Tuesday, December 12, 2006

And we're Back!

It was a great weekend of hockey in Magness Arena this past weekend. The Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks rolled into town with their epic purple unis for the two game WCHA series that began on Friday night. In a hard fought game, the Pioneers and Mavericks battled to a 3-3 tie. Glenn Fisher looked great in net despite interfered with time and again. Tom May was welcomed back onto the team this weekend, garnering an assist in his first game back. Senior Zach Blom also saw time for the first time this weekend, netting the goal that tied the game on Friday. Read the full game re-cap here: DU Ties Minnesota State, 3-3

After their three game winless streak, Saturday night saw the Pioneers re-energized. Junior Ryan Dingle recorded his second career hat trick in a 5-1 win over the Mavericks. Peter Mannino made 21 saves and allowed one softie in his 3rd win of the season. Geoff Paukovich scored his first goal of the season to put the Pioneers up 4-1, after Kurtis Kisio scored on Mannino 9 minutes into the third. Patrick Mullen put the icing on the cake scored with 5 minutes left. Read the full game re-cap here: DU Skates Past MSU, 5-1

Senior Captain Adrian Veideman did not play this weekend after sustaining a serious concussion during the Saturday game of the CC series. He was however present on the bench. Ryan Helgason was also held out of the game, having broken a bone in his hand in the same game.

The week preceding this series was made quite interesting by an avid female Maverick fan as she ranked the Pioneers’ looks and several avid female DU fans took exception. Special thanks to LetsGoMavs for taking the objections into consideration! Check it out here: LetsGoMavs

Pics from the Weekend! All courtesy of PiosAvsFan..THANKS!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Everybody Makes Mistakes

Rivalry weekend in Colorado has come and gone...Now we DU fans are left with a sour taste in our mouths over opportunities squandered and heartbreaking injuries. DU faced its first sweep of the season at the hands of rival Colorado College. Prior to this weekend, CC had not beaten DU in their last 7 matches including several playoff games.

Friday night the Pioneers visited the Colorado Springs World Arena for the first game in the home and home series. Before the game, a small ceremony was held to celebrate the team USA’s win at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships in Sweden last April. DU freshman Rhett Rakhshani and CC freshman Billy Sweatt were both given their championship rings and exchanged a hug. Quite disturbingly the CC fans actually booed Rakhshani as he was accepting his ring. I found that entirely classless and felt bad for Rakhshani as they ruined a very special moment for him. Then the CC student section made themselves look ridiculous and rude as they yelled DU sucks during the singing of the National Anthem. There is no doubt that the Tigers outplayed DU during this game, as evidenced by the final score of 5-1. A big story line for this series was the meeting of the Testwuide brothers, older brother JP plays for DU while younger brother Mike plays for CC. It was reported in the Denver Post earlier this week that JP and Mike’s mom would be a sweater that was customized to support both her boys. True enough, we saw her as we entered World Arena and she was nice enough to take a picture with us! In an interesting twist to this story, Mike scored twice on Friday night for his second and third goals of the season.

Saturday night the Tigers visited Magness Arena for the second game of the home-and-home series. I saw the Pioneers play a much better game, taking better scoring chances, finishing their checks, and working hard. Then one of the scariest things I’ve seen at Magness propelled the Pioneers to a whole new level. In the opening minutes of the second period, CC’s senior co-captain Brandon Straub collided with DU’s Senior captain Adrian Veideman at the DU bench. Straub pushed Veideman nearly over the bench then threw him to the ice. In the process, Veideman’s helmet was thrown off, causing his head to hit the ice directly. After a small pile up Straub was pulled off of Veideman, who was not moving at all. After ten very tense minutes, Veideman was taken off the ice on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. I’ve read that he was diagnosed with a grade 2 concussion but has no other injuries. I wish him a full and very speedy recovery! After this incident the Pioneers seemed re-energized, coming back from a two-goal deficit, only to lose the game after Chad Rau scored late in the third. Also, senior Ryan Helgason’s hand was broken during the first period of the game.

My favorite part about this entire weekend was “the Water Bottle Incident of ’06.” During a stoppage of play towards the end of the second period, junior forward Mike Handza casually strolled over to the net tended by Zaba the Hut, who was doing his usual skate around the goal line. Handza waited until Zaba doubled back and nonchalantly opened Zaba’s water bottle, took two squirts then spit the water at Zaba. Several of Zaba’s “teammates” witnessed this incident and did…NOTHING! Handza skated away with a huge smile on his face and is now my hero. Undoubtedly, Handza got the idea from UND’s Mike Prpich who did something very similar to this to Peter Mannino in the 2005 National Championship game, and Handza took exception then and received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty along with Prpich.

Favorite Quote of the weekend (and this was tough cuz there were SO many!):
Guy behind us: That was a great game ladies, maybe next time DU will do better...
Me: It was nice to meet you, we always like talking to other DU alums during games.
Guy: Oh I'm a CC alum...
Megan: That's okay, everybody makes mistakes!

Please enjoy a short slide show of our adventures this weekend. Some pictures are courtesy of my friend Julia and her AWESOME new camera!