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Old Pio
04-01-2010, 12:12 AM
Pioneers are renaissance men and women. :cool:

I subscribe to Friend of Chamber music here in Denver, too. And even get full CSO symphonies in about 10 times per year. But I draw the line at Ballet. No way.

Grand opera? No thanks. Gilbert & Sullivan? That's a horse of a different color.

For he himself has said it
And it's mainly to his credit
That he is an Englishman
That he is an Englishman

Gurtholfin
04-01-2010, 12:23 AM
Chevy misses out on the hat trick. Sure, the last 3 games didn't help, but DU's Marc Cheverie had a great season! He was the backbone of the team.
Congrats to Marc!

FWIW, I thought he was one of the most dominant players in the WCHA this season. It's pretty much a tradition for me to get home from the Badger games and watch the 2nd & 3rd periods of your games because of the time difference, so I saw him a bunch. I don't know the two Eastern players, but I'd have been happy to see Chevy in that group...

As long as it didn't knock Blake out. ;)

vizoroo
04-01-2010, 04:15 AM
finally got the gallery added to the RIT/Denver game recap - http://www.uscho.com/recaps/20092010/m/03/26/rit-du.php

I've heard of changing on the fly, but Rakshani put new meaning into those words. Frames 128-132.

Thanks M. Wade--great shots!

vizoroo
04-01-2010, 04:20 AM
Just scanned the AHL rosters to see what former Pioneers Big Joe will be playing against.

In the East:
Ryan Dingle-Adirondack Phantoms
Geoff Paukovich-Springfield Falcons
Gabe Gauthier-Manchester Monarchs
Patrick Mullen-Manchester Monarchs

From the West:
Wade Dubielwicz-Houston Aeros
J.P. Testwuide-Houston Aeros
Kevin Doell-Chicago Wolves
Peter Mannino-Chicago Wolves
Brett Skinner-Lake Erie Monsters
Brock Trotter-Hamilton Bulldogs
Keith Seabrook-Hamilton Bulldogs

There are a lot of familiar names on the rosters including recent signees.

New Additions:
Joe Colborne-Providence Bruins 4/2/10
Rhett Rakhshani-Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4/3/10

du78
04-01-2010, 11:32 AM
Congrats to Rhett, I hope he gets to join the big club next season. They definitley can uses some more scoring. :cool:

anonymous
04-01-2010, 11:49 AM
Can we please start a new thread? The title of this is like rubbing salt in a wound. After we were eliminated I wanted UND to win it all. Now I want Wisconsin. Best of luck to Rhett. He was an amazing assett to DU, both on and off the ice.

Puck Swami
04-01-2010, 12:17 PM
Okay, now that DU fans are processing the pain of another NCAA first game fizzle, it makes sense to start looking at what it will take to get over that hump in the future. This coming season will be pivotal for Denver as they attempt to stay among the elite programs in college hockey. With three consecutive first game NCAA early departures in the last three seasons, we have a program that is still looking for the extra mixture of talent, attitude, health, chemistry and coaching that vaults a top 3 WHCA program into a Frozen Four calibre program once again as they were five years ago.

I think the coaching staff (and the players) clearly need to make some changes to the way they prepare for end-of-season success, because the current post-season fizzles need to be addressed. The common thread in recent years is a talented DU club suffers some second-half injuries, loses confidence and effort level and there does not appear to be enough gas in the tank for the NCAAs. I am sure this keeps the coaching staff (and some of the players) up late at night trying to figure out how to correct it.

Here are some interesting thought starters that might suggest areas of improvement that DU might want to look into...

1) Nutrition: A recent article in Toronto talked about how Tyler Bozak had to change his eating habits and learn about nutrition and and eating right when he got to Toronto. Seems to me that perhaps DU needs to do a better job with player nutrition, which could be a contributing factor to a late season fade. That is easily fixed.

2) Physical Strength: DU has been a finesse team for a while, and more physical teams out there have pushed DU around in tourney play (the first period of the RIT game was a great example of this).In the mid-decade NCAA title period, Mike Sanders (DU's strength coach) was widely lauded for having DU peaking physically at the right times, even through injuries. Let's hope DU's new strength coach can do more with guys so they don't fade phsyically. This is also a recruiting issue as well, as DU needs some bigger and stronger guys than they have now.

3) Mental Strength: DU needs to do a better job instilling the killer instinct into the players, and how to deal with sporadic effort levels. I don't know how the team did or didn't use a sports psychologist, but this area needs a long, long look from the coaching staff. Mental toughness is everything in a league and tourney where talent is well distributed. DU needs to be mentally tougher and that is certain. Getting the early jump is crucial, and most of DU's playoff starts were flat. This was a problem in the regular season, too. Motivation should come naturally to players at this level, and the fact that it doesn't means that change needs to happen.

4) Leadership: Seems to me that we've seen great captains like Caldwell and Laatsch who overcame their physical and playing deficiencies to lead the Pioneers to NCs. Since 2005, DU's captains have been star players who may command respect for their talent and personalities, but who all left with regrets that they weren't able to lead their teams to a better finish. Maybe it's time to pick a captain who brings a different outlook to the table. Not sure who that is, but DU needs to get everyone pulling at the same time, which hasn't happened in the NCAA tourneys.

5) Coaching: Clearly what worked in prior years no longer works, so DU needs to find better adjustments, preparation strategies and other elements to really peak at the right time. Innovation must be continuous and these guys need to be open to changing the things that don't work.

vizoroo
04-01-2010, 12:25 PM
Frozen Four Skills contest:
The men's West squad include:
Zach Harrison, Minnesota State Mankato;
Cody Chupp, Ferris State; Signed Pro contract
Steven Kampfer, Michigan; Signed Pro Contract
Kyle Lawson, Notre Dame; Signed Pro Contract
Tony Lucia, Minnesota Signed Pro Contract
Chris McKelvie, Bemidji State. Signed Pro Contract

The two goalies are: Brian Stewart, Northern Michigan and Andrew Volkening, Air Force.

Think a few alternates will be playing. We do have 5 seniors who may be eligible

dggoddard
04-01-2010, 12:44 PM
A few follow-on points to Swami's post.

DU has actually fizzled and been upset five consecutive years in the playoffs. Duluth & Sconnie in the WCHA playoffs at Magness in 2006 & 2007. Win one extra game in either of the best of three series' and DU would of made the NCAAs.

Gwoz was resting Colborne, Rakhshani & Ruegsegger over the last two weeks of the WCHA playoffs. He also tried a few "motivational" tools to get those guys to peak in the NCAAs. He knew DU was only going to go as far as the big 3 would carry DU. So things were tried by the coaching staff.

DU chartered a DC-9 so the boys would have the easiest possible travel schedule to Albany. With three Eastern schools in the Regionals this was a good idea. I still maintain that DU should of filled the plane with fans if possible.

Look how DU responded to the crowd support in the Springs. You can't tell me that DU would of won 7-3 if our fans didn't head down there in numbers. Then Gwoz rips our fans in a mid-week press conference for booing CC's Seniors. I thought that was unprofessional of him to criticize our fans. He didn't witness the event firsthand, it wasn't that big a deal & CC are a bunch of cry babies anyway.

PioNation has been up in arms this week and its great to see people still engaged a week after the loss instead of saying "Ho-hum." We are starting to build a passionate fan base and its great to see. The coaches aren't happy right now, the players aren't happy and the fans aren't happy. Lets stay angry all offseason.

Puck Swami
04-01-2010, 01:56 PM
PioNation has been up in arms this week and its great to see people still engaged a week after the loss instead of saying "Ho-hum." We are starting to build a passionate fan base and its great to see. The coaches aren't happy right now, the players aren't happy and the fans aren't happy. Lets stay angry all offseason.

I'd rather see "motivated" than "unhappy" or "angry".

I am not unhappy with DU - they were a league champion, put 19 guys on the all academic team and gave us a really enjoyable regular season. It's the just the recent playoff endings that are so puzzling...

The last five years have also seen unexpectedly poor performances in the playoffs, and that can't go on forever. Every one of those DU teams under-achieved when they were expected to be better, losing to lesser seeded teams in every case. Something isn't right come playoff time, and in almost every case, DU did not rise at the right time. Sometimes, you give your best and knocked off by a better performing team. I can handle that. Sometimes injuries rob you of potency. But the commone thread in all of those 5 years of early playoff exits was that DU did not put out the high level of energy that is required to overcome both good opponents and internal adversity. That is what the coaches need to fix...

MichPieGuy
04-01-2010, 02:43 PM
Okay, now that DU fans are processing the pain of another NCAA first game fizzle, it makes sense to start looking at what it will take to get over that hump in the future. This coming season will be pivotal for Denver as they attempt to stay among the elite programs in college hockey. With three consecutive first game NCAA early departures in the last three seasons, we have a program that is still looking for the extra mixture of talent, attitude, health, chemistry and coaching that vaults a top 3 WHCA program into a Frozen Four calibre program once again as they were five years ago.

I think the coaching staff (and the players) clearly need to make some changes to the way they prepare for end-of-season success, because the current post-season fizzles need to be addressed. The common thread in recent years is a talented DU club suffers some second-half injuries, loses confidence and effort level and there does not appear to be enough gas in the tank for the NCAAs. I am sure this keeps the coaching staff (and some of the players) up late at night trying to figure out how to correct it.

Here are some interesting thought starters that might suggest areas of improvement that DU might want to look into...

1) Nutrition: A recent article in Toronto talked about how Tyler Bozak had to change his eating habits and learn about nutrition and and eating right when he got to Toronto. Seems to me that perhaps DU needs to do a better job with player nutrition, which could be a contributing factor to a late season fade. That is easily fixed.

2) Physical Strength: DU has been a finesse team for a while, and more physical teams out there have pushed DU around in tourney play (the first period of the RIT game was a great example of this).In the mid-decade NCAA title period, Mike Sanders (DU's strength coach) was widely lauded for having DU peaking physically at the right times, even through injuries. Let's hope DU's new strength coach can do more with guys so they don't fade phsyically. This is also a recruiting issue as well, as DU needs some bigger and stronger guys than they have now.

3) Mental Strength: DU needs to do a better job instilling the killer instinct into the players, and how to deal with sporadic effort levels. I don't know how the team did or didn't use a sports psychologist, but this area needs a long, long look from the coaching staff. Mental toughness is everything in a league and tourney where talent is well distributed. DU needs to be mentally tougher and that is certain. Getting the early jump is crucial, and most of DU's playoff starts were flat. This was a problem in the regular season, too. Motivation should come naturally to players at this level, and the fact that it doesn't means that change needs to happen.

4) Leadership: Seems to me that we've seen great captains like Caldwell and Laatsch who overcame their physical and playing deficiencies to lead the Pioneers to NCs. Since 2005, DU's captains have been star players who may command respect for their talent and personalities, but who all left with regrets that they weren't able to lead their teams to a better finish. Maybe it's time to pick a captain who brings a different outlook to the table. Not sure who that is, but DU needs to get everyone pulling at the same time, which hasn't happened in the NCAA tourneys.

5) Coaching: Clearly what worked in prior years no longer works, so DU needs to find better adjustments, preparation strategies and other elements to really peak at the right time. Innovation must be continuous and these guys need to be open to changing the things that don't work.


Truly a disappointing end to a great season. I give props to the way RIT outhustled and outhit DU, particularly in the first part of the game. The way they destroyed UNH Saturday proved they were no fluke. It's nice to see a team not coming out of arrogant Hockey East representing that part of the country with some heart and the lovability of an underdog. That said, I will be rooting for a Miami-Badgers final and hope that Miami spanks Notre Dame-East Campus.

What I saw from DU, late season through the regionals, was a spotty, inconsistent team too dependent on Chevy's greatness. I didn't see a lot of heart from the skill players, excepting Rhett. Up front, particularly in the RIT game, lots of peripheral shots off 1-on-1 plays, rather than team play, with no screening down low and minimal tip chances. On the rearguard, major flaws in coverage in the DU defense that made it far easier for RIT to exploit than should have been true. Flawed defense positioning/spacing and lack of motivated play killed the DU blue line in the WCHA Five and clearly left lingering lack of confidence back there. Swami's points about strength coaching and physicality of play ring strong for me, though he and DGG have far greater insider knowledge about how that's proceeding than I do as a casual observer.

If Chevy leaves early, this team has me worried for 2010-11. I didn't see a leadership core forming out of the underclassmen. Shore is promising, but wasn't the You-Tube highlight reel that was advertised. Maybe that's still ahead for him, the talent is there. I don't see a goaltender in the incoming recruiting class (haven't looked lately), and while we've seen tenders that struggled as frosh blossom a few times over the years, I sure didn't get a warm fuzzy watching Murray play.

But I'm a huge Gwoz fan, and I will consider my glass to still be half full and hope that we re-discover how to win the big games in March.

As an aside, is there going to be a DU contingent of any kind at the FF, disappointment notwithstanding? It's just 250 miles down the road from me, and I will be there and would look forward to saying hi to any of the other Pio faithful that post here.

Here's to a happy off-season and more fun on the frozen pond starting in October.:D

ScottA
04-01-2010, 02:50 PM
Swami, how can we be 'proud' of our academic success if the kids don't even stay long enough to get a degree? Isn't that the whole point of a college education?

Future resume: "I did really well in Freshman English and even won All-Academic honors. My next three years I rode buses around the midwest playing minor league hockey in front of crowds as large as 3000 people! Please hire me."

vizoroo
04-01-2010, 03:59 PM
Swami, as usual, you have brought up some very interesting points to consider. The early departures from the NCAAs is very disappointing and confusing. The talent level is there, but something seems to be missing. And whatever it is rears its ugly head at the end of the year. On the other hand, back to back National Championships may have established unrealistic expectations. Yes, I did expect the Pioneers to be playing in the Frozen Four this year with a very good chance of winning the National Championship. Probably playing Miami for the title.
But now we need to look toward the future.

Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning
I read Bozak's interview and found this element quite interesting. These items seem to go together to me. You need the right fuel to build the body. And building strength and bulk without sacrifcing speed and quickness has to be a fine line. This should be a high priority for the Pioneers in the off season. Beer and Pizza may be the backbone of most college students diet, but is not the" right stuff" for elite athletes. Bozak cited his grandmother's pirouges as a key element in his off season diet. Wonder if she could make enough for the Pios ?

Mental Strength
This seemed to be the biggest weakness the team showed this year.
I don't know how many times this year I read that the Pioneers were flat and didn't play 60 minutes of hockey. That seemed like a constant thread throughout the season. Did the team just think Chevy would shut everyone else out? What would have happened if he had an average year instead of the dominant goalie that he was? When Nutini was injured it seemed like the defensive intensity went away. Was he the glue that held the D-corps together?

Determination, toughness, grittiness, teamwork and that Killer Instinct have to go along with the talent and elite skills. The coaches and leadership need to inculcate these values into everyone from the top line to the healthy scratches.

So many pieces of the puzzle are already in place, but yet we still need some of the intangibles demonstrated by the 2004 Championship team before we reach that plateau again. I know Gwoz, the other coaches, the team, the students and the fans don't want to wait another 35 years for a Championship.

In the words of the cable guy, "Get'er Done!"

vizoroo
04-01-2010, 04:04 PM
The other shoe has dropped:eek:
Wiercioch Signs with the Ottawa Senators!

http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=523574&cmpid=rss-News%20in%20English

Not unexpected, but....
Good Luck to Patrick!

Old Pio
04-01-2010, 06:18 PM
Swami, how can we be 'proud' of our academic success if the kids don't even stay long enough to get a degree? Isn't that the whole point of a college education?

Future resume: "I did really well in Freshman English and even won All-Academic honors. My next three years I rode buses around the midwest playing minor league hockey in front of crowds as large as 3000 people! Please hire me."

We can (and should) be proud of the academic accomplishments of our players while they're with us. Naturally all of us would prefer for them to stay the four years and graduate with their classes. But that's not DU's fault--the university was prepared to fulfill its obligations to all of those players--the players chose to move on. Turn the coin over: DU establishes a new record of 19 all academic players (breaking the previous record, also held by DU) and since some of them won't get degrees we SHOULDN'T be proud of that accomplishment? As I posted earlier, my favorite statistic this year: Number of WCHA scholar/athletes--DU 8, Minnesota 0.

Puck Swami
04-01-2010, 07:03 PM
We can (and should) be proud of the academic accomplishments of our players while they're with us. Naturally all of us would prefer for them to stay the four years and graduate with their classes. But that's not DU's fault--the university was prepared to fulfill its obligations to all of those players--the players chose to move on. Turn the coin over: DU establishes a new record of 19 all academic players (breaking the previous record, also held by DU) and since some of them won't get degrees we SHOULDN'T be proud of that accomplishment? As I posted earlier, my favorite statistic this year: Number of WCHA scholar/athletes--DU 8, Minnesota 0.

Exactly. DU graduates over 80% of the hockey players it serves, and most of those who do leave early are doing so to sign pro contracts in their chosen career, which in theory, is what all universities should be doing - preparing kids for their career of choice. Would we mind if a specially-talented DU student got an offer to leave school early to play Violin for the New York Philharmonic, report for the Chicago Tribune or to work in M&A analysis for Morgan-Stanley? Of course not.

Most of DU's hockey players are good enough to play some level of pro hockey, and we should be thrilled for them that they get such pro offers before their four years are up. They are prodigies of sorts, and have their whole lives to go to college. They don't have their whole lives to play pro hockey. And some of them will finish their degrees at some point, anyway.

Old Pio
04-01-2010, 07:16 PM
Exactly. DU graduates over 80% of the hockey players it serves, and most of those who do leave early are doing so to sign pro contracts in their chosen career, which in theory, is what all universities should be doing - preparing kids for their career of choice. Would we mind if a specially-talented DU student got an offer to leave school early to play Violin for the New York Philharmonic, report for the Chicago Tribune or to work in M&A analysis for Morgan-Stanley? Of course not.

Most of DU's hockey players are good enough to play some level of pro hockey, and we should be thrilled for them that they get such pro offers before their four years are up. They are prodigies of sorts, and have their whole lives to go to college. They don't have their whole lives to play pro hockey. And some of them will finish their degrees at some point, anyway.

Is DU still active in that consortium of big city schools started by DU grad Richard Lapchick designed to give pro athletes the opportunity to complete their degrees? Lapchick ran the sports center at Northeastern at the time. Don't know whether the consortium is still in operation, but DU was an original member.

vizoroo
04-01-2010, 08:07 PM
INCH names Chevy Goalie of the Year
http://insidecollegehockey.com/inch/2010/04/01/inch-goaltender/

thedunker
04-01-2010, 08:44 PM
A few follow-on points to Swami's post.

DU has actually fizzled and been upset five consecutive years in the playoffs. Duluth & Sconnie in the WCHA playoffs at Magness in 2006 & 2007. Win one extra game in either of the best of three series' and DU would of made the NCAAs.

Gwoz was resting Colborne, Rakhshani & Ruegsegger over the last two weeks of the WCHA playoffs. He also tried a few "motivational" tools to get those guys to peak in the NCAAs. He knew DU was only going to go as far as the big 3 would carry DU. So things were tried by the coaching staff.

DU chartered a DC-9 so the boys would have the easiest possible travel schedule to Albany. With three Eastern schools in the Regionals this was a good idea. I still maintain that DU should of filled the plane with fans if possible.

Look how DU responded to the crowd support in the Springs. You can't tell me that DU would of won 7-3 if our fans didn't head down there in numbers. Then Gwoz rips our fans in a mid-week press conference for booing CC's Seniors. I thought that was unprofessional of him to criticize our fans. He didn't witness the event firsthand, it wasn't that big a deal & CC are a bunch of cry babies anyway.

PioNation has been up in arms this week and its great to see people still engaged a week after the loss instead of saying "Ho-hum." We are starting to build a passionate fan base and its great to see. The coaches aren't happy right now, the players aren't happy and the fans aren't happy. Lets stay angry all offseason.

I am still disappointed and angry. It's so rare I get to see DU in person. We fielded a team of talented and bright student athletes. However, there was no down and dirty true grit Leader.

jk
04-01-2010, 09:21 PM
DU has actually fizzled and been upset five consecutive years in the playoffs. Duluth & Sconnie in the WCHA playoffs at Magness in 2006 & 2007.
The last NCAA game won was the title game against UND, unbelievably.