Dec. 26, 2006
DENVER - The No. 10 Denver Pioneers (12-6-2, 8-4-2 WCHA) host the 15th Annual Wells Fargo Denver Cup this weekend at Magness Arena. In opening-day action on Dec. 29, Brown (6-4-2, 3-3-1 ECACHL) plays UMass Lowell (3-10-4, 2-6-2 HE) in game one at 4:37 p.m. MT, followed by Mercyhurst (4-10-4, 4-8-2 AHA) and Denver at 7:37 p.m. MT. The consolation game is set for 4:07 p.m. MT on Dec. 30 followed by the championship game at 7:07 p.m. MT. FSN-Rocky Mountain will televise both DU games. Fans can listen to the action FREE at DenverPioneers.com and follow online at GAMETRACKER.
THIS WEEKEND'S STORYLINES
DU seeks 12th Wells Fargo Denver Cup championships in 15 years of competition.
The Pioneers are 22-5-1 all-time in Wells Fargo Denver Cup action.
DU is 4-2-0 against nonconference opponents this season and 46-14-0 since 2001-02.
The No. 10 Pioneers are second in the WCHA after 14 games with 18 league points.
DU is unbeaten at 3-0-1 in its last four games. The Pioneers recorded their second WCHA road sweep in action on Dec. 15-16. DU is 9-2-2 in its last 13 games.
Pioneer freshmen have accounted for 49% of DU's scoring points. Brock Trotter (3rd), Tyler Ruegsegger (T-5th) and Rhett Rakhshani (7th) rank in the top-10 in WCHA freshman scoring.
Fisher leads the WCHA with a .928 Sv%, while junior All-America candidate Ryan Dingle leads the WCHA with 16 goals.
LAST TIME OUT
Peter Mannino posted his seventh career shutout with a sterling 38-save effort in DU's 2-0 win to complete a two-game sweep at Alaska Anchorage Dec. 16. Brian Gifford netted his first game-winning goal with a power-play tally at 17:28 of the first period and freshman Tyler Ruegsegger iced the game with an empty-net goal at 18:57 of the final stanza. Alaska Anchorage outshot DU 38-23, but the Pioneers went 7-for-7 on the penalty kill en route to their third consecutive win. Mannino earned Red Baron WCHA Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors for Dec. 18-24 with his first shutout since Nov. 25, 2005.
DU IN THE WELLS FARGO DENVER CUP
The Pioneers have captured 11 Wells Fargo Denver Cup championships in 14 years of holiday competition. The Pioneers captured five consecutive Wells Fargo Denver Cup championships from 2000-2004. DU's last Denver Cup title came in the 2004-05 season with 4-0 win over Northeastern. Former All-American and current Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny earned Most Valuable Players honors for the Pioneers with three goals and three assists in wins against Air Force and Northeastern. The Pioneers are 22-5-1 overall in the Wells Fargo Denver Cup, including a 0-2 mark last season. The Pioneers defeated Brown 3-2 in the 1994 Wells Fargo Denver Cup championship game and UMass Lowell 2-1 in the 2001 title contest. DU head coach George Gwozdecky has led the Pioneers to nine Wells Fargo Denver Cup championships in 12 seasons.
DU ALL-TIME VS. 2006 WELLS FARGO DENVER CUP OPPONENTS
DU is 1-0-0 against Mercyhurst in the series that started in the 2002-03 season. The Pioneers launched a school record 60 shots in a 5-1 win over the Lakers on Nov. 29, 2002, at Magness Arena. DU is 2-3-0 all-time against Brown in the series that dates back to the 1949-50 season. The Bears routed the Pioneers 16-3 and 17-0 in 1949. DU and Brown last met in the 1994 Wells Fargo Denver Cup championship game. The Pioneers defeated the Bears 3-2 for its third consecutive Wells Fargo Denver Cup title. DU is 6-2-0 all-time against UMass Lowell in the series that started in the 1984-85 season. The Pioneers are 4-0-0 against the River Hawks in Denver, including a 2-1 win in the 2001 Wells Fargo Denver Cup championship game.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE
DU has been led all season by the stellar goaltending of Glenn Fisher and Peter Mannino. Fisher leads DU with an 8-3-1 record, 2.14 GAA and WCHA-leading .928 Sv%, while Mannino has a 4-3-1 record, 2.33 GAA and .920 Sv%. Fisher is 5-2-1 in his last eight games with a 1.85 GAA and .938 Sv%, while Mannino has added a 4-1-1 record with a 1.95 GAA and .935 Sv% in his last six games. Fisher leads the WCHA in saves percentage, ranks third in winning percentage (.708) and fourth in goals against average. Fisher stopped a career-high 47 shots in DU's 4-3 OT win at St. Cloud State Oct. 13 and recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career against Wisconsin (Nov. 10) and Michigan Tech (Nov. 17). He set a personal best in shutout minutes at 158:03 from Nov. 10-Nov. 24. Fisher has allowed two or less goals in eight of 12 starts and has improved his career record to 34-16-5 with a 2.75 GAA and .898 Sv%. Mannino recorded his seventh career shutout at Alaska Anchorage Dec. 16 to move into a fourth place tie with Stephen Wagner on DU's all-time shutouts list. Mannino recorded a season-high 39 saves in DU's 4-3 overtime win at Wisconsin on Nov. 11.
DINGLE LEADS OFFENSIVE ATTACK
Junior All-America candidate Ryan Dingle is tied for fourth in the WCHA in overall scoring with 16-6--22. He leads the league in goal scoring and ranks among the conference leaders in game-winning goals (T-1st), power-play goals (T-2nd), shorthanded goals (T-3rd), shorthanded points (T-4th) and power-play points (T-8th). Dingle has tallied three two-goal games and one hat trick this season. He has recorded scoring points in 14 of 20 games. Dingle is tied for third all-time at DU with six career shorthanded goals and 14 career game-winning goals. He ranks eighth all-time at DU with 22 career power-play goals. He is DU's current career scoring leader with 49-34--83 in 101 career games.
DU FRESHMEN AMONG NATION'S ELITE
DU's nationally-ranked freshmen recruiting class is among the nation's best. The DU freshmen rank second behind Minnesota in total scoring points (78) among all WCHA freshmen classes. Brock Trotter (8-14--22), Tyler Ruegsegger (7-12--19), Rhett Rakhshani (4-14--18), Keith Seabrook (0-7--7), Brian Gifford (2-7--9), Brandon Vossberg (1-1--2), Cody Brookwell (0-1--1) and Matt Glasser have accounted for 49% of DU's scoring points. Trotter (3rd), Ruegsegger (T-5th) and Rakhshani (7th) rank among the top-10 freshmen scorers in the WCHA. The DU freshmen have racked up 21 multi-point efforts and have combined for a +10 plus/minus rating. DU freshmen tallied five of six goals and nine of 16 scoring points at Alaska Anchorage Dec. 15-16.
VETERANS ANCHOR DU BLUELINE
DU's blueline is anchored by veterans Adrian Veideman (2-6--8), Andrew Thomas (2-2--4) and Chris Butler (6-8--14). Veideman is probable for the Wells Fargo Denver Cup after missing the last four games with a concussion. Thomas leads DU with 43 penalty minutes and is tied for the team lead with 16 penalties. Butler tallied three assists against Alaska Anchorage and is tied for first with Minnesota's Alex Goligoski in WCHA defenseman scoring with six goals.
RUEGSEGGER ON SEVEN-GAME POINT STREAK
Tyler Ruegsegger has netted 4-4--8 during his current career-high, seven-game point streak. Ruegsegger iced both wins at Anchorage with a late goal in each win. He netted a multi-point effort (2a) in his collegiate debut Oct. 6 and leads DU with a +12 plus/minus rating. He is fourth on the team with five multi-point efforts.
SCOUTING THE LAKERS
The Mercyhurst Lakers are 4-10-4 overall and tied for seventh in the Atlantic Hockey Association with a 4-8-2 record. The Lakers are winless (0-2-1) in their last three games, including a 1-1 OT tie at Maine. Ben Couttreau (11-12--23), Kyle Gourgon (6-13--19), Scott Champagne (8-9--17), Matt Pierce (6-8--14) and Chris Trafford (4-6--10) are the team's leading scorers. Sophomore Tyler Small (3-8-3, 4.04 GAA, .896 Sv%) is Mercyhurst's top goaltender. Head coach Rick Gotkin has posted a 346-218-41 record in 19 seasons at Mercyhurst.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
The Brown Bears are 6-4-2 overall and tied for seventh in the ECACHL with a 3-3-1 mark. The Bears are 4-1-0 in their last five games and 6-3-1 in their last 10. Antonin Roux (4-8--12), Sean Dersch (2-9--11), Jeff Prough (6-4--10), Sean Muncy (5-5--10) and Matt Vokes (5-4--9) are the team's leading scorers. Freshman Dan Rosen (5-2-0, 1.44 GAA, .957 Sv%) is the team's top goaltender. Head coach Roger Grillo has posted a 110-154-41 record in 10 seasons at Brown.
SCOUTING THE RIVER HAWKS
The UMass Lowell River Hawks are 3-10-4 overall and tied for eighth in the Hockey East Association with a 2-6-2 mark. The River Hawks are winless at 0-8-1 in their last nine games. Jason Tejchma (8-7--15), Paul Worthington (2-9--11), Jeremy Hall (5-5--10), Kory Falite (6-3--9) and Mark Roebothan (4-4--8) are the team's leading scorer's. Freshman Carter Hutton (2-8-4, 2.95 GAA, .881 Sv%) is UMass Lowell's top goaltender. Head coach Blaise MacDonald has posted an 88-103-29 mark in six seasons at UMass Lowell.
The Pioneer roster sports eight Coloradans. Zach Blom (Englewood), Steven Cook (Denver), J.D. Corbin (Littleton), Ryan Dingle (Steamboat Springs), Danny King (Colorado Springs), Geoff Paukovich (Englewood), Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood) and J.P. Testwuide (Vail) all hail from the Centennial State.
CORBIN OUT UNTIL SECOND HALF OF SEASON
DU senior alternate captain J.D. Corbin (0-3--3) has missed the last 16 games after fracturing his right fibula and damaging a ligament in his right ankle in practice on Oct. 16. He had successful surgery on Oct. 18 to repair the ligament and is scheduled to return to the Pioneer lineup in late January.
NHL DRAFT PICKS
The Pioneers boast a school-record 11 NHL Draft picks on this year's roster. DU has three second round picks (Geoff Paukovich, T.J. Fast and Keith Seabrook), one third round pick (Brian Gifford), three fourth round picks (Chris Butler, Andrew Thomas and Rhett Rakhshani), one fifth round pick (Glenn Fisher), one sixth round pick (Tyler Ruegsegger), one seventh round pick (Matt Glasser) and one eighth round pick (J.D. Corbin).
HALL OF FAME SON
Sophomore forward Patrick Mullen is the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Mullen. Patrick's dad tallied 1,063 points in 16 NHL seasons and helped the Calgary Flames (1989) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1991 and 1992) to Stanley Cup Championships.
Pioneer defenseman Keith Seabrook is the brother of defenseman Brent Seabrook of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. Brent Seabrook is in his second season with the Blackhawks. He tallied 5-27--32 in 69 games as a rookie in 2005-06. Seabrook has tallied 2-6--8 in 34 games for Chicago this season.
The DU roster has three players that played for the United State National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. J.D. Corbin (2001-03), Geoff Paukovich (2003-04) and Rhett Rakhshani (2004-05) are all graduates of the program which is sponsored by USA Hockey.
DU VS. RANKED TEAMS
The Pioneers are 4-4-0 against ranked teams this season. DU lost to then-No. 8 Miami, 5-2, Oct. 6 and defeated then-No. 14 Colgate, 3-2, Oct. 7. The Pioneers split a two-game series at then-No. 16 St. Cloud State (4-3 OT, 2-5) Oct. 13-14. DU swept then-No. 7 Wisconsin (2-0, 4-3 OT) Nov. 10-11. The Pioneers suffered a two-game sweep (5-1, 3-2) against then-No. 15 Colorado College Dec. 1-2. DU was 7-8-2 against ranked opponents in 2005-06.
DU has sold out 44 consecutive regular season games at Magness Arena. The streak started with a sellout crowd of 6,022 on Oct. 22, 2004, when the Pioneers raised their sixth NCAA National Championship banner prior to puck drop against St. Cloud State. DU averaged 6,067 fans in 2004-05, 6,093 in 2005-06 and is averaging 6,079 fans after nine home dates in 2006-07.
The Pioneers are tied for second in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey with seven NCAA National Championships. DU captured national championships in 1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2004 and 2005.
GWOZDECKY INDUCTED INTO MIAMI UNIVERSITY CRADLE OF COACHES ASSOCIATION
DU head coach George Gwozdecky was inducted into the prestigious Miami University Cradle of Coaches Association on Oct. 8, 2006. Gwozdecky, who served as Miami's head coach for five seasons from 1989-94, is the first hockey coach to be enshrined into the group that includes such coaching legends as Bo Schembechler (football), Ara Parseghian (football), Weeb Ewbank (football) and Woody Hayes (football). DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Peg Bradley-Doppes (volleyball) is also a member of the Cradle of Coaches.
LAATSCH RETURNS TO PIONEERS AS VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT COACH
Former Pioneer Matt Laatsch returned to the team as a volunteer assistant coach this season. Laatsch guided the Pioneers to their second consecutive NCAA National Championship in 2005 as team captain and tallied 6-24--30 during a solid four-year career. He returned to the Pioneers after a brief stint with the American Hockey League's Utah Grizzlies before retiring from professional hockey after attending the Chicago Blackhawks camp in the fall of 2005.
CARLE AND STASTNY LIGHTING UP NHL
Former DU All-Americans Paul Stastny and Matt Carle are enjoying fast starts to their NHL careers. Colorado's Stastny (9-17--26) and San Jose's Carle (3-17--20) rank third and sixth, respectively, among rookie scorers. Carle, the 2006 Hobey Baker Award winner and Anchorage native, helped DU to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005. Stastny helped DU to the 2005 NCAA title and was the WCHA scoring champion in 2006. Both players signed professional contracts after the 2005-06 season. Carle signed with the Sharks after his junior season, while Stastny signed with the Avalanche after his sophomore season.
DU is 10-0-0 when leading after two periods.
The Pioneers are 2-1-1 in overtime games this season. The Pioneers have outscored their opponents 24-15 in the third period and overtime this season.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR 2007 NCAA WEST REGIONAL AT PEPSI CENTER IN DENVER
Tickets for the 2007 NCAA West Regional at Pepsi Center in Denver are on sale. Tickets are being sold in three-game packages, starting as low as $50. Tickets can be purchased at the Pepsi Center Box Office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.pepsicenter.com, and by phone at (303) 830-8497. The 2007 NCAA West Regional is set for March 24-25.
ON THE HORIZON
The Pioneers return to WCHA action with a two-game home series against 2006 NCAA National Champion Wisconsin on Jan. 5-6, 2007.
Senior Glenn Fisher leads the No. 10 DU hockey team into the 15th annual Wells Fargo Denver Cup.