The Colorado Avalanche’s third Stanley Cup Championship was won in Tampa, Florida with a 2-1 victory in Game Six over the Tampa Bay Lightning, making Denver into the new “Hockeytown USA”, as the Avalanche joined the 2022 NCAA Champion University of Denver and USA’s Hockey High School Division II National Champion Denver East High School for a troika of Denver hockey titles in 2022. Continue reading Former DU Pioneers Help Power Avalanche to NHL’s Stanley Cup Championship
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
On November 2 at Magness Arena, you could feel something powerful.
It was tradition — the glue that binds us all together as part of a special DU community.
Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. Part One begins today, and the other three parts 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!
As we celebrate 70 years of Pioneer hockey this coming weekend (Nov. 1-2, 2019), it helps to know just how far the DU Hockey program has evolved in those 70 years. The first 20 formative years saw DU go from a terrible start-up program to the dominant program of the 1960s as a five-time NCAA Champion. Part One of this series reviews those first 20 years of DU Hockey. Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History: The First 20 Years 1949-1969
Chris Butler picked a glorious way to end his 11-year professional hockey career, going out as a Stanley Cup winner.
Wearing the uniform of his hometown team, the St. Louis Blues, the 32-year-old former Pioneer defenseman took his final skate on NHL ice on June 12th, holding aloft the Stanley Cup Trophy that he’d helped his Blues to win, appearing in 13 NHL games last season. Over his career, Butler had appeared in 407 NHL games with St. Louis, Calgary and Buffalo, with the rest of his career spent mostly in the AHL, as well as a short stint in Sweden in 2012-13. Over his NHL career, he’d scored 14 goals and picked-up 72 assists for 86 points. Continue reading Former Pioneer All-American Chris Butler retires as Stanley Cup champ
They don’t come much prettier for an NHL first goal, and former Denver Pioneer Trevor Moore made himself a very memorable moment on January 5, 2019.
In his fifth NHL game, playing limited minutes on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ fourth line, Moore took a puck deep in his own zone, charged up the boards with a capacity Saturday night crowd of 19,000+ home crowd in Toronto roaring in his ears, with millions more nationwide watching on “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast.
Moore blew by Vancouver Canucks defenseman Benoit Puliot and then cruised in alone on Jacob Markstrom, one of the better goalies in the NHL. Moore fired the puck five-hole between Markstrom’s pads for a goal that brought the Toronto crowd to its feet.
For an undrafted California-to-DU player who has spent the last two years working his butt off in the AHL with his high work ethic (and no hype) to make it to the NHL, this was a moment that the knowledgeable fans of Toronto really appreciated. Watch the whole 80 second video at full size and crank up your sound to enjoy this moment – look into his eyes and just imagine how living your childhood hockey dream must feel…Bravo Trevor!
Denver Pioneer head hockey coach David Carle continues to add experienced NHL insights to his program staff, having named named former Cornell all-American and eight-year NHLer/Team Canada goaltender Ben Scrivens to the newly-created position of Team Manager on Sept. 6, 2018.
The new position will be filled while Scriven’s earns his masters degree at DU. Carle had previously added longtime NHL player Steve Reinprecht as a volunteer assistant earlier in the summer, making room for two former NHL players to enter the team’s brain trust.
“We are excited to add someone to our staff with the playing pedigree that Ben has,” Carle said in a DU Press Release. “While he pursues his masters at DU, he will be able to add a valuable perspective to our staff.” Continue reading DU Adds Ben Scrivens as Second Former NHL Player to Pioneer Hockey Team Staff
Denver Post Photo
Recently-graduated DU senior hockey goalie Tanner Jaillet is finally going to get his shot at professional hockey in Europe, as he has reportedly signed a tryout deal with German Elite League (DEL)’s Wolfsburg Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, who lost in last year’s German quarterfinals, recently lost their top netminder, Felix Bruckmann, to season-ending pelvic surgery. Jailett, an undrafted free agent, had hoped for NHL contract interest following his senior season, but the 5-10 goalie remained unsigned.
Jaillet, 24, had a long list of awards over his final two seasons as an NCAA goaltender, including all-NCHC, NCAA all-American and the 2017 Mike Richter Award winner as the top collegiate goaltender in America, when he led DU to the NCAA title. He finished his four-year DU career with an 82-27-16 record with a 2.04 GAA and a .925 career saves percentage. He leaves DU among the top DU goalies of all-time, sharing the all-time wins record with Ron Grahame (82) and remains in the career top five in a number of other statistical categories.
Jaillet will join former Pioneer defenseman William Wrenn on the Grizzlies, and will arrive in Germany on Monday, Aug. 13.
Logan O’Connor has signed with the Colorado Avalanche/Denver Post Photo
National Hockey League teams have feasted on the excellence of the Denver Pioneers hockey program this off-season, taking three of DU’s top forwards (Henrik Borgstrom, Dylan Gambrell and Troy Terry) before graduation, a top defenseman (Blake Hillman) early, its head coach (Jim Montgomery), and now, DU’s captain-to-be.
Logan O’Connor, an undrafted forward from Calgary, Alberta who was slated to become DU’s captain as a senior this season, signed a two-year NHL entry-level contract as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche on July 23, thus ending his college career a year early. Continue reading PUCK SWAMI’S RAPID REACTION: LOGAN O’CONNOR SIGNS WITH AVALANCHE
DU’s New Head Hockey Coach David Carle – Photo Credit: CBS
The University of Denver’s hiring of David Carle as its ninth hockey coach in nearly 70 years of program history is a hire that has elements of excitement, safety and risk baked -in, and the fact that it took three weeks for DU to announce it means that the hire was no slam dunk.
Carle does have a lot going for him. He has 10 years of seasoning as assistant coach with DU and Green Bay (USHL) under his belt, and can be seen as representing logical continuity of the great program-building that’s happened under former head coaches George Gwozdecky and Jim Montgomery, with the Pios making the NCAA tournament every year that Carle has been behind the bench. As one DU hockey alumnus texted me after the news, “I love this hire. [Carle’s] got the goods.” Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU Balances Continuity with Risk in David Carle’s Hire as Head Hockey Coach