Category Archives: Pioneers

And now, some good news: spring athletes to be granted extra year of eligibility, per reports

The last two days have felt like a decade. Every five minutes, the news cycle delivered a new body blow and the bad news flowed flowing like the dang Colorado River. On Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA delivered the news that fans would not be permitted to attend any winter sports championships including March Madness and the NCAA Hockey Tournament. This news, of course, was followed up by the NBA suspending its season Wednesday night after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus, better known to some as COVID-19. And that was just Wednesday. Continue reading And now, some good news: spring athletes to be granted extra year of eligibility, per reports

Through 20 years as Voice of the Pioneers, Jay Stickney continues to relish role with program

University of Denver hockey is celebrating its 70th season this year. At the same time, though, there’s another, arguably more important milestone that the program is celebrating: voice of the Pioneers Jay Stickney’s 20th year with the program. Through a number of color commentators, three head coaches, and countless student-athletes, one thing has remained constant for the program over the past two decades: Jay Stickney’s voice on Denver’s fall and winter weekend radio airwaves. Continue reading Through 20 years as Voice of the Pioneers, Jay Stickney continues to relish role with program

Coach George Gwozdecky Headlines DU’s 2020 Hall of Fame Class Induction Event

DU has formally announced its 2020 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.

The ceremony will feature a return to campus by hockey head coach George Gwozdecky, one of Denver’s greatest coaches, who led DU to a pair of national championships, multiple NCAA appearances and an imposing 443-267-64 record in 19 years with the Pioneers between 1994 and 2013. The evening is sure to be a special one as ‘Coach Gwoz’ finally gets some of the eternal recognition that he so richly deserves as a legend in the Pioneer family. Continue reading Coach George Gwozdecky Headlines DU’s 2020 Hall of Fame Class Induction Event

University of Denver Athletics’ Decade in Review: Top 10 Moments of the Decade

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Top Moment of the Decade: DU’s 2015 NCAA Lacrosse Championship transcended DU – it was a watershed moment in the history of lacrosse in America as this victory moved it from an eastern game to a national game.

In 2010, when the decade began, the University of Denver was known primarily as a hockey school, supplemented by many NCAA ski titles. Continue reading University of Denver Athletics’ Decade in Review: Top 10 Moments of the Decade

Puck Swami’s Musings from the Arizona Desert

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Denver Boone flew in for the DU tailgate and the Denver vs Arizona State game in Glendale, Arizona to cheer the Pioneers. Photo: Damien Goddard

GLENDALE, Ariz. — So the score lines from DU’s first-ever foray into the Arizona desert for hockey weren’t very pretty – #20 Arizona State 4, #4 DU 1 in the first game and ASU 2, DU 2 in overtime in the second game. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Musings from the Arizona Desert

70 Years of DU Hockey History Part II: A Temporary Decline – 1970-1994

Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. This is Part II. Part One can be found here, and Parts III and IV will follow in the coming weeks. While these stories will run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

Given DU hockey’s successes in the program’s first 20 years, there was no reason to believe that the Pioneer hockey program was about to enter a 35-year period with no NCAA titles. After all, there was plenty of talent in the pipeline. In the early 1970s, DU leveraged its 1960s dominance to attract a number of star players who would move on the NHL — George Morrison, Peter McNab, Bruce Affleck, Rob Palmer, Mike Busniuk, Rich Preston, Mike Christie, Mike Lampman, Vic Venasky and Ron Grahame would all wear the Crimson and Gold in the early-to-mid 70s before moving on to the highest level. Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History Part II: A Temporary Decline – 1970-1994

DU Fails to Respond to Pioneer Nickname Issue

It’s been nearly a month since our Sept. 9th piece when we asked DU to publicly affirm the Pioneer nickname as well as reinstate the Pioneer nickname to those programs where it was dropped. To date, DU has failed to respond.

In 2019, DU senior administrators removed the Pioneer nickname from at least three longstanding programs. Pioneer Passage was changed to “New Student Convocation”; the Pioneer Awards were changed to the “Crimson and Gold Awards” and the Pioneer ID Card abruptly appeared without the Pioneer name (although after the DU community caught wind of this, the card was ‘restored’ with an option for cardholders to choose cards without the ‘Pioneer’ name).  For more details on these changes, see the link here. Continue reading DU Fails to Respond to Pioneer Nickname Issue

Safeway sponsorship proves power of ‘Pioneers’

Photo: Courtesy of Denver Athletics

The recently announced University of Denver athletics sponsorship with Safeway shows the power of the ‘Pioneers’ nickname. Without a doubt, the on-campus benefits look substantial where “Safeway will receive exposure at the Ritchie Center, Peter Barton Stadium, DU Soccer Stadium, print, digital, game day takeovers, radio advertising and exclusive use of marks. The multi-year contract will surround all DU NCAA sports with a unique and specific emphasis on women’s sports & wellness. Safeway will also contribute to the Pioneer Nutrition Station which will benefit the wellness and performance of DU student athletes.” Continue reading Safeway sponsorship proves power of ‘Pioneers’

Pioneer Soccer Upset Bid Falters Late in 2-1 Loss to #8 SMU Mustangs in Overtime

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DU’s Josh Drack (left) scored this go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute, but the Pioneers fell 2-1 to the Eighth-Ranked SMU Mustangs in OT.  Photo: University of Denver

This loss will be one the University of Denver Pioneer Men’s Soccer team will remember for a long time as eighth-ranked Southern Methodist University foiled DU’s late upset bid, ripping out the Pioneers’ heart with a game-tying goal in the final 2 minutes, then flat-out eating the Pioneers’ heart with a game-winner in overtime, 2-1 on Sept. 21 in Denver. The SMU win exacted revenge on the Pioneers for last year’s 1-0 Denver win over the Mustangs in Dallas.

Things were looking really good for DU as the second half clock ticked down in a tight game. DU’s Josh Drack had just scored a pretty go-ahead goal for the Pioneers with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation time, against the run of play in the second half, and the Pioneers were suddenly leading #8th ranked SMU, delighting a large crowd of over 1500 fans at DU soccer stadium on “Bark-in-the-Park” night home opener.

But with the big upset seemingly just within the Pioneers’ grasp, the DU wheels came off in the final two minutes of regulation, as SMU’s Garrett McLaughlin poked-home a game-tying goal with just 1:25 left in regulation in a goal-mouth scrum, forcing overtime at 1-1.

And once again, DU found a way to lose on overtime this season, letting SMU’s leader Eddie Munjoma dance free for a rocketing shot that beat DU goalie Will Palmquist to win the game for the Mustangs in the third minute of overtime.

SMU had dominated the second half of the contest, out shooting DU 12-3 after DU was better in the first half, as DU missed some strong chances to score early in the contest.

SMU improved to 7-0-0 on the season, and the Pioneers fell to 1-5-1.