:
Denver
Chicago
San Francisco
Portland, Ore.
Seattle
Los Angeles
San Diego
Phoenix
New York City
Boston,
Old Greenwich, Conn.
Philadelphia
Washington, D.C.
Atlanta

For more information on party times and city TV party locations, and to register to attend, please follow this link:

Pioneer Offense Explodes for Tierney’s 400th Career Victory, 16-9 over Georgetown

The DU team applauds coach Bill Tierney (center, red jacket) for his 400th career victory after DU’s 16-9 win over Georgetown at Barton Stadium (Photo: Jason Evans)

After losing a one-goal heartbreaker in DU coach Bill Tierney’s emotional return to Princeton University last Tuesday, the #9-ranked Denver Pioneers desperately wanted to get head coach Bill Tierney his 400th win as a head coach on Saturday, March 30th.

Georgetown, the 19th ranked team in the nation and a team that beat DU 8-3 in last year’s Big East Tournament, was the big obstacle in front of Denver.

But the Pioneers left no doubts, exploding for a season-high 10 first-half goals and cruised to a 16-9 victory over Georgetown for the Pioneers’ most complete win of the season.

The win also guaranteed the 400th career victory in the 35-year head coaching career of coach Bill Tierney.  Tierney now joins his good friend, Duke Head Coach John Danowski, as the only two men in the history of Division One lacrosse to reach that 400 coaching win milestone.

The Pioneers (6-3) took the field in charged-up state of mind on this cold and snowy Barton Stadium morning, hooting and hollering more than usual in the warm-up – and that emotional advantage, coupled with a solid game plan on both sides of the ball, led to a 16-goal offensive output against a ranked team. This was the kind of potent offense DU fans were waiting for this season for a very solid opening win in Big East Conference play.

“Coming out of that game [last Tuesday] at Princeton, we were down-and-out,” said Coach Tierney after the win. “But the guys responded to coaching really well [this week] and the [assistant coaches} coaches put together a great game plan, and the [DU] players played extremely well today…When you lose a game [at Princeton] that you feel you could have won…you gotta get the next one – you’re so desperate…I’m proud of the guys today.”

The Pioneers responded to the desperation with crisp offensive execution, with very balanced scoring on the day, with five different Pioneers scoring multiple goals. Senior Austin French topped the DU scoresheet with a four-goal, two assist day, followed by hat tricks from Ethan Walker (3g 2a) and Colton Jackson (3g, 1a), and supplemented by two-goal performances by Teddy Sullivan and Jack Hanna. The Pioneers scoring machine was fed by a strong performance at the face-off X (Brett Boos went 17-26 on the day), a confident clearing effort (16-18) and good ball control, giving up only eight turnovers. DU led 10-5 at the half and never looked back.

“[DU Associate Head Coach] Matt Brown had a good game plan and the [team] followed it.” said Tierney. “We only only had one turnover in the first half…and the [Georgetown] goalie was playing well. We said to the guys in the locker room ‘Keep shooting. Don’t be afraid to shoot, don’t let your hands get too tight, just keep shooting’ and they [goals] will eventually fall – [we] got a bunch of shots and they did [fall] .”

Indeed, Georgetown goalie Owen McElroy was heroic for the Hoyas in the net, making 16 saves in a losing effort.

Denver also played solid defense on the day, holding a strong Georgetown offense, averaging 13+ goals per game to only nine goals.  DU’s star close defenseman Dylan Gaines had an excellent outing, containing Georgetown’s star attackman, Senior Daniel Buccaro, to only two goals in the game, while DU goalie Alex Ready chipped in with 12 saves to get the Pioneer victory.

DU will play #20th ranked Villanova Wildcats next Saturday at 3:30 pm MT in the second Big East game for the Pioneers.

Our thanks to Jason Evans for his photo and interview of Coach Tierney after the game.

AIC Upsets St. Cloud 2-1, Pioneers to Face Yellowjackets for Frozen Four Berth

In one of the most, if not the most, stunning upsets in the history of NCAA college hockey, #16th Seeded American International College (AIC) of Springfield, Mass. and Atlantic Hockey, upset top seeded and top-ranked St. Cloud State in the NCAA West Regional in Fargo, N.D., 2-1.

The upset means that Denver will face AIC on Saturday Night, March 30 for the Regional Crown (7 pm MT, ESPNU), with the winner advancing to April’s NCAA Frozen Four in Buffalo.

AIC built a 2-0 second period lead on a couple of soft goals through SCSU netminder David Hrenak, and St. Cloud scored a third period power play goal to cut the AIC lead to 2-1. Despite a barrage of SCSU shots (34-13 for the game), AIC held on for the upset.

AIC, with 1700 undergrads,  has only been Division I for 22 years, and has never had a winning season until this year.

North Dakota fans in Fargo are expected to cheer for AIC tomorrow against the Pioneers.

 

 

Princeton Spoils Tierney’s Return in Wild, 14-13 upset over Denver

DU coach Bill Tierney (left) congratulates Princeton coach Matt Madalon after the wild 14-13 Princeton upset over Denver: Photo: Princeton University/Shelly Szwast

It was supposed to be a special homecoming to Princeton, New Jersey for DU lacrosse coaching legend Bill Tierney, but the Princeton Tigers had other ideas, winning a wild and emotional game full of scoring and lightning-fast counter punches over #8th ranked Denver, 14-13.

Tierney, who spent 22 years coaching the PrincetonTigers to six national titles before jumping to coach Denver in 2009, had to be excited to bring his DU Pioneers to Princeton for the first time ever, gunning for his 400th career win on national TV. Tierney returned to his coaching roots at Sherrerd Field Tuesday afternoon with admittedly mixed emotions, and the significance of the game could be heard in a pregame interview as Tierney’s voice cracked with emotion as he reminisced about his Princeton past. The interview was less about his six national championships and more about the people he met along the way. Continue reading Princeton Spoils Tierney’s Return in Wild, 14-13 upset over Denver

Denver to Face Ohio State in NCAA Regional Hockey Rematch

DU faces Ohio State in the West Regional, a rematch of last year’s DU NCAA 5-1 loss to the Buckeyes. Photo: DU athletics.

As expected, the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Committee assigned the eighth-seeded University of Denver Pioneers with a trip to the West Regional in Fargo, North Dakota, where DU will host a first-round rematch with ninth-seeded Ohio State University from the Big 10, the school that ended DU’s 2018 season with a 5-1 NCAA second round regional drubbing in Allentown, Pa.  

DU, the third-place team in the NCHC, will face OSU at 2 pm MT on Friday, March 29th .  The game can be seen live on ESPNU. As the eighth-seed, DU will be the home team in Fargo and will have last line change. Continue reading Denver to Face Ohio State in NCAA Regional Hockey Rematch

Idaho Crushes Pioneers in WNIT Second Round, 88-66, Ending DU’s season

Denver Senior Samantha Romanowski finished her DU career in the 88-66 WNIT loss to Idaho. Photo: DU Athletics

The 2018-2019 University of Denver Women’s Basketball season is over, as the Pioneers were curb-stomped  in the second round of the WNIT, 88-66 by the University of Idaho Vandals before a boisterous crowd filling the historic, old Memorial Gym in Moscow, Idaho on March 24th.  

The Vandals, from the Big Sky Conference, were led by Makayla Ferenz, who put up a game-high 33 points against a porous DU defense. DU was led by Junior Madison Nelson with 19 points in the losing effort. Continue reading Idaho Crushes Pioneers in WNIT Second Round, 88-66, Ending DU’s season

Pioneers’ slumping offense threatens postseason hockey hopes

Denver’s Jarid Lukosevicius leads the nation in game-winning goals Photo: Carol Mackay, University of Denver

It’s not a secret.

The #7 University of Denver hockey team’s offensive production has slumped, from scoring 3.5 goals per game in first 18 games of the season to 2.0 goals per game in the last 16 games (all of the last 16 were vs. NCHC opponents).  In short, this is a bad time of year to be slumping, and the recent loss of the Gold Pan to rival Colorado College, getting swept with only a single goal to show for last weekend’s nearly 60 DU shots-on-goal, has brought the current DU offensive problems into high relief. Continue reading Pioneers’ slumping offense threatens postseason hockey hopes

Pioneer Lacrosse French-Fries North Carolina, 12-10 

DU ruined the debut of North Carolina’s new lacrosse stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Photo: University of Denver

Senior attackman Austin French, who missed DU’s first four games of the season due to upper body injury, came back to the DU starting lineup with a vengeance to lift the eighth-ranked Pioneers (4-1) to 12-10 road victory over [15/20] North Carolina Tar Heels . The Pioneer road win ruined the christening of UNC’s brand new 4,000-seat Lacrosse and Soccer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Saturday morning, Mar. 2.

French tied his career-high with a six point overall performance, and set a new career-high with five assists in the game to lead Denver. His ball distribution skills are critical to the flow of Denver’s offensive attack, and the Californian’s return to the lineup provided just the tonic DU needed to secure its first road win of the season. Continue reading Pioneer Lacrosse French-Fries North Carolina, 12-10 

DU Takes Five of Six NCHC Points in Omaha, Clinches Home Ice for NCHC Playoffs

DU’s Colin Staub (#24 at left) battles in the UNO crease during DU’s five-point weekend in Omaha. Photo: Omaha World Herald

The Denver Pioneers got some solid results in the last full road weekend of the NCHC regular season, defeating the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 4-1 on Friday night, and tying the Mavericks 3-3 on Saturday night, with a bonus standings point for an NCHC overtime 3-on-3 winning goal at Baxter Arena in Omaha. The win and tie extended DU’s undefeated streak against Omaha to 16 games, dating back to 2015.

The #6-ranked Pioneers (19-8-5 overall, 11-8-3 NCHC) were outshot (and often outplayed) in both games by a more desperate Omaha team (9-20-3), ranked #44 in Pairwise. That said, the Pioneers were able to take more advantage of their higher skill level on scoring chances to secure the five-point weekend, putting seven regulation goals behind Omaha netminder Evan Weninger, plus the extra NCHC overtime winner, over the two games. Continue reading DU Takes Five of Six NCHC Points in Omaha, Clinches Home Ice for NCHC Playoffs

DU Men’s Basketball Season-From-Hell Ends with 86-76 Loss to Omaha

Joe Rosga (left in white) finished his DU career in fourth place on the DU all-time scoring list. Photo: Linneya Gardner

It’s all over.

The University of Denver Pioneers (8-22)  basketball team scratched, clawed, and gave everything they had to try and keep their terrible season alive, but it was just not enough, as the second-place University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks rode balanced, double-digit scoring from four veteran players to defeat the Pioneers, 86-76 at Magness Arena on Sunday.

The Denver loss, in front of only 1,100 fans, ended its very disappointing last place season with only eight wins (with two of those wins coming over NCAA Division II opponents) and 22 losses overall, DU’s worst season since a four-win, 25-loss campaign in 2006-2007. Continue reading DU Men’s Basketball Season-From-Hell Ends with 86-76 Loss to Omaha