It’s no secret that Denver looks for smart and talented hockey players that fit head coach David Carle’s style of high speed, high-skill transition hockey.For many years now (pre-dating Carle’s tenure), DU has often featured small, fast, and shifty offensive players who can move and control the puck on the rush, through the neutral zone, and down low below the face-off dots. These speedsters are usually backed by a very mobile puck-moving defensive corps who can jump into the offensive zone and contribute on the scoresheet. It’s a system that typically works well for the Pioneers, as that speed and skill can create both open spaces and skill mismatches that can often compensate for a lack of size.
The long, excruciating wait is over. The Denver Pioneers’ season has officially ended. After going 10-13-1, the NCAA Tournament selection committee determined that the Pios’ resume simply was not strong enough to earn a bid to the 16-team field. This is disappointing, though not altogether surprising news for the Pioneers as they could not find much consistency over the course of a tough, Covid-affected season. The uncontrollable factors worked against the Pioneers and they didn’t do enough with what they could control and as a result, Denver’s 12-year streak of NCAA Tournament bids has come to an end. Continue reading Denver Misses NCAA Tournament for First Time Since 2007→
With the top-seed North Dakota Fighting Hawks winning the NCHC championship on Tuesday over the #2-seed St. Cloud State Huskies in a 5-3 affair – the first time a program has won the regular season and postseason titles in the same season in the NCHC – attention in the conference has now turned to the Men’s NCAA Tournament and who will and won’t make the field of 16, a conversation that hasn’t been necessary since the early 1990s when mathematical rating formulas began to assist (and eventually replaced) subjective selection criteria. Continue reading Making Denver Hockey’s Case for the NCAA Tournament→
A single Carter Savoie power-play goal was not enough to sink the top-seed North Dakota Fighting Hawks despite a valiant defensive effort from the fifth-seed Denver Pioneers and the performance of the season from goaltender Magnus Chrona. North Dakota used a clutch, tipped shot off of Jasper Weatherby’s foot to tie the game in the waning minutes of regulation before Gavin Hain ripped a wrister from the high slot past Chrona on the power play in overtime to seal the victory for the hosts in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The fifth-seed Denver Pioneers will now leave their slim NCAA Tournament hopes up to the hockey gods and, more importantly, the selection committee. Continue reading Shorthanded Pioneers Drop Overtime Heartbreaker to North Dakota in Frozen Faceoff Semifinal→
Some games were played this past weekend while others were canceled or postponed as a heavy, wet spring storm rolled into Denver. The men’s lacrosse game against #4 Georgetown on Saturday at Peter Barton Stadium was moved to tomorrow afternoon. Women’s volleyball took to the court Friday evening at Hamilton Gym against South Dakota but their second match, scheduled for Saturday, was postponed. Men’s soccer against Omaha on the road was postponed. Women’s Tennis in Macomb, Illinois was postponed. Continue reading Wintry Weekend Update: Games Played & Postponed→
Bo Hanson is a graduate transfer defenseman from St. Lawrence who had not scored a goal this year. The fifth-seeded Denver Pioneers traveled to Grand Forks, North Dakota for the Frozen Faceoff without eight players due to COVID-19 protocols and dressed just 16 skaters, nine of whom were forwards and as a result, Hanson played forward instead of defenseman. In a thrilling rollercoaster of a game, it was Hanson’s heroics, with five minutes left and just a minute and a half after the fourth-seeded Omaha Mavericks tied the game at four, which gave Denver the 5-4 victory and a berth in the Frozen Faceoff semifinals on Monday. Denver’s opponent on Monday is dependent on the result of the last quarterfinal, between Western Michigan and Minnesota Duluth, tonight. Continue reading Bo Hanson’s First DU Goal Lifts Shorthanded Pioneers Over Mavericks in Frozen Faceoff Quarterfinal Thriller→
While it feels like just yesterday that we kicked off the NCHC season in Omaha in the pod, we’ve finally arrived at the 2021 Frozen Faceoff. The Pioneers finish with an overall record of 9-12-1 in a very difficult season for all of the student-athletes. You have to commend them for playing through such condensed schedules, constant testing, and spending a lot of time away from campus. Denver finished their season with a pair of wins against Colorado College, but they haven’t played since February 27th. They face the Omaha Mavericks in a sudden-death game to advance to the semifinals on Monday.