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DU’s Relentless Hockey Displayed in 4-2 Victory Over Notre Dame

photo via courtesy of Shannon Valerio

The tone was set in the second meeting in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 14. The No. 1-ranked University of Denver Pioneers (1-0-1, 0-0-0, NCHC) embodied the relentless hockey that once haunted the No.4-ranked University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-1-1, 0-0-0, Big Ten)

Denver displayed resilience and fight in the final minutes of an excellent early-yet college hockey game to defeat the Fighting Irish 4-2.

Despite outshooting the Fighting Irish in every period and nearly doubling the total shot tally 48-29, the Pioneers and Irish skated to an official 2-2 overtime tie in Friday night’s game. Both goals were scored from sophomore forward and Florida Panthers prospect Henrik Borgstrom who reportedly was out ill Saturday’s game.

DU returned to Compton Family Ice Arena and mirrored it’s play to the quick and unabating style that head coach Jim Montgomery has instilled in the Denver hockey culture. The system of hockey that heavily helped the Pioneers with their success last season in clinching their 8th title, including the 6-1 Frozen Four victory over the Irish.

Even without Borgstrom in the lineup, Denver didn’t struggle to light the lamp. The Pioneers got on the board  with just under 10 minutes in the opening frame, the goal scored from their top line. Anaheim Ducks prospect and assistant captain, Troy Terry collected a rebound in the slot. The junior forward finished his shot just inside the right post.

Denver displayed a strong forecheck, providing an opportune chance in front of the net during the final minutes of the first period. Sophomore forward Logan O’Connor pressured Notre Dame’s defense forcing a turnover. O’Connor found freshman forward Jake Durflinger alone down low in the slot, where Durflinger played a one-timer past Fighting Irish goalie Cale Morris, to record his first career goal.

With a 2-0 lead, the Pioneers’ dominated the second period and majority of the third period under Montgomery’s tactics. The Fighting Irish visibly had no rhythm as they circulated the puck across zones; the Pioneers were quick to eliminate time and space, disrupt and prevent any attempt Notre Dame puck possession and work collectively as a cohesive unit across all three zones and 200 feet of ice.

Just under five minutes remaining in the third period, Notre Dame’s Cam Morrison shot a rocket of slap-shot past DU’s Tanner Jaillet to cut the deficit down to one. Morrison scored the sole goal in the Frozen Four meeting as well.

Up by just one goal, the Pioneers didn’t back down as the clock winded down. Denver’s forecheck was amplified in the final minutes as a powerplay goal was further reviewed and ruled a goal in favor of the Fighting Irish thus tying the score 2-2 with under five minutes emaining in regulation.

Deja Vu back to Friday night, the score was tied two apiece and overtime became is on the line. With 4:28 left in regulation, sophomore forward Liam Finlay knocked in the go-ahead goal. San Jose Sharks prospect and junior assistant captain Dylan Gambrell added an empty-net goal to secure the 4-2 victory.

The differences in the series was strides in the levels of hockey admitted. Friday night appeared like a typical early October hockey game, whereas Saturday had the energy, excitement and tenacity of an early February game.

DU returns to Magness Arena to host Lake Superior State University on Friday, Oct. 20.


DU’s Depth Displayed as Pioneers Dominate Exhibition Game

The reigning 2017 national champions emphasized their near unanimous preseason No. 1 ranking on Sunday night in Magness Arena. The DU Pioneers exemplified their exquisite depth over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns as each line skated a returner from Chicago’s national championship team. 

The exhibition game was an ideal platform for Denver to test its depth in waves, experiment variations of lineups and affirm the realization that the conquest for repeating the title is underway. Continue reading DU’s Depth Displayed as Pioneers Dominate Exhibition Game

Does Denver’s success have a limit?

Photo: Could this be the I-70 view if Denver is awarded the 2026 Winter Olympics? 

Remember when Denver rejected the 1976 Winter Olympics because of cost and congestion? Well, it may be happening again, 50 years later.

Denver has grown from 450,000 to over 700,00 residents over that period and the suburbs and front range have exploded – especially since the financial collapse in 2007-2008. The state of Colorado gained over 100,000 new residents in 2015 and the trend has been continuing according to The Denver Post. Colorado currently has a population of 5.7 million and is expected to grow to 8 million by 2050, a 40% increase which will continue to put a strain on resources – taxes, schools, housing, roads, water, parks, etc.. Continue reading Does Denver’s success have a limit?

Chaotic restaurant scene jolts University Park

Photo: A new restaurant concept, Birdcall, will be opening on the northwest corner of Evans and Franklin. 

The restaurant business around DU is tough. With students absent 22 weeks per year, limited parking, changing tastes and lots of local competition, there are big changes going on around the University Park neighborhood.

There is always heavy turnover of restaurants in Denver with the intense competition but these changes are impacting local DU students who frequent these establishments and many who work part-time at these same businesses. put together a video of students commenting on the impact of the closings on the DU community.

But some help may be on the way…or maybe not.  Continue reading Chaotic restaurant scene jolts University Park

Campus Lounge mystery uncovered

Photo: The Campus Lounge has been closed for over a year.

It was a year ago that we mourned the closing of the Campus Lounge and celebrated the retirement of its proprietor, Jim Wiste, a former DU hockey player. So many University of Denver sports memories have been shared there, especially for hockey, that its closure felt more like a funeral than a business closing. (And yes, there were a few wakes held there, too).

Fast forward one year – the Campus Lounge is still closed. What’s the story? Continue reading Campus Lounge mystery uncovered

USC Trojan horse, Traveler, sparks campus outcry

Photo: USC mascot Traveler has become a controversial figure at USC following the events at Charlottesville, Virginia

There is little controversy regarding USC football’s #4 preseason ranking by the Associated Press. But that cannot be said of the university’s Trojan horse, Traveler, a mascot that proudly prowls the sidelines for the Southern California Trojan football team.

According to the Los Angeles Times, following the events of Charlottesville, there have been efforts to remove the equine Trojan Mascot. The horse, named Traveler, has a similar name to General Robert E. Lee’s white horse named Traveller – spelled with an additional “L”. The horse was purchased in 1958 and already had the name ‘Traveler’ when given to the University by the Saukko family. Traveler has been a game day regular since that time.  Continue reading USC Trojan horse, Traveler, sparks campus outcry

Metro State running the road to new reputation as a valued Denver asset

Metro State, once short for Metropolitan State College of Denver, is the Denver city college that resides in the heart of the Mile High City. It’s long had a reputation around the city as a bargain education. But as part of an effort to rebrand and change its reputation, Metro State changed its name to the Metropolitan State University of Denver (remember the flap when their proposed renaming sounded a lot like the University of Denver) in 2012 and there are many other changes that have taken place at the large city college.

The old image of ‘Metro’ is changing. Continue reading Metro State running the road to new reputation as a valued Denver asset

Denver real estate continues to sizzle

Photo: Construction cranes dot the downtown Denver skyline

As we roll into the dog days of summer, the hottest thing in Denver is no longer the local college hockey team. It’s real estate. According to The Denver Business Journal, the only market hotter than Denver is Seattle. That’s according to California-based Veros Real Estate Solutions, which estimates that Denver-area homes will appreciate 10.3 percent over the next 12 months, behind only Seattle’s expected 11.1 percent appreciation. This follows years of double digit price growth for homes in the Denver area.  Continue reading Denver real estate continues to sizzle

Athletic basket weaving at North Carolina

Many of you may have read about the ongoing dispute between the NCAA and the University of North Carolina. The issue centers around softball college courses offered to athletes and other students to garner an easy ‘A’.

UNC’s argument against the NCAA is novel. First, the Tar Heels argue that the NCAA is overreaching its jurisdiction by checking on academic offerings by its member institutions. Secondly, the easy courses were taken by both athletes and ‘regular’ students as well.  Continue reading Athletic basket weaving at North Carolina