In a tough season filled with bad nights of hockey, the Denver Pioneers (7-11-1, 25 pts) delivered another dud against the #2 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (14-4-1, 41 pts), falling 3-0 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was a game that featured 17 penalties, 11 power plays, and a game that altogether did not spell success for the Pioneers. It was, fittingly, a DU penalty followed by a North Dakota power-play goal that served as the turning point of the game. Continue reading Lackluster Pioneers Shut Out by #2 Fighting Hawks in Grand Forks
Denver (2-14, 1-8) couldn’t make an early 14-0 lead hold up against Western Illinois (6-12, 4-7) and fell 75-69 in Macomb, Illinois Friday night.
Denver jumped out to an 8-0 lead five minutes into the game as the Leathernecks missed shot-after-shot and turned the ball over five times. Ten minutes into the half, Western Illinois was 0-10 from the field and trailed 14-0. With 8:53 remaining, Tamell Pearson made a layup to finally put the Leathernecks on the board. Over the next four minutes, WIU outscored DU 13 to 6, to trail 20-15. The choppy first half ended up 28-22, DU. The teams were a combined 1 for 15 from beyond the arc in the cold-shooting first half. Western shot a miserable 27.3% and Jase Townsend led the Pioneers with 10 points in the half. Continue reading Denver Fades in Loss to Western Illinois, 75-69
I know. It sounds crazy with a Denver men’s basketball team sitting at a woeful 2-13, 1-7 in Summit League play. There is no rational reason for hope based on current results – but is there hope nonetheless? There actually is a (highly unlikely) path to the NCAA Tournament for Denver, and here is how. (I promise I’m not on prescription meds and have not been drinking to excess…recently anyway). Continue reading Pioneers Never Say Die and Neither Should You
Lost in recent news headlines over the past several months, Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford Health CEO and the mastermind behind the explosive growth of the Sanford Healthcare system was forced to make an unceremonious exit from the Sioux Falls enterprise. His ouster involves masks and mergers and may impact the Summit League’s biggest sponsor.
The NCHC announced this morning that it is completely revamping its annual postseason tournament and moving the entire thing to Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Instead of a two-week tournament starting with best-of-three-game-series at campus sites followed by the semifinals and championship at the Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul, Minnesota, all teams will be invited to a five-day single-elimination event. Quarterfinals, seeded as they would have been normally (1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, etc.) will occur on Friday and Saturday, March 12-13, while the semifinals and championship will take place on Monday, March 15 and Tuesday, March 16, respectively. No third-place game will occur. Continue reading NCHC Announces Single-Elimination Postseason Tournament in Grand Forks
It was a game that has encapsulated Denver’s entire season to this point – a lot of solid Denver hockey played, but ending in a embarrassing result, as the Denver Pioneers played well for the first 45 minutes but gagged-up a two-goal, third-period lead and fell to the Omaha Mavericks, 5-4 in overtime in a gut-wrenching loss that may have major implications for the Pioneers’ now-slim home ice playoff hopes. Continue reading Denver Melts Down, Gags-Up a 5-4 OT Loss to Omaha
The Denver Pioneers (7-9-1, 24 pts) have a long road ahead of them if they’re going to defy the odds and earn home-ice advantage in the first round of the NCHC Tournament by finishing in the top four of the conference. The only way Denver will be able to do that is if they start to win games and continue to win games. Cole Guttman tallied three points on a goal and two assists leading the Pioneers to a strong 3-1 victory over the #9 Omaha Mavericks (10-6-1, 30 pts) and helped the Pioneers take a step in the right direction and pull a bit closer to fourth place. Continue reading Pioneers Topple Mavericks to Take Game One, Close Standings Gap
A week ago, a one-goal first half against Utah nearly spelled disaster for the #7 Denver Pioneers (1-1) in a 9-8 thriller victory. Today, though, against the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils (1-0), in the first of DU’s two games in North Carolina, it was a two-goal second half – the product of a stout Duke defense and a lack of urgency from the crimson and gold attackers – that contributed to a blown halftime lead and a 12-10 loss, their third straight against Duke, for the Pioneers at the hands of the best team in the country in Durham. Continue reading #7 Denver’s Offense Goes Cold in Second Half as Pioneers Fall to #1 Duke
One question heading into Summit League conference play was the schedule change which moved to two-game home sets versus the traditional home and away series. In basketball, would there be more splits as teams figured out their foes on the first night? Interestingly, there have been 22 sweeps and 11 splits during this COVID-19 interrupted season in Summit League play.
As the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) adds football, jettisons member Chicago State, adds five new members and becomes more geographically focused, Seattle University becomes even more isolated. A return to the West Coast Conference, Seattle’s former home, becomes a greater priority as the Redhawks become more geographically isolated and less aligned with fellow WAC member institutions. Continue reading WAC Sparks Conference Alignment Changes