Category Archives: Hockey

Pioneers Squeeze-Out Road Split With Minnesota-Duluth Behind Cooley’s 1-0 Shutout

UMD  forward Nick Swaney (23) of Minnesota Duluth controls the puck near defenseman Ian Mitchell (15) of Denver during Friday’s game at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. — Clint Austin /Duluth News

DULUTH, Minn. — DU Goaltender Devin Cooley returned to the Denver lineup after missing 10 games for an injury, just in time to turn away all 27 shots he faced from the fourth-ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs for a 1-0 shutout in Saturday’s second game of the two-game NCHC series, before over 6,400 fans at Amsoil Arena.

The No. #7 Pioneers were able to get just 16 shots on goal in the game, but were able to ride a single first-period goal from Slava Demin and held on to salvage an important split in a hostile road environment.

The Saturday night DU win over UMD avenged a 5-2 loss to the Bulldogs on Friday night, when DU was badly outplayed in the third period.

With the road victory, the Pioneers vaulted into fourth place in the National Pairwise ranking system, which mimics the process used to select teams for the NCAA tournament next month, and also moved the Pioneers into fourth place in the NCHC standings.

“I’m really proud of our guys’ effort and their resilience to be able to stick together and gut out a tough road win,” said DU Coach David Carle said after the game. “It hasn’t been easy as of late. We’ve been in a lot of wars and a lot of low scoring games. We haven’t had success on the road and to be able to come into this building is a feather in our cap.”

The Pioneers lone marker of the game came at the 8:04 mark of the first period, when DU’s Emilio Peterson passed the puck to Slava Demin, who launched a 50-foot point shot through traffic to beat UMD net minder Hunter Shepard for Demin’s fourth goal of the season.

The Pioneers then survived a furious Minnesota-Duluth comeback when the Bulldogs outshot Denver 13-2 in the third period, but Cooley remained steadfast for his third shutout of the season as the Pioneers won only their second road conference game of the season. Cooley’s shutout was his second over UMD this season, with the first one coming back in November at Magness Arena in Denver.

The Pioneers (16-7-4, 8-7-2-2) will face Miami (Ohio) next weekend in a two game series at Magness Arena.




Denver Hockey Series Preview: Minnesota-Duluth

The No. 7 Denver Pioneers travel to Minnesota this weekend to face defending national champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

Much like when a team wins the Stanley Cup in the NHL, the following season that team gets the best from every team they play on their schedule.  But for the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, they have been giving their best right back.  After an astonishing run to the Frozen Four after squeaking into the tournament, Duluth was favored to win the national championship this year.  They returned several key players and have been impressive yet again.  The Denver Pioneers are one of the few teams who have brought the Bulldogs down to earth, but not without earning every inch of ice.  This weekend will be no different in their barn.

Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Minnesota-Duluth

Jay Stickney: JJ Lane’s odd man out?

According to US Weekly, JJ Lane, former Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise alum, DU alum, and play-by-play sidekick of Jay Stickney, proposed to Kayla Hughes in the presence of his parents and his daughter, Gemma, in Hawaii. They also had an uninvited guest – Jay Stickney.

Stickney claimed that his trip to Hawaii at the same time was ‘coincidental’ to the beachside engagement. However, family members claim that Stickney was photobombing the couple and after a few Mai Tais was overheard saying, “don’t do it”. Both Stickney and Ms. Hughes cried when Lane went to one knee. Continue reading Jay Stickney: JJ Lane’s odd man out?

Top 10 things that prove North Dakotans were in Denver

10. The 3:00 p.m. supper rush at Perkins
9. At Magness Arena, a woman was caught with a six-pack in her hair
8. More empty Skoal cans on University area sidewalks than ice
7. Fire marshal  shuts down Cabela’s
6. Due to the warmer Colorado weather, motorists switched their hunting dogs to the truck bed and put their kids in the cab.
5. Eight weddings scheduled at Buffalo Bill’s grave
4. First-ever Casa Bonita 5-star food review on Yelp
3. Duck blind discovered at Smith Lake at Washington Park
2. Denver area women sent to hospital with repetitive motion injuries from ‘swiping left’
1. Bass boat found in Denver Country Club swimming pool

Denver battles 1-1 tie with North Dakota in playoff atmosphere

Photo courtesy of North Dakota Athletics
There was no shortage of emotion as the No. 7-ranked Denver Pioneers pulled out an official 1-1 tie and a 2-1 overtime win over the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. A physical playoff-style game had 6,029 spectators out of their seats at Magness Arena. The Pioneers celebrated the overtime win as if it were a postseason game as freshman forward Brett Stapley squeaked by his defenseman with a nifty toe-drag past and buried his shot. 

“It’s the way it’s going to be [the rest of the year],” Denver head coach David Carle said. “It’s going to be playoff hockey. Every point is big from here on out. Continue reading Denver battles 1-1 tie with North Dakota in playoff atmosphere

Pioneers clip Fighting Hawks’ wings to take physical game one, end short losing streak

Photo courtesy Shannon Valerio/Denver Athletics

Even in a down year for one of the programs, any time the #7 Denver Pioneers and North Dakota Fighting Hawks take the ice, sparks and oftentimes fists fly. Friday night’s affair at Magness Arena was no different as the Pioneers withstood a physical assault from the Hawks and rode a superb goaltending performance by freshman Filip Larsson to take game one of this important rivalry series 2-1. Continue reading Pioneers clip Fighting Hawks’ wings to take physical game one, end short losing streak

Larsson shines in 2-1 brawl over North Dakota

It was a rough return from Kalamazoo, Michigan where the Western Michigan Broncos not only halted the No.7-ranked University of Denver Pioneers eight-game unbeaten streak but completed the weekend sweep. The Pioneers had been trending in the right direction and were determined to maintain their progress despite their hiccup against the Broncos. 

Fortunately, the next series wouldn’t be a hard one to get up for as Denver (15-6-3, 7-6-1-1) hosted the North Dakota Fighting Hawks (13-12-1, 7-8-0-0).

Friday night was a physical and gritty effort, but the Pioneers held off a late surge from the Fighting Hawks to preserve their victory in a 2-1 fashion. Denver goaltender, Filip Larsson, in particular, was outstanding. 

“I thought he was the best player on the ice,” head coach David Carle said. “I thought he was great all night. He made the saves he was supposed to and he made saves he wasn’t supposed to. He was the first star of the game for sure.”

“I did not like our start, but I thought we regrouped and had a really nice second period We really started getting some pucks behind them and winning battles in the third. I liked our composure down the stretch.”

Larsson, like his teammates, returned to Magness in hopes of leaving his struggles back in Kalamazoo. The freshman netminder looked sharp, he saw the puck well and rebuffed efforts from a feisty North Dakota offense. Larsson denied 45 shots during the chippy contest. 

“I had a tough game last weekend,” Larsson said. “I got pulled and let in five goals. I just felt like I wanted to bounce back from that.  I think I did pretty well from that.”

The Fighting Hawks rattled off a 19-6 shot on goal advantage in the first period, but Denver took a one-goal lead scored by Jake Durflinger midway through the period. Durflinger’s third of the season was set up by the newly assembled energy fourth line including linemates Jaakko Heikkinen and Tyler Ward.

The Pioneers displayed composure despite the relenting pressure from the Fighting Hawks. Midway through the second period, North Dakota forward Gavin Hain collided dangerously head-on with Larsson. Denver defenseman Erich Fear made a statement that his team would feed off of the remainder of the game, as the junior squared up with Hain. Following the scrum, two-minutes of four-versus-four hockey ensued.

It was a turning point for the Pioneers.

“I didn’t really know what happened [at the time],” Larsson said of the collision. “I think it for sure helps when you have a guy like Erich standing up for me. I think also stuff like that can wake the entire team up. It’s important for the team spirit.”

Sophomore Ryan Barrow buried the Pioneers game-winner during the final two minutes of the second period.

Denver held its own against North Dakota who surged a 15-5 shot advantage during the final 20-minutes of the game and displayed a perfect (4/4) penalty kill.

“We’ve been in hard games before.” coach Carle said. “We’ve been in emotional games. It is what it is in this league. A lot of our young players are getting baptized in this rivalry and what it’s about. It’s hard-fought games. In every inch of the ice, there’s battles. That’s how it is. It’s good hockey.”

Denver Hockey Series Preview: North Dakota

Photo courtesy of

No. 7 Denver will try to rebound this weekend when they host archrival, unranked North Dakota

It was a tough series for the Pioneers who lost both games against Western Michigan last weekend.  With goals scored by Liam Finlay and Emilio Pettersen, the Pioneers didn’t bring enough firepower to Kalamazoo to compete with the Broncos.  The Pioneers played from behind all weekend and couldn’t get going offensively early in the games.  Head coach David Carle described the series as “getting punched in the mouth,” something the Pioneers haven’t had much of this season.  But with more games on the schedule to be played, Denver will move forward and learn from the experience.

Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: North Dakota

Fighting Hawks fans begin annual trek to Denver

Photo: Courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Cherry Creek

North Dakota fans are sure to enjoy their stay in the Mile High City – just like last season. North Dakota fans will be making their annual pilgrimage to Denver next weekend to watch the North Dakota – Denver hockey series.  And, as usual, we are following their stories closely. Continue reading Fighting Hawks fans begin annual trek to Denver