Category Archives: Hockey

Tanner Jaillet gets pro opportunity with Wolfsburg Grizzlies of top German League (DEL)

University of Denver Hockey

Denver Post Photo

Recently-graduated DU senior hockey goalie Tanner Jaillet is finally going to get his shot at professional hockey in Europe, as he has reportedly signed a tryout deal with German Elite League (DEL)’s Wolfsburg Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, who lost in last year’s German quarterfinals, recently lost their top netminder, Felix Bruckmann, to season-ending pelvic surgery. Jailett, an undrafted free agent, had hoped for NHL contract interest following his senior season, but the 5-10 goalie remained unsigned.

Jaillet, 24, had a long list of awards over his final two seasons as an NCAA goaltender, including all-NCHC, NCAA all-American and the 2017 Mike Richter Award winner as the top collegiate goaltender in America, when he led DU to the NCAA title. He finished his four-year DU career with an 82-27-16 record with a 2.04 GAA and a .925 career saves percentage. He leaves DU among the top DU goalies of all-time, sharing the all-time wins record with Ron Grahame (82) and remains in the career top five in a number of other statistical categories.

Jaillet will join former Pioneer defenseman William Wrenn on the Grizzlies, and will arrive in Germany on Monday, Aug. 13.



Long Journey leads to Captaincy for Staub

Photo: Courtesy of The Denver Post

Colin Staub will be wearing the captain ‘C’ for the Pioneers for the 2018-2019 season, replacing Logan O’Connor who departed for the Colorado Avalanche. And, like another former Pioneer captain, Grant Arnold, his path to team leadership was a winding one.

After graduation from Palmer High in Colorado Springs, he played three seasons for the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the North American Hockey League. Frank Serratore recruited Staub to play for the Falcons at the Air Force Academy. However, a degenerative eye disease, Keratoconus, a condition which thins the cornea, kept him from admittance to the academy but not, ironically, from playing hockey. Serratore went to bat for the high-energy, high effort Staub to, then, DU hockey head coach Jim Montgomery.

Staub was accepted by DU on a partial scholarship and has shown strong leadership and improved productivity during the course of his career at Denver.  He started out with five goals in 32 games as a freshman. Then, 10 goals and 10 assists his sophomore year. Last season, Staub collected 7 goals and 15 assists. But, as with the tradition of how hockey team captains are selected, it is less about star power and more about leadership and respect than anything else. At DU’s recent season-ending awards banquet, Colin Staub received the Dr. Ken Bredesen Award for the Most Sportsmanlike Player on the Denver squad.

Staub is a solid selection to lead the Crimson and Gold into what many are calling a rebuilding season. But Staub has faced bigger hurdles than this in his hockey career.

Jarid Lukosevicius, Tyson McLellan, and Ian Mitchell will serve as alternates.


No. 1 Denver Pioneers hockey hosts No. 2 Minnesota Duluth at Magness Arena

Logan O’Connor has signed with the Colorado Avalanche/Denver Post Photo

National Hockey League teams have feasted on the excellence of the Denver Pioneers hockey program this off-season, taking three of DU’s top forwards (Henrik Borgstrom, Dylan Gambrell and Troy Terry) before graduation, a top defenseman (Blake Hillman) early, its head coach (Jim Montgomery), and now, DU’s captain-to-be.

Logan O’Connor, an undrafted forward from Calgary, Alberta who was slated to become DU’s captain as a senior this season, signed a two-year NHL entry-level contract as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche on July 23, thus ending his college career a year early.  Continue reading PUCK SWAMI’S RAPID REACTION:  LOGAN O’CONNOR SIGNS WITH AVALANCHE

Neighborhood uproar forces CC to alter practice facility plans

Photo: The Revised Robson Hockey Arena

Colorado College’s new Robson Hockey Arena was originally scheduled to begin construction on the Colorado Springs Campus this summer. The facility, with up to 900 seats, was intended as a new on-campus practice facility for the Colorado College Hockey team. However, many neighbors in the tony Old North End neighborhood opposed the proposed facility. The parties agreed to a more toned down facility, more in keeping with the neighborhood architecture and scale. Continue reading Neighborhood uproar forces CC to alter practice facility plans

Denver Hockey releases 2018-19 schedule

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

At long last, the wait is over. After months of patience and speculation, the University of Denver hockey program released its schedule for the 2018-19 season today. Of course, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) released all eight teams’ conference schedules in mid-April so fans have known for months when the Pioneers would be playing conference foes. But there was still a lot of speculation about who the Pioneers would be playing outside of the NCHC.

There were rumors flying about Michigan and whether Denver would be playing the Wolverines this season. We now know for certain that at least this season, the Pioneers will not play the only program with more national titles. Even in Michigan’s absence, the Pioneers have a couple of nonconference series that, if Denver finds success in those weekends, will likely go a long way in helping their Pairwise positioning come March 2019. Continue reading Denver Hockey releases 2018-19 schedule

Denver captain Logan O’Connor shines at Avalanche Development Camp

Photo courtesy of

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

Puck Swami: DU and the Elusive Art of Sports Scheduling in Denver

desk calendar with days and dates in July 2016, flip the calendar page

Sports scheduling for the Denver Pioneers, in all sports, is often an elusive and frustrating exercise.

Being located in Denver is the largest problem, as playing here requires plane rides and hotel stays for all but a handful of DU’s D-I opponents, which is tough for non-revenue sports. We don’t have the exact figures, but it’s probably a safe bet that about 85% of DU’s opponents must fly here to play us, and likewise, DU needs to fly its own mostly non-revenue sports teams to 85% of its opponents — a dynamic that puts a lot of pressure on athletic budgets and eliminates many opponents for cost reasons.

Then there is the mile-high altitude here, a factor that still scares a number of opposing coaches from flatter places. For example, in 2004, the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team, ranked #1 nationally at the time, came out here to play both DU and Air Force, and lost both games. The Cavaliers’ coach publicly blamed the altitude for their stumbles, and the Cavaliers have not appeared on the DU home schedule since then. Who knows how many other opposing coaches privately loathe our altitude? Continue reading Puck Swami: DU and the Elusive Art of Sports Scheduling in Denver

David Carle officially introduced as Denver’s ninth head coach

David Carle is officially the ninth head coach of the University of Denver Pioneers hockey program.

“The University of Denver is really special to me,” Carle said. “Ten years ago I was given the opportunity to come here and study and learn by the university honoring my scholarship. I am forever grateful for former Vice Chancellor Peg Bradley-Doppes, Ron Grahame and George Gwozdecky for coming to that decision. Today, this institution has afforded me another wonderful opportunity to be its next head hockey coach. I will again, do everything I can in my privilege and my power to make the university proud. I feel extremely honored and privilege to take on this challenge.” Continue reading David Carle officially introduced as Denver’s ninth head coach

Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU Balances Continuity with Risk in David Carle’s Hire as Head Hockey Coach


DU’s New Head Hockey Coach David Carle – Photo Credit: CBS

The University of Denver’s hiring of David Carle as its ninth hockey coach in nearly 70 years of program history is a hire that has elements of excitement, safety and risk baked -in, and the fact that it took three weeks for DU to announce it means that the hire was no slam dunk.

Carle does have a lot going for him. He has 10 years of seasoning as assistant coach with DU and Green Bay (USHL) under his belt, and can be seen as representing logical continuity of the great program-building that’s happened under former head coaches George Gwozdecky and Jim Montgomery, with the Pios making the NCAA tournament every year that Carle has been behind the bench.  As one DU hockey alumnus texted me after the news, “I love this hire. [Carle’s] got the goods.”  Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU Balances Continuity with Risk in David Carle’s Hire as Head Hockey Coach

BREAKING NEWS: David Carle named Denver Hockey Coach

LetsGoDU can now report, based on reliable sources, that the University of Denver is prepared to announce David Carle as the new hockey head coach for the University of Denver. Carle was a favorite of outgoing head Coach Jim Montgomery and apparently for the search committee, too.

Carle now appears to have been the front runner all along as Denver players and fans speculated about Montgomery’s replacement. What was a surprise, was the announcement filtering out heading into a busy Memorial Day weekend. However, the move is certain to buoy fans spirits who wanted a continuation of the current approach and playing style. Continue reading BREAKING NEWS: David Carle named Denver Hockey Coach