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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Denver Head Coach George Gwozdecky

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Denver Head Coach George Gwozdecky enters the chatroom at "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Pioneers face Colorado College December 2 and 3 in the first half of this season's Gold Pan battle.

George Gwozdecky

After 11 years at the helm of the University of Denver hockey program, head coach George Gwozdecky's coaching expertise has led the Pioneers to back-to-back NCAA National Championships in 2004 and 2005.

In 2005, the Pioneers silenced all the critics by becoming the first Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) team since 1997 to capture the MacNaughton Cup, Broadmoor Trophy and NCAA National Championship in the same season. Denver's 4-1 victory over North Dakota in the 2005 NCAA title game gave the school its seventh hockey national championship in 56 seasons of varsity hockey. For his efforts, Gwozdecky was honored with the 2005 Spencer Penrose Award for National Coach of the Year for the second time and WCHA Coach of the Year for the third time in his illustrious career. Gwozdecky captured his 400th career win on March 18 with Denver's 2-1 overtime decision against North Dakota at the WCHA Final Five

As the only coach in NCAA history to win a hockey national title as a player, assistant coach and head coach, Gwozdecky has compiled a 255-161-33 (.605) record with the Pioneers. Gwozdecky-coached teams have reached the NCAA Tournament (including the 1992-93 Miami team) in seven of the last 13 years. Denver has also captured eight Denver Cup titles under Gwozdecky, who currently boasts a 405-285-54 (.581) record in 19 seasons. He has a 338-255-52 (.564) record coaching Division I programs (16 seasons).

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: George won't be stopping by until 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 29th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome back to "Tuesday @ The Rink". We are now joined by Denver Head Coach George Gwozdecky.
Coach Gwozdecky: Hi, everyone. I'm happy to be back and am ready for your questions.

Paul (Denver): Coach: how will you get the freshmen ready for their first DU-CC series? Do you emphasize the emotion of the rivalry to get them to play with higher intensity, or do you downplay it so they can just focus on executing their roles?
Coach Gwozdecky: I think the most important thing in any rivalry is to keep your emotions in check. You need to play with great passion, but anytime you play emotionally, you set yourself up for mistakes for positional discipline and self discipline. The same goes for whether you are a freshman or an upperclassman. Everyone has to be aware of how to play in a rivalry. The upperclassmen are the ones that have to set the stage and the tone for the freshmen.

dggoddard (Houston): The Colorado College games have been sold out for months. Would you consider playing the early season CC game in the Pepsi Center once a year if the ticket demand was there?
Coach Gwozdecky: Either school would hate to give up home ice advantage. For either school to go to a neutral site would probably reduce the home team's advantage. That's not to say that if the ticket demand was there, that one of the schools wouldn't go to the Pepsi Center. But a number of issues would have to be overcome to take the game off campus.

Matt (Denver): Coach, Historically you haven't done too well at the World Arena against CC. What do you attribute that to? Does Magness pose the same problem for CC?
Coach Gwozdecky: Historically, CC has had great teams. When you are playing a great team on their home ice, that presents a great challenge not just for DU, but for every team in the WCHA. When you add in the larger sized ice surface that the Tigers are comfortable playing on, it makes for an even larger challenge. To be able to practice or play on either sized ice surface is an advantage that we do not have that other teams in our league do have, including CC.

Concord , New Hampshire: Coach Gwozdecky, Just wondering if the winner of the seasons DU - CC series will have the "Golden Pan " back as the symbolic award?? I understand that the pan was lost awhile ago .
Coach Gwozdecky: The Gold Pan is gone. A new Gold Pan Trophy is in the process of being designed and produced. It will be ready to be presented to the winner of the season series.

Danielle (Boulder): Most of the national championship team from last year returns for the 2005-2006 season... team's leading scorer, WCHA Rookie of the Year, Frozen Four MVP...With all this returning talent, how is it that you began the season ranked number one and have gradually slipped to 15 in the national polls?
Coach Gwozdecky: Through our last two National Championship runs, we have had the great luxury of a good sized senior class. These seniors have been strong, skilled and had valuable experience. We are challenged this year with having only one senior who has been a regular in our lineup over the last three years. As a result, we have asked many of our younger and more inexperienced players to assume roles of primary responsibility that they are slowly getting comfortable with.

Bill Hartigan (Anchorage, AK): Do you think there is a more complete d-man then Matt Carle in the country today?
Coach Gwozdecky: As I evaluate the top defensemen in our league and around the country, I believe that Matt Carle is the most complete defenseman that there is. He is as strong offensively as he is defensively and, with his important role as a co-captain, he is as valuable off the ice as he is on the ice.

Danielle (Boulder): George, Colorado College vs. Denver is one of my favorite rivalries of all time. Do you as a coach get the same feeling as perhaps your players do before entering such a big rivalry game? Good luck this weekend.
Coach Gwozdecky: Any time you can be a part of a rivalry is special. The hockey programs have been rivals for 50+ years. Many great players and many great games have entertained fans of the Rocky Mountain region. We all look forward to, with great anticipation, these exciting games.

Trumbull, Ct.: Hello Coach Gwozdecky, As devoted Pioneer fans, it was great to see the Pioneers (and rival Colorado College) make it out here to the east coast last weekend to play games against Hockey East teams. My question: Hopefully, are there any plans for the Pioneers to return (other than possible '05-'06 regionals) to the east next season and beyond? It's not only super to see the Pioneers play, but also the caliber of play the WCHA brings to the rink. It was no fluke that last years's Frozen Four (which we were at), was an all-WCHA tournament. Best of successes and we hope to see the Pioneers at this year's Frozen Four in Milwaukee. thanks, Len & Kevin P.
Coach Gwozdecky: We are attempting to schedule future series with teams out of Hockey East, the ECAC and Atlantic Hockey.

Pioneers04 (Denver): Coach, thanks for the chat. Is it just me or over the past 3 or 4 weeks has the team seem to solve one or two of its issues each week. Against Minnesota it was even strength and 2nd and 3rd line scoring, then last week in Boston it was defense and goaltending. Does the first shutout of the year bode well going into CC?
Coach Gwozdecky: I am pleased by the way we have played over the last four games. Our effort and how we've executed in all areas of our game has shown improvement. I am optimistic that will continue as we move into the middle third of our schedule.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all our time with Coach Gwozdecky this afternoon.
Coach Gwozdecky: Thank you for the great questions and for your continued support of DU hockey.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us again next week for another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". Check back during the week to find out who our guests will be. See you next week.

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