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UMDBulldogHockeyIsKing
11-28-2010, 02:48 AM
The 45 year run of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center comes to an end this weekend as the Denver Pioneers will close the facility out as the final Bulldog opponents. Hopefully the final games at tDECC are as successful as the first one was.

Methinks the schedulemakers dropped the ball on this one, but whatever.

Puck Swami
11-28-2010, 11:35 AM
Methinks the schedulemakers dropped the ball on this one, but whatever.

Why do you think that?

I expect a great series. DU comes in 'hot' after winning 6 straight and 8 of its last nine, but the many of the opponents in that run are not high level teams this year. The Pioneers have a really dynamic freshman class with some hugely talented players (Brittain, Zucker, Bennett, Makowski and Nick Shore), but not a ton of production from the upperclassmen so far. I'd be thrilled to get a split against UMD, and since Denver got a split at UND earlier this year, I think it's possible. The last games at the DECC should be fun, too.

UMDBulldogHockeyIsKing
11-28-2010, 12:38 PM
Why do you think that?

I expect a great series. DU comes in 'hot' after winning 6 straight and 8 of its last nine, but the many of the opponents in that run are not high level teams this year. The Pioneers have a really dynamic freshman class with some hugely talented players (Brittain, Zucker, Bennett, Makowski and Nick Shore), but not a ton of production from the upperclassmen so far. I'd be thrilled to get a split against UMD, and since Denver got a split at UND earlier this year, I think it's possible. The last games at the DECC should be fun, too.

The final games of the building should have been against the program that opened it. There's just not all that much of a rivalry with Denver other than some recent postseason clashes.

Puck Swami
11-28-2010, 12:58 PM
The final games of the building should have been against the program that opened it. There's just not all that much of a rivalry with Denver other than some recent postseason clashes.

At least it will be #1 vs #2 in the WCHA, which should put a little more fun into the series, even if DU and UMD don't share the hatred aspect.

UMDbulldogs#1
11-28-2010, 05:15 PM
Methinks the schedulemakers dropped the ball on this one, but whatever.

Denver is a top program with a rich hockey history and well respected fan base. I get that it would be cool to close out the DECC against the team that opened it, but it didn't work out that way. Would you rather have the arrogant gopher fans here chanting "USA, USA, USA" or out cheering us in our own building because of the general apathy towards the hockey team by the people of Duluth? Chances are this game wasn't on too many fans' radar when single game tickets went on sale in September. That kills UMD every year when Minnesota is in town; the gopher fans buy the MN @ UMD tickets before anyone in Duluth has put the boat away for the winter.

I personally think the fan base needs to start getting fired up for games that aren't against Minnesota. The impending formation of the BTHC means we need to develop new rivalries within the WCHA and strengthen current ones.

Runninwiththedogs
11-28-2010, 08:48 PM
Any DU fans coming? 14ers? Swami? Come on, Swams, you really should be there.

Puck Swami
11-28-2010, 11:04 PM
Any DU fans coming? 14ers? Swami? Come on, Swams, you really should be there.

I wish!

Alas, I need to be on the East Coast for a work assignment over that weekend. Otherwise, I would be there. I am going to miss the DECC.

Biddco
11-29-2010, 09:30 AM
I personally think the fan base needs to start getting fired up for games that aren't against Minnesota. The impending formation of the BTHC means we need to develop new rivalries within the WCHA and strengthen current ones.

Great point but how long will the adjustment take? I hope the people of Duluth have that in them. The arena will sell tickets for a while. But if this program starts losing are we going to see more empty seats than we saw at the DECC?

Hopefully UMD can keep up their torrid pace. I want a sweep to make up for games UMD should have won against Denver in years past.

Is this Denver team for real? I hope they are another Wisconsin :D

vizoroo
11-29-2010, 12:24 PM
If you look at the numbers, this series should be a barn burner.

Unbeaten: DU-6 tUMD-5

Common opponents:
Lake State: Pios-W Dogs-T
BSU: Pios-WW Dogs-WT
UND: Pios-WL Dogs-WL
UW: Pios-WT Dogs-WW

Should be fun at the DECC

Puck Swami
11-29-2010, 12:42 PM
Is this Denver team for real?

Hard to say at this point. In what was predicted as a mid-pack rebuilding year, DU is about .500 against good teams and has beaten most of the lesser teams they's played. That said, they are getting healthier after a brutal swath of injuries, and the schedule lightens a bit in the second half. The heart and offensive production of this team are underclassmen. DU's leader offensively is sophomore Drew Shore, and the freshmen class of Sam Brittain, Jason Zucker, Beau Bennett, David Makowski, and Nick Shore is probably the best freshman class DU has ever put on the ice. If these Freshman continue to to play like upperclassmen, DU has a shot to be in the tourney mix. DU has a very effective defense in front of Brittain, but offensively, the team is pretty average. Goaltending has been superb from Brittain.

vizoroo
11-29-2010, 12:59 PM
The Goalies
Both Sam Brittain and Aaron Crandall are freshmen.

GAA
Brittain Total 1.95 Conf. 2.05
Crandall Total 1.90 Conf. 2.06

Save Percentage
Brittain Total .932 Conf. .930
Crandall Total .917 Conf. .913

UMDBulldogHockeyIsKing
11-29-2010, 01:09 PM
At least it will be #1 vs #2 in the WCHA, which should put a little more fun into the series, even if DU and UMD don't share the hatred aspect.

This is definitely a big series and a great opportunity for the Dogs to measure up against one of the elite teams this year.

UMDBulldogHockeyIsKing
11-29-2010, 01:13 PM
Denver is a top program with a rich hockey history and well respected fan base. I get that it would be cool to close out the DECC against the team that opened it, but it didn't work out that way. Would you rather have the arrogant gopher fans here chanting "USA, USA, USA" or out cheering us in our own building because of the general apathy towards the hockey team by the people of Duluth? Chances are this game wasn't on too many fans' radar when single game tickets went on sale in September. That kills UMD every year when Minnesota is in town; the gopher fans buy the MN @ UMD tickets before anyone in Duluth has put the boat away for the winter.

I personally think the fan base needs to start getting fired up for games that aren't against Minnesota. The impending formation of the BTHC means we need to develop new rivalries within the WCHA and strengthen current ones.

I'd love to see a bigger turnout for teams like DU. Hell, I'd love for the rivalry to be competitive year in and year out because that means the program is not on a roller coaster with some great years mixed in with some horrid ones. But the Gophers will always be our number one rival, regardless of whether the BTHC takes shape. And FWIW, a friend of mine was just barely able to get tix for Saturday's game back when they went on sale.

The bottom line is, unless the team is winning, Duluth has other interests besides Bulldog hockey.

vizoroo
11-29-2010, 01:22 PM
Special Teams

Power Play
Pios Total 18.1 Conf. 18.6
Dogs Total 25.7 Conf. 24.4

Penalty Kill
Pios Total 85.0 Conf. 80.7
Dogs Total 80.6 Conf. 82.9

tUMD has a big advantage on the Power Play so it behooves the Pioneers to stay out of the box. DU's PP was abyssmal at the beginning of the season, but seems to have improved. tUMD's PP has been strong all year.

DU's Penalty Kill was victimized giving up 6 PP goals to CC in Colorado Springs.

du78
11-29-2010, 01:47 PM
This series will be featuring 14 (36%) of the top 39 scorers in the WCHA. DU has 6 players in that group and UMD has 8. Drew Shore of DU leads all scorers with 13 points followed by Jason Zucker with 12, David Makowski and Anthony Maiani with 10 apiece, Luke Salazar with 9 and Matt Donovan with 8. Mike Connolly and Jack Connolly are tied with Zucker and 3 others with 12 points for second in scoring. UMD also has Travis Oleksusk with 11 points, JT Brown with 9 points and Kyle Schmidt, Dylan Olsen, Justin Faulk and Justin Fontaine with 8 apiece. Should be an interesting series with all theses offensive players facing the stastically #2 Brittain (DU) and #3 Crandall (UMD) in GAA in the league and #1 Brittain and #5 Crandall in saves %.

Runninwiththedogs
11-29-2010, 04:25 PM
I wish!

Alas, I need to be on the East Coast for a work assignment over that weekend. Otherwise, I would be there. I am going to miss the DECC.

Unacceptable.

Boone should come, too.

bigmrg74
11-29-2010, 06:06 PM
Unacceptable.

Boone should come, too.

Heck Yeah, You guys could have Champ and Boon go at it, with the Augustana Viking there being the Special Guest referee.

It should be one Hell of a sports weekend in Duluth there. Closing down the DECC, along with the Regional Finals in Football as well. Here's to UMD going 3 for 3 on the weekend.

vizoroo
11-29-2010, 06:26 PM
Will the Maroon Loon be there?

Biddco
11-29-2010, 06:38 PM
Will the Maroon Loon be there?

All signs point to yes.

Just like all signs point to lots of goals being scored this weekend! Look for some drops in save percentage!

UMDbulldogs#1
11-29-2010, 10:15 PM
All signs point to yes.

Just like all signs point to lots of goals being scored this weekend! Look for some drops in save percentage!

Congradulations. You just cemented a pair of zero goal sister kissers. :D :D

Either that or it will be like that those games against the European elite league teams where it seemed like every shot taken went into the net.