Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Videos from Avalanche Training Camp

Courtesy of PiosAvsFan, please see the videos to follow.

This video shows Paul Stastny (#26 in Gray) neatly tucking away a nice goal against Peter Budaj.

This clip shows a bit of one of the scrimmages. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!

With a little of one month until the first game of the DU Pioneer 2007-2008 season, I thought I’d take some time on this beautiful Labor Day weekend to ponder the fast approaching season.

At the end of last season, there were some huge questions left by the 2006-2007 squad. Can the struggling defense learn some discipline over the summer? Will the ever more prominent ego issues resolve themselves? Can Mannino regain his Freshman year/National Championship winning form? Will Rakhshani spend more time on his feet next season (I kid, I kid….)? It seemed that the 07-08 edition of the Pioneers were poised to become a much stronger, more disciplined team, especially with the announcement of Andrew Thomas as its captain. Then Ryan Dingle left to pursue his pro career. He was given an Amateur Try Out with the Portland Pirates, where he played 4 games with only 1 assist overall and was released.

Then, on July 30, one of the worst things possible occurred. While it had been rumored for about week, it was finally announced that would be Sophomore Keith Seabrook was leaving DU to join the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL. As you might remember in the middle of the 06-07 season, Sophomore defenseman TJ Fast departed for the WHL. The announcement sent shockwaves through the DU fan community. From reserved resignations of the apparent downfall of the defensive corps to the downright icy comments from Coach Gwozdecky, it was certain the Pioneers had taken quite a hit. As it stood, DU had 4 WCHA caliber defensemen, however with the defection of Seabrook, it appeared almost impossible that the DU defense would be able to withstand the offensive onslaught of the coming season.

Shortly after the announcement of Seabrook’s departure, it was announced that Geoff Paukovich had come to terms with the Edmonton Oilers. The reaction by fans was completely different. It was widely acknowledged that this was the best move for Paukovich whose play had sadly been severely hampered since the Bina incident.

Meanwhile, on the USCHO board, rumors abounded of the last minute recruits being brought in by the Pioneer coaching staff until at long last an official announcement came from DU. The 2007-2008 recruiting class will be as follows:

Name, S/C, Pos., Ht., Wt., Yr., DOB, Hometown (Last Team, League)
Tyler Bozak, R, F, 6-0, 165, Fr., 03/19/86, Regina, Saskatchewan (Victoria, BCHL)
Joey Brehm, L, D, 6-2, 180, Fr., 08/05/88, Edina, Minn. (Edina H.S.)
Marc Cheverie, L, G, 6-2, 185, Fr., 02/22/87, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia (Nanaimo, BCHL)
Jon Cook, R, D, 6-1, 195, Fr., 04/08/86, Denver, Colo. (Camrose, AJHL)
Stephen Cunningham, L, F, 6-1, 195, Fr., 03/28/86, Boulder, Colo. (Burnaby, BCHL)
Eddie Guinn, L, G, 6-1, 185, Fr., 07/11/87, South Burlington, Vt. (Cleveland, CSHL)
Dustin Jackson, R, F, 6-3, 200, Fr., 06/20/86, Omaha, Neb. (Southern Minnesota, NAHL)
Anthony Maiani, L, F, 5-8, 165, Fr., 02/24/89, Shelby Township, Mich. (Sioux City, USHL)
Jesse Martin, R, F, 6-0, 180 Fr., 09/07/88, Edmonton, Alberta (Tri-City, USHL)
Chris Nutini, R, D, 6-0, 185, Fr., 09/12/87, Centennial, Colo. (Wichita Falls, NAHL)
Kyle Ostrow, L, F, 5-10, 175, Fr., 09/05/87, Calgary, Alberta (Nanaimo, BCHL)
John Ryder, L, D, 6-1, 190, Fr., 03/06/89, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Ohio, USHL)

I am of the opinion that the 2007-2008 edition of the University of Denver Pioneers could go one of two ways, with no middle ground. This team will either knock everyone’s socks off or be so terrible we’ll want to wipe this season from our memories. As the ever-optimistic person I am, I firmly believe this team has the potential to be a major contender this year; they are led by a captain who knows what it takes to win, have a goalie who has proven his ability to be the man, and have a coach with the experience and expertise to mold them into a national title contender. There’s also the small fact that the Frozen Four is being held in their back yard. What more motivation do they need??

I’ll leave you now with a few pictures of the new ice in Magness Arena.