This weekend the past two NCAA National Champions faceoff when the Denver Pioneers host the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs
Coming off a pair of losses to No. 2 St. Cloud State, the No. 7 Denver Pioneers have to quickly regroup before they host No. 1 Minnesota Duluth. The NCHC continues to be the elite conference in college hockey, making for several great series every year, including this one. There are a total of 12 players who have already been drafted to NHL teams so will be no shortage of star-power this weekend at Magness Arena. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Minnesota Duluth→
The Denver Pioneers, going in as 19-point underdogs, played their hearts out in 64-56 road loss at 11th-ranked Kansas State before 9,412 fans at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. Denver held the Wildcats to only 38% shooting, but could not contain KSU senior guard Barry Brown, whose 25 points led all scorers.
The Pioneers had cut KSU’s lead to just four points, 60-56, with 1:21 to play on a pair of free throws by DU junior Ade Murkey, but the Wildcats made some key plays down the stretch, including a Kamau Stokes steal and a Xavier Sneed dunk to escape the upset bid by the Pioneers. K-State was an NCAA final eight team last season, with all of the Cats’ key players returning for this season.
The Pioneers were led by senior Joe Rosga’s 18 points, while senior Ronnie Harrell, Jr. and Murkey both chipped in with 14 points apiece. The Pioneers last led the game 38-37 with 13 minutes to go, and with the Wildcats shooting just 12-27 at the free throw line, DU was able to keep the game close down the stretch, out-rebounding KSU on the defensive glass, 30-29, although DU did give up 17 turnovers in the game.
The Pioneers are now 1-1 on the young season, and will face Abilene Christian on Thursday.
The University of Denver Men’s Soccer team has been not only selected for the NCAA tournament, but rewarded with a #15 seed, a bye in the first round, and will host the winner of Air Force and Central Arkansas at DU on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 pm MT.
If the Pioneers should win that home game, they will face the winner of #2 seed Indiana University’s pod of Indiana, University of Connecticut or the University of Rhode Island in the third round. The full NCAA bracket is here: http://www.ncaa.com/brackets/soccer-men/d1/2018
There was certainly some concern last night that DU might not get to host an NCAA tourney game this season, as its RPI had fallen to #17 on the evening of tournament selection (only 16 teams are seeded, the other 32 at-large teams play each other for the right to advance to one of the 16 seeded home sites), but fortunately for DU, the NCAA tournament committee did not use straight RPI to seed the tournament.
In looking ahead, Air Force, with an at large bid, is the far better of the two teams (RPI#26) when compared with Central Arkansas (#67). However, Air Force is not playing well right now, having lost its last two games to Grand Canyon (#53 RPI).That said, Air Force being only an hour from the DU campus would likely bring more fans to DU for the game than Central Arkansas, the Champion of the Missouri Valley Conference.
For the Pioneers, it is likely that Sunday’s game will be the last home field opportunity to watch Senior Andre Shinyashiki play for DU.Shinyashiki’s 28 goals this season leads the nation by wide margin, and he may be enjoying the finest season ever for a DU athlete in any sport.He is one of the favorites for the Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s national equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in football or the Hobey Baker award in college hockey.Should Andre win that award, he could be considered DU’s finest athlete in the modern era, given that there are only 60 teams playing D-I hockey, where DU has two Hobey Baker Winners, Matt Carle in 2006 and Will Butcher in 2017, the only two DU team sports athletes to win a national MVP trophy. Since there are 206 teams playing D-I soccer, Shinyshiki’s achievement would be arguably greater than Carle or Butcher. DU has also had individual NCAA D-I champions in gymnastics (Nina McGee in 2016), swimming (Jack Kelso in 1962) and many in skiing over the years, but it could be argued that individual national MVP awards in team sports are greater achievements, since there are opponents directly trying to physically stop an athlete from achieving them, versus individual sports where the clock or judges’ scoring determines win or loss status.
While Shinyashiki’s achievements are spectacular this year, detractors argue that most of his goals have come against lower level opponents, and that against top-25 teams, Andre’s goal scoring is much rarer. Let’s hope Andre and DU score more goals in the coming weeks, and that DU can advance deep into the tournament.
In any event, all DU fans should come to the soccer game this Sunday to cheer on Andre and the Pioneers in the NCAA tournament.
Denver lost for the first and second times this season on their first true road trip of the season as they dropped a pair of 4-3 decisions to the St. Cloud State Huskies at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The Pioneers looked overmatched all weekend and for the first time all season, their youth and related undisciplined tendencies finally came back to bite them. Continue reading Pioneers swept by St. Cloud State in first NCHC road trip→
The #7 Denver Pioneers swept the Western Michigan Broncos this weekend and to celebrate, we’re announcing the return of the Crimson & Gold Show! For the few of you that listened a few years ago when LetsGoDU returned, this is going to be in no way similar to what you heard back then. Continue reading New and Improved Crimson & Gold Show: Episode 1→
Everything was going just fine for the first forty minutes. The #7 Denver Pioneers (5-0-1, 2-0-0-0 NCHC) had picked up right where they left off a night ago in game one against the Western Michigan Broncos. With a power play goal in each of the first two periods, it seemed like Denver was going to cruise to a surprisingly easy early November sweep at Magness Arena. Then the third period came and the tables quickly turned and Denver had to score with less than three minutes left to force overtime where Jarid Lukosevicius scored his fifth goal of the weekend to clinch the sweep. In a season of tests, this one was a test of mental fortitude and leadership and, to no surprise, the Pioneers passed. Continue reading Pioneers withstand third period rally, ride Broncos out of Denver with overtime sweep→
After more than a year of anticipation, the University of Denver hockey program finally officially unveiled their newly renovated locker room and hockey facility. As part of the celebration, the program held a ceremony and invited alumni to take part in its unveiling today. It was a great celebration of the history of the hockey program and a great sneak peek at what the future of Denver hockey will look like. Continue reading PHOTOS: Denver officially unveils Miller Hockey Complex→
10 of the 22 players listed on the #7 Denver Pioneers’ line chart on Friday night at Magness Arena got their first taste of NCHC hockey and for those 10 players, that taste was sweet, sweet victory. Jarid Lukosevicius tallied Denver’s second hat trick of the season with a goal in all three periods while Michael Davies and Liam Finlay each scored in the Pioneers’ rollercoaster three-goal second period to ice the Western Michigan Broncos in a 5-2 victory to open NCHC play. Continue reading Pioneers ride three-goal second, Lukosevicius hat trick to top Broncos in game one→
The No. 7 Pioneers welcome first NCHC opponent, Western Michigan
After a long bye-week, the Denver Pioneers are back this weekend hosting Western Michigan in their first NCHC matchup of the season. The Broncos are 3-3 but are putting up an average of almost four goals per game. With no timetable in place for the return of Pioneer’s freshman goaltender Filip Larsson, the pressure will again be on Devin Cooley to carry the Pios in a potentially high-scoring series.
Denver should have swept the University of Alaska two weeks ago, but got caught flat-footed in the second game of the series. The Pioneers fought back and managed to earn a tie which showed great team resiliency. But the Broncos present a challenge that is familiar to many returning Denver players. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Western Michigan→